Standing Strong In and Through College

By: Bethany Baird

Going off to college is probably one of the most trying and difficult times in a young woman’s life. The challenges, pressures, temptations and lack of experience more often than not end up taking Christian girls down.

Sadly, Christian girls aren’t coming out stronger (in a biblical sense) but weakened and further away from Christ.

I guess that’s why one of the GirlDefined readers e-mailed us asking us to write on this very topic. “How do I keep my faith at school because I know how challenging it will be. Please do a blog about this.”

She’s right. It will be challenging…but not impossible.

I love that we are not on our own in this life. By God’s incredible mercy and grace we don’t have to rely on our power, strength and wisdom to make it through difficult circumstances.

God is the one who will provide the strength to thrive in and through college.

Because of His great power in us, we can be over comers.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Instead of falling into temptation and struggle in your college years, make proactive choices that will help you stand strong during that time.

Here are 8 ideas that will help you remain strong through the difficult college years:

1. Spend Time in the Word Every Day

God’s Word is the bread of life. In the same way that you wouldn’t neglect to feed your physical self, don’t neglect to feed your spiritual self. Make spending time in God’s Word a daily priority.

2. Pray for Strength

Ask God for strength. He is the source of all power, might, courage and everything else that you need. Turn to Him as your true and only source for the strength to stand strong.

3. Find a Church and Attend Weekly

So many Christian girls neglect going to church during their college years. Don’t make that mistake. Find a solid church, attend weekly and get involved. You need the support of your “brothers and sisters” in Christ. You need the teaching, accountability and spiritual refreshment that church does such a great job at providing.  

4. Get Involved in a Small Group

It’s easy to “pop in and out” of church without getting connected. I highly encourage you to get involved in a small group or small Bible study of some sort. Build those relationships and find a group that can pray for you on a regular basis.

5. Get Yourself a Mentor

Having the one-on-one encouragement and accountability of a mentor is huge. Find an older woman who can meet with you, ask you questions, keep you focused and point you in the right direction. Don’t assume that you are “strong enough” to make it through on your own. Find a Christian woman, ask her to mentor you, and be a faithful mentee.

6. Make Wise Decisions

It doesn’t matter if your school is Christian or secular, you will encounter temptations wherever you are. Think ahead, plan ahead and avoid tempting environments and people. Make wise decisions and predetermine to avoid going or being around people and things that will pull you down.

7. Remember Where You are Going

When you go to college you are still a child of God. Remember that no matter where you are, you are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Live with the future in mind and remember that Heaven is your eternal home. Make decisions that will be a blessing and not a burden to your future self.

8. Choose to be the Influence

You have a voice, so use it. Don’t sit around and quietly let the loud ones mow you over. Stand up for what you know is right and choose to influence your peers in a good (and God honoring) direction.

I’d love to hear your ideas.

How have you (or will you) stand strong in and through college? Do you have any ideas that you can share with the other readers on the blog?

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  • Talya

    Great Post Bethany! I’m nowhere near college yet but I found that this can be helpful for any type of school! Thank you!

  • Cynthia Autry

    This was helpful. I’m currently in college — finishing up my junior year in fact — and even though I attend a Christian college (Pensacola Christian College), temptation still exists. This post also came at a perfect time because just last night I found myself battling a certain temptation. God really does know how to orchestrate things.

    • Leanne

      Seriously?? I was homeschooled with A Beka Academy, and they kept advertising for me to attend PCC after high school graduation. What you’re going through sounds nothing like the school’s marketing of a Christian atmosphere. How exactly are there temptations around, and what are some other things you are experiencing (or that exists in the school) that flyers and promotional videos don’t say?

    • Claire

      I’m a junior in high school and seriously considering PCC. I haven’t yet met someone who is actually there and hearing about it from someone who is there in the moment would be very helpful! ditto @disqus_AVwvcSjG1S:disqus

    • Cappy

      PCC is a controlling environment where even free-thought is forbidden? How is it a healthy place to go?

  • Leanne

    I would like to also add, go out there and evangelize your campus, especially if you go to a secular school! But even if you don’t, the Gospel is strengthening to us as believers, so it is NEVER, EVER redundant to share the Gospel at your Christian school. If a Christian tells you that they’re “beyond the Gospel,” or treating it like elementary Christian material, something’s way wrong there.

    Anyway, back to my original point. If you’re at a secular school: church, small group, your Christian ministry group are all fantastic. But do not forget to verbally (and passively, using tracts) share the Gospel with others. Luke 9:60 and Matthew 28:19-20 are two good verses on why we need to PREACH the Gospel, not just share “whenever convenient.” Yes, we should live for Christ. Yes, it will be hard to live righteously among the sin around you. But don’t get hung up on that. Go and take the good news of Jesus Christ to every person that, Lord willing, you encounter. Go up to the passerby stranger and ask them if they know Jesus. Go up to that person eating lunch and give them a tract. Yes, it takes some practice, risk, and boldness, but this is the type of evangelism that I urge you to do. Limiting evangelism to just your friends and acquaintances can be a dangerous practice. I cannot emphasize this enough: go out and do large-scale evangelism. Make big impacts for His kingdom. Yes, people will hate you for it. Those with hardened hearts may mock you. Your “Christian” friends may disapprove of you. Remember, God’s approval is the only thing that matters.

    Ultimately, follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads you.

  • Courtney

    I like this. For me I actually grew stronger in my faith through my years in college. I got connected with a group of other followers. Now I’m ready to embark on post grad life and I’m glad I have a strong foundation.

  • Gabrielle

    AWESOME!! Thanks!! I can’t think of anything else to add! You did great!! 😉

    “Remember that no matter where you are, you are an ambassador for Christ” ~ AMEN! This something to ALWAYS remember, from to day!!

  • Amber Lester

    I also found on campus Christian clubs can help. They are other christian’s in the sample place as you. There are two at my community college one is actually focused on evangelism in the college.

    • Rebeca

      Exactly, that helps me a lot.

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