Faith can be an obstacle for students but it doesn’t have to be
Religion can be an obstacle to some post-secondary students, as religious obligations can conflict with studying and finding time to socialize with friends.
Jehan Kadry, a SAIT graduate, identifies as a Muslim, and she struggles with trying to balance it all.
She said when she was younger she was not allowed to be friends with boys, as her parents felt really strongly about it.
Kadry said she knew her parents were old-fashioned, were looking out for her education and wanted her to spend time focusing on her religion.
At first, avoiding boys didn’t bother Kadry as much, until she got older, as most of her friends were of the opposite sex.
She said both her parents were raised differently, with one side of her family being more strict than the other. Her family has been practicing Islam for generations.
Kadry said that some of her Muslim friends don’t have it as easy as her and some were disowned for wanting to live their life differently and are perceived as wanting to abandon the religion.
“People don’t care as much anymore,” she said. “They are only concerned with what society thinks.”
Richard McLaren, a current sous chef, at Craft Beer Market, said his parents have been strict Evangelists for their entire lives and had different rules than most people.
“Most kids would spend their Saturday mornings watching cartoons,” said McLaren.
“I wasn’t able to hang out with most of my friends.”
McLaren’s family were heavily involved with church services each Saturday, and enrolled him at a young age in piano lessons, so he would have no excuse not to perform in services.
Not only was Saturday consumed with religious obligations, but his faith required he avoid eating certain kinds of meat considered to be unclean.
This made growing up difficult, as he knew he always wanted to cook, and felt that people would look at him differently because of the restrictions of his faith.
McLaren’s experience with religion is not as positive as what others may have experienced. He still greatly believes it affect him growing up, but now he has graduated and found a well-suited career.
Pastor Brent Wilson, a Christian youth Pastor in Calgary, said he believes students need to make more of an effort by adding in a little faith.
He said it can become difficult, but distractions from faith are considered to be everywhere.
Wilson and his wife try to host a weekly Bible study from their home to show that Christianity isn’t boring.
They want to have an area where students can socialize without drinking and doing things they think they shouldn’t be, but still have fun.
After the study session, they usually provide a vegetarian-friendly dinner, followed by a movie or board games.