Off to College or the Workplace? Stay Connected!



Here’s a big heads-up for teens heading to college or a new workplace this fall: If you’re a person of faith, keep up your spiritual momentum after high school!

Leaving home, to college or the workplace, is a time of both newfound freedom and  huge distractions. Most of you will have a total blast with wonderful new experiences, but it can also be overwhelming. If you’re not careful, the social life can take precedence and lead you down the wrong path. All of this comes at a time when you may be in a new town, don’t know anyone, are adjusting to a new study schedule, miss your family and friends, and need to find a new worship venue—a daunting task, even for adults!
   
If you’re a parent, coach, counselor, mentor, or faith leader, you can be a great source of support at this crucial transition time. But don’t overdo it. This has to be a decision they make on their own to carve out time for their spiritual life and stay true to their faith. 

Fortunately, most communities and colleges offer a wide range of choices, including spiritually focused organizations for young adults. It will be important to connect with either one of these organizations or with a

worship center of some kind that offers opportunities for fellowship, service, and education.

Studies show that students who attend religious services weekly
average a GPA 0.144 higher than those who never attend services!

Another benefit is that spiritually connected students more readily develop new friendships with peers of similar norms and values.[i] What’s not to like about that?

There’s a proverb that says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” So, if you’re a person of faith, don’t lose your spiritual momentum when you leave home. By connecting with a worship center and continuing your faith walk after high school, you’ll make new friends, receive support, and be spiritually sharper during this amazing and crazy time of your life!

Do you have some ideas for staying connected in your faith walk when you leave home?

Please share them by commenting below.


[i] Religious Involvement and Educational Outcomes: The Role Of Social Capital And Extracurricular Participation, Jennifer L. Glanville, David Sikkink, Edwin I. Hernández, Article first published online: 11 JAN 2008, DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2007.00108.x, Sociological Quarterly, Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 105–137, Winter 2008.

 

 

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