Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Archdiocese of Denver's young adult director offers tips for surviving the college 'jungle'

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes
Straight talk about holding on to your faith, values and finances.

Chris Stefanick provides some really honest practical advice for incoming college freshmen, who are facing the strange new world of life on campus. From credit cards to co-ed relationships, the director of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry tells it like it is in a new video.

The Holy Grail of Learning: How Catholic Values Transform Education

You can make it possible for more students to come into a deeper understanding of the Lord and the Catholic faith. Our 7,000 video lessons are FREE for learners and teachers around the world, and we intend to keep it that way. But it takes millions of dollars to produce high-quality content.

Highlights

By
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)
9/10/2010 (1 decade ago)

Published in College & University

DENVER, CO (CNA) - Christopher Stefanick, the Archdiocese of Denver's director of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry, has recorded a new video for Catholic News Agency, discussing the dangers that incoming college students will face as the school year begins.

A number of unprecedented challenges, Stefanick said, come with the new independence of undergraduate life. The experience of separation from family, friends, and previous parish communities, he said, was comparable to an animal being "separated from the herd" for the first time.

But while this independence is exciting and offers new opportunities, it also involves real dangers. Stefanick highlighted four key areas of life where college students must be especially careful in order to avoid compromising their futures and spiritual lives.

Credit cards, presented in an appealing manner and with attractive offers, "lead to so much financial pain and disaster in the lives of young people," according to Stefanick. The youth minister explained how many college students overestimate their own finances and misunderstand what is being offered.

As a result, 19 percent of bankruptcies filed last year were by college students.

Stefanick also strongly warned against sexual promiscuity on campus. Between freshman year and graduation, one in four college students will become infected with one of the various sexually transmitted diseases, which cannot be reliably prevented by any means other than abstinence.

Besides the risk of infection or pregnancy, Stefanick warned against the lifelong psychological wounds left by sex outside of marriage, and the shipwreck of one's spiritual life. Explaining "how far is too far" in dating relationships, the youth minister offered a simple rule: "The moment you close the door, you just went too far. Keep the door open, you'll stay out of trouble."

Drugs and alcohol, he recounted, also take a heavy toll on many students looking to relax or bond with friends. Stefanick advised that in addition to staying sober, new students should look for a reliable group of drug-free and responsible friends.

One of the most common difficulties in college is the onset of stress and depression. Suicide is a real danger in the college population, Stefanick noted, with freshman year providing some of the most stressful times of one's life. "Don't let shame isolate you" from seeking help from parents, trustworthy priests, campus ministers, or professional counselors, he advised.

Stefanick concluded his message by stressing the importance of developing meaningful friendships based on sharing and living the Catholic faith. Although it can be difficult to "find a new herd," he said, it is the best way to avoid the dangers to one's present, future, and soul: "Everything can hinge on those friends you make in the first few days of being on campus."

He encouraged students to connect with any available Catholic ministries, such as FOCUS missionaries or the college's Newman Center, or to contact the diocese if groups cannot be located, before arriving on campus.

With the aid of these resources, Stefanick assured viewers, students could thrive, rather than being "devoured" by the dangers of their new independence.

You can view the video HERE.

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul IIs call for a New Evangelization, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Speakin' with the Deacons logo
LIVE Rosary show logo

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!