College is a time of growth and of independence for many. In modern times, it is also a time of temptation in terms of the ways in which that independence is exercised. As people of faith, parents may feel a sense of concern as children and grandchildren graduate from high school and prepare for university studies. Here are a few ways to model virtue so that college-age students are more aware of the importance of exercising the virtues throughout college life.
Be Authentic in Faith
When parents are worried that children will not practice chastity and virtue in college, step one for parents and grandparents is to live an authentic life of faith ourselves. When our lives seem more attractive and desirable enough to imitate our faith, our children will have the desire to follow our footsteps. When faith is only at the “check-box” level, and not lived out in a real-way, kids notice that quickly. Love your faith, and so will your children in God’s time. Be patient, as nothing that is worth it is a quick fix.
Modesty is a great virtue that younger people do not seem to admire as much as in years past. Instagram photos and videos which present immodesty and arrogance are common especially among this age group. Teaching modesty to our kids at an early age is a good practice as those college years will creep up soon. Modeling modesty is also important to demonstrate that immodesty is not attractive, and it is also wounding to both self and others. Practicing modesty at any age is good, and in the end, it is much more “attractive” than immodesty. This is something to be modeled to college students as the better choice. Modesty is not just for the physical. Being modest in words and in actions is a sign of great humility.
Be a Missionary Disciple for Christ
Many colleges have Newman Centers, college ministry offices, and missionary opportunities for their students. Participating in these activities help college students to stay grounded in faith. When a young person recognizes the value of practicing faith through college, it is a beautiful discovery that is sure to continue through the grace of God. Prayer is key, and continually practicing the sacramental journey throughout the college years is imperative for growth.
When students discover the love of God and stay authentic to their faith, it is a beautiful place to be when college is finished. As parents, when we model our faith, we can pass it on to our children, and all our loved ones. The college years are a wonderful opportunity to model virtue to those we care about so deeply.