Ethan Lam / The Daily Gamecock

Opinion: Give faith organizations a try

A lot of people come to college wondering what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and many come to discover who they want to be. However, a few come asking themselves what they want to believe. 

USC has almost 40 different faith-based organizations on campus that exist to help students connect with other students of their religion and worship together. Even though these organizations are built for students who are already believers in a given religion, most of the religious organizations on campus love having new people interested in finding out more about their faith. 

Many students in faith organizations, especially those in leadership, are passionate about their faith and would be more than willing to share or discuss their religion with you. Also, some faith organizations on campus have adult staff members to teach students and answer the hard questions. 

If you are interested in learning more about a religion, but you aren’t ready to believe, going to a faith organization meeting is a good way to learn more. It also gives you the opportunity to talk to real people who believe in that faith and can answer your questions, rather than just learning what the internet has to say about certain religions. 

For some students, going away to school is the first time they take responsibility for their own faith. You have the opportunity while you are here to spend time with other students and get your questions answered in a low-pressure situation. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it while you can.

Also, it should be noted that not all faith organizations are alike. Even in the same religion, faith organizations function very differently and might have some different beliefs. If one doesn’t strike you as being your thing, it might be worth trying another before giving up. Garnet Gate, the university’s portal for student organizations, is a great resource for finding one that might appeal to you or that you would like to learn more about. 

My faith, Christianity, is a big part of my identity. It is a constant source of joy and gives my life a purpose. Before I believed, I felt lost and lonely. I was too focused on what I wanted to do and it kept me from making meaningful relationships with people. As a result of my faith in Jesus, I know that I am loved and my biggest goal is to show God’s love to others. 

In a time in our lives where we so often let ourselves be ruled by stress and are just trying to make it through the day, having a reason for living in my religion gives me, and other students, hope. Hope that we will make a contribution to something bigger than ourselves and that we were all created beautifully and for a purpose. The friends that I have made through my faith organization and I would love to be able to share this hope with anyone who is interested.   

Faith organizations were created to help students delve deeper and grow in their religion, no matter what stage they start out in. They also offer community with other believers and a place of learning for newcomers. If you want to know about the faiths represented at USC, please don’t hesitate to seek them out. You might find hope and a family you didn’t know you could have. 

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