Returning to uni with eyes wide open
Make the most of the next year. A recent CU graduate has given us her top three tips for students returning to uni after the summer. Take a look:
1. Look after freshers
Starting uni is a massive step for anyone. You remember what it’s like – a mixture of nerves and excitement as you step into the unknown. As someone who has taken this step recently, you are best-placed to welcome, love and support these freshers through the first few weeks of their time at uni.
Find out what your CU has planned and get involved – whether that’s a welcome marquee, hosting a meal, running a stall at freshers’ fair or helping students move into halls – take time to be helpful and share Jesus’ love in practical ways.
Remember Christian freshers will often try a few different churches in the first weeks of term so make an effort to speak to any new students at your church, particularly during these first few weeks. Why not welcome them to join you for lunch or a drink after the service? You can encourage them to join the CU at the same time!
2. Look out for your housemates
Moving into a shared house can be a great and valuable experience, with increased independence and responsibility. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to share life with your housemates. They are the ones who will see your life close up and are therefore the most likely to notice how your faith influences your everyday decisions.
Make time to hang out with them and have fun – maybe you could have a meal together once a week or organise a film or games night. Seek to love and serve your housemates by doing your share of chores on time and offering to go the extra mile.
Do also be prepared for tensions – different ways of doing things and different standards of cleanliness can often lead to disagreements. Be prepared for this and ask God to help you to love and forgive freely, even when they are getting on your nerves.
3. Look into joining a new society
Jesus came that you might have life to the full and God has given you individual passions, talents, abilities and interests. The wide range of societies available at uni is probably the largest you’ll ever encounter in your life, so make the most of it! It’s never too late to join a new club or society, and many unis will run a refreshers fair especially for second, third and fourth years. Whether its sport, music, dance, drama, food, games or films – whatever your passion, join a society that you love.
Whether you're in church, with CU, or somewhere totally different, remember you are still worshipping God and bringing Him glory through using the gifts and enthusiasms that He’s given you. And through joining a new society you may well make new friends who might never otherwise have met a Christian, giving them an opportunity to hear the gospel through you.