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Maintaining Religion in College With Skylar Haynie

Church and religion are institutions many people grow up with, but not many choose to pursue as they progress in their own lives. This is especially true and challenging for college students with the many temptations and distractions of college life. However, religious organizations on college campuses have recently been attracting a younger audience. In this pursuit of younger members, their teachings have also adapted to be more progressive and accepting. Skylar Haynie, my friend and roommate, reveals her experience with the newer teachings and some time management challenges!

Her Campus (HC): Skylar, what denomination did you grow up under?

Skylar Haynie (SK): I grew up and was baptized Catholic but was never really involved in the religion. Eventually, my family switched to Christianity (which is mainly different because Christians don’t celebrate or pray to saints), but I still wasn’t as involved in the church as I am now.

HC: That’s awesome! I grew up Catholic also, but I’m not involved in the church at all anymore. When would you say your relationship with Christianity changed?

SK: My family stopped going to church for years, but eventually, I realized I needed and wanted religion in my life, so I decided to pursue it independently in college.

HC: That’s so inspirational! I think the religious connection is more authentic and strong when it’s your own decision. What church or group did you start going to once you got to Florida State?

SK: I think so, too; I’m definitely at the most vital point in my faith! I went to one church at the beginning that I didn’t love, but now I go to Experience Church, and love it there! I felt so welcome that I ended up joining a small group recently, and they’re such amazing people.

HC: I’m glad you felt accepted; that’s really important! What would you recommend about Experience and the small group to other college students interested in pursuing religion in college?

SK: I know many people who are scared of joining Christianity because they’re afraid of being judged, but I have never felt judged at all, especially at Experience. The pastor at Experience is the best, and his sermons are very accommodating to college students but are still firmly rooted in the Bible. I know it can be intimidating to join any small group, but I’ve been welcomed so warmly and have already made many friends!

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HC: I’ve heard that about Experience from many people who attend, so I hope this is encouraging to other students interested in joining or just attending sermons. Do you have any issues balancing your time and decisions between your college lifestyle and religion?

SK: Sure, I still like to spend time with friends and have a “college experience,” but I make time every Wednesday to go to my small group and at least try to go to church every Sunday morning. Sometimes I feel conflicted about partying and living up to a college lifestyle, but I try my best to obey the Bible and follow my faith even with certain temptations present.

HC: I can definitely see how that would be challenging, especially at such a big school like Florida State. Do you have any final recommendations or encouragements for the readers?

SK: Yes, definitely! I would like to say that if you are interested in joining a church or are hesitant at all, just try it! I haven’t met any Christian in Tallahassee who hasn’t been welcoming and encouraging, which I know is what holds a lot of people back from joining or even pursuing religion. I believe you won’t regret it and hope you find a church or organization where you feel comfortable and accepted.

HC: Thank you so much for your perspective, and I hope this reaches anyone looking for encouragement to join that group they’ve been looking for!

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Sienna Aitken is a senior Psychology and Criminology major at Florida State University
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