Friends, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I have actually started my Master’s degree program already. This means having spent three years in the university and, from the looks of it, still having two more to go with the Master’s. This means spending two more years in this environment that does not exactly promote biblical values or standards. Two more years of skipping parties, while trying to figure out how to make friends.
Friend, I know — it is not always easy to stand up for our faith and not let the ways of the world affect us. This is especially difficult when our faith is tested in a difficult environment, as the college tends to be. We need to be mindful of walking with the Lord, seeking Him on a daily basis and not conforming to this world. But how do we do that? Here are a few things I have found to be important in staying a Christian while attending college or university.
1. Go to church or a home Bible study.
This is the most important one, in my opinion. Especially when starting out in the university, it is easy to get caught up going out to different places with your new friends. It is also easy to conform to the ways of the world without noticing it yourself at first. So go hear the Word of God being taught and be in fellowship with believers who speak into your life, keep you accountable, pray with you when things get hard, and listen to your worries.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-26)
2. Know your faith will be tested.
Maybe this is the first time you have been away from your family and friends. Maybe this is your first time in this city, this state — and you are alone. Maybe this is the first time you will have to stand for your own faith. Maybe this is the first time you have to choose to go to church yourself. Know that your faith will be tested. Ask for prayer when life gets hard, knowing that life gets hard for every one of us and there is no shame in asking prayer. Memorize a few Bible verses that will comfort and encourage you to keep going and not give up.
“But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
3. Mention Jesus.
To be honest, this one is a hard one for me because evangelism has always been a bit of a hard thing for me. Instead of having the mindset of needing to share the Gospel with everyone, which seems impossibly intimidating and terrifying to me, I have decided to keep mentioning my faith here and there. It means saying that I am going to church on Wednesday nights, or telling people I went to a Bible College, or telling stories about my friends and mentioning I met them at church. People know I am a Christian, and this has raised up conversations here and there naturally.
4. Choose your friends wisely.
When I left to go to Bible College, this was something that my pastor, in his wisdom, told me. Even at Bible College, there will be those who are more serious about seeking the Lord and growing in His grace, and then there are those who can lead you towards carnal things. This is the same for university, except even more intense, I think. Choose your friends wisely, deciding not to hang out with those people who will end up hindering your walk with the Lord.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
5. Start a prayer group or Bible study at the university.
This one I have found to be a great blessing. I would meet with up with a girl in my class once a week. We would read through a book of the Bible chapter by chapter and discuss what we learned, and then spent time in prayer, praying for our studies and what we had learned in our Bible study times. It has blessed me greatly to be able to meet up with someone once a week and pray for the hard things during the semester.
Do you have any ideas to add to these? If so, please leave a comment below!