Being a Christian in college is not always easy. My whole life, my faith has been the central piece of me, and it is on the basis of faith that I have made most of my decisions. Most people look at Christians and automatically label us as “judgmental,” when really our faith calls us to love all, and in fact, a lot of times we are the ones who end up being judged.
Being a Christian in college means facing temptations I know I cannot give into for the sake of misrepresenting God. If there is a party, being a Christian means me saying ‘no’ to alcohol because drunkenness does not allow me to fully represent my Lord. It turns out that saying “no” to alcohol can actually lead to more ridicule than saying “yes,” because people assume I am stuck up for not accepting the beverage.
Being a college student in general means gaining a whole new level of independence and privacy that we did not have before. With this comes even more temptation. Being a Christian in college means having to go through many rejections by guys the moment I tell them I am saving myself for marriage. It turns out that many “men” out there see only a body to use rather than a heart to love. This has been the most prominent topic of my ridicule seeing as my virginity has become the talking point in various locker rooms across campus. I have been labeled a “Jesus Freak” because of a choice I have made to please God.
Being a Christian in college means having professors lecture to my classes about how believing in God is ignorant. Being a Christian in college means having my peers look at me like I am crazy when I talk about my love for God because they are “above such childish beliefs.” Being a Christian in college means taking a humanities class and having the professor discuss every religion from the book except Christianity (which took up nearly half of the textbook). Being a Christian in college means having to defend my views to people who demand facts, but do not understand the beauty of faith. Being a Christian in college means trying to show all of these people God’s love through me, which sometimes means sucking it up and putting on a smile even on days I want to break down and cry.
Being a Christian in college means I have the choice to get up and go to church on Sundays or not. Get involved in a Bible study, or not. Pray daily, or not. Before college, going to church and praying was a family affair; however, when I got to college, no one was here to force me to go. With this comes the temptation to stay out all night Saturday, sleep in until noon on Sunday, and forget about going to church. However, I have found that going to church and being around people who are like-minded, and feeling the presence of God as I sing out songs of praise is therapeutic. There is nothing like that feeling. Though it may seem like church is the only place where I have found people who share my love for Christ, I have found such beautiful souls in other college students. Most of my friends here have become my friends because we were able to find each other in a place where our faith, the very essence of who we are, is questioned daily, but still not shattered. College has also been the place where after many boys have rejected me for my values, a man has accepted and loved every piece of me. So yes, being a Christian in college is not always easy, but the love I feel from my friends, the love I feel from my fella, and, most importantly, the love I feel from my God has made being a Christian an easy choice.
Kelsey Purcell is a mass communication sophomore.