Student Worker Stories : Rob Fraser-Binns
In a round about way this is one of the main questions I ask all new freshers when they start their time at university. Many of the standard answers that I receive in response include:
“To get my degree”
“To be a nurse”
“To be a teacher”
Most answers are all about the future, thinking about what is coming after their time at university. What many of these students forget to think about is why God has brought them here, now - why has he brought them to this specific place?
This year as a student ministry we wanted to tackle this mis-belief that university is only about the future. This was so that our students would realise that during their time here, God has a plan for them which starts with them being open to it.
We read in Matthew 6 that we are not to “worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” This was our key verse when it came to bringing our students together for an evening of food, worship and discussion at our monthly student collective.
We explored the idea of believing that God has a plan for our lives, so why would we think that he wasn’t also interested in our time at university, a place that he had planned that we would be coming to. Some of our students hadn't even picked Stirling as their first option and this is something that they were still wrestling with. The evening also gave them an opportunity to focus on God and ask him ‘Why am I here?’ This created a culture of total openness and honesty, through which we have seen God start to change attitudes amongst the group about their time at University. We want to see students thrive in the now, rather that just seeing university as an in-between time before the bit of life that matters.
It was interesting to see how one simple question, that we all must ask when we meet new students for the first time, turned into an opportunity to really challenge and stretch both my and our students’ thinking. Sometimes seeing things from a different perspective allows you to take stock of the thoughts and attitudes you have adopted and give space for God to stretch, challenge and re-focus us on him and his plans.
So why not ask some of your students the same question and find out why they think they are here?
If you know young people who are going to university this coming Autumn now is a great time to start having these conversations with them. Check out the Student Linkup Box as a resource that will help you go through some of these essential preparation for university questions.