Finals are over, the studying has stopped – unless of course you’re taking the MCAT over the summer like I am – and vacation plans are in the making. It is one of the exciting moments of college life where you get to enjoy a few relatively stress-free months before firing up and starting all over again.
While summer is a nice break from the rigor of academics, hopefully it does not equate to a break from your faith life.
I have seen students do several things upon coming to college. Some choose to no longer attend church. It’s not that they do not believe, but there are no longer parental figures forcing them to church every Sunday. Hence, they no longer actively seek out Christ. Some come into college a non-believer and leave after a year or two believing in a God they did not know existed. Others do not really change their stance. They stay non-believers, believe without challenging themselves to develop a stronger faith, or continue to actively seek out opportunities to serve others. Well all of this can be true for summer break as well.
Regardless of our summer plans, one thing remains true for all of us: we no longer live in the same community that we have found comfort in for the past eight months. We can expect changes in our lives that could affect our faith. It is something to be aware of now so you can decide how to maintain the faith you want. Go on a mission trip, serve a local organization, find a home church or group that can help you stay focused or keep in touch with those who helped you during the school year. These are all ways to help you through the summer months apart from anything you developed during the school year.
For now I wish you a safe, fun and productive summer. Despite the craziness of the MCAT, applying to medical school, preparing for senior year and finding time for some fun, I hope to strength my faith. I pray you do the same.