Starting college is a scary time – alone and away from home, trying to navigate your way through the unknown territory of classes, dorm living, and new friends. To guide you through the blur of beginning, here are some words from real life OCF students who survived their first year.
“College (and freshman year especially) is an exciting time, but it’s also easy to get swept up in a wave of busyness. While juggling classes and clubs and plain old fear of missing out, a lot of college students underestimate the value of taking the time to just do nothing…to just be. Try to take just 10 minutes every day to unplug from everything and pray. Life doesn’t get any less stressful after college (surprise!), so making the effort now to be intentional about quietness and prayer will go a long way for you as your journey continues.”
–Tim Markatos, Georgetown University
“College will give you some of the best times of your life… but it may also give you some of the worst. My words of advice are to please remember who you are, no matter where you are. And in times of doubts, stay connected with the Church community. Remember the story of Thomas who demanded proof that Christ resurrected. Even during his doubts Thomas stayed connected with the apostles, and they stayed with him. The Orthodox Church has the testimony of men and women who had their lives radically changed because of the resurrection of Christ. Among those was Thomas himself, who was so convinced he had seen the risen of Christ he died a martyr’s death. Gladly he died for which he once doubted.”
-Elyse Zappia, LIU (Long Island University) Post
“Christ says, ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matthew 6:33). There is going to be a lot to get used to in the coming days weeks and months, but I urge you to seek out the local parish by your school at your first opportunity, if you have not already. By doing so, you have a whole community of people to help and support you. Also, meet and become friends with the OCF at your school, and if possible at nearby schools. College is a place of a variety of values, but whatever time you spend with your OCF friends, whatever you are doing, you know that you are surrounded by people who share your values, which can be surprisingly refreshing in the middle of college life. I know for sure that every aspect of my life (academic, social, musical, athletic, spiritual) would not be as successful if I was not a part of my local parish or OCF.”
–Paul Murray, Franklin & Marshall College