Let Your Spirit Guide You

12 Nov

Judaism SymbolOne of the goals of Chicago College Life (CCL) is to encourage students to be active and join different organizations.  Many of our previous posts have highlighted various social, political, and community groups and organizations for college students to take part in. For Example: Student Activism: The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Meet Saba, That’s Pretty Good Stuff Want to get involved? A Student Shares Her Experiences.   However, we have yet to address another type of organization that has just as much of an impact on student’s lives: religion. Our staff would like to branch out and share more details about religious organizations and how students benefit from them. Therefore, CCL surveyed numerous students in order to gain different perspectives about religion on campus, and why religious organizations appeal to them.

Buddhist Symbol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhonda, a professor at St. Xavier University, based her perspective benefits students may gain from involvement with religious organizations from her own experience as a very active member in the Catholic Church. Rhonda says:

“When students are involved in a religious organization, it allows them to meet people who have the same beliefs, or meet people who really don’t have the same beliefs. This becomes a learning experience for students. They get to share ideas, stories, faith, and spread joy and love with others.”


There were also students who expressed guilt from having strayed from their religion, and wish to regain their faith by expressing their emotional needs with others who felt like that had missed out. Abby, a student at IIT has recently joined the Catholic Spiritual Life, explains, “A simple way for college students to really express their emotions is to participate in religious groups and organizations that only speak spiritually.”

 

Islamic Symbol

In addition, it is beneficial for students to join religious organizations, because it allows them to be spiritually active. Claudia, a student at IIT, shares her opinion:

Students always get involved in some type of organization, but many do not promote religion. Most organizations deal with sororities and fraternities. When a student joins a religious group it becomes more of a serious issue to them, because it’s somewhere they can speak about family issues, and ask religious questions that they didn’t have answers to. Students go through a lot during a school year, so joining a spiritual/religious organization can help keep them involved in something that is a life changing experience.

Joining a religious organization can actually make students that are away from home and outside their religious culture feel a little closer to home. On the UIC Campus, the John Paul II Newman Center is a Catholic center and church that allows students of all religions and belief systems to use their space and resources, to come in and pray and seek guidance in whatever they need emotionally.

St. Paul Chapel
Map of Newman Chapel’s Location at UIC

There are many options for students who are interested in participating in religious groups. In Chicago, private universities such as DePaul and St. Xavier practice Catholicism as their main religion. Therefore, students have the opportunity to experience the many religious organizations available at their schools. At schools like IIT, students are notified about various religions, and are able to learn and gain access to these religions at orientation before they even start school!

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, a great majority of students do not realize the positive effect of participating in religious groups. After surveying various college campuses, it was clear that students enjoy religious organizations because it is a significant stress reliever from school and they offer a great support system for those who are suffering from pressure at work, or hardships at home. Let your spirit be your guide, and explore a religious group today!

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One Response to “Let Your Spirit Guide You”

  1. Occam's Taser November 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM #

    What about Atheist groups? Not everyone thinks that religious groups have a positive effect on life…

    UIC has a Freethinkers, Humanists, and Atheists organization. Most universities have something similar.

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