St. Anthony’s (Joe Buth/Collegian)

College is an awkward tran­sition between leaving home and entering the “real world” of careers, grocery bills, and mortgage pay­ments. And you might not want to hear it, but we have it easy in college. It’s easy to find free food and life is safe here in Hillsdale. It is not uncommon to find yourself in an unusually small bubble throughout your college years, espe­cially here at Hillsdale, but it is important to find an outlet for staying in touch with reality. This can be done by con­tinuing to cul­tivate your spir­itual life, which will shape your col­le­giate growth.

One of the most influ­ential factors of your childhood was your family life. Growing up with your parents and sib­lings shaped much of your char­acter. Your family may have intro­duced you to a faith com­munity, where you shared beliefs and values. So, get involved: go to Church, meet fam­ilies within your con­gre­gation and get to know them, they will offer you a glimpse of the life for which we are preparing.

Because Hillsdale College does not have a spe­cific church of its own, stu­dents are led to local parishes in the sur­rounding com­mu­nities. This oppor­tunity to engage with local faith com­mu­nities allows for a glimpse into familial con­gre­ga­tional life, some­thing that college stu­dents do not have on their own. Being able to observe and worship with fam­ilies of the same faith back­ground gives stu­dents yet another image, outside of their own fam­ilies, of people living out the Gospel.

Senior Meghan Perks helped establish an adopt-a-student program at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church after hearing about a friend’s expe­rience with a similar program at College Baptist. She says that the program, which allows stu­dents to par­tic­ipate in activ­ities with a family from the parish, is a great way to get off campus and “realize that there is life outside the library and Lane and Kendall.”

Most impor­tantly, however, Perks said the program is a reminder that as stu­dents, we are still part of the Body of Christ.

“Our school life is part of living a life of Christ and walking with him,” Perks said.

On campus, dif­ferent reli­gious groups gather for worship, bible studies, and prayer throughout each week, but attending weekly ser­vices off campus allows a deep­ening of rela­tion­ships outside the college.  

Keith Porter, pastor of Hillsdale Free Methodist Church, said faith never really becomes real to us unless through action, which ulti­mately makes scripture more alive.

“Having exposure to another con­gre­gation outside that of your childhood broadens your scope of the Kingdom of God,” Porter said.

His con­gre­gation offers stu­dents a variety of vol­unteer outlets, allowing for stu­dents to engage in their com­munity, pri­marily through working with young children.

People change a lot during college. You will grow sig­nif­i­cantly in maturity, in wisdom, and in your under­standing of The Truth. So engage with those in your church com­mu­nities, because they possess a treasure chest of wisdom that will keep you grounded in reality, as part of a larger prepa­ration for the future.


Josephine von Dohlen is a junior majoring in American studies.