How to be a Christian in college (and still have fun)

Feb 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: 2016-2017, Lifestyles

By William Gupton
Contributor

Don’t worry, I already know that look you’re giving me, I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s the, “Oh, you’re a Christian?” look, which also usually comes with of an undertone of, “I’m sorry for your loss,” or,  “Oh cool, where’s the mothership?”

I don’t really mind the look at all, actually — earlier in my life I gave quite a few people that exact same look myself. The only question still that irritates me when I see it come up on someone’s face when I mention I’m a Christian is, “So when did you give up and decide to never have fun again?” It always comes up — I’ve even been asked variations of that question out loud by some of my close friends.

And to be entirely honest, I’ve never understood it. Christians are ordinary people, just with a different worldview than yours; there’s nothing in the Christian belief system that outlaws “fun.” In actuality, some of the most fun I’ve had in college has come because of my beliefs.

But I digress. I bring this up because the best piece of advice I got in college was related to my faith, and has brought me a tremendous amount of joy. I was told that I should join an on-campus Christian group to help me keep connected to my faith and make friends that would share some of my values and worldviews.

When my mom first gave me this piece of advice, I had a great reaction to it, something along the lines of, “Uh, yeah… sure.” However, as is common with her advice, I would come to realize that she, in her superior age and wisdom, was correct. I say this with the utmost confidence and sincerity; the best decision I made in my college life was to join Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship.

Contrary to popular belief, Inter Varsity is an intercollegiate club that is focused on providing a safe and meaningful community to grow in your faith, reconnect with your faith, explore Christianity for the first time or ask deep questions on religion and spirituality (not an intramural sports group).

It is non-denominational, and is open to anyone of any backgrounds whatsoever. The only requirement for the club is to be respectful and courteous, treating all others with love and compassion.

Being a part of this club has shaped the growth of my faith more than any other church, organization or community that I have experienced. In all fairness, I do not actually know what it is about the club that has impacted me so deeply or what makes it so truly special, but this group has that nameless special quality that somehow makes it life-changing.

Beyond that, Inter Varsity has also been some of the most fun I’ve had at college — I will never forget the incredible night spent playing Mafia with some of the biggest, and most lovable dorks in my life right now.

There are dozens of memories, conversations and tiny moments that I will cherish and remember for years and years to come. If I could ever go back to that moment when I decided to check out Inter Varsity, I wouldn’t want a single thing to be different at all. I would just want to sit back and watch as I made one of the best decisions of my life.

 

wrgupton@willamette.edu

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