Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catholic Girl in a Public World: Part III

Catholic girls know how to put the ass in Mass.  Now that you're in college, also in Class.

Another problem I had when first going off to college was making up my own schedule.  Without school-wide mandatory Mass on Holy Days of Obligation, it was really hard for me to balance my classes and my own religious commitments.  It took a lot of organizing, but boy did it pay off in the long run. 

Tip #1: Find your Catholic campus ministry for Chapel mass times, or the local parish and their times for Sunday Mass.  With google, this shouldn't be too hard.  Find out how to get there and how long it takes.  For my first college Mass, we all decided to walk, and someone said "it's really close to campus".  It wasn't.  It took about 30 minutes to walk, and we came in during the homily, drenched with sweat (Blacksburg summer...don't miss it)

Tip #2: Find friends to go with.  Luckily, over 40 students from my high school class ended up at the same college as me.  I had no trouble finding mass-mates.  If you are not as fortunate, go to CCM mass and join! There are plenty of social and service activities that CCM offers, so it wouldn't hurt to go and make new friends!
CCM at Virginia Tech
Tip #3: While this may not apply to your first semester, try to schedule your classes so that the time where your local parish offers Holy Days mass is open (usually around noon at most parishes).  If this is not possible, there is probably an evening mass, like at 5pm and make your schedule around whichever time is most comfortable for you (remember to include travel time!).  If this is absolutely not an option, just remember to e-mail your professors ahead of time and arrange for someone to take notes for you.  You never know when there is going to be a pop quiz or something that is going to be on the test! Be discrete about it and thank them beforehand.  Of course, follow university policies for excused absences if there is an assignment in class--they are usually pretty fair about religious obligations (legal matters, you know). 

Tip #4: College life can be pretty fast-paced if you allow yourself to get lost in it! Remember the 1-hour rule of eating before Mass--I know that Sunday brunch is incredibly tempting, but if you feel strongly about the rule, just ask your friends to join you a little earlier. 

Tip #5: Ash Wednesday.  Someone will always stare at you or tell you there's something on your face.  Either act natural and say that you know, or mess with them and scream and start swatting at your cheeks.  I get bored easily and messing with people is a fine hobby of mine. 

A lot of people get lost along the way when they are in college.  It's hard not to: wild parties, horrendous hangovers, and just more concerned with other things.  Just remember that if you stop going to Mass, you can always come back.  Your burning Catholic guilt will get you--major #catholicgirlproblem

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