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College Students: Go With God

Rev. Mark Connolly

Everyone who goes to college, whether one locally or far away, generally faces adjustment problems. Every day demands adapting to the new environment in which you are now living and working. Academic adjustments can be quite difficult, and all you can do each day is your best; leave the rest in the hands of God.

Here are a few ideas to take some of the tension out of your adjustment period.

First, you have to establish your priorities. Second, you and you alone must implement them.

So, what can you do to implement your priorities?

First of all, develop a sense of duty. This enables you to fulfill your daily obligations and responsibilities. We can only prepare for tomorrow by being responsible today.

Secondly, develop a sense of determination. This enables you to think for yourself and not to follow the crowd -- what we call a "herd mentality." You must resolve on a daily basis to stick to your own priorities, convictions and values, and try every day to reinforce these values in your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Thirdly, develop a sense of dedication. It is wonderful in college to get great marks and to be popular, and all of us strive for these qualities. In college we also gain new values and ideas, some of which can help us throughout our professions and careers. But the qualities that really last are the qualities of Christlike charity, Christlike compassion and Christlike consideration. Strive to dedicate yourself to expressing these qualities to all those around you -- those in your own home and in your college community. This will prepare you for being the man or woman God intends for you to be in the home that one day will be yours.

Finally, develop a sense of devotion. Find the link that exists between your daily activities and the God who gave you the ability to perform. For Catholics the way to deepen spirituality is through Mass and the Eucharist, and all of us can deepen our spirituality through daily prayer. God has given us every one of the 1,440 minutes in the day. By taking just a few of these minutes to pray we make sure that we always stay anchored to God. Reading this magazine, Spirituality For Today, provides "food for thought," which is another way to develop spiritually.

Live and implement those four disciplines each day: duty, determination, dedication, and devotion. When we implement them fully in our lives, we give honor and glory to ourselves and, above all, honor and glory to God.

As a follow-up to the article you just read, I encourage you to get in touch with the spiritual center of the college or university you are attending. Whether it is a Newman Center, the college chaplain, or any place where others believe spirituality is significant, keep in touch with this organization or this person. By together sharing the spiritual journey, everyone gains a greater sense of themselves and their spiritual life.

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