We asked some experienced students for their top advice for freshers starting university this year. This is what they said:
"The main thing that jumps out is to be yourself. Don't get pressured into going out or doing stuff just ‘cause it's what everyone does. A lot of people will like you a lot more if you don't try to follow the crowd. Don’t shy away from telling people you're a Christian or go to church, and do what you enjoy… I didn't go out at all in first year, I tended to stay in and chill on my guitar. But my flatmates knew that was me. They didn't seem too bothered, I still got on great with them and that’s how I made some of my best friends today."
Nathan, Liverpool John Moores University
"Don't feel pressured to be best mates with the people you first meet. There are so many people who are in the same situation as you, and who will have the same hobbies and interests as you. Be yourself and do the societies you're interested in and the friendships will naturally rise out of there."
Josh, University of York
"Quickly after moving to uni I realised that it was completely down to me to determine what kind of person I was to others. Nobody knows who you are, or what you were like before you met them. This seemed quite daunting at first, but also allowed me to really get to the core of who I am and what I stand for. Have a chat with God (and others that really know you) about what amazing qualities he has given to you and who he says you are. By turning up to uni knowing whole heartedly that I was a daughter of the King, it made it so much easier not to get swept into searching for approval in unhealthy ways from others around me."
Tilly, Loughborough University
"Know that you will make mistakes. You become a fully-fledged adult when you go to uni which can be scary, yet exciting. Don’t expect to get everything right from the start, but learn from your mistakes and enjoy the journey. I love being able to look back to where I was from where I am now! Remember to pray and trust God with it all. Philippians 4:6-7 was a great comfort to me during my first year."
Angela, newcastle university
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus'
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
You are not alone
No matter how it goes – remember – you’re not alone! There have been many others who have been in your shoes who have gone through the same pressures, experiences and challenges. So don’t be afraid to ask for some advice or support along the way. We’re rooting and praying for you all!