Catholic School Girl to College Girl


#1

Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'll shoot anyways. I'm a senior in Catholic HS, I've been going to Catholic school since kindergarten. I'm about to graduate (17 more days left of school!! whoo!) and go away to a secular college for a degree in English. Well, I'm a little nervous about the transition. The only thing I've ever known is Catholic education, and I've never really been exposed to anything else. Some teachers keep telling us that a lot of people lose their faith in college, they don't go to Mass, there are people who try to get you away from your faith. I mean, I know where the Churches are in my town and I will definately be going to Mass and keeping up with my faith because that is just personally important to me, I'm not one of those kids who just goes with their parents. And with the degree I'm going into, there has to be a bunch of anti-Catholic and anti-religious people. I don't know how to deal with it, because all I've been around is Catholic education! Can anyone give me some advice? Anything is appreciated!

Thanks!

-Jeanne


#2

Well I didn't go to Catholic School... but my biggest recommendation is to get VERY involved in the Newman Center (most are called Newman Centers, but if not just get involved in the college youth groups) at your college. Form strong bonds with like-minded people. These friendships will help guide you through the tough moments, I promise!

Prayers for you!!! You'll do just fine! :thumbsup:


#3

If you stay close to the Church, you will be fine, don't worry.

And you might be surprised by having some really great English Professors.

Did you know that Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand taught at a public college, Hunter College of the City University of NY?


#4

My suggestion is that you start looking into Apologetics. I learned a lot more about my faith when I actually had to defend it, either against Protestants or Athiests (never had a religious debate with a Jew, Muslim, or Pagan.) This site has some great apologetics resources, but there is so much more out there. Check out Jimmy Akin, Peter Kreeft, etc. :thumbsup:

As for living with people who drink, sleep around, and generally look down on "goody-goodies", I suggest finding a roommate who shares your values ASAP. Maybe you'll have to deal with a bad match your Freshman year, but after that, you can usually choose who you live with. If it happens, don't let it get you down. Just be as nice as you can to your roommate, who knows, maybe she'll be inspired by you! After that, just try to develop a network of solid people that you can count on. Besides class, good places to meet good Christians include Mass, Catholic/Christian fellowship groups, and charitable/service activities.


#5

College is the easy part. It is when you leave college, have a demanding job and have nobody telling you what to do do that you can lose your faith. Your first job after college will likely be hard work and demand lots of your time. In college, there is lots of time for your faith.


#6

I'm not Catholic and I felt this way often in College. Find a good parrish near you and the Newman center is a great resource. Basically you have to work at building a network to support you.

Also you WILL encounter people who have had little or no moral upbringing and you just have to ignore their comments and move on. I always felt a little pity for those who were wasting their opportunites being drunk and acting crazy.


#7

[quote="JoeofCupertino, post:5, topic:235211"]
College is the easy part. It is when you leave college, have a demanding job and have nobody telling you what to do do that you can lose your faith. Your first job after college will likely be hard work and demand lots of your time. In college, there is lots of time for your faith.

[/quote]

Gonna have to disagree with your experience. College isn't as demanding of one's time? Maybe for some. If you're skating by and your only concern is getting a degree, perhaps. But if you're trying to get the grades and extracurriculars to get into a top grad school or a highly competitive internship, good luck having any free time.


#8

[quote="Havard, post:7, topic:235211"]
Gonna have to disagree with your experience. College isn't as demanding of one's time? Maybe for some. If you're skating by and your only concern is getting a degree, perhaps. But if you're trying to get the grades and extracurriculars to get into a top grad school or a highly competitive internship, good luck having any free time.

[/quote]

My sister who is a junior at a very difficult engineering school would totally agree with this. She works her b*** off round the clock it seems.


#9

I had straight A's and plenty of free time. You have free time if you know how to manage your time and can get things done in a timely maner. College really isnt that hard. Its only hard if you want it to be hard.

Just wait till you have a job that requires you to work weekends and do all kinds of OT. Young people have lots of energy and businesses know this and exploit it. In many industries such a computer science, you will need to study at home and during free time. College is very canned and caged. When you start a career, you will be worked until you can hardly breath. Young engineers get worked like crazy as do young doctors and lawyers. Those industries have lots of hours and also involve travel in many cases.

Sure, if you want to be a teacher you will have lots of free time but in most careers you are worked like crazy when you are young. College is nothing compared to what a boss does to you. In college, you are a customer. On the job, you are a foot soldier and your boss doesnt have to worry about overloading you. He has plenty of applicants willing to do that same job.

In college, you dont have classes on the weekends. These days many employers will demand you to work weekends as someone who is young and lacks experience in the industry.

Work is also very secular. People talked more about their faith or lack of faith in college than in the workplace. At least in college you can debate it and argue your position. At work, you can get in loads of trouble and jeopordize your career for being overly religious.

In college, you can avoid parties. After college, those Catholic clubs go away and you have to find a parish that might have an active young aduly group. These are relatively rare depending on where you are.

Count your blessings to be in college. It is far easier than the professional world and fun as well.


#10

I think you have a skewed version of College.

Trust me a double major with a near 4.0 at my sister's school is virtually unheard of. She is an excellent time manager, and still works hard with little free time.

Yes the young professional world can be tough, but seriously are you bitter much about how your company treats you?


#11

[quote="Havard, post:4, topic:235211"]
My suggestion is that you start looking into Apologetics. I learned a lot more about my faith when I actually had to defend it, either against Protestants or Athiests (never had a religious debate with a Jew, Muslim, or Pagan.) This site has some great apologetics resources, but there is so much more out there. Check out Jimmy Akin, Peter Kreeft, etc. :thumbsup:

As for living with people who drink, sleep around, and generally look down on "goody-goodies", I suggest finding a roommate who shares your values ASAP. Maybe you'll have to deal with a bad match your Freshman year, but after that, you can usually choose who you live with. If it happens, don't let it get you down. Just be as nice as you can to your roommate, who knows, maybe she'll be inspired by you! After that, just try to develop a network of solid people that you can count on. Besides class, good places to meet good Christians include Mass, Catholic/Christian fellowship groups, and charitable/service activities.

[/quote]

We're actually doing that for our final quarter of senior religion class. We have 4 questions a week that we have to answer and we have to find Bible and CCC quotes on them.


#12

[quote="Alix1912, post:10, topic:235211"]
I think you have a skewed version of College.

Trust me a double major with a near 4.0 at my sister's school is virtually unheard of. She is an excellent time manager, and still works hard with little free time.

Yes the young professional world can be tough, but seriously are you bitter much about how your company treats you?

[/quote]

My point is that people talk about college as if it is a place where it is hard to keep your faith. In reality, it is actually easier to maintain your faith in college. There are Catholic universities and most major public universities have Catholic groups. There are places to go in college even if you are busy to maintain your faith.

College is no more difficult than any other place for your faith. You are just as likely to lose your faith aftee college than in college.

When you are in college, you often have more opportunities to interact with fellow Catholics and have a chance to defend the faith. When people talked with me about faith in college, I gave them my two cents and pointed them to Chesterton and Lewis, two men more elloquant than I could ever be. I had many reading those authors.

Compare that to the professional world where you might not be in an academic environment and people might not care to debate and hear what you have to say. In college, you can debate religion. I know where I work discussing religion is a big no-no because it devolves into arguments and management doesnt want workers fighting over such things.

You will not lose your faith in college unless you want to. People freak out about secular colleges but even at secular colleges there are conservative professors and religious groups.

Obviously there are challenges to the faith in college but I think it is overblown just the risk that there is. Most people that lose their faith in college were either lukewarm before or not well catechised and didnt really understand or know their faith.

College may be challenging to the faith but no more so than any other time in your life.


#13

[quote="JoeofCupertino, post:9, topic:235211"]
I had straight A's and plenty of free time. You have free time if you know how to manage your time and can get things done in a timely maner. College really isnt that hard. Its only hard if you want it to be hard.

Just wait till you have a job that requires you to work weekends and do all kinds of OT. Young people have lots of energy and businesses know this and exploit it. In many industries such a computer science, you will need to study at home and during free time. College is very canned and caged. When you start a career, you will be worked until you can hardly breath. Young engineers get worked like crazy as do young doctors and lawyers. Those industries have lots of hours and also involve travel in many cases.

Sure, if you want to be a teacher you will have lots of free time but in most careers you are worked like crazy when you are young. College is nothing compared to what a boss does to you. In college, you are a customer. On the job, you are a foot soldier and your boss doesnt have to worry about overloading you. He has plenty of applicants willing to do that same job.

In college, you dont have classes on the weekends. These days many employers will demand you to work weekends as someone who is young and lacks experience in the industry.

Work is also very secular. People talked more about their faith or lack of faith in college than in the workplace. At least in college you can debate it and argue your position. At work, you can get in loads of trouble and jeopordize your career for being overly religious.

In college, you can avoid parties. After college, those Catholic clubs go away and you have to find a parish that might have an active young aduly group. These are relatively rare depending on where you are.

Count your blessings to be in college. It is far easier than the professional world and fun as well.

[/quote]

Talk about different experiences... I was an engineer right out of college and had tons of free time. Then I started teaching high school, and had next to none.


#14

[quote="JoeofCupertino, post:9, topic:235211"]

Sure, if you want to be a teacher you will have lots of free time

[/quote]

HA HA HA HA

Signed,
A former teacher

:p

How about being in the classroom at 6 am, head home at 5pm, grade papers all night until 11 pm. And up to do it again the next day. :D And vacations? Continuing education and working a second job to pay the bills. Don't imply that teachers are lazy. Just don't.


#15

DEFINITELY get involved with the Catholic group on your campus. If there isn't one, then start one. It will make a huge difference in your college experience! It is important to remember that the people you surround yourself with will make a difference in the life you lead. Seek out good friends with morals and values that are similar to yours. I also suggest being VERY careful with who you date in college. Look for a guy that shares your faith, morals, and values.

You DON'T need to party or go out to tons of clubs to have a good time. I spent most of my college career just hanging out with friends and staying involved with school groups and Catholic Center stuff. This may not be as cool as going out all the time, but I saved a ton of money by avoiding the bars and I actually remember the parties my friends and I have had because we didn't go crazy!

Going Greek in college isn't necessarily a bad thing, but be very aware of the reputations of different sororities. Generally they are rooted in at least a bit of truth. If you choose to rush, be just as picky about the sororities you will accept bids from as they will be about giving out bids.

Being successful in college is all about surrounding yourself with people that will support- or at least respect- your faith and morals. After you find those people, make sure they are also people that will support your pursuit of good grades. Once you find a group that will make you a better person you won't have much to worry about. This may take a while so don't worry if you feel a bit lonely during the first year looking for a group of friends that fits your needs. Once you find them it will be worth the wait.


#16

[quote="jeanne71350, post:1, topic:235211"]
Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'll shoot anyways. I'm a senior in Catholic HS, I've been going to Catholic school since kindergarten. I'm about to graduate (17 more days left of school!! whoo!) and go away to a secular college for a degree in English. Well, I'm a little nervous about the transition. The only thing I've ever known is Catholic education, and I've never really been exposed to anything else. Some teachers keep telling us that a lot of people lose their faith in college, they don't go to Mass, there are people who try to get you away from your faith.

Thanks!

-Jeanne

[/quote]

Jeanne, I have a rather recent Bachelor's in English, but the extra-curricular stuff at school isn't what bothered me. I mingled at the Newman Center at Church, making friends as "The Grandpa." My single most significant faith-related problem was with the ultra-liberals who make up a sizable number of instructors/professors in the English (and other disciplines in the college of arts & sciences) department. I was older (post-retirement) when I went to college for my degree in English, and with age comes a very conservative outlook on life. I was old enough to be a parent of most of my instructors, and I frequently butted heads with them about their positions on the current liberal views of religion, sex and society in general. More than one of my English instructors were atheists and flaming homosexuals, and they certainly attempted to impress their leftist views on their students. I disagreed and paid with my GPA. But I'm old, and my GPA is just a number on a spreadsheet to me. I satisfied my yearning for learning about both reading and the composition of literature, and have a piece of paper to show for it. I fulfilled my personal objective, and feel satisfied in my accomplishment.

Had I to do an English degree over again at a much younger age, I would try to attend a Catholic University; I could only afford to attend college because of my military experience, so I was constrained to attend a State-supported school: U of IL, or IL State U, or NIU, or any one of the other land-grant Universities in Illinois. Had I the financial wherewithal, I could have (and likely would have) attended one of a number of Catholic Universities within commuting distance of home: U of St Francis, Lewis U, IL Benedictine U, or a few others. But, alas, money shouts...

Keep the Faith, Jeanne! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/WORD.gif


#17

It's been a while since college...

You don't really give indication to your personality and how you deal with conflict. In classes where I had really liberal teachers that could NOT comprehend a view other than theirs... I dealt with them as matter of fact. They needed to be spoon fed the lame ideas they dished in order to pass. So yes, I would take 10 minutes, write papers that were exactly opposite of my personal views, get an A, be told I was brilliant for thinking like them... Me on the other hand thinking... Yeah, I'm brilliant. I know how to pass a rediculous class that I HAVE to take in order to get the degree I want, with little to no effort. Time IS precious. I wanted to focus on my important stuff. Seriously, people that just want to hear their own voice often teach the easiest classes to pass. Because they truly aren't interested in an education. And see I learned something! How to get by in a world that doesn't always agree with your views. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES!

I can't imagine you are selecting a degree that is opposite your belief structure. So your core classes should really be uneffected.

Honestly, there was too much stuff to be covered in core classes that were unrelated to faith... to discuss faith. The topic just never came up. No time for it. And really you can control your social situations. If someone decides to challenge you , tell them you're not interested. The end... Life is to short to engage.

You're not very likely to hang out with people that you don't see eye to eye with. Your time WILL be limited... if you're actually focused on school.

Switching to a secular environment is really not as scary as it sounds. UNLESS you happen to be wishy washy (doesn't sound like it)... You already know who you are, and what you are focused on. That kind of maturity, and confidence doesn't generally get challenged. You're not an easy target. Well, this is in my experience.

You will find that people who like to create debate, generally do it with those that are easy targets. Those that aren't good public speakers, those that start to back peddle. I can remember in one class I had, a guy who was no where near as smart as he liked to pretend, would ask questions that made no sense at all during a person's presentation. They couldn't answer the question, because generally there was actually NO answer to it. Or he'd base his question on a presumption that was completely inaccurate or could not possibly exist. He sought gratification in making them squirm. Knowing they would be nervous, and likely not even see the huge gaping holes in his questions. KNOWING they would get marked down for said squirming. I remember when it was my turn to present. So, at the end of my presentation, I turned right to him... So, do you have any questions???? Catching him off guard, he couldn't think of one during my entire Q & A... It was actually quite ammusing! "What about now... no? Nothing? How weird."

College was the most fun I had with regard to my education. I worked hard, in school and out. A very rewarding experience. I hope you enjoy it as well!!!!


#18

Let's just stop talking in terms of exceptions here...

The fact is, in college MORE students lose their faith.

Practicing one's faith is a lot more than just attending Mass every week and going though the motions. Even if you aren't Catholic, as a Christian we all know the difference between real faith-following and going through the motions.

churchrelevance.com/college-students-becoming-more-spiritual-but-less-religious/

Apparently more college students are "spiritual" versus religious. What does that mean? From what I understand, "spirituality" has a lot of New Age baggage attached to it. Spirituality is also syncretic in nature, therefore your truth is the same as my truth and both of our truths are equally right in nature. Sounds a lot like relativism to me.

It is true that the workplace is very hostile to faith, but that all started somewhere didn't it? People who enter the workforce first left their studies with those attitudes. The attitudes started somewhere.

I would also like to put it out there-- a contributing factor to this issue is often the lack of outreach to young adults. I have heard numerous complaints from all Christians that there are avenues to build and connect with faith in high school, and then when you are married and have a family, but there is a lack with young adults who are in college. Thankfully many universities are changing that, especially with Newman Centers. It is something you need to be aware of when embarking the college years. Many college students are NOT aware at all, and are subject to other influences.


#19

I do not deal with conflict very well at all. I am the type of person who avoids it at all cost. I like your advice, just jump through the hoops for the crazy teachers and keep in mind that you have to listen to them, but you don’t have to BELIEVE them. And keep in mind to chose your battles.

-Jeanne


#20

I agree, if you put your mind to it, keeping your faith in college is not hard. I think the reason people loose their faith in college is becuase it was never their own, they just went along with the flow, with their parents, with their friends, with their school, with their youth group.

Faith in college was not very challenging. I went to a just more than lukewarm catholic uni. It had it's problems, but loosing my faith was not one of them.

Post college was toughest for me. There are no automatic friends, even in a young adult group, work is incresingly secular, and it is tough. There are less demands on your time, but more demands that seem to come all at once. If you work 9-5, you do have to work on weekends sometimes. Wednesday night seems incredibly popular to do things...as well as Saturday and Friday nights. It is hard to manage...especally if you're "really" on your own.


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