By Olivia Mohney |

I am naturally a pretty rebellious and strong-willed person. Whenever I am told that something is impossible, I try and prove the opposite.

Growing up in a Christian household, I always knew that my life after high school meant I would be attending a Christian university. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I was frustrated at the surprising lack of options. While all my friends were looking at big beautiful universities such as the University of Michigan or New York University, I found that most of my options were either too strict or too small.

That’s when I fell in love with Baylor University. It had the large university feel while still staying within my parents’ strict rules. Despite my love for Baylor, I assumed that being surrounded by Christian attitudes would encourage my rebellious spirit to lose my faith. But something different happened instead. 

Before I knew it, the first Sunday of college arrived, and I was riding shotgun in one of my friend’s cars on the way to church, Antioch Community Church. After the service, I remember thinking, “Wow, I actually didn’t hate that.” Weeks went by and every Sunday I kept finding myself sitting down at church.

Five weeks into the semester, something clicked. The whole congregation of Antioch was singing praise songs, and I remember I raised my hands for the first time in my whole life. Tears came to my eyes as I realized how much deep sadness I had bundled up inside of me for so long. I felt this desire to be free, and the biggest wave of relief came over me.

And for the first time in a very long time, I felt calm.

I have found that my faith has been strengthened in ways that I had never imagined. I now attend church off campus on Sunday morning, Wednesday nights and I go to Vertical on Monday nights. I used to hate going to church; it felt like a chore. Something that I had to do, in order to please my family. I always hated the youth group, and I never really enjoyed Sunday school. But now, I love going to church, I feel like I can never get enough. Consequently, my whole worldview has changed. I worry less and smile more. Friends from back home have told me that I look healthier and happier. I never could have imagined how strong my faith had become because of going to a Christian university.

My newfound love for my religion has left me no longer needing to have a reason to rebel because going to church is something that I love to do, no longer something that I have to do.