Arriving at Uni
University was the one event in my life that was always in the distance. No matter how much time passed, it still seemed as if the day would never come. Then, all of a sudden, we were at the one-month countdown, and the Lord was opening the door that I had longed to go through.
Freshers’ week can be a real struggle. It might be the first time you have had to stand up for your faith and answer all those questions such as ‘Why do you not drink?’ and ‘Why are you a Christian?’ Going along to the uni-orientated seminars that my youth group, summer camp and the Aberystwyth Conference put on really helped me have the right outlook and gave me tools to approach my move to uni with confidence. It also helped me to feel more in control during freshers’ week. Having talked over the kinds of challenges I would face, I was more ready to react to them in a God-honouring way.
I found the first few weeks at uni fine. There were no tears (from my end, at least) when my parents left. I managed to settle in well, my flatmates were OK (not amazing, but not awful) and my coursemates were, and still are, lovely. However, this did not mean that I needed the Lord any less. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘I’ve got this’. Remember, it’s God who has you!
Christian Unions contain people from all different church backgrounds – so they won’t all be like you – and their styles of worship can be very different from what you’re used to. This made it hard for me to settle. So, to begin with, I had to make a choice to persist in going along. The Lord helped me in too many ways to list, and with the support of one friend at CU I persevered. We’ve built some lovely friendships with other freshers and the wonderful UCCF Staff Worker and Relay Worker for Bath Spa. I am now going to be the secretary for our CU, starting after Easter. This is such a wonderful chance to respond to God’s faithfulness to me by serving Him on the committee and working alongside the other committee members to spread the good news of our living Saviour across our campus.
I had already worked out which church I would go to, which was the best thing I could have done. I felt so welcome and included at Widcombe Baptist, and the congregation and older students did an amazing job of being supportive and inclusive. We have a student lunch every Sunday followed by a Bible study, and then quite a few of us will stay on at church for the rest of the day and just have fun. Through the week we have the chance to join Bible studies and home groups. Being in such a strong church has allowed me to continue with more vigour in my walk with the Lord, because of the example of godly young men and women and the great teaching we receive each week.
Without finding such a wonderful church and continuing to go to CU, my university transition and experience would have been a very different story. Persevering with my attendance at both enabled me to settle in a lot faster at uni and has made my time here so much more precious.
Naomi Black is a current student at Bath Spa University.
Are you starting university this autumn? Check out our starting uni resources, or head over to bethinking.org, our apologetics website, to get you thinking about the questions that matter and get prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have.