Joseph Gustav is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online schools for Guide to Online Schools.
College is an exciting time of one’s life. It is often a student’s first time away from family and friends, living on your own, surrounded by intellectually motivated, curious, and exceptional individuals. However, the same things that make it exciting can be daunting and even detrimental. People with ideas other than your own may not be receptive to hearing yours or seeing your view point, and this can be especially true for religious college students. Temptation is out there, including parties and a freedom previously not afforded while living at home, and oftentimes other students, professors, and class curriculum are not religion friendly.
That said, it is very possible to keep your faith while at school and to have good relationships with others who do not share your beliefs. It is entirely a matter of respect and understanding. Though you stand by your beliefs and see the good behind them, a good others should share, there is no need to preach or force your beliefs on others. In fact, do not make it an issue if it does not need to be. Respect the beliefs of others. That said, do not stand for anyone disrespecting your beliefs. Take the high road and let them know that you found their remark or whatever they did hurtful and disrespectful.
In an academic environment there is always room for debate — and people who love to hear their own voices. If you feel so inclined, chime in on classroom discussions or ones you hear down the hall. Let your viewpoint be heard, but do so in a respectful manner. The best way to present your case is to do so in a logical, well-informed, level-headed matter. These debates are part of college, and are part of the reason why you wanted to surround yourself in an intellectual atmosphere. Just don’t let them get heated or too personal; keep it friendly and academic.
A social life can be difficult to have in college as a student of faith, as many of your peers will not be interested in maintaining your moral standing. The best way to have fun and have friends is to join campus faith groups and find like-minded individuals. There’s lots of fun things to do at school without partying, so go explore the town around campus, go hiking, see student plays, find out what is going on around and outside of campus. And branch out — find things in common with non-religious classmates such as sports, film, or music, and share them together. College does not have to shake your faith or make you feel like an outsider. It should be an amazing, life-changing experience for everybody.
Find religious scholarships for 18 different faiths, including Christian, Judeo and Mormon.