This article does not represent the views of Her Campus FSU.
Coming into a school like FSU is daunting for any girl, no matter how prepared or ready you believe you are. Each year, freshmen come rushing into Tallanasty eager to experience the “ultimate partying experience,” and FSU does not disappoint. An endless list of frat houses, waltzes, clubs, bar crawls, even wine and dine nights. You name it, we have it. Not only do we have it all, but we have it every day of the week. It’s hard to imagine we even go to class.
So, how does a Christian girl keep a strong faith, even when it seems like the whole social climate is orbiting around what outfit you should be wearing to the club tonight and not around your faith? For a while, you might tell yourself “it’s all okay, this is me living the ultimate college experience. This is normal…right?” Well, for many it is, but for me, it wasn’t, and it might not be for you. Just a year ago, only one month into freshman year, I had a heavy and saddening realization: I wasn’t putting myself first, my academics were sliding and more importantly, my faith was being put on the back burner. I felt myself fading and I knew I needed to address it fast before I got worse. So, this is what I did.
Courtesy: Emily Pozzuoli
I started going to church every week.
Okay guys, I know we are all busy; school, homework, studying and, on top of that, trying to maintain a social life. I get it. But let’s all be honest with ourselves, an hour a week (on Sunday morning) is more than doable. Church is like the reset button for the week, it lets you start new and reminds you of the bigger picture: that you were made for so much more than petty school drama! Some of you may be saying to yourself you tried the whole church thing and it just really didn’t work out. Hey girl, I understand. Finding the right church is an unnerving task. You could try ten churches before you find the right one, but when you find that perfect community isn’t it so sweet and worth the effort? I personally go to this hip place called Downtown Community Church. The congregation is all college students (cool right?) and the sermons are actually relevant to our lives. (We also sing some pretty hype songs so that’s a plus.) I highly suggest giving it a try! But, just like anything that calls individuality, I recommend trying a bunch! Everyone is different and therefore we will all find ourselves comfortable in different places. This is a link to all the churches in Tallahassee sorted by denomination, go check it out! Happy church hopping!
I joined a campus ministry.
Okay guys, this is the big one! Find like-minded people your age that want to meet you where you are! The people that don’t mind doing a movie night on Friday instead of going out to the club, the people that love just hanging out and talking about life! Find friends that love Jesus just as much as you do – That want to grow in their faith and challenge you to do the same. These are your people, and will be the foundation for you staying rooted in your faith throughout your college years. I joined a ministry on campus called Younglife my freshman year and it literally flipped my life upside down. They held me accountable, asked me the big questions and loved me without hesitation. I could honestly preach on and on about how amazing Younglife is but I do not want to undermine any of the other of the amazing campus ministries at FSU! They are all great in their own respect and bring different things to the table. Just like churches I definitely recommend trying a bunch and finding the one where you feel most welcome! Whichever one you join, you are bound to be impacted in the best way possible! You can find all the campus ministries here and then click on the Religious/Spiritual category. (Also, If you are kind of freaked out about the whole finding a church thing then definitely join a campus ministry! Going to church in a group is way less intimidating than going by yourself!)
I joined a Bible study.
This is ultimately how you make a big campus like FSU feel smaller. In Church this week, my pastor said something that really stuck with me, “You can only truly grow in small groups.” I totally agree! While gathering in a big congregation like church and large campus ministries are fundamental to maintaining a strong faith, Bible Studies are where you are able to delve deeper into faith by expanding your roots. It’s where you are not only going to learn more about the meaning of scripture, but begin to understand yourself and how your life is applicable to the messages. It’s a safe place to truly be authentic, which I know may sound scary to some of you, but if you listen to anything I have say in this article hear this: part of staying strong in your faith in a college setting is being vulnerable. To truly live a life following Jesus is not meant to be easy. It is meant to challenge us in the best way possible, and from that challenge we are given lasting relationships and purpose. Don’t we all want that in a sense?
So if you are a Christian girl struggling to find her place at FSU, I urge you to go out and find your people! Find your home! And continue to pursue your faith! I promise you it has made all the difference for me knowing that there is a much bigger plan and that the Big Guy up above is always on my side. His love is relentless and will continue to do BIG THINGS for all of us if we have the courage to follow him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” -Jeremiah 29:11