We welcome the Class of 2018 to our beautiful Cabrini campus. For them it is the beginning of a brand new journey. Here begins a new set of challenges for each of them but also a wonderful opportunity to grow in so many ways.
In an article written for The Catholic Company it states, “Going to college is a bit of an adventure. It is a time to discern what God is calling you to do with the young years of your life, and a time to embrace life wholeheartedly. It is a huge change, an occasionally difficult journey, and for many people, it brings the most fun, joy, and new friendships they have ever experienced.”
How will you spend your time at college? How will you keep God in your life? Whether you are just starting out at Cabrini or returning for another year, here are some strategies to help acclimate you to college life.
15 Tips for Going Away to College and 5 Tips for Staying Catholic in College suggests some of the following:
First and foremost “decide the kind of person you want to be”. Know yourself. “Be open-minded and willing to learn new things, but do it without compromising your ethics, morals, or your dignity.” “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” (Proverbs 4:26)
Make the best friends possible, ones that have the same core values as you do. “Get to know people that are different than you but make sure the people you build friendships with are people who share your values and will make you a better person.” Surround yourself with some people who can provide moral support and who will have a good influence on you. Say hello to every person you pass. You just might make their day.
“Get involved by joining a club or run for an office.” People are always looking for a leader. The right thing to do is not determined by “what everyone is doing”. “This is a very unique time in your life to take on new challenges, meet new people and better yourself.” Be a leader and do the right thing despite what everyone else is doing. The habits you build now are great ones to continue throughout your lives.
Keep in touch with your family. As you tend to get settled into college life you might feel that you are too grown up to call home or perhaps too busy. Your parents are “an important foundation in every stage of your life” and you should be in contact with them at least once a week, if not more. Keep them updated with what is going on in your life. Show them you have grown into a responsible adult. It will ease their anxiety as well.
College isn’t one big party. Remember, there is no need to drink to have fun. You will need to concentrate and study to get good grades. Use your time wisely.
Prepare for that major test; don’t wait till the night before to study. Get to every class you are taking. You never know what you might miss. If you need academic help visit the Center for Teaching and Learning. The main reason you came to college was to receive an education.
Visit the chapel on campus. Find time to talk with God about your life. Keep Him in your plans for the future. Make prayer a priority in your life. “The love and joy of Christ should always show through in all of us.”
How about going to Mass on Sunday? Here you will encounter Jesus Christ in a unique and special way in the Eucharist. It’s also a great place to meet new friends.
Volunteer your time on a service project. The college has many rewarding experiences awaiting you. Check out the Wolfington Center where you can take advantage of the “the education of the heart” synonymous with Cabrini.
“Don’t forget to appreciate the beauty of the world around you every single day.” This campus is beautiful. Find a way to explore it and savor the beauty of God’s creation.
Times may get tough but don’t let that defeat you. Ask God for the grace to persevere. God can do amazing things with a humble, broken heart. Let Him work in you. And when needed Confession heals the soul.
If you are Catholic, or have a faith base, express your faith. Be yourself when it comes to living your life. Pope Francis in his recent message to world youth said. “Young people who choose Christ are strong.” How strong will you be?
College is a time of great learning, not just academically but also in learning about human nature, your own strengths and weaknesses, and life in general. If you commit to living with purpose, you will come away with a deeper and more secure relationship with God and a greater appreciation of others.
Make the most of this wonderful opportunity waiting for you here at Cabrini College. “Do Something Extraordinary” with your life!
Submitted by: Sharon Shipley Zubricky ‘76