Every college student deals with similar challenges when leaving home for the first time and making the transition from high school to college.
Christian college students face a particular set of challenges as they become adults living in a world that will challenge their faith on a daily basis.
Preparing Christian college students for these things, talking about them, and coming up with solutions before the challenges arise can alleviate a lot of stress. Of course, attending a Christian College will eliminate some of these challenges, but probably only temporarily. The world is, after all, becoming more secular all the time.
Challenge #1: Remaining Faithful
One of the biggest challenges is remaining faithful on a college campus that not only doesn't believe, but often works to disprove or tear down religion. Often times professors and other students will openly challenge Christianity and Christians. The Christian students will most likely, at one point or another, find themselves in the position of having to decide to defend their faith, stay quiet, or question it.
The education being delivered at public or non-Christian colleges and universities is not based in Christianity--which is not surprising.
Being of a minority mind set in a setting with an overwhelming number of people can be, well, overwhelming. Christian college students need support from their parents, friends, and church communities on how to "put on the armor of God" and meet these challenges in a Godly way.
A great way to do this is to build regular time with God into your schedule. College is an incredibly busy time, with lots of new experiences and challenges. Don't forgo studying the word of God when you probably need it the most.
Challenge #2: Loneliness
Almost every college student faces this at some point. However, for Christian college students, to be surrounded by strong Christians and then to be off on their own must feel like being thrown into the lion's den. Encourage them to seek out Christian organizations, groups, Campus Life, and a campus or local church. This will give them an anchor in a new setting and connect them with like minded people while they are away from home during this transition.
Challenge #3: Spiritual Attack
Christian college students must be aware that they are vulnerable to spiritual attacks. It is easier for the enemy to attack a Christian who is feeling isolated and alone. The enemy will plant fears, doubts, and temptations. However, students who are aware of these dangers can combat them with prayer, support and resistance. It is always easier to face an enemy when you can recognize it for what it is. As Christian college students become more confident in their role in society, immerse themselves in their major, and start to really make a difference in the world, the devil will take notice. They need to prepared for this and have the tools for spiritual warfare.
Challenge #4: Freedom
It is hard to think of freedom as a challenge, but adults can identify with this. Time management, financial management, and all the other "freedoms" that come with being on your own can be exhilarating and also daunting.
Making your own schedule and sticking to it can be hard from some students. Waking themselves up and getting to class on time. Deciding to attend or skip class is now an option they have, and no one can stop them.
Self discipline is a tricky life skill to master. Through practice, prayer, and accountability we can all learn to get better at this. Christian college students can benefit from being gently reminded from time to time that they are responsible to God as well as to themselves and they can always pray and ask for guidance in this, and all things.
Christian College Students Benefit from Attending Christian Colleges
Of course, many of the above challenges can be reduced by attending a Christian College. Students have a built in support system, they study the word of God every day, and the education they receive will be based on Christian principles while preparing them for the real world. This can be a nice transition from high school, to college to graduation to becoming a citizen of the world.
Call our Admissions department at (800) YES-GLCC for more more information, to schedule a tour, or to find out more about our admission process. Better yet, apply today!