Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.
It’s not easy to be Catholic nowadays, especially not at a public university.
Colleges are meant to be meeting places for ideas, places where young people can get together and bounce different ideas off one another to learn new things about the world and about themselves. A lot of times, though, these meeting places of ideas bring in bad ideas along with the good ones.
Often, colleges are venues for every single school of thought antithetical to Catholicism—from relativism to hedonism and everything in between. For so many college students, Sunday isn’t a day to go to church; it’s a day to recover from a wild Saturday night. And praying is never high on many students’ priority lists; a lot of students don’t have enough time to pray because they think they’re too busy, or because they simply don’t care enough.
This crazy college environment makes it hard for me to grow in my faith life. When I see so many people around me ignoring God and following their own interests, it’s hard for me not to do the same.
But even though keeping the faith is challenging in college, it is by no means impossible. God makes anything possible, and he made it possible for me when I found my home away from home at the St. Thomas More Newman Center, Ohio State’s home for Catholic campus ministry.
Students who go to the Newman Center are not just interested in growing closer to God. They are on fire with God’s love and willing to give of their whole selves to serve Him. The environment at the Newman Center is so open, friendly, genuinely loving, and supportive! If I hadn’t started going to the Newman Center, I don’t know what I would have done. That community has helped me stay on the straight and narrow path, despite all the challenges.
It is amazing to me that God really is there for us wherever we go. Even though I’ve felt very alone at Ohio State sometimes, I’ve come to know that God is with me no matter what, even if it doesn’t feel like He is. The Newman Center played a huge role in helping me see that. No matter how dark our situations might seem, God will always help us through them.
Photo: Ohio State University’s St. Thomas More Newman Center