If you see yourself as someone religious, then it’s part of who you are. You can’t turn it on and off depending on who you’re around. You are dedicated to your principles and this might be hard in some cases. Maybe you want to fit in. Or maybe people will put you in situations where you might have to go against what you believe in. Staying sane on campus as a religious person can also be dizzying, and start taking its toll on you. Here are some tips to help you stay sane as a religious college student.
1. You’re Not Alone
No matter your faith, there’s probably someone at your university who shares it. Maybe there are faith-based groups that you could join, or there could be Facebook groups that will help you while you’re away from home. Both of these options will not only help you meet like-minded people that you can hang around with, but they’re useful for networking as well. More importantly, both will work as a support group if you even need help.
2. Stay Away from Antagonism
Some people may want to share their faith with others, and this is all fine, but you have to be ready to face some pushback. Not everyone wants to hear about religion, and many will be downright hostile to you. Try to stay away from discussions where you have to justify your faith. If anything is said, just let them know that they’re entitled to their opinion and walk away.
3. Think Twice about Staying on Campus
If we were to give you one piece of advice, it would be to think twice about staying on campus. While it can have its advantages, it can also be very trying for a religious person, especially if you have to share a room with someone you don’t know.
Try to consider the colleges closest to you. You could even consider enrolling in an online college. Online degrees are recognized just like any other degree and are rigorous. They’re a great option if you want to study from the comfort of your home and follow classes at your own pace.
Another thing you should consider is going to a Christian college. Better yet, you could opt for a Christian college online that is aligned with your convictions. Make sure that you pick one that is fully accredited, and take a look at their learning options if you have a special schedule.
4. Don’t Block Yourself Off Completely
One thing you shouldn’t do, however, is completely alienate yourself. While you want to seek the company of like-minded people, you also have to identify allies that will respect you. If you have religious choices as far as clothing or food goes, and you see that students are actually supportive and ready to accommodate you, then you might have found some friends. Isolating yourself will make things harder for you, so stay open while keeping your guard up.
5. Ask for Help
Colleges will have resources for students who might be in distress, so it’s always worth knowing where these are so you have access to assistance if you feel you’re in over your head. They will go over what your hang-ups are, whether it’s socializing or the school atmosphere. They might look over the different options for you, and help you determine whether the class or college is the right environment for you.
6. Set an Example
If you want to be a testament to your faith, don’t try to beat it over people’s heads. Instead, preach by example. This is a much better approach than trying to force it onto others. Do this and you’ll fast gain a reputation that will only make things worse.
Don’t try to make it too obvious either. People don’t have to know what your faith is before they even get the chance to know or speak to you. Yes, it is a part of you, but you don’t have to shout about it. Religion should be about your connection with a higher power anyway, not about how much better you are than everybody else, or how wrong they are. You want people to leave with a good impression of you, so let them come to you with questions if they have any. This will give you the chance to exchange dialogue and make genuine connections.
College life can be tough for any student, let alone someone with a strong religious background. Follow our advice and don’t hesitate to ask for help and support if you need it.