Deciding where to go for college is a very important decision. If one of your choices is a Catholic University, you might be wondering what your experience will be. Here are a list of things to keep in mind if you are unsure to attend a Catholic University or not.
As church is an integral part of any religion, so to will church be a significant part of the university campus. Church bells will ring every hour, which can be helpful for students. The ringing can help notify the students when classes are about to start and end if your phone is dead or you have no watch. For Catholics, the church can be a wondrous edifice that helps them feel at home if they are out of state students. For non-Catholics, church service is not mandatory. Though it may seem daunting, the fathers and catholic teachers at a catholic university will never impose their religion or mindset on their students. Instead, they are respectful of your faith, whatever it is, and promote discussion to elevate the intellectual atmosphere of the university.
2. Theology classes
As a catholic university, there will be theology classes that aim to promote understanding of the catholic faith. Even though church service and being catholic is not necessary, there may be theology classes that are required as part of the core curriculum. Though it may seem as though students will have to align their mindset to that of the catholic faith in order to pass, it is not the case. The teachers, which may be fathers of the church, teach the curriculum as any other teacher. Their job is to pass on knowledge that aims to help the students live a more intellectually stimulating life. They will not ask you to follow their faith to pass the lass, and will do their job as professors to teach their students lessons from the faith that can be applied to anyone’s life, despite which faith the students are.
3. Ash Wednesday
Even though the ceremonies of the catholic faith will not be forcefully pushed unto non-catholic students, they will be witness to the most likely massive horde of catholic students taking part in Ash Wednesday all across a catholic university. Though the catholic university will not force their students to attend, they will be witness to many other students attending class, taking tests, and eating in the dining hall with crosses made of ash on their foreheads. This ceremony, though not aimed to exclude some students, it will nonetheless provide a clear distinction of who are catholic and who are not. There is no established discrimination but, at just like any other place heterogeneous institution, attention will be drawn to those who are different from the majority.
4. Lent/ Food Limitations
It is a certainty that if you go to a catholic university, just like any other place, you will make friends, even if you are not catholic. Faith does not decide or limit your choice of friends, but it will limit what you can do together. For Lent, they may decide, as is their right, to give u something they enjoy in the name of their faith. As a consequence, you may not be able to do things with your friends that you enjoyed doing together. Also, activities may not be the only thing that is given up. There are dietary restrictions that your friends may place on themselves as part of their religious practices. Even though this is their choice, if you are the kind of person that enjoys spending as much time with your friends as possible, be ready to adopt the same restriction for some time, or start enjoying time by yourself for a bit.
5. Graduation at a Church
The church will be a part of your university experience. Even if you are able to avoid theology classes and catholic practices, the graduation ceremony will most likely take place at a church. As a consequence, be ready to endure a church service, if you dislike such a thing, as part of your long graduation ceremony. For those who dislike sitting for too long, this may be the one event that you may not be able to avoid.