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The Most Important Aspect of College

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Apr. 08, 2013

Most people believe attending college is a time for learning about yourself, figuring out what it is you want to do with your life, and obtaining the knowledge you need to pursue your goals and contribute to the world.  While these various aspects of learning certainly play a pivotal role in the college experience, your time in college is so much more.  However, most people do not realize that, and chances are you will not hear a lecture about the most important aspect of college: your sanctification.

By the time the excitement and newness of your college experience fades away, you will be looking for the next big thing to be excited about.  Many come to believe their lives are on hold until they graduate and are released into the “real world.”

The reality is that you don’t need to be set “free” in the so-called “real world” to have meaning to your life.   College, where you are at this exact moment, is the perfect place for you to forge your own way in the world and positively influence it. 

Jesus declared, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”[1]  The Catechism teaches us that all Christians, in every state of life, are called to perform everything they do with perfect love.  This command by Christ, which the Church continues to teach, is known as the universal call to holiness.  Living such a life demands spiritual progress built on “renunciation and spiritual battle.”  This kind of life, a life of intention and sacrifice, will lead us to closer union with God.[2]

You are probably thinking, “The universal call to holiness sounds great, but is it relevant to me as a college student?”  Yes!  The universal call to holiness is the difference between authentically living your life to the fullest, and sitting around waiting for the next big thing to come along to make you feel “alive.”  However, God’s will for you, your holiness, is to be lived at this exact moment.  God calls each of us to sanctity today.  Living a life of purpose and fulfillment is not exclusive to the next stage of your life.  Begin now!

The average day of a college student is overwhelmingly busy.  It involves attending classes, completing assignments, keeping up with projects, making and keeping friends, participating in clubs, and much more.  With so much responsibility and so little free time, it may seem difficult to make time for God.  However, this is the perfect opportunity for you to live a life that pleases God and contributes meaningfully to the world. 

The key is to perform these everyday duties and tasks with a supernatural outlook consumed with love for God and man.  Every worthy and upright human activity can be offered to God, including the ordinary and monotonous routine of a college student’s life. The Catechism teaches, “Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.”[3]  Sanctify your work by offering your best efforts to God with great love.  In return, you will be sanctified through the effort and sacrifice made to complete these tasks well. Such diligence will strengthen your charity and other human virtues.  Ultimately, you will sanctify others and your surroundings by infusing a Christian spirit into the world.  Do everything with love, and it will give purpose to everything you do and change the world!

So, be mindful of your desire to please God.  Offer that intention and your day to the Lord when you wake up in the morning. Start and finish your homework well. Show great care for all the details of life. Be organized, pray, and seek justice in all things.  Soon you will realize that you are sanctifying your work, sanctifying yourself, and sanctifying other people through your work.

About the Author

Jeremiah Doyle is a freelance correspondent for Newman Connection.

[1] Matthew 5:48

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2013 - 2015

[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2427

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