Across the country, teenagers are waving good-bye to high school and preparing to begin their college career. For many, this is their first experience of being away from home, on their own, and responsible for the choices they make. Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, Patrick and producer Kaylyn Green were discussing how college freshman are less religious than ever, and Kaylyn shared how even at a Catholic college she had to navigate the ‘college culture.’ She said:
“The college culture was still present there, it wasn’t as if I avoided it by going to a Catholic college. I think it’s really on every campus, there’s going to be that temptation. The hook-up culture, binge drinking, as well as liberal professors and relativistic thinking, it’s all there.”
But there are things you can do to help make your college experience one of personal growth rather than just binge drinking. Kaylyn offered listeners some advice on how to have a great college experience and keep your Catholic faith intact:
Do Find Good Friends
‘Don’t be misled. Bad company corrupts good morals.’ – 1 Corinthians 15:33
It really comes down to surrounding yourself with the right people, making good friends. I think that’s something I learned pretty quickly. The people I surrounded myself with and became friends with really influenced my four years.
Don’t Just Go With the Flow When It Comes to Friends
It’s hard because freshman year you’re oftentimes put with a random roommate, and everyone on your floor, or your wing, of your dorm pretty much becomes your first friends. And so, you don’t really have a choice at first – everyone’s new, you want to meet people. So I would say, after that freshman year really look at who you’ve made friends with. Have you really gotten involved in things where you can meet like-minded people or are you just going to stay friends with the people who happen to be on your floor and go along with whatever they’re up to?
Do Seek Out Catholic Extracurricular Activities
On my campus you’re on your own now, so you have to make sure you get to Mass, and seek out the pro-life group. It’s really up to you. … You need to seek out what clubs on campus are there, like the campus ministry, and go to the events that they host. Go to Mass more often than just Sunday. If you’re at a Catholic campus it’s offered every day. Just really strive to find things that you can be involved in. I think extracurricular activities, too, are great to spend your time well and keep you sharp and busy.
Don’t Compare Yourself to What Other Catholics Are Doing
I often would compare myself to some of my friends who were Catholic too. I saw them at Sunday Mass, but they would also be doing other things. I thought that what they were doing must be fine if I see them at Mass. So really make sure you’re measuring yourself not by your friends, but by what God expects of you.
Do Your Research On Classes to Know What You Are Getting Into
Be careful about which classes you sign up for. There were a few philosophy classes that I signed up for but didn’t really know what they were about, and ended up having to really stand my ground on some things. So just do your research to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Listen to the full conversation below:
The Patrick Madrid Show airs weekdays from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.