Confused College Student


#1

Please bear with me…I am going through a very confusing/rough time and am trying to get everything figured out. I finished my first year of college and enjoyed it a lot. I made sure to remember the main reason I was there (to learn and study), went to Mass every Sunday (and enjoyed it A LOT…I must admit I can relate to the campus minister much more than my priests at home) but ocassionally went out and partied with some friends on the weekends.

Now, as my next year of school appraoches…I have had some mixed thoughts about what to do. Should I refrain from partying altogether? I would ocassionally drink and partake in grinding/dancing. I have thought a lot about sexuality this summer and my take on it (especially since the vast majority of my friends are no longer virgins and I always hear about how experienced they are…blah blah) and realize that I don’t feel comfortable dancing that way. I never really did feel comfortable, even after a few drinks, but I just did it to fit in.

I guess I just feel confused. went through the whole year thinking that I was still doing a “good job”…not having sex/doing drugs, still going to Church…thinking that partying was ok. I understand that “times are changing” and our society is more and more focused on pleasure/sex…but is it really good enough to just be better/more moral than your peers? Or should I stop partying and drinking altogether? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who sees something wrong with the whole thing

If anyone has any advice…or if you can relate, please let me know. I don’t even know how I would go about telling my friends that I don’t want to go out and party with them anymore.

Please pray for me! Any advice would be appreciated


#2

I think if the only activities I could participate in with my friends are ones that have sexually suggestive activities such as the dancing you described, then yes I wouldn't party and drink.

BUT, aren't there other social activities or more laid back type of parties you can attend? Drinking in itself is not prohibited, neither is dancing. If they were, many Catholic wedding receptions are in trouble.

There is nothing wrong with saying that you are no longer able to reconcile your faith with some of the activities you participated in your freshmen year. You could be the one to initiate the parties that are more modest in nature.


#3

[quote="PatriceA, post:2, topic:209725"]
I think if the only activities I could participate in with my friends are ones that have sexually suggestive activities such as the dancing you described, then yes I wouldn't party and drink.

BUT, aren't there other social activities or more laid back type of parties you can attend? Drinking in itself is not prohibited, neither is dancing. If they were, many Catholic wedding receptions are in trouble.

There is nothing wrong with saying that you are no longer able to reconcile your faith with some of the activities you participated in your freshmen year. You could be the one to initiate the parties that are more modest in nature.

[/quote]

I agree... there's a balance you need to find between what's acceptable (drinking within limits) and what you're feeling uncomfortable with (the sexual dancing, etc)... sometimes going totally cold-turkey-monk-like can backfire (not always). BALANCE within moral limits would be a prudent goal. Can you still go to the bars and play pool or darts instead of dancing? There'd be nothing immoral about that, per se...

Prayers for you as you move forward... and good for you on wanting to change your behaviors!! :thumbsup: Keep up the good work! :)


#4

Another thing OP, about telling your friends, maybe someone of them feel the same way as you do and are also confused about how to tell all of your group. Or if you do end up telling them you are uncomfortable (and I pray that you do), if they can’t accept your discomfort, maybe they’re not the best people to hang around. You can’t discover more modest thinking friends at the parties you have been attending.


#5

Does your campus have a Newman Center or FOCUS?


#6

I think you have the answer here
I did this and that, and I did it not for any reason except to “fit in” in other words, to please other people or to conform to their (admittedly possibly warped) ideas. I never felt comfortable, I never enjoyed it etc.

I would apply this standard not just to my social life but to other decisions and aspects of life: is it good for me? is it advancing my goals for my life? is it most of all fulfilling God’s will for me at this time? because answering these questions will answer the biggie: will this make me happy?


#7

Well i would refrain from over indulgence, as it will lead to greater sin. Certainly aviod premarital sex, as this is a great gift from God which should rightly be reserved for marriage.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with socializing, just keep your head straight and Jesus on your mind first. God bless, and good luck with your studies.


#8

Can you still go out, drink moderately (no getting drunk) and dance chastely? If not, then maybe you should look for other activities to do. I find hanging out with like-minded people helps keep you out of uncomfortable situations (like I would go dancing and have a drink etc with friends who would not dream of getting drunk and being icky on the dance floor, so no problems). In fact, every now and then we would have to move from where we were if a “grinding” couple was nearby, since we did not want to see the scene. I do agree with looking for a Catholic group on campus (though I admit the kids in charge of the main Catholic group on my campus would sit around saying dirty jokes and had some members living together etc, not a good ambience, but the larger activities they did drew Catholic groups and those were fun). My college’s prolife group was actually full of good Catholic people, I rode in a bus (a long way) to the March of Life with them in DC, it was fun. I would look for people to hang out with that have healthy ways of having fun, there is so much to do in college! Enjoy it!


#9

Sounds like you are doing pretty well despite how you may feel. Here are my thoughts…you say you are entering your second year at college, which means you are probably under 21. I would be pretty careful about any alcohol consumption under the age of 21 and I personally don’t recommend it, however, I don’t know anyone besides myself who waited until the age of 21 to drink, so anything in moderation is really ok, just be smart about it.

In terms of partying/dancing. Basically I think the same logic should apply, go with friends you trust, don’t put yourself in risky situations, don’t drink too much, dress some what modestly, etc. In terms of dancing, I personally don’t like the ‘grinding’ type of dancing at all and have never done it, but that is just me. I would attend parties and just kind of hangout and talk to people to get to know them…never really danced because I didn’t feel comfortable with the type of dancing going on.

I think socializing, going to parties, participating in various activities is an important part of college life and life in general. Sometimes you need an outlet or fun activity to break the monotony of studying and work. Its a good stress reliever. Don’t worry too much about it, its not a bad thing to attend parties.

In terms of permarital sex, I applaud you for holding out this long and hope you continue to do so. It isn’t easy and I can relate to your circumstance since I was the same way back in college and continue to wait until marriage. It isn’t easy, but I know it will be worth it. Try to keep yourself out of situations that would cause you to compromise your morals/values.

Enjoy your time in college, it goes by soo fast.


#10

Hey man! It's tought to be Catholic in college. A general guideline for behaviour when you go out with your friends, etc and something with the opposite sex may or may not present itself think of this: Would I be happy to condone this behaviour if it were my future wife/daughter? Would I want my future wife/daughter/sister to behave like this? Would I want to be that kind of guy? That usually gives you a very good idea of how you should behave with regards to women when you are out. You should want to be, and it sounds like you do want to be, a real man. Not this 21st century boyish lustful pathetic excuse for a man kinda "dude". Be a man. Act like a man. And you are in college. Act like an intelligent man. Most importantly you are of Christ. So act like an intelligent man of Christ. So when you are out - act accordingly.

If anything, use it as a chance to show that you are a man of Christ. I'm not saying you need to be quoting her or anybody scripture, but if anything you could refrain from it, possibly explain how you feel about sex, about treatment of women, etc. You seriously never know what response you might get. It happened to me. I constantly speak to women about this, if they are sober. You'd be surprised at the responses some give, if you are sincere. By the grace of God I have broken my lustful habit almost completely - and I have no 'agenda' any more with women. I think they can sense that, and when you are open to them about things like that, they show interest (not in a sexual way of course) and respond to it.

If I do go out (which is rare because I hate surrounding myself with sin) I usually go home pretty early anyway before people get drunk. It's the safest bet and easiest thing to do :)

p.s. never do anything just to fit in. Why would you want to fit in with a bunch of secular immoral people anyway (not saying thats exactly what your buddies are, but you know what I mean)? Do your best to stand out! Show your God that you are fitting in with him and not the world :thumbsup:


#11

I agree with the other posters - there's no reason to participate in anything you aren't comfortable with (even if you've done it before) but that doesn't mean you can't have fun! In addition to the Catholic groups at your school, consider joining a professional "fraternity" (most are co-ed), intramural sports, community service organization, or any other club that interests you. Also, check out the websites for the largest parishes in your area - they may offer young adult programs, such as Theology on Tap talks, or they may be looking for volunteers for a ministry you are interested in.


#12

I wanted to add, there is a difference between what you are comfortable doing and what is morally ok. Grinding, for example, regardless if you were comfortable with it, is not ok. The fact that you are uncomfortable with is good, a sign that your sensibilities have not been numbed, but even if you were comfortable with it, it would still be an impure form of dancing. Getting drunk is not ok either. The fact that you don't have sex, get drunk etc does not make other activities that can be offensive to God ok. You know better, and are expected to do better. Other people that are clearly living lives that are offensive to God will have to face Him for what they are doing, with what they know. They may not know as much about God as you do. So no, it is not sufficient to just compare your situation to the people around you and think you are ok as long as you aren't as bad as your neighbor. Work on staying away from immoral activities (and having a drink and dancing are not immoral on their own, unless you throw moderation and chastity out the window) and explore and enjoy the wonderful world of college life!


#13

I'd say don't do it if you're uncomfortable. I'm out of college now, but was in there less than 3 years ago now. I don't drink, just don't like the taste of alcohol, nor the atmosphere.

If your current friend circle is into drinking heavily and grinding on one another and sleeping around, then I really think you'd have to find a new circle of friends. Or hopefully some of your friends will want to quit that lifestyle with you.

Are there any other teens active in your local Parish at your college? Or the Newman center would be a good place to look for friends.

I know the partying scene is kind of common place in college, but not everyone does it, and those who do tend to slip down a bad path. So I think that you should really try to moderate it all before it leads you too far astray.


#14

Thank you all so much for replying and for your helpful feedback. I should have made this clear before, but I am female, just so you know. (Although all of your advice still applies, so thank you!)

I will try and become more involved with my school's Catholic minustry. I went on a domestic service trip last year, but besides going to Mass, that's about the extent of my involvement. On this trip, however, I was surprised to find out that the vast majority of these kids drink and party. I guess I just wasn't expecting that. That was kind of a let down.

And that brings me to one more question..my roommate for the upcoming schoolyear does not party, which I think is definitely a step in the right direction. She is not Catholic, but is very Christian, and wants me to join the small group she is in (part of a non-denominational Christian program on campus). Would this be a good idea? Am I not supposed to join such groups because I'm Catholic?


#15

No, probably not… It’s terrific they share your views on drinking and partying, but they will certainly try and evangalize you out of the Church.


#16

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:3, topic:209725"]
I agree... there's a balance you need to find between what's acceptable (drinking within limits) and what you're feeling uncomfortable with (the sexual dancing, etc)... sometimes going totally cold-turkey-monk-like can backfire (not always). BALANCE within moral limits would be a prudent goal. Can you still go to the bars and play pool or darts instead of dancing? There'd be nothing immoral about that, per se...

Prayers for you as you move forward... and good for you on wanting to change your behaviors!! :thumbsup: Keep up the good work! :)

[/quote]

I am not sure we should be suggesting to a second year student that he be drinking within limits at all. If he is a second year student in college, he is most likely underage and shouldn't be drinking at all. :shrug:


#17

Hey, don't be so hard on yourself. You are at a very exciting and confusing time in your life. I'm not TOO far removed from that. I'm 35 and went to a Catholic college in New Orleans (where I met my wife). Being from New Orleans I totally understand partying. The important thing to remember is you can party and have a great time without disrespecting yourself. My wife and I have started reading a short book called Men and Women are from Eden (A study guide to Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body). This book explains what God's plan for our bodies is. I wish I would have read it in college. One important point is that God does not call us to prudishness nor does he call us to excess. My overall advice to you is to find like-minded friends (try meeting people at mass) and then have a great time. Yeah, you'll drink and you'll dance but by hanging out with like-minded people and doing a lot of praying you'll stay out of real trouble. Good luck and God Bless


#18

Ahhh… good point, wasn’t think about the age thing. :o


#19

Thanks for your replies. I know I am not yet 21, and am obviously aware of the law in the U.S...which I don't agree with, but that is a completely different matter. So should I stop drinking completely?


#20

Hey Pal! :slight_smile:

Did you attend Xavier or Loyola perhaps? A former New Orleanian here…

The advice is good.

To the OP - I partied a lot especially in graduate school where I met like-minded people, our parties usually lasted (at least) until the sun came up! The girls positively EXPECTED me to dance with all of them. :smiley: I remember this one party, which we uncharacteristically had on a Thursday - next morning, Friday, there was the laboratory practice in medicinal chemistry, which I had to supervise, but which was canceled right before Christmas, and then I went back to the party and we were dancing merengue until about 12 pm :stuck_out_tongue: (I mean the party started around 7 pm the preceding evening! :eek:). But the whole trick was, these were good friends of mine, we respected these girls who were our friends and fellow grad students, we did not drink in excess, and did not commit anything that afterwards had to be confessed as a sin against purity (no “grinding” or other stuff). We were likeminded people. Actually, two marriages resulted in that circle of friends, and we are still good friends today even though that grad school happened some 15 years ago. That’s the whole trick. You need to make friendships with like-minded people, or don’t make friendships at all.

And I also disagree with this nonsense that people under 21 can’t drink at all.


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