How Does Religion/Faith Affect Students’ Daily Lives?

Religions can have all kinds of unique symbols and traditions.

Wikipedia Commons

Religions can have all kinds of unique symbols and traditions.

By River Y., Christina C., and Jasmine L.

On a typical day, Vanmayi B., a seventh-grade student at Day Creek Intermediate, prays before going to bed. Vanmayi was raised Hindu, but gradually accepted beliefs from other religions.  

“I personally believe in all religions, but I respect and believe in Sikhism and Christianity. By believing in many faiths, I get to understand different religious aspects of life,” said Vanmayi B.

Although Vanmayi follows different faiths, she mainly practices Hinduism. 

“For Hinduism, when there is a festival, and we need to sing a prayer in front of the gods; we wear simple Indian clothes,” said Vanmayi.

Hindu clothing worn to religious events includes a kurta, a loose shirt that falls slightly above or below the knees. The traditions Vanmayi follows greatly affect her life.

A person’s religious practice is often considered to be one of life’s central tenets. It affects a student’s daily routines, clothing, and worldviews. Personal faith can also shape one’s overall character and personality. 

Vanmayi’s religion plays a significant role in her life. If religion is such a core belief, why do students so rarely bring up the subject? Why does religion seem like a forbidden topic?

“They don’t want to offend other people with their religions because they could have disagreements with their beliefs and it might break out into a fight or just not talking to each other,” said Victoria G., a student at Day Creek Intermediate.

Talking about religion could lead to conflict because of differences in beliefs, and many people work to avoid insulting others or potentially losing friends within such a challenging topic. This is a shame. If students felt comfortable discussing their beliefs, they could discover how fascinating it is to learn about each other’s faiths.

“My religion is Hindu because that’s where my family is from. I do certain prayers every day. Religion is important because it’s been around for a long while. My religion doesn’t allow us to divorce, and we can’t have boyfriends. Our parents choose our marriages. I think [Hinduism] is pretty good,” said Saanvi P., a student on campus.

Some religions require certain habits or practices, such as praying. One’s cultural background often affects the faith of a person, which shapes their beliefs as they grow throughout their teen years. It can encourage or prohibit different actions.

“My religion is Christianity. I feel that my religion helps [me] know the sacrifices God made to make the world a better place,” said Jade W. “My religion affects my daily life because you have to obey your parents, help others in need, and you must believe in God and what he says. If I didn’t know about God and I heard what he did, it would change my perspective because it [would] change the way I treat others.”

Religion can help people understand their world beliefs, provide an explanation for the mysteries of life, and give people a moral compass. It can also help people feel secure.

“I really like my [Catholic faith] because of the people inside the church, and you know what your beliefs are and where you belong,” said Victoria G. “The church makes me feel comfortable and gives me a place to pray and be accepted for my beliefs.”

Religion can increase one’s sense of self-purpose. It can provide a supportive community of people united by a common faith. 

“I believe that I am a better person through the faith I believe in,” Vanmayi said. “Because I’m religious, it helps me shape who I am. It is definitely a big part of my identity.”

This story was originally published on The Day Creek Howl on October 21, 2022.