Dear Andrew

If you could write a letter to yourself as you started uni, what would you say?

Dear Andrew,

Well here you are – you’ve arrived at university. I know you’re not entirely sure how you got here, or what you’re hoping to get out of it, but you’re here.

You’ll have a lot of mixed emotions in the first month or two, mainly nerves, excitement and a good dose of bewilderment, but you’ll enjoy figuring it all out. The start of the year is largely a big game; a game of people working out what groups they belong to, what roles they take, how they want to come across, what they stand for and who on earth they really are.

Don’t play this game.

Relax and be really kind.

You don’t need to fight to impress and you have plenty of time.

Bubbling away within you is a fragile faith that has been knocked about and hurt quite a bit. Try not to get frustrated with others who you think are narrow minded, or harsh in their views – arguments never really build friendship and I’m not entirely convinced they’re a good use of anyone’s time.

But being kind? There’s something that makes a difference. You will be surrounded by people who are sad, unsure, worried, nervous, stressed, fearful, proud, angry and many other things, but kindness always helps and builds, it doesn’t tear down or destroy.

Please believe me when I say that God is incredibly fond of you and wants to work with you to create a really passionate young man of faith. There is no ceiling on what God wants to do within your heart and I would recommend embracing it, because in doing so you will realise who you are, what you love doing and what you really care about.

The passion that God wants to work with you in forming within you will really affect your future. It’ll shape the decisions you make around career, location, relationships, priorities and lots of other things too.

Spend lots and lots of time in your room with God.

Ask Him lots of questions.

Write what you hear.

Last thing from me; don’t be too serious or intense.

50% of people will find you funny – tell jokes as if it is 100%. Be liberal with silliness.

You don’t need to be intense to be passionate and you don’t need to be serious to be a good leader.

Stay fresh and enjoy yourself. Much love,


P.S. Call Mum and Dad more – they’re really great and there is a wonderful friendship between you and them lying just around the corner.

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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