As one enters a post-secondary school atmosphere, one may feel elated to experience the true “college experience.” Filled with not only typical events such as studying and friendly social gatherings, the stereotypical college experience is most known for its wild side, that being long-lasting parties, substance abuse, and the sense of living “Young, Wild, and Free,” as the song coined by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa states.
For college students with a background in Christianity, a sacred and holy religion, it may be harder to receive the same experience due to widely controversial topics and rules to live by. Many may wonder how Christian students fit into a college atmosphere and what they abstain from in the typical college student lifestyle.
For senior political science student Adrion Milton, the transition from his church’s village to Tallahassee was a dissimilar experience.
“It was new to me and was a brand new sense of freedom,” Milton said.
Although having a newfound sense of freedom may lead to indulging in new things and forgetting your roots a tad bit on the way, it was quite the opposite for Milton. Having a strong foundation in his faith let him keep his beliefs and stand firm in them, even as he moved to Florida State University.
“Because of how I was raised and because I am so firm in it…I am able to remain rooted all by myself, even if my family is two and a half hours away.”
As a Christian college student, though, it is not completely out of the box to indulge in a get-together here or there or participate in fun activities that may stray away from The Old Testament regulations.
For Kyra Morris, a junior Florida A&M University theater student, knowing the correct time and place to have fun can come naturally if given the gift of discernment.
“I will say I love a good party, but clubbing constantly puts you around so many different energies,” Morris said. This is why she chooses to enjoy herself in moderation and more controlled environments. “Of course, I’m in college. I’m going to allow myself to have fun.”
Andre Springer, a second-year student at FAMU explains that there are ways to have fun while still staying within guidelines. “I was never a big drinker, but I know how to pick and choose the activities I want to participate in, as God would see fit.”
A typical trend seen in many Christian students who surround themselves with others who may not have the same beliefs as them is that they are not judgemental of others who participate in the modern lifestyle. Many wonder how Christians don’t get offended or deal with comments that may combat their beliefs.
Andre Milton for the most part leaves these actions up to the individual but likes to remind people that things they may say and do tend to have strong power over them. When asked what actions or statements may prompt a negative feeling from him at that moment, he goes on to explain that many students joke around about their willingness to be present in life a lot.
“A lot of people here play with God and with what they say… I’ve never heard so many people joke about killing themselves or wishing they were dead,” Milton said, as he was raised to believe there is power in one’s tongue.
Kyra Morris states that the transfer of energy from one soul to another, when an act like unprotected sex occurs, is unbearable, and the number of students who make it a habit to be unsafe in these endeavors. “That’s another energy thing I stay away from. When you are surrounded by different people, those energies can attach themselves to you,” Morris said. By knowing this, Morris makes sure she stays away from activities that have the potential to invite negative spirits and throw her off balance.
Living a fully righteous Christian lifestyle while being surrounded by worldly ideas can sometimes be hard to follow for many believers and even harder for fully devoted Christians. For many wanting to enjoy their college years but not lose their connection with God, it may be easier than it seems.
Springer believes that all people are inherently sinners, which is inevitable, whether believer or non-believer. “Just remember what you came here for, and don’t have the fear of missing out.”
For students who may see themselves falling into situations they don’t want to be in, Morris believes that understanding your true reason for being in college can help pull you out. She said, “I think it’s knowing yourself, and knowing if you’re doing it for you or other people.”
Milton sees the broad scheme of things, “There are a lot more activities for Christian students…they are going to have to be okay with the discernment God gives them to choose what is right and what is wrong.”