Water is not the only thing that dries up in the summer.
Some CSU students notice a similar problem in their spiritual
lives and find it difficult to maintain the spirituality they had
during the school year.
“I’ve found it’s definitely different. For me, last summer was
harder because Hillel is such a big part of my life,” said Kayla
Brummett, a sophomore English major and president of CSU’s chapter
of the Jewish student organization Hillel.
With a new routine and new environment, students who have been
involved in a faith community during the school year may not be as
focused on religion during the summer, said Cindy Swindell, a
psychologist with the University Counseling Center.
However, it does not have to be a negative experience, Swindell
“When we have a change, it’s a fork in the road,” she said. “It
can present a dilemma, but also new experience.”
Preparing in advance for future challenges can make a big
difference for students trying to stay faithful over the summer,
said Brian Robbins, director of College and Career Ministries at
First Baptist Church, 900 E. Prospect Road.
“The ones that do well are the ones that think about it
beforehand,” Robbins said.
Laurie Walker, campus team leader with Intervarsity, a Christian
organization on campus, said it is important for students to know
what struggles they might face.
People also need to stay in touch with friends from college or
reach out to establish new community connections, Swindell
Benjamin Carroll, a sophomore political science major and vice
president of Hillel, will be staying in Fort Collins this summer
and participating at Congregation Hav Shalom.
“One of the things that we have in Fort Collins is an active
Jewish community with a synagogue,” Carroll said. “It’s good to
know that no matter what’s going on, there’s a place we can go that
we can stay spiritually connected to our Judaism without
Robbins encouraged students to get involved in a community of
people who share the same faith.
“Biblical teaching makes it clear that we need each other,”
Some practical ways to get involved in your community and
maintain a strong spiritual life also include participating in
service projects or donating to charities, Walker said.
“Maintain a connection with nature,” said Swindell. “If that’s
part of your spirituality, be outside, enjoy nature. Nurture your
connection with a creator … With a little effort we can take the
activities we enjoy and let them be spiritual.”
Swindell also recommends that students take some time for
“Embrace that,” she said. “Maybe it’s a season to explore more
individual practices: prayer, meditation or reading.”
Walker also recommended practicing spiritual disciplines such as
reading, studying, praying, worshiping, or even simply spending
time in silence and solitude.
Being faithful in her religious practices is what helps Fatimah
Mohamed, a freshman business major and treasurer of the Muslim
Student Association. She notices very little difference in her
spiritual life when she’s not around friends.
“If you practice it long enough, you don’t feel a change or
anything,” Mohamed said.
Some students have even found that summers can be an opportunity
to develop their spiritual lives.
“I believe that the summer is actually a great time for
spiritual growth because there are no classes, no studying for
tests and the number of responsibilities decrease,” said Hany
Khattab, a sophomore biology major. “As a Muslim, I believe I have
a direct connection to God and so I believe the summer is a great
time to take a step back and see, be thankful and analyze what he
did for me so far in my life, specifically in the last year.”
Walker agreed that summer provides an opportunity for positive
“We’re just encouraging people not to take a spiritual break for
the summer, but to take their values into the community, their
families and to their friends. Be a leader wherever you are,”
Walker said. “Plan to thrive, not just survive.”