University is your chance to embrace some great opportunities, lay some strong foundations and discover what it is like to have God walk with you through it all. On average, you have 3 or 4 years to get a degree, pursue some extra-curricular activities, embrace adulthood and independence and hopefully make an impact on your fellow students!
There are 3 foundational areas of student life for Christian students: Societies/Clubs, Study and Church Family.
SOCIETIES AND CLUBS
Societies and clubs are a great place to meet new people who share your passions, to keep fit and to connect with people outside your course, flat and Christian bubble. It is also really fun to try new things and build great friendships with non-Christians! So what could you do?
Sports clubs: from frisbee to quidditch to football and cheerleading, there are so many sports to try out and get stuck in with!
Subject related groups: there are lots of academia style societies like Poetry, Maths, Entrepreneurs, Art etc!
Interest groups: these can include anything from Knitting, Juggling and Debate to Improv, Radio or Taylor Swift (Uni of York)!
Weird and Wonderful groups: Bacon Appreciation (Strathclyde Uni), Custard Wrestling (Cardiff Uni) and Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Appreciation (St Andrews Uni) are all weird and wonderful societies that actually exist!
Clubs and groups are also a chance to step out of the Christian bubble and into leadership as they are all student led and run, giving you a chance to develop your giftings and grow in leadership, as well as be salt and light in a new and exciting way.
The Bible starts with God working. When God created Adam and Eve, He first gave them identity as image bearers of God and then gave them work to do in ruling over the Earth. That order matters - there is nothing we can do to increase our worth in God’s eyes. Work doesn’t give us our identity, God does. We work because we are full of worth and work is a form of worship. So here are some top tips for working and studying at university!
Be diligent - we are called to glorify God in our work, so don’t just scrape by with the minimum you can do to pass, but work hard and make the most of your opportunity to study.
Know your environment - find out where and when you work well. Find places that help you to study and stay focussed and calm, this is really helpful when it comes to self-directed study.
Pace yourself - don’t leave work until the very last minute and pull all-nighters. Many students study 9-5 with regular breaks which helps to avoid exhaustion and stress!
Find your rhythm - strike a good work-life balance. Make sure you balance work with the other opportunities that uni offers and make time for things that replenish you and you enjoy!
For Christians, being a fully integrated member of a church family is a lifelong commitment. Your years at university are not a season for a time out, but a chance to push into church and move away from being a youth to an adult in the church. Bill Hybels said ‘the local church is the hope of the world’ and so that also means that ‘the local church is the hope of the student world.’ But why is such hope found in local church for students?
Discipleship: Your local church teaching and discipleship should challenge you as well as validate, affirm and strengthen your identity in Christ. Student small groups are available for students to lead and be a part of; they provide great opportunities to learn more about the Bible, draw close to God, to serve our communities and invite friends.
Serving and leadership: Students have opportunities to serve and lead under seasoned leaders in the local church and to be mentored by people who are leading in the different sectors of society. Look out for opportunities to serve, be mentored and get involved in leading in areas of church life you're passionate about.
Mission: Mission flows out of encountering the abundant and transformational love of God. It is this very same love that compels Christian students to prioritise time and energy with those who haven't yet encountered or embraced God's love. Through the depth of relationships formed during the week it makes it easier for a friend to journey with you to Alpha, a small group or a Church event or gathering.
Choices and commitments: Part of growing up is making choices and living with the consequences. Christian students need to make a choice about how they are going to live at university and who they are going to live for. You need to make choices that prioritise what you really value and to ensure you give your best to doing those things well. When you value local church and prioritise it, you will find spiritual family , support and encouragement for living missionally.
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