Hi everyone. I’m a 20 year old male in college and have trouble making friends. I know what people say, put yourself out there more! The problem is, I think my problem is my faith. I am a devout catholic and want to do God’s will but it seems like nobody in college has the same mindset. For example, I might be talking to someone in a few of my classes and we have a lot in common, except the faith. They actively party and have premarital sex and don’t follow God. I’m almost scared to make any friends because of the fear of going all out and becoming close to someone to then later get invited to a party or some other sinful activity. When I say no, they might blow me off from then on because I’m a “goody-two shoes.” I realize that I can make friends in the newman center, but what about other than that, like in my classes/ major? Do I have to limit my friends to catholic to keep my morals or is it okay to have secular friends? I feel like I do have friends but they don’t invite me out much because I’m a goody two shoes. Any thoughts?
No, you don’t at all. Are there any societies you could join, or sports teams? They’re a good way to meet people who share the same interests as you.
Thinking on it, there’s nothing wrong with going to a party - that in itself is not sinful. You don’t have to partake in any activity you don’t want, and if the people around you try to make you, they aren’t people you want to be friends with. But if they respect what you say and listen to your boundaries, they’re more than likely people you can feel comfortable hanging out with.
And remember, for every person who likes going out at night, there are at least two who don’t. Perhaps you need to focus on finding friends who aren’t into the party scene so much, because I promise you those people are out there.
At least in my experience, saying “no” doesn’t lead to the worst-case scenarios we imagine. You might have to defend your decision, but by college, most people seem to accept such life decisions.
I think it would be best to always be friendly to non-Catholics. It gives you a chance to be a good witness to them, certainly better than the street preachers on campus are. Besides, you’ll have to learn to deal with non-Catholics by the time you start your career.
Make friends outside of school. And there may very well be people there with the same mindset as you. I had a couple of Baptist friends that felt the exact same way about how the college was forcing this pseudo pagan culture on us, and I loved talking to them.
KNOW that you are not alone. DO NOT give up on your Faith or give in to the new age, liberal ways of this world. God needs GOOD HOLY CATHOLIC MEN to continue living the Catholic Faith and sharing it with others. Continue going to Mass, Confession, and practicing your Faith.
Well, a few thoughts. It may be that your closest friends are also Catholic, or other folks that take their faith seriously. It makes sense, really, that if you are seriously trying to live your faith, you might not find a lot of close confidants in what is essentially a secular, hedonistic, culture (the average American university setting).
You may be able to hang out with other students in your major etc. in a limited way, but it’ll be up to you to decide how accepting they might be, or how much you want to reveal that you try to live as a serious Catholic.
I understand where you are coming from, I have never been much of a party person and not because of the premarital sex aspect but because I have just not been that outgoing really and feel awkward in an environment where everyone you meet is an extrovert and expects you also to be an extrovert. It is true that a great majority of those in university do party all the time but there is 1-5% of students I would guess who do not party that much or engage in premarital sex. Talk to more students and even other people you encounter in your day to day life, if what they say indicates they do not party all the time then you will possibly get on well.
I was one of those partiers in college. I loved my friends who were strong in their faith. Just being around them kept me closer to the straight and narrow. Hopefully, I also brought something to the friendship they appreciated.
Know that you are perfect just the way you are and there are others who are like-minded. I think it is OK to branch out and be friends with non-Catholics as long as you have realistic expectations. Also, maybe get involved in your parish or Newman Center to find friends who share your values.
I had lots of friends in college who were not Catholic and weren’t even practicing any religion, but also weren’t partying, drinking, drugging, or having sex. (Or at least if they were having sex, they didn’t expect to have it with me or share the details.) I think people really underestimate the number of normal people walking around every day. There are plenty of non-religious justifications for not engaging in unhealthy, risky, or even illegal behavior. There are plenty of people out there who don’t conduct themselves in that manner, and they aren’t usually difficult to find.
“No, thanks. That’s not my thing” is always a nice phrase to keep handy.
I went to a Baptist university in undergrad. So it was helpful that the flavor of the school was much more conservative than many of the options out there, even though when it came down to specifics, I was practicing the wrong brand of Christianity.
But it’s okay to have different friends in different contexts. It’s okay to have the group of people you like to eat lunch or dinner with, the group of people you like to go to the coffee house with, the group of people you like to study with, the group of people you like to hang out with in the computer lab, the group of people you go to the racquetball court with, and so on. You don’t need to make any commitment to them beyond eating lunch, or listening to a band, or reviewing notes, or just hanging out, or playing racquetball.
There’s plenty of stuff to do on campus between 8 AM and 8 PM. You don’t necessarily have to be a round-the-clock friend-- it’s probably easier on your schedule and your priorities if you keep sensible hours. Because, after all, your job is to be a student, learn what you’re paying $$$$ to learn, and graduate ASAP and find a job and get out there to get on with the important stuff in life.
Some people graduate with a future spouse lined up. Other people graduate with lifelong friends. So don’t cheat yourself by automatically assuming that you’re the only person on campus who thinks the way you do— you don’t necessarily need to end up with a spouse or lifelong friends, but at least put yourself out there and do (healthy) fun stuff before you get bogged down with Real Life After Graduation.
Is there a particular time of year at your school that is popular for parties? For example, my school has an annual spring music festival. I’d say socializing during that kind of time should more easily yield results that you want. Think about it: all the party animals will either be concentrated in one place or really obvious. Find someone studying or doing something else on their own to start a conversation with.
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