As she opened the kitchen door, a little wave of water flowed out and onto the hallway carpet.
Stepping over the gathering puddle at her feet, Jean caught a glimpse of a large shopping trolley in the downstairs toilet and shook her head.
“Looks like you had fun last night!” were her first words, calling out to me in her cheerful northern accent, as she popped her head around the door with a flash of blonde hair and a mischievous twinkle in her eye.
I looked up from my cereal bowl and grinned, the crunch crunch of my honey-nut cornflakes echoing around the kitchen, the floor of which was under two inches of water. I was sat cross-legged on a chair, my own little breakfast island in a sea of the night before and the water-fight house-party that had ensued.
Jean was our halls of residence cleaner and an absolute legend. Which was a gift because most people wouldn’t be so casual about a submerged kitchen also covered in gravy and yoghurt from a creative food fight. But Jean was just chuckling. She didn’t even bat an eyelid at the huge traffic cone by the sink.
Students are currently moving out of their Fresher accommodation. The first unique year of uni has ended, it’s a significant moment... what stories from this year still make you laugh? Jean the cleaner moments will forever be a fond memory for me.
As Christians, I’m not sure how often we talk about all the hilarious and just plain fun moments that uni brings us. I’m more likely to end up on topics of living-out faith at uni in key lifestyle choices and in learning to love my mates and campus and hopefully reflect God in this. But it’s worth saying, despite uni being a time of maturing and learning and all that, my friends and I have had priceless moments of throwing caution to the wind and acting like kids. That’s actually part of following Jesus too.
I’m not thinking of alcohol-induced, stupid, illegal, dangerous or disrespectful moments... students get enough bad press for that kind of thing. And to be honest, those stories generally aren’t funny or clever or impressive.
I’m thinking of the time we put my friend Emma fully clothed in the bath. Actually, the three times we managed this. Or when we tried to climb the walls and reach the ceiling. Or the cheesecake parties, the “turn Miriam’s entire room upside down” gag, or when we set up my friend’s bedroom outside on the grass.
Perhaps this blog is pointless, but I want to give some air-time to the fun of first year when we’ve got the freedom and friendship to create memories that make us all giggle. Since Jesus says to his followers, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” I reckon we should notice there’s probably something quite powerful about throwing caution to the wind and having a bit of an adventure like a kid. Perhaps the laughter and playful stuff is meant to be just as much a part of living life with Jesus as the big God-chats or our moments of stillness and quiet reflection?
So, what moment from your first year do you think back on and still find funny? Where are the child-like highlights in your student experience? Share them below and let’s enjoy this side to student life.
Photo Credit: Laurenellen McCann