If you’re currently a college student, you’ve probably been in classes for a couple of weeks now. I hope it is going great! My college years were some of the most formative years of my life, and while there were definitely ups and downs, overall, it was a great experience. Just for context, I commuted to a local Christian college for 2 years, and then I finished my degree online so that I could get the specific degree that I wanted.
Anyways, I wanted to share with you some tips for thriving as a Christian during college. College can be a difficult time to stay strong in your faith if you are not intentional to make it a priority. There are so many distractions and temptations pulling for your time and attention, BUT they do not have to overcome you. Let’s go ahead and get into these tips!
How to Thrive as a Christian in College
1. Plan for time with Jesus
So often, the first thing to go when we are busy is spending time with Jesus. Why is that? I guess because it doesn’t always appear to make a difference at first. I mean, if you don’t turn in your homework on time, you’ll see the effects immediately – you’ll receive an F. But what happens when you don’t spend time with Jesus? At first, it may seem like nothing. That’s the trap. But over time, you start drifting away from Him, you become more anxious and less patient, and you have a hard time hearing God and figuring out what His will is for you. In other words, not spending time with Jesus can have huge negative consequences.
Personally, I love using a Hosanna Revival planner to write out all I need to get done in a day, so that it gets it all out of my head and onto paper. You could use the notes app on your phone or find another planner that works for you. I know some people like when a planner has time slots so that they can really plan out their whole day, down to the hour. Just find what you like! But staying organized and planning intentionally helps so much, and writing “read Bible” or “time with Jesus” in your planner will help remind you. A planner may also help teach you to spend every moment wisely so that you have enough time to spend with Jesus.
2. Surround yourself with good friends
Have you ever heard the verse, “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33) or the idea that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? Both are so true. The friends you have and the people you spend time with will end up influencing you one way or another. So, if you are hanging out with unbelievers that may like to party on the weekends or who are just lazy and don’t care about school or integrity, then you’ll probably end up doing those same things. On the flip side, if you spend time with Christians who really love Jesus and seek to honor him, then they’ll probably help lead you closer to Jesus. I’m not saying to never talk to unbelievers or have anything to do with them, but I really think that your close friends should be Christians (2 Cor. 6:14).
It’s so important to choose friends wisely. I know that many college campuses have Christian groups or clubs, so I would suggest asking about them and finding one. If you attend a Christian college, this will be easier for you. But don’t be deceived, Christian colleges still have students who aren’t focused on Jesus, so you still need to be discerning.
I know it can be hard to make friends and sometimes it feels like you’re the only trying to make friends. But you truly aren’t the only one. I highly suggest being intentional and asking other people questions. If you’re not sure what to say, asking questions can be a great conversation starter. Like I said, it can help to find those Christian groups of like-minded people on campus.
And if you can’t find good Christians or groups on campus, try attending a Bible study or group at a local church. Which brings me to my next tip…
3. Don’t neglect going to church
Getting plugged into a good, local, Bible-believing church while in college is so important. It will help you stay strong in your faith while you may be away from home, and it also will provide necessary community. I know some churches near colleges have college groups, so that would be a great way to meet some great people around your age. It may take you a few weeks or even months to find a church that you like, but don’t give up! The New Testament talks a lot about how important the Church is and living in community.
4. Avoid situations where you know you’ll be tempted
There can be so many temptations in college. It’s probably the first time that you’re out on your own, making all of your own decisions, and it can be tempting to do things you’ve never done before. But I highly encourage you to not even put yourself in situations where you know you’ll be tempted to do things you know are wrong. For example, it’s best to not even attend a party where you know alcohol is being served. I’m not saying that drinking a little alcohol is a bad thing, but usually a college party where alcohol is served is not a great situation. So just use wisdom and don’t try to see how close you can get to doing something without sinning but see how close you can stay to Jesus.
5. Fill your mind with truth
It is so important to just keep filling our minds with truth! I love listening to encouraging podcasts, reading good books (and of course the Bible), listening to worship music, and even listening to audiobooks as I go about the day. I do think, though, that it’s important to spend some time meditating (intentionally thinking) on Scripture and listening to whatever God wants to communicate to us. So I love doing both! Listening and reading wholesome podcasts and books, but also being still and quiet and thinking on the things of God. I know college can be so busy, so listening to these things while driving or working out is great, or maybe reading a chapter of a book before you go to bed or just instead of scrolling on your phone.
I hope this post encouraged you and that you have a great year!
With all my love,