Esteem

Esteem

Esteem Program Helps Students Stay Religious During College

For many college students, it can be very difficult to maintain their faith. However, Marysa Leya, a recent Yale University graduate, challenged this typical view that college students will stray from their religious practices until they finish college and hopefully return to their religion. When Marysa graduated from high school, her biology teacher gave her a hand-painted crucifix for her dorm room. On the back, he wrote her a message that said: “Be sure to stay as grounded and awesome as you are now.” Her grandmother also encouraged to not “lose [her] faith out there on that liberal East Coast.”

During her four years of college, Marysa attended every single Sunday Mass and also discussed scripture on a weekly basis. She was also very active in secular activities on campus, such as drawing cartoons for the school’s newspaper, captaining the tennis team, and earning a 3.78 GPA.

“I can’t imagine shirking my faith,” Marysa said. “But how do you keep it important around all the chaos of med school? How do I become a meaningful member of a new parish? How do I allow the kind of experiences I’ve had here to continue?”

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