Being Catholic in College: 8 Months Later

Hello, everyone! I know it’s been a month since I last posted, but I’m now home from UMW for the summer so I’ll have some more posts hopefully going up soon. In the meantime, enjoy today’s post! 

About 8 months ago, I published the short essay that started Adventures of a Catholic College Girl, titled “Being Catholic in College: A Freshman’s Transition from Catholic School to a Public University”. Since publishing that post, I finished my first year at the University of Mary Washington! I have learned a lot about myself and living out my Catholic faith on campus since September.

First of all, I’d like to mention some of the changes since the first essay: my wardrobe has expanded quite a bit! Before, I was worried about having enough pairs of shorts to wear to class by Friday morning. Now, I have plenty of pants, jeans, and shorts to last me through the week and then some! I have shifted away from a lot of the high school spirit wear (I say that as I sit here writing while wearing one of my House of Dominic t-shirts) and I can now be found wearing some form of UMW spirit wear at least two or three times a week. However, there are some days where I wonder if I put my high school uniform on, go back to John Paul, and sit in on a school day, would anybody notice? Catholic school will always be part of who I am, but UMW has quickly become part of what makes me who I am today.

Talking about my faith to my friends at school has come very naturally to me, especially to my friends who are Christians or who do not practice any religion. I am very comfortable sharing events the Catholic Campus Ministry is hosting with my friends and dance team teammates who are not part of the community, whether it be Supper Social on Thursday nights, a Friday Fun Night activity, or another special event like our Mass Under the Lights or the power breakfast during finals week. Even if those I invite cannot come, I always make it known that they are welcome at any time to stop by the CCM!

Since I started at UMW, I have faced a few situations where I was uncomfortable with a discussion topic or a presentation in class. My faith has helped me through those tough situations, especially when they were during my Intro to Education class. As a teacher, I’m going to face very tough situations in many ways. I will need to think quickly and assess situations to make smart decisions. The Serenity Prayer is a short prayer I try to say each day to help me “accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Short prayers like that one give me peace of mind during the day- any challenges I face can be changed, but sometimes I can’t change the hard situation, so it’s up to God to turn something bad into something good.

I have met so many great people through UMW’s Catholic Campus Ministry. The friends I have made are so inspiring, bubbly, and enthusiastic about their Catholic faith. Their example of holiness has inspired me to increase my prayer life and get more involved in the community. I joined the communications committee and serve as a photographer and am in charge of sending out weekly email updates, as well as a lector at daily mass. My involvement has given me the chance to grow in my faith life throughout my freshman year, and it can only go up from here.

My freshman year has come and gone, and it’s hard to believe I have three years of undergrad left! There is so much left for me to experience in college, and with my faith behind and before me, I’ll be ready to take on the world and what it throws at me.