Grounding Your College Life In Faith

I’m not exactly sure what the reader demographic of this blog is, but I bring you my second post after living for six weeks away at college. I’m a new transfer student from junior college, currently living the apartment life at UCLA. It’s a prestigious school to be sure, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up on how busy school work can be.

Perhaps this is the case for you too, but often times I’ve lost sight of what I’m doing here, and what I want to accomplish here. I’ve joined a fabulous fellowship called In Christ Alone, formerly the Navigators at UCLA. I don’t know what caused it to branch off, but that’s none of my business anyway. I’m not really as involved as I’d like to be, but already, sometimes it’s hard to find time for myself and quiet times with God since I’m so active.

My weekday schedule goes something like this:

Monday – dorm dinner fellowship time with ICA fellowship
Tuesday – bonding with my three apartment-mates by eating together
Wednesday – Bible study at night with people from my home church who also attend UCLA
Thursday – ICA fellowship rally, worship, and message, then eating and fellowship at dorms after.
Friday – fellowship and Bible study at my home church

I’ve seen many friends who, at the beginning of college, when they first went to UCLA, were really gung-ho about ministry and worship on campus. Now that I’m here, I’m seeing a different story. Many friends of mine who were proclaimed passionate and serving Christians have now fallen away and are no longer involved. Perhaps some still go to fellowship, but I have see no evidence of this in their lives.

I’ve been watching out for the same problem in my life, but it’s hard to remember why I’m so involved. In serving at church and being so involved in fellowship at school, I’ve often missed my own devotional times and quiet times, which has taken a toll on my spiritual and emotional health.

Some advice for current college students:

– No matter how busy you are, take some time for yourself to spend quiet times with God. It doesn’t have to be intense theological Bible studies like I used to be used to doing, but it can be some light reading (perhaps some C.S. Lewis–I’m currently working through The Screwtape Letters which is fantastic), light worship with an iPod, and prayer.

– Find a solid community and small group in your fellowship at school. A discipleship program is a plus and can help you grow so much with a positive older figure and an accountability partner.

– Never forget to love the people around you and keep a look out for those you can share your faith with. The college campus is such an amazing rich soil for people who need Jesus who just don’t know what they’re looking for yet.

– Study for the glory of God and not for yourself, and ask God for mercy and help and diligence in your studies.

All in all, I’m loving college life. It’s a little tough growing up and learning to be responsible for myself and to be better at time management, since I’m so involved in fellowship and in my home church. But God is good and he will bless each and every one of you for the work you are doing on campus, so I keep going in faith, as I pray that you will, too.

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