It would be wrong of me to write this post pretending like the spiritual transition from high school to college is mostly seamless with a few slip-ups on the way. In fact, I really think I would be flat out lying to you and that is a sin, so I must keep to the rule of honesty.
Currently, I am in my second year in school. My first year was spent attending almost every OCF meeting and every Sunday Liturgy possible. I was responsible. I found rides to church, ways to attend Thursday Bible study. I did everything I was “supposed” to do to set myself up for success in my spiritual realm. However, here I am, halfway through my second year, and my spiritual life has waned.
I have rehearsals on Tuesday nights so I miss our OCF meetings and on Sundays when I should be going to church in the mornings. I have to be honest with you, while I know this lifestyle is not necessarily conducive to growing a faith, I do not regret the choices I have made when planning my weekly schedule as I know they contribute to my education. However, while I never intended to impede my spiritual growth, I have made a choice that does, and must face the effects of that choice.
During Christmas Break, my freshman year of college, I took confession with my parish priest, and he gave me this advice when I told him I felt like I had not been doing enough for my faith while in school. His advice: Claire, you are in college. You are there to learn and to receive a degree. While God should always stay at the center of your life, do not punish yourself if you cannot always attend liturgy or OCF. That is not why you are in school.
It is from this advice I offer you my own: When you come to college, you have the opportunity to essentially design your own life. This is a massive responsibility for so young and inexperienced a person. You will make choices that you will not know whether to consider morally right or wrong. You will go through periods of time where nothing seems quite right with any aspect of your life.
If you cannot get yourself to OCF, or liturgy, or any other type of service being offered at your school all I ask is that you take a moment, when you can, to appreciate what you see around you.
Look around at creation, appreciate the specific things in life that give you joy. For me, it is when I walk towards my first class in the mornings in the sprinkling rain, umbrella-less, looking at the blooming flowers in the trees. That is all part of creation and we have the blessed opportunity to experience it.
We live in a turbulent world that asks quite a bit of its young people. Take advantage of this education God has given you and use it to increase the goodness and kindness in the world. And like the tenth leper, come back and tell Him thank you when you have received your gift.