All my life I’ve never practiced any sort of religion that relates to a church or belief in a higher power. And even though I have members of my family who do fall into a religious affiliation, I myself have never chosen any of these paths. Its funny because it wasn’t until I came here to OU and was asked on my first night here what church I was planning on belonging to that I realized being apart of some sort of faith played a major role in the students here at the university. Back at home I had gone to church events and was exposed to the various forms of Christianity and even the daily routines of my grandmother who is Muslim, but I myself never thought of converting.
I’m an Athiest, and when I first arrived here I was afraid of expressing my personal beliefs. Self-conscious of what my peers would say, I would avoid the topic of church and religion whenever I could. A few students have even tried to convert me this past semester, and while I understood their purpose, I felt uncomfortable being preached to about their religion. In the end, I was able to find out who my real friends were and who were the ones that only saw me as a lost soul in need of a faith. While I have strong beliefs about the way I choose to live my life and don’t believe in a higher power, never have I tried to push my views on others. I’ve been open-minded about all religions, whether it’s here in Oklahoma or back home in California. To me, I never found a purpose in praying to a higher power or seeking help in order to repent my sins or give me strength. I guess I always just relied on myself to do that. For me, being a good person is crucial, but then again I don’t feel as though I need to confess or punish myself in order to feel better about a situation. I’ve always believed that my choices are what I create, and no one else. I don’t believe I’m predestined to end up somewhere nor that I am expected to lead a way of life that is pure or good in the eyes of someone or something above me. I’ve seen the hypocrisy that can come along with religion too, and once again this is a personal issue for me. I respect the ideas of others, but I find it hard to respect those who can’t seem to make up their minds in what they believe. My happiness has been created by me, and my hopes have been expressed by me, and yes, my sadness and mistakes have been at the fault of me. I don’t try to blame myself for everything, I just don’t want to blame anything else to a supernatural power for the choices I’ve made.
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