By Alexa Saavedra SAN ANTONIO—For the most part, as college students, we face the challenge of becoming independent. This can include facing challenges and participating in the newness of decision-making. For the most part, students leave home and detach from traditions experienced back home. We are challenged mentally but also may unknowingly struggle with our spirituality until we realize we go days without acknowledging God.  As we may look to become disciplined in the completion and success of college coursework we lose track of our faith and relationship with God. What do we expect? We drown in distractions of studying, deadlines, and stress. To our advantage, attending a Catholic university allows us to have the access to spiritual services and tools to help us maintain the spiritual aspect of our life.  Not only does our campus have a designated faith and services department, it also provides mass services throughout the week and spiritual retreats that students are encouraged to participate in.  Although being a student will bring challenges, there are ways to surpass the challenges of straying from your faith. The following are four ways faith can be maintained as a student: 1. Join a Club or Organization on Campus. For the most part, clubs and organizations available on campus include a religious aspect to their mission. Participating allows students to be involved in campus activities while maintaining a relationship spirituality. Lazaro Hernandez, member of Omega Delta Phi stays connected to his faith by “thanking God for all of his blessings after every meeting reminding me that it is he who lead me to this wonderful social organization.”  2. Participate in Faith and Services Department Opportunities. Our Lady of the Lake provides volunteer opportunities for students. They call for those who experience interested to participate in being a cantor, lector, choir member, altar server or a minister of the Holy Communion. You can expect spiritual nourishment in an environment dedicated to worshiping and serving together as a community. 3. Attend University Retreats. Spiritual retreats are available throughout the year. They are centered on faith development and community building. Participate in creating friendships and exploring the works of God in you and your life. Social work student Alexa Aguirre encourages students who “simply want to grow spiritually” to attend retreats such as the Awakening. 4. Take Time Out of Your Day to Read, Pray and Reflect. Nowadays, there is app’s available to provide you with a daily word. Your daily scripture can be received by a simple notification from your Bible App. Opening your app or Bible can provide you with a few minutes of separation from the real word to feed you spiritually. Allow yourself to disconnect, read, and reflect on the message God has for you. Criminal justice student DiAnna Santillan caps her day in reflection, “at the end of my day I take about fifteen minutes to reflect on my day and thank God for giving me another day because sometimes with school and service times I can’t make it.” Find more information on opportunities and resources to maintain your faith on the Faith & Service tab of the OLLU website.  
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