Growing as a Christian in College

By Bivin George - St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s Church, Tappan, NY

Five years ago when I began my undergraduate career at Rutgers University, I never would have guessed how much I would learn during my time here. College is a time we all learn more about ourselves-who we are, and where we want to go in life. We build relationships, those we hope will last forever, and we realize the true blessings in life. We face so many distractions and all sorts of problems that allow us to grow-as a friend, a family, and most importantly as a Christian.

College gives us all so much opportunity and is full of so much potential. When I say that, I do not necessarily mean just academic potential, but potential to become who we really want to be in life. Rutgers is a huge school, a student body consisting of easily over 30,000 students, more than some towns in America, and so it is very easy to be lost a midst the crowd. There were countless times when I felt pressured to fit in, to mold myself to what the other tens of thousands of kids were doing, and to try to be like them. But I began to realize,that was not who I am nor was it who I wanted to be. I had a difficult time trying to please everyone, yes we all want to be well-liked and respected, but I found myself compromising some of my beliefs in the process. The only Person to whom I should aim to please is my Heavenly Father and Best Friend. College is a time of academic potential because we all want to do well in school and get our dream careers, but I learned most importantly, college holds potential to me because it helped me to grow as a Christian.

Prayer, fasting and Godly relationships have been critical in my growth as a Christian. Yes I would attend Church weekly, but my faith truly grew during my days and nights when I was praying alone to God and just talking to Him. Fasting during the great fast was a great time to really realize how human I am and how much I need God. Sometimes in my pride, I think I can be superman and do everything myself. For example, I plan this event and that event and think I can balance it with all my other responsibilities I have my studies or family/friends, but I have to remind myself as St. James writes in his Epistle, that I "do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is [my] life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). A little dose of humility is something I learned, imperative for my life as a Christian. Every day is a challenge and a race to try to live the Christian life in this world and college gave me a chance to truly realize who I am and who I want to be.

As I finish up with college and then look for a career, although I am not fully prepared, I will take with me everything I did learn at Rutgers and remind myself of my first calling-as a Christian in this life-and achieve the most I can.

Thank you and God bless

Tags: MGOCSM, MGOCSM Alumni Network, MGOCSM Newsletter


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