How to Start Well at UniversityHolly Anderson - 22 Sep 2019

Starting university is perhaps the biggest challenge you have ever faced. Approaching a new level of study, in a new town, with unfamiliar people.

It’s hard to know where to start.

So here are a few tips, from experience, for starting your student days well.

ON YOUR FIRST DAY
Step outside your comfort zone

Your half-unpacked boxes can wait. Get to know your flatmates, then go and knock on all the other flats in your building. Introverts, this might sound like a challenge, but it’s not as scary as you might think - everyone is feeling the same way!

After some cajoling, I convinced my flatmates to do this – we ended up having some great parties across the year, and I even made friends for life.

Also - the simple and fearless act of letting people know you are a Christian this early on can be a witness in itself, and lay the foundation for interesting conversations about faith later down the line. Be brave and be bold!

IN YOUR FIRST WEEK
Find your new comfort zone

During Freshers week every society on campus will want to have you join their club. Take this opportunity to discover what might become your new favourite hobby!

Explore your new neighbourhood - take some buddies along and find the nearest supermarket, bus schedule and the launderette (if you need one!)

While you’re exploring - take time to Prayer Walk your town. Ask God to bless where you live and help you to love it well for as long as you live there.

IN YOUR FIRST MONTH
Find your family

Feelings of loneliness creep up more often than we’d like to admit. Choosing a church to join can feel like a challenge in itself, but if you feel welcome when you walk in, then let it become a home!

No church will be perfect, but if you pick somewhere centred on Christ, scripture, and prayer, then you will be part of a community that will love and support you throughout your university life.

There will likely be an interdenominational group of believers on your campus, too! I found being part of the Christian Union was the biggest joy of my university experience.

The friendships I made there were authentic and deep, and that community felt like a God-given safety net in my darkest moments. You could even see who is in your area before you arrive, with Student Linkup from Fusion.

The first few weeks of uni can feel like a rollercoaster - so remember to keep praying. You might like to ask someone from your home church or community to pray for you.

And whether you’re excited, worried or a mixture of both, remember that God is on the journey with you!

Check out our 24-7 Prayer Students section for articles and inspiration for pressing into prayer at uni.

 

Holly Anderson

Holly is a 22-year-old History graduate from Essex. She grew up in the 24-7 Prayer movement and still part of the Stanford Boiler Room Community, now called Proximity Church. Can most often be found wearing orange, surrounded by children, and singing loudly.

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