Adam has just finished his first year studying at the University of York.
The last year of my life has been one of the most painful, exhausting, challenging, encouraging and incredible one so far.
The stereotypical image of halls of non-stop partying and rioting is one that often perhaps worries some Christians, yet being open with flatmates about my faith has been so encouraging to me. My mates at school knew I loved Jesus and weren't necessarily 'anti' the idea of faith they just had zero interest in talking about it. Whereas in my experience at uni people have been a lot more open about where they’re at and are genuinely interested in exploring faith and having discussions about Christianity, which sometimes have gone on for hours.
Adjusting to uni can be difficult and for me this past year has been academically and physically challenging. But I can honestly say being part of a church has made such a difference.
Breaking my leg at the end of first term made uni considerably tougher but the fact that people offered to cook for me, to pray for me and to do my washing for me despite not really knowing me at all was so humbling and uplifting. What really struck me about all this is that the people in my church were reflecting the character of Jesus, literally outliving John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends”.
Being able to go to church on a Sunday and know that people genuinely care about how you are getting on with uni life, how you’re finding your course, how your physiotherapy is going are such small things but make such an impact upon you in making you feel welcomed and appreciated.
If you’re reading this and starting uni in September I would urge you to find a church that’s right for you as early as you can and be challenged and encourage to grow in your faith and not stall.