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Eucharistic Adoration for college students is one way to stay focused on Jesus Christ and commit to a life of prayer.Top 5 things college students must do to keep their faith. Walking into my first week of college at University of Northern Iowa in 2017, I came to a standstill question that ultimately led to a vital decision, "How do I make this faith my own at college?" Who better to answer these questions than Jesus Himself?

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer." (Acts of the Apostles 2:42) 

Inspired by this verse, I’ve listed five tangible steps to stay focused on faith in the midst of a college world:

(1) Pray. Everyday.

"But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret." (Matthew 6:6)

Prayer is the surest way to create a deep friendship with Jesus. Pray. Everyday. I recognize that these two words put together can sound intimidating considering the hustle and bustle of classes, student clubs, and organizations. Start with 10 minutes per day. Then make 20 minutes per day, then 30.

As you continue building this habit, the easier and more natural it will become to make this your day's necessity. If you miss a day, give yourself grace and begin again. Jesus wants to spend time with you. Let Him. I find the Hallow App extremely beneficial to my prayer life. It includes various narrated prayers, homilies, and mediations that can guide the prayer process. Other helpful apps include Laudate, iBreviary, and Divine Office.

(2) Read. Live in the Word.

As we seek to know the Lord while pouring our thoughts into prayer, feeding our hearts and minds with what is good and true is also essential. The Bible tells us who Jesus is, who He says we are, and how He calls us to live. I like to look at the Bible as a roadmap to freedom straight from Jesus. It’s the ultimate love story. 

The Bible App is a great resource for more structured reading, with its self-led and group Bible studies. Father Mike Schmitz' Bible in a Year podcast is also fantastic!

(3) Sacraments. Feed your soul.

Celebrating the sacraments allows Jesus to meet us face-to-face in the most precious way. Saint Augustine of Hippo says the "sacraments are an external sign of Christ's internal graces." By regularly attending Mass, Adoration, and Confession, Christ spiritually feeds us to go out to the world and truly be the Church. Without this necessity, we operate from an empty cup. Take your friends to Mass with you and invite them to brunch afterwards!

(4) Connection. Community and fellowship.

The word Catholic means universal. The word universal in Latin means belonging to all. Jesus made us for community so that we can share our very lives with those around us. The community of people you surround yourself with will serve as a great rock of accountability and momentum as you support one another in your walk with the Lord. Joining a Bible study was one of the best decisions I made in college.

Every week, we gathered as a group of women to not only share our thoughts about the Bible readings, but also to share our lives. The most important part: we were all striving for Heaven. In the wise words of Sarah Swafford, these people will be your "strive tribe."

Your local student center likely has events and retreats like the University of Colorado - Boulder’s Buffalo Awakening, or the Antioch Retreat at University of Northern Iowa. If possible, get involved with NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams) or FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Attend an event such as the NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) or SEEK22 where you can meet thousands of other young adults seeking His grace and guidance.

(5) Heart. Have a heart for service.

By volunteering and giving time, we can best serve the Church and Her people. Whether that means regularly serving at a soup kitchen, a nonprofit organization, or participating in your student center's service events. It's a great way to make friends and build community. Another transformative service experience is going on a U.S. or international mission trip, such as one with FOCUS Missions which is the largest Catholic mission organization.

Please pray for all college students as they begin the new school year!

+JMJ+

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Author Copyright © Katherine Hopping. All Rights Reserved.

Image Copyright © FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) / ChurchPOP. All Rights Reserved.

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