Author: Timothy Chukwu.
The university we know is made up of individuals from different backgrounds and spiritual background is not an exception. It is obvious that many people are very serious about their spiritual lives and will be very happy to keep it moving while studying. Studies have also shown that approximately 90% of the world population is religious and this shows how significant it is for most students to keep their spiritual lives intact and healthier.
What exactly is spirituality? Most times, spirituality is always likened to religion or religious belief. Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, spirituality, by tradition means the reformation process aiming to recover the unique form of man which is oriented at the image of God as shown by the sacred texts of the religions of the world founders. This originated from the early Christians from the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Holy Trinity. The broadening of this aspect in medieval times made room for the inclusion of mental life into spirituality. However, the esoteric and religious traditions of spirituality are both used simultaneously in this modern age. Notwithstanding, the religious perspective of spirituality still has the majority of impact on humanity.
As a student with many classes to attend and many assignments to turn in, it becomes more tedious for some individuals to continue the very religious activities they used to practice. Some students also get low in spirit because they do not have parents or guardian to motivate or invigorate them to partake in religious activities. There are some instances that work or other activities especially pleasurable ones deprive the student of spiritual zeal. At times peer pressure does have some impacts on people’s spiritual life as many would like to do what their peers do, after all, there is no one to monitor them in the university. Another factor for diminishing spiritual life is the unavailability of spiritual programmes, places and teachers or leaders.
There are many benefits to both forms of spirituality. Firstly, it helps in achieving goodness as some of the spiritual activities makes people have good morals. Most spiritual practices have laws and rules. For instance, Christianity has the golden rule, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”, love your neighbour as yourself, greatest commandments (love of God and love of humans), ten commandments etc. Other religions also do have rules that tend to direct people to love and goodness too. In the same vein, spirituality can be an ethic of caring which directs the student’s commitments for helping others. It can also be a means of equanimity which measures the magnitude a student is able to find meaning during hard times, sees each day as a gift and feels at peace. It can also enhance the eagerness of a student involving in charitable endeavours like community service and helping others unconditionally. It can also aid in combating social vices and improve moralities, and good health.
Knowing fully well the relevance of spirituality in the life of students, the school do have some spiritual societies and programmes that help in improving the spiritual life of the students and the community at large. Some of these are the Christian Union, the Jewish society, the Muslim society, Yoga and the Catholic society. These societies meet in the university premises especially at the Quiet Centre at the Stag Hill campus.
There are other places outside the campus for spiritual uplift. The famous Guildford Cathedral is a stone throw from the Stag Hill campus. There is also Baptist church close to the school, St Joseph Catholic church in Guildford town centre, Shah Janhan mosque in Woking etc.
In conclusion, from the relevance of spiritual growth, students are encouraged to identify with the societies and religious groups in the university. This will not only that boosts their spiritual lives but will go a long way to impact positively in their studies, the community and personal lives as surrey students. Be involved! Be spiritual Surrey!