Dear Pip

If you could write a letter to yourself as you started uni, what would you say?

Dear Pip,

You've made it to Uni so that's a great start! Allow yourself to SETTLE now. Take a deep breath, God is WITH YOU. He's not brought you this far to leave you. Home's not going anywhere and now is the time to embrace something new and exciting laid out before you.

Relax!

If the people you meet first don't become your best friends, don't worry. I know everything feels a bit pressured right now. Believe me, everyone feels it.

Everyone else is as terrified as you - there will never be a time that everyone is new at the same time ever again in your life, so the feeling of vulnerability is really normal. Allow it to spur you on, not frighten you.

I know you've been told that Uni is going to be the best years of your life, that they are the most significant years and you have to grab it by the horns. It's true, it is significant but don't let that stress you out, the rest of your twenties will be cracking too!

If there are any pieces of advice I would give you it would be these: firstly, don't compromise who you KNOW God has made you to be. He has set you apart! This is NOT something to be ashamed of. Uni is a time when people get to decide who they want to be and you do too. Going with the current of how other students live their lives is easier, sure, but it won’t ever be as rewarding as embracing who Jesus says you are. Have fun, meet loads of different kinds of people and work out who it is that helps you become more FULLY yourself. Make good decisions that demonstrate your integrity, you are a person that values this in others, let it shine out from you too.

Secondly, please don’t wait for the ‘right’ moment to go to Church and to tell people you’re a Christian. Start this time as you mean to go on! There are so many awesome students in this city who are passionate about their faith, so you are not alone.

Finally, you will be tight on money, no doubt, but you are rich in time! Enjoy the mid-afternoon coffees while they last, go hunting round the vintage shops in between lectures, get stuck into your City, spend your mornings doing Bible studies (and of course normal studying too!) Time is the biggest gift when you’re a student.

The one thing I do know is that this time at University will open your mind to realising so much about yourself. You’ll start to realise that your brain works faster than you thought it did, you work harder than you used to do and you love God more than you realised.

Have the best time! Don’t be scared to be the light in the darkness – go clubbing, dance loads, watch what you drink, get involved in extracurricular activities, care for people well, pray every day, watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S all the time and laugh a lot.

Love, Pip.

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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