Written by Power to Change – Students
Headed for university or college this fall? There are, of course, many ways you can prepare: Googling campuses, finishing your science homework, talking with older friends and family. But one of the most important aspects of post-secondary life is often overlooked: taking responsibility for your faith. How can you do that?
As you do your assignments, tests, and exams, pray about them. Here’s one prayer you can try for exams: “Lord, bring to my mind everything I have studied and read. Calm me, and may I do my best for you.”
And don’t limit yourself to praying about school. Pray about every concern you have. Try keeping a prayer journal so you can see that God answers your prayers.
Consider asking for prayer
C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, a classic novel about devils and demons, suggests that Satan’s desire is to see that no one becomes a Christ follower; but if they do, they be dissuaded from being active in their faith. Paul, in Ephesians 6, says there is a spiritual battle going on for your heart. He goes on to say, “we need to be praying at all times in the Spirit.”
You need to be surrounded by prayers at all times, including in university or college. So though it may be awkward, it’s wise to accept your need for prayer.
Get to know people who actively grow their faith
Observe how people older than you go about growing in faith—maybe your parents, your youth pastor, or any other Christian you know and respect. Take notes.
Define success at university/college
Defining success in any part of life can be hard, but wrestling with certain questions up front can save a lot of trouble later.
How important are good grades to you? What will you do to stay healthy—including the details of eating properly and having clean clothes? What’s your plan for navigating the party scene or inconsiderate roommates?
The point is not to answer these questions perfectly. Just start thinking.
Find a church and/or Christian fellowship
If you’re headed to a new city for university/college, think through—and maybe even visit—churches in your new neighbourhood. Think through what criteria you’re looking for in a church. You can even ask others how they go about choosing churches. Here are some ideas:
- Your needs and desires. Think through what your needs and desires are for a faith community. If you’re feeling lonely and want support you will have different criteria for church than if you want to be theologically challenged or want to be involved in reaching the poor of the community.
- Can you serve in this community? Is there a place for you to serve on the worship team or teach Sunday school? Will you be able to use their talents, skills, and gifts? How do the volunteers feel about their involvement?
- Character of the church. Is the teaching Biblically sound? Does the emphasis of the church resonate? How do members show they care about each other? How welcoming is the church? How long does it take to feel accepted?
Outside of church, consider being part of a Christian fellowship as well. These Christian groups can support you, teach you skills you can’t find elsewhere, and give you a peer group with the same values as you.
If you are looking to connect with Christian community at your Canadian college or university, Power to Change – Students would love to help! If you’re starting school in the Fall of 2021, you can apply for our NEXT Steps Scholarship. Or, let us know how we can help you using the contact form here.
This post repackages the wisdom from another article from Power to Change – Students. It is part of a paid partnership between Love Is Moving and Power to Change – Students, promoting their post-secondary scholarship.
Photo provided by Power to Change.