"Have you got Cliff's left elbow over there?" - Student Linkup: Culture

"Have you got Cliff's left elbow over there?"

I would like to think this is the kind of question repeated at  university fresher's weeks all over the country, but the pessimist in me suggests that is not the case. 

I was a first-year Politics student at the University of East Anglia, and was badly out of fuel by the Thursday of my first week. 

Having arrived on the Sunday, a series of parties, inductions, lectures, and endless socialisation had worn me down. I'm a big extrovert, but even I have to admit that the first few days had been a bit much. 

I was tucked away in my room, watching Netflix, having just eaten a bowl of overcooked, soggy pasta, and waiting for the question I thought was coming from one of my flatmates. 


Truthfully, I didn't know what I was gonna say. I was absolutely knackered, physically, emotionally, and just about any other way you could imagine. 

I knew that I didn't want to be "that guy", who tapped out on the fun because he was too tired. I reckoned the first impressions in that first week would be so important, and consequently, starting mentally preparing myself to force myself through another night of partying. 

Indeed, the knock on my door did come. My flatmate Liza came into my room, sat down in the chair at my desk, and said: 

"I am so tired. Like, so tired. Do you fancy sitting down tonight to do the Cliff Richard jigsaw instead of going out?"

Earlier that day we had ventured into the city and purchased a 1500 piece Cliff Richard jigsaw from a charity shop, as you do. 

Rather than spend another night living hard and fast, Flat 04 in Block E decided to get to work on a jigsaw of Cliff Richard's face. Beer was swapped out for tea, and away we went.

You might be of the opinion that drinking and partying is a massive part of university culture. In fact, 79% of current students agree with you

However, the same survey from the National Union of Students revealed that 78% of students did not think they needed to get drunk to have a good night. 

If you're tentative about how you will fit into university culture as a student who loves Jesus, be confident in the fact that just about as many students who think that drinking is a big part of university culture also know they don't need to get drunk to have a good time. 

University culture is a wonderfully rich, diverse thing. It is not defined exclusively by drinking, and has space for you to discover more of who God has made you to be. 

Sign up to Fusion's Prep for Uni workshops here to learn more about how you can best prepare yourself ahead of your move to university in September. 


Sam Brown

Student Mission Developer

Sam had his life transformed by stepping into a leadership role at his church in his final year of university. He is committed to helping churches raise up other student leaders to share the transformational power of Jesus Christ.

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