I’d been thinking about this night on and off for the previous few days and all the day before i had a sense of both nervousness and excitement. When it came to the evening and a time when I’d normally be thinking about going to bed, I was instead wide awake and sensing the adrenalin in my body. I was praying with the club mission team at Loughborough, wearing the club mission polo shirt and about to make my second appearance in fresher’s week, 17 years after my first!
Advice for youth workers
Alcohol is often blamed for behaviour that deep down some people want to do anyway. Our behaviour more often than not swerves to what we really value rather than what we really believe. Valued based discipleship helps create the values that underpin beliefs so behaviour is consistent. School leavers need to have had opportunities to discuss openly and candidly their values around alcohol. Why do we value being sober rather than just have a rule about not getting drunk? How can students prepare themselves for the drinking culture and sports club initiations? What boundaries need to be self imposed?
Consider making an accountability pact for the first few weeks of university where you phone/facebook your school leavers a couple of times a week. Ask some predetermined and agreed questions regularly over the first term.
Advice for churches near universities
Lots of Christian students do things they regret during freshers week, some never attend church again, others live with tremendous guilt. Make a point of being available to talk and pray through with new students areas where they may have messed up. Consider also getting active and doing ‘water drops’ outside the SU and student bars.