Hello, I am a recent high school graduate who will be starting college this fall. As a background note, I went to a Jesuit high school. It was a great experience, and I was considering entering the Jesuit novitiate right after high school, but after talking with my parents and a couple of priests from my school (who were very helpful), I decided to put it off, at least for now, and attend college. It is a year now then those initial discussion, and I am still having thoughts about it, as well as a lot of other thoughts swirling around in my head. There are times where I think I am into girls (which I guess is normal, and healthy, for my age, as long as I don’t go over the top), but there are also times were I feel like this is my true calling, and honestly, the times when I think about the priesthood are my more peaceful, and I feel like I am a lot more content with myself. However, I keep trying to convince myself that I should go to college first, to get life experience outside of my home, and discern on a deeper level if this calling is true. This brings up another interesting feeling though. I keep having this urge that I am called to do something greater while I’m there, so I feel this weird internal pressure to involve myself in everything I can in order to make a difference (something that isn’t necessarily bad, but sometimes I can OVER-involve myself). After thinking about it a little bit, I think this might be happening because I still have this priestly calling, but since I think I shouldn’t do it right now, my mind is forcing itself to satisfy that desire in other ways (potentially not always in my best interest). For the most part I am pretty even keel and not too stressed out about this, but these are basically the thoughts I have been having. I have also been talking with different mentors (parents, youth ministers, priests, etc.) about my vocation, but I thought I would put my thoughts on here as well, just to see what you guys had to say. Any response is greatly appreciated!! God bless
Go through college, date a little, and see where it brings you. Surely any Jesuit worth their salt would have taught you some of the basics of Ignatian discernment; let it be your guide.
At the end of the day, it’s not a half bad idea to have a degree in something you enjoy, that way if the priesthood does not materialize, you’re not stuck “holding the bag” so to speak.
Listen to your parents and advisors you now have. We don’t know you so we really can’t offer much advice that would be worth while. Keep close to God, do your school work and be normal for your age. A little volunteering is fine, but don’t make it a 20 hour a week thing. If you are going to a non-Catholic school be sure to get involved in the Neuman Center if they have one.