Why should you Prep for Uni this Summer?

Are you starting Uni this September? If so, are you wondering where to start before beginning this journey? This summer Fusion are running Preparation for University sessions which are designed to equip you for Uni life and give you a taster for this next stage of life. Why should you do one? We interviewed Nathan, a student in Nottingham, who took part last year. 

How did you feel about starting life as a student before you did Prep for Uni? Had you put much thought into it?

I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement, which I think is quite common. I felt there were a lot of unknowns before starting, but I found that there is reassurance in knowing God has prepared the way and that everyone is in the same boat!

Why did you do Prep for Uni last summer, and how did you find it?

I found out about Prep for Uni through my church youth group leader, who highly recommended it and encouraged us to try it out. I chose to do it because I wanted to be intentional about serving God at Uni and to be well equipped to do so. I also wanted to find out more about the Uni experience in general, because I was not sure what to expect. I really enjoyed the sessions and definitely got a lot out of them!

How has it helped you in your first year of Uni?

There was so much wisdom shared by the session leaders that I have found invaluable this year! For example, we discussed Sabbath rest and avoiding burnout, which was so helpful and reminded me to make sure I took time to rest and recharge. The leaders had a lot of good advice about priorities, which I’ve found highly relevant as there are lots of demands on your time at Uni. I learnt more about what it means to have the Lord as your number one priority and making space in your busy schedule for quiet times with Him. The session on leaving a legacy during your time at Uni was also very thought-provoking! 

Was Student Linkup helpful when it came to finding and getting stuck in at a church? 

I found the Student Linkup app to be a great tool for getting involved with a local church at uni as it lists churches in the area and tells you a bit of info about each one. Before I arrived I was contacted by a student worker at the church I now go to through the app, so it is great for making connections!

What’s your experience of church and small group been so far as a fresher?

For most of the year services and small groups at my church have been online, which has been hard at times; building community has required more determination than it usually would have done. Nonetheless, I have definitely still been fed spiritually by online church and have grown close with my small group, and I am grateful to God for this. Now restrictions are easing, it has been great going to in-person church services and meeting people in my small group in-person for the first time! 

Have you got any stories of what God has been doing in you and your friends? What has it looked like for you to share your faith this year? 

I have learned the importance of sharing faith as a team. Near the start of the year, I was hanging out with some friends from the CU when a guy came over and introduced himself. We were chatting with him and he wanted to know how our group had gotten so close already. We explained we were Christians and started to have a conversation about faith. I met up with him a couple of times afterwards and he said he was amazed by how much we cared for each other, which I guess is John 13:35 in action. He has now finished a student Alpha course and I am hoping to invite him to church soon!

What’s the main thing you’ve learned about yourself this past year as a student and during lockdowns? 

In the midst of all the uncertainties of this year due to COVID, God has taught me about just how desperately reliant on Him I am and just how reliable He is. He really is my fortress. I have also learned more about the importance of committing to community and about how eager the Lord is to equip us and use us for good, even in seemingly barren times. Most significantly, I have learned to love spending quiet times with the Lord and have seen my relationship with Jesus deepen as I have come to him day after day.

What would you say to people who are thinking of doing Prep for Uni this year?

I would 100% say go for it! It is so great to meet other young Christians in the same boat as you and to encourage and learn from each other. You might even meet someone going to the same Uni as you, which happened with a couple of people in my group. Be ready to really engage during the sessions and you will get so much out of them. I advise you write notes because there are so many pearls of wisdom to take down that you will want to look back at!

 

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Ed Earnshaw

Student Mission Developer

Ed’s faith came alive at uni and he gets excited when he sees students step out and grow in their faith. He now works with churches to help them welcome and disciple students.

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