"I'm (fill in the blank religion) but I'm not religious."*
Simply put, it is NOT easy being religious in college (or as the rest of the world calls it, university). I guess it is also best to define what exactly I mean when I say "religious". I think in order for someone to be considered a religious person they must (1) read periodically from their holy book or scriptures (2) attend religious services regularly (3) follow the basic rules of their religion* and (4) actively try to seek out to deepen their relationship with Truth (whatever they consider that to be). College is a hard place to do this (especially if you go to a more liberal college). For example, UT Austin is considered a party school. You can infer from this that most students at the University of Texas are partiers. Myself, on the other hand, do not go to parties. Not because I don't think parties are "right", but because I do not drink or smoke. For those who don't drink or smoke, college parties aren't really unenjoyable. This also creates a disconnect between you and the majority of students on campus because you find that the things you share in common are few. How do you interact with people who drink, smoke, have sex, and are money driven when you are the opposite? I have found that interacting with my peers has become even harder for me after I started wearing a dastar (turban) 2-3 months ago. I can only imagine what will happen when I become an Amritdhari* this year. Honestly, I just wish I could find a Sikh (or any religious person) on campus who could relate to how I'm feeling and who could support me as I develop spiritually. Vice versa as well. My goal in life is not to follow my own pursuits and desires, but to connect with the One. Because once you die, all this maya* will be gone. Idk, to describe my feelings are as hard as nails. I do thank God for the local Sangat* I have though (even though some are well beyond there college years). Because by hanging with them and interacting with them, I grow spiritually. But maybe one day, I will have Sangat (Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.) on in addition to off campus.
Please excuse me for any mistakes I have made in regard to grammar. Thanks!-Gurpreet
*I have had the above quote said to me multiple times while having attended UT Austin
*What are the consider the basic rules of any religion are up to interpretation
* A religious congregation; I personally believe that a congregation doesn't have to made up of people from the same religious background. Just look at the early history of Sikhi lol
Update (7/21/2018): I don't even have nothing to say about this post. I still honestly feel the exact same way on this subject.