Preparing to start university is such an exciting, nerve-wracking time. You may be leaving your family home for the first time, moving to a different place, and saying goodbye to all of your school friends. This may seem daunting, but there are lots of things you can do over the summer so that you feel a bit more prepared to start the university adventure. I’ve been a student worker for a few years now and from speaking to lots of freshers these are my top five tips for starting university
1. Buy a doorstop
Put a piece of cardboard under your door, or buy a doorstop to keep your door open. When you move into halls it can be intimidating to get to know people, having your door open communicates that you’re ready and up for having a chat. It’ll break the ice and make making friends a little easier.
2. Chat to someone at your church who's been to uni
Find someone whose been to uni before in your church, or even better, who studied a similar course to the one you’re about to start and go for coffee with them. Ask them how they found it, what they would do differently and make sure you get their best stories! Inviting your church family into this huge life transition will be super helpful.
3. Buy a big box of teabags or the biggest cafetiere you can find
You get to be a culture shaper when you’re at university, being generous in giving away their coffee, tea, milk, and time will make you stand out. On your first day why not offer to make everyone a drink, you’ll end up having some good chats.
4. Tell people you’re a Christian
You’ll be surprised at how open your coursemates are, and how not weird they find it that you’re a Christian. The longer you leave God out of the conversation, the harder it will be to tell people you’re a Christian. There are lots of non-awkward ways of doing this, like telling someone you’re looking for a church near your uni, you might even find they want to come with you. The biggest adventure for me at university was becoming a Christian and then seeing my friends become Christians, all because I got invited to church by another student!
5. Find a Church
Try a few different churches in the first month of uni and then commit to going to one. No church will be perfect, and when looking at a church, you don’t want to think “what can this church give me” but “can I see myself serving here”. If you want to see the churches near your university that already have students, Fusion has a fantastic app called Student Linkup, where you can see churches and even chat with student workers before you arrive in the city. You can download the Student Linkup app here.
God is on the move on university campuses across the UK and I have so much faith for what God might do with your time at university. You’re not just going to get a degree, you’re going as a missionary to your campus. He wants you to be his hands and his feet, there are so many God adventures to be had on university campuses. If you feel like you need a bit more preparation, have a look at the Student Linkup Box, which is full of helpful resources to get you ready for university; including a devotional for your first month there.