Some wise (and amusing) words from our guest blogger Jo, the legendary student worker from St. Saviour's, Guildford!
So... Uni! “The best days of your life” – according to your parents, your friends, the government and various ancient people like Luther (who must have loved it because he kept going back for more)!
And I agree it was great, but I’m a fairly realistic person so I’m hoping that wasn’t “the best” and the rest is downhill.
There were days I struggled with Uni, and I wonder if some of you are the same. Life is a bed of roses but you are noticing the thorns, and you are fairly sure school didn’t prepare you for negotiating the washing up with a grumpy nocturnal flatmate and someone with the personal hygiene of a rubbish dump. It can be totally exhausting and you find yourself endlessly asking questions like...
- Is it normal for my housemates to do THAT??!
- How do you actually write an essay... Anyone?
- What does the Bible have to say about what I’m going through?
- Am I going crazy here? Does anyone care if I do?
Believe it or not most of us have asked these questions at some point in our time at university. I’ve asked all of these at least once – at times it felt like I asked them several times a day.
On the whole I loved Uni, but it was a totally new world to navigate and with no map!
Obviously there is lots of great material out there but picking the good from the bad is time consuming. Fortunately for us the team at Fusion have put together a bunch of brilliant resources which offer some Godly insights into student life; I’ve been using them a bit myself. The Student Alphabet is great for preparing to go off to Uni, or for those who are in their first few weeks and settling in. For coping with tricky situations check out ‘The Stuff of Life’ which is a great introduction to some of the big issues like staying healthy and dealing with stress(even my Mum likes it and she’s got 25 years of wisdom as a doctor and working in mental health).
There’s loads more out there, but that’s a good place to start.
Probably the best thing is to find a great church. I was blessed to end up at St Georges in Leeds, and then St Aldates in Oxford, where I found great friends and mentors, people who loved Jesus and wanted to live fully for Him. We also had lots of laughs and great friendship. Being a student is a great time to get stuck into the Bible, debate furiously until 3 in the morning, and pray in faith because you are living in a place of dependence and have no choice! Also, you have an extraordinary chance to share life with people and show them how God’s love is changing you, they can’t help but notice something different.