What I Wish I’d Known Before I Went to University
Beyond Teachable Moments
I recently had the opportunity to meet an intelligent young Christian woman who is proactively learning how to discuss her faith in a secular society.
Why is she so dedicated to doing this? Because her Christian upbringing had completely failed to prepare her for the challenges of secularism, religious pluralism and atheism at university.
This young woman grew up in close-knit, loving Christian home. She faithfully attended church. She was enrolled in a Christian school that taught subjects such as apologetics, hermeneutics, inductive Bible study and managing relationships. Her parents cared about her spiritual formation.
And yet, this is how she describes her university experience:
“Although I was still living at home during the beginning of my freshman year, university was traumatic at best. I went from a class of 15 in a small Christian school, to 30,000 people at a public university.
The most troubling thing was the amount of differing beliefs and worldviews I encountered, from professors and other students. At the time I thought they had much better arguments than I did for the validity of their views.”
Added to her challenge was the fact that her faith was borrowed, not her own.
“I can honestly and sadly say that as I started my freshman year at age 19, my faith was very much borrowed. It was a set of rules to adhere too. Although I was well aware of the concept of a relationship with Jesus Christ, I did not have it. I was entrenched in the notion of conforming to what people wanted me to do in order to escape condemnation and judgment.”
“My faith at the university was non-existent. If you asked me what I believed I would say Christian, but I did not back that up with any action whatsoever.”
As a mom of two young boys, the top-of-mind question I had for her was: what did she wish she’d known before she went to university? Here is her answer…