For incoming freshmen, college is absolutely terrifying. It’s not an easy adjustment, especially when you’re moving far away from home. You’re thrown into a huge pool with unfamiliar faces and are told to figure it out on your own. It’s easy to be negatively influenced or tempted when you’re in such a new environment. Consider these guidelines when approaching the most important years of your life.
1. Join The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)
Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) is a religious organization that is dedicated to establishing Islamic societies on college campuses. This cub unifies Muslim students from different cultural backgrounds and is a great way to make friends with those who have the same values that you do. Be prepared to put on or participate in various activities which include: prayer times, lectures, discussion, philanthropy, and social events.
2. Stay in Touch with Your Family.
To me, this one is pretty obvious. When you’re away at school you should always make a point to call your parents or siblings whenever you get the chance. They keep you grounded and will remind you of your faith and values. Don’t be afraid to turn to them when you are feeling weak, they are your strength and they will always guide you in the right direction.
3. Surround Yourself with People Who Have the Same Beliefs.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone in college have the same morals that you do. Find a few close friends who will keep you on track in your field of study and will motivate you to be a better Muslim.
4. Qur’an Verse of the Day
Download a “Qur’an Verse of the Day” app to your phone and get daily notifications of uplifting and spiritual quotes from the Holy Book. (TIP: be sure to turn on Push Notifications when prompted.) It’s comforting to read in the morning as you start your day, and I’ve noticed that it puts me in a better mood when I’m really stressed out.
5. Locate a Mosque in Your Area
Well… DUH! Finding a local mosque in your college town will open up so many doors not only spiritually but also professionally. You can even get experience interning or volunteering and coordinating events. It’s a great gateway to finding networks and introducing yourself to people who are interested in the same things that you are.
Don’t forget where you came from, and don’t lose touch with who you are spiritually when you go away to college. Represent your culture with the highest form of pride, dignity and respect. Most importantly — always stay true to yourself.
Written by Hana Hodali