Tackling the Big Question: Is There Time for God in College?

As a kid, it was easier to live a Christian lifestyle. Your parents made sure your backside was in a seat at church on Sunday. They constantly checked up on you to make sure you were hanging out with the “right crowd” and sometimes wouldn’t even let you go over to a friend’s house until they had met your friend’s parents.

College is a completely different story. Nobody is checking up on you to make sure you’re in church on Sunday. (Heck, nobody is there to tell you what to eat or when to go to bed.) You are living life by your own rules and sometimes that can get the better of you. Is there room for God in college?

Between juggling classes, work and trying to have a social life, it is easy for one to lose sight of God. “I just don’t have the time to get to church on Sundays." I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I attended a church service while attending college until my senior year. It’s not that I didn't want to be there, it is just that I didn’t make the effort to. It’s easier to just sleep in, make breakfast and play video games on Sundays. While it may be easier to just hang out and veg on Sundays and other days of the week, I noticed a difference in my happiness. It was almost like I go went through the motions of life day in and day out and it got to be a discouraging routine of going to class, doing homework and then going to bed. There’s got to be more to life than this, right?

I don’t know what it is, but when I don’t have God in my life, things seem to get more difficult. I’m not saying if you don’t have God in your life that you’re a bad person. That’s not what I am getting at, but it is amazing to see the difference that He makes. By reading scripture in the mornings, it made such a difference. I picked up Tony Dungy’s book The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge and the book helped transform my life in ways I couldn’t imagine before. You only read one page a day, but within that page is a daily message of encouragement and guidance. I feel like each day is a chance to be a blessing to someone and to truly make a difference.

So what about parties? Can I live a Christian lifestyle and still go out? The short answer is: yes. College is a time to experience many different things, but just know where your values lie. Know where your line in the sand is and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. I’m all for having a good time with friends, but when a good time turns into drugs and other things of that nature, that’s when I tend to leave events. Country singer, Aaron Tippin said it best, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Know your values and stick to them. Just because it’s college, doesn’t mean you abandon the way you were raised. Too many people get sucked into things they wouldn’t normally ever do because “it’s college.”

Surround yourself with people who share some of the same values as you and who are going to have a positive impact on you. Do not follow those who will drag you down a path of self destruction and don't share some of the same core values as you.

It wasn't until my senior year of college that I pursued a relationship with God. I'd had enough of the lifestyle I was living and longed for something more. I had the Tony Dungy book that I was diving into and began attending Renew Church in Eau Claire. Through the pairing of those two things, God began to nudge me to form a small group. I had never led a small group before and I di