Jesus and college.
Not two things that you would normally associate each other with, right? As a matter of fact, many associate going off to college with freedom. For many, it's their first time away from home. There are many things available for you and your parents aren't there to make decisions for you. Statistics show that many students that leave home believing in God lose their faith in college. Why? Because there are many distractions. Drugs, other religions, alternative lifestyles, etc. College is not a time to lose your faith, but a time to draw closer to God. Now, I'm not telling you to not have fun; God wants us to enjoy life! I just want to you to know that it is possible to have fun & serve Christ at the same time!
When I left for college, I refused to be that statistic. This wasn't something that I was forced to do, but it was a daily choice because I loved Jesus. My journey was not close to perfect, but I can say that my relationship with God was stronger when I left college.
So, for those of you that desire to grow your relationship with Christ while in college, here's some tips!
1) MAKE TIME FOR JESUS
Make sure that you don't forget what's more important. Yes, doing your school work & hanging it with friends are important & cool, but Christ comes first. Make time in your day to pray, journal & read His Word, which will sustain you. I prefer to have quiet time in the morning, but do whatever you prefer. No matter what, set intentional time with God.
2) PRAY FOR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS
I remember my first days at college. I would hang with people that I knew, but desired deeper relationships. I constantly prayed for friends that desired God like me & He answered that prayer in literally 3 days! You can't get closer to Christ if you don't have people to push you. There are people on your campus that are crazy about Jesus. Pray that He would lead you to them, or lead them to you! (Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 13:20)
3) JOIN A CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION
At my university, there are TONS of Christian organizations & I'm sure its the same at yours. DON'T BE ASHAMED TO LOOK FOR THEM!! You will meet so many young people that are on fire for Christ. Join a Bible study & go to their different events. Also, find your school's Gospel choir or praise dance troupe & join! If you are attending a community or state college, there might be organizations that you can join. If not, try your local community!
4) FIND A CHURCH
Some universities have church services on campus. Plus, there are churches all around your school. Don't be afraid to visit a few & ask God where it is that He will have you to serve & attend. Having a church home with help build family and accountability for you, which is essential in developing a relationship with Christ. (Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42-47)
5) BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Don't place yourself in situations or places that you know will cause you to fall. Every event is not for you to attend. Ask God to constantly lead you & guide you to the right places.
I know that it can be challenging having a relationship with Jesus while you are young, but it is worth it. If you're serious about Christ, He will keep you during your new transition. Just because you're in college doesn't mean that you have to compromise your faith. No! Stay strong & go show the world Jesus! There are plenty of people that need to know Christ & the Truth. Allow Him to use you to build His kingdom at your college.
I pray that you have a successful first semester.
Grace & love