Keeping your faith alive at university
Keeping up with my faith at university hasn't been the easiest thing to do. The transition from working at a Catholic retreat centre surrounded by young people practising their faith and having a priest on hand and a chapel less than a minute from your room, to not seeing any other Catholics has been a big change.
For the first time in my life, I've had to go to church on my own. Finding the enthusiasm to make the half an hour walk in the rain, to sit on my own in Mass is something that became a bit of a struggle. However, trying to explain to my flatmates why I go and what I actually did in my gap year hasn't been too bad. I am lucky to live with lovely people who accept my faith and encourage me to go to church, promising to put the kettle on for when I get back!
Keeping in touch with my Catholic friends, has also been a key part of keeping my faith alive. University is a whole new world for me, with lots of new situations; so being able to ask Catholic friends for their opinion and advice has helped me so much. I have been on a couple of retreats this year as well, some run by Youth 2000 and some at Castlerigg Manor which have tightened the rope between me and God. Seeing others practice their faith has given me the strength to carry on.
Knowing God is still right beside me wherever I am and whatever I am doing has helped me through my first year, and although I do feel my faith takes up a little less of my day, it's something I am working to improve.
Amy, 19, Barrow-in-Furness