Even with all the busy schedules and endless priorities.
The summer is a good time to relax, read yo bible, and just be at bliss with Jesus. But then the school year hits, and life is a whirlwind, and you have 8 million priorities to juggle. And consequently, Jesus takes the back-burner.
I hope He’s okay with me saying that.
It’s so hard to make time for Jesus in college. Anyone who says it’s easy is certainly lying, or just a plain saint. It’s so hard to juggle everything, let alone your faith. And I think this is a huge reason why people step away from their faith in college – because other things get in the way.
But it’s in putting everything in front of our relationship with him, all our priorities, all our assignments, where we wake up one morning and just feel flat out empty. We think why we possibly could feel this way when all the homework is getting done, and all the clubs are still attended to, and all the parties are met with dancing and laughter. All the boxes are checked, but we still feel like something is missing.
It’s then that we realize we haven’t spent time with Jesus in months. We haven’t prayed, haven’t sought community, haven’t put in any effort.
Does this sound familiar? If so, girl, I’ve been there. Better to leave and come back around, then to not come back at all.
Whether you just started college and don’t know how everything got so discombobulated – or you have been in college for years but want to dig into your faith. This is for you.
1. Get plugged into a student ministry
One of the best ways to get closer to the Lord is to find other people that are. Student ministries are a great way to be surrounded by a Godly community – and it’s a good thing that there are a ton of organizations to choose from. I recommend going to the ones you’re interested in, and then narrowing it down to where you felt the most welcome and comfortable. I’ll admit, I tried like 80284 student ministries at Miami before I found one that I felt at home. Not that anything was necessarily wrong with the other clubs, but just one just fit more than the others. The good news is there is a home for you, but it might take a little searching to find it.
2. Wake up 15 minutes early and read
I can feel you rolling your eyes from behind the screen. And I am right there with you, because the thought of waking up any earlier than I have to without being 10 minutes late to class just pains me. The thought makes me feel queasy inside. But lemme tell you, Jesus time in the morning is the one exception where with it, my morning gets better.
I wake up after a couple snoozes, and I throw on my outfit for the day. Then I wash my face, do my makeup and hair, and try to look semi-presentable. After that, I grab my coffee and yogurt, which is my typical breakfast, and I open the SheReadsTruth app.
Right now I’m in the middle of the Proverbs plan, which is all about daily wisdom. I put it in the Message translation because at 9:20am, I am just too tired to try to figure out fancy wording.
This daily devotional app has changed my life. For one, it’s free, which is lovely. Secondly, they have plans where you can read daily devotionals that are not too long but not too short. Thirdly, it’s aesthetically pleasing, which matters more to me than it should. And because it’s on your phone, you can read it in the morning in the quiet of your room, or you can read it on the way to class.
3. Talk to God on the way to class
So guys, I have a confession. When nobody is around (and I double check this to make sure), I literally talk out loud to God. I think it’s because I am an external processor and my thoughts go rampant when they stay in my brain, so saying them out loud is the best way for me to have a conversation with Him.
It sort of looks like this:
God, what the heck is my life? I feel like nothing is put together right now and it is just crazzzzzy. (insert hand motions here)
Ugh, I am so tired.
How am I going to get through this biology class?
Please, just give me a sign. Ugh. Should I get chipotle for dinner? Chipotle is sooooo good.
One time I was getting way too into my conversation that I did not see the man walking right toward me. This was definitely not my best moment.
So here’s what I am trying to say: if you want to talk to God in your head, go for it. But if you want to look around and make sure the coast is clear and get all your thoughts out loud, I advise you to do so. Prayer is prayer, any communication at all with God. So it can look however you want it. Tell him what you hated about your day, what you loved, how annoying that one person is, how you really want to become friends with that person, and how you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. The realest, most authentic conversations are the ones He loves the most.
4. Go to church
I know it is a Sunday morning, and you are so tired from the night before. I also know that you have like 4 tests to study for. But going to church is a little like working out – you could do so many other things. The thought of working out makes you want to vom and crawl in a hole, but after you go, you feel ready to conquer the world.
The idea of church is not that appealing, I’ll be honest. Especially if you grew up in a church where you zoned out in every sermon. But when you find one you like, where you vibe with the messages and the people, there’s nothing better. You will be so glad you went.
5. Instead of watching one more Friends episode, listen to a podcast or watch a sermon on YouTube
I know, it can be so enticing to mindlessly scroll on our phones at the end of a long day. Or even to binge-watch our favorite TV show. But instead of watching one more episode, make time for something that is going to literally give you soul-food. I recommend the Elevation church podcast, and I love to watch their sermons as well. The messages are so relatable and so motivating. I want to go on a run every time I finish a sermon, and I don’t even run, if that tells you anything.
6. Get plugged into a group
A good group of women to meet with weekly will literally change your life. I can feel the gap in my life during the summer when I don’t have my small group to go to. If you’ve never been to one, it’s basically where a bunch of like-minded women all sit in comfy clothes in a living room and support each other, break down to each other about real stuff, and talk about God’s goodness. What is said in the room stays in that room – and the community is so wonderful.
If you’re at Miami, we have one called Greek Gathering that has seriously changed my life. There’s also so many other groups to get plugged into, and the best way to find them is through local church or student ministries, or even a mutual friend.
7. Seek out a mentor
Another great way to make time for Jesus in college is to meet regularly with a mentor. In college, it’s easy to feel like you are all alone. You’re away from your parents who always give the best advice, and you start to feel like you are alone in making important decisions or making big steps. The great thing about a mentor is they are someone who can spur you on to be your best self. Someone who is outside of your circle that you can talk to and seek Godly wisdom from (kind of like a counselor, if you think about it).
It could be someone just a few steps ahead of you on their faith journey. You can grab coffee, and they’ll listen and encourage you through whatever. You could also read scripture together. My mentor has made some of the biggest impact in my life and helped me know Jesus so much more, so it’s worth seeking one out.
Hopefully after these steps you feel much better about spending time with Jesus in college. Once you put in the effort, you will definitely see results – whether that’s a lighter heart, a greater joy, or a serene sense of peace. No matter how busy you’ll get, that peace is worth it.