Thursday, 5 October 2017

5 Things I Would Tell My Fresher Self

University is a huge milestone in many of our lives. It is a period of massive change: a change of location, lifestyle, friends, and so much more! It is so important during these changes to root ourselves in Truth and in peace. So, with many of you starting uni, going back to uni, or entering the world of post-uni this month, we reached out to a few of our Youth 2000 writers and asked them, 'If you had the chance, what would you tell your fresher self?'

Here is what they had to say!

1) Don't be scared!

By Anna Jordan

I was so scared before starting uni. I had no idea what to expect and was so scared that I wouldn't make friends, I would be lonely, I would hate the whole experience... and the list could go on. In short, I was pretty terrified!

But in the midst of all my worries, I forgot that I wasn't alone! I forgot that God was beside me, cheering me on and helping me make all the decisions. 

So to all freshers, and to anyone worried about uni - Don't be scared, because our number one helper, our Heavenly Father has our back, He looks after us, protects us and guides us on the right path. All it takes is to trust that God will guide you where He wants and that He makes everything happen for a good reason. When we remember that God is in control, we have no reason to worry!! 

"Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you...plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jer 29:11)

2) It's okay to not be okay!

By Eleanor Hill

I'd tell my first year self that it's okay to not feel like you're having 'the best three years of your life', that there is no pressure to feel like uni is all it's cracked up to be, and it's okay to not have incredible stories of initiations from freshers. In reality you may be realising uni can be pretty average, you're still feeling a bit unsettled and you might be wondering if everyone was lying about how great first year really is. 

To any first years, the pressure is off to feel like you're meant to be having the best time all the time because here is the truth: everyone feels lonely, everyone gets anxious and everyone is struggling just the same, so don't worry about feeling like you're not living up to the 'best three years persona', everyone is in the same boat and you're doing a great job!

Just enjoy uni for what it is, and stay true to yourself. Your experience will be your own, not just some general expectation placed on us all, so own it!

3) Seek and never stop seeking!

By Megan James

Uni for me was a time of tremendous seeking; it's where I re-found God, and (in the least cliche way possible) I really found myself and who I wanted to be. I wish I could go and tell my fresher self this: seek more! Talk to everyone, and talk to God! Ask questions, seek answers. It took me a while to even realise how much I needed to seek, to realise my heart was longing for more than I was giving it, and I wished I had started seeking sooner.

But more importantly, I would tell myself that this seeking should never stop. For me, when I entered second year, I felt so much more comfortable and grounded, and I remember that when life got a bit rocky I thought "wait, but I thought I had the answers now. Why am I still hurting? Why am I doubting?"

I realise now that  conversion is not a one time thing. We do not find all the answers at once and then live a happy and simple, worry-free life. Nope, life has it's ups and it has it's downs. God calls us to seek Him every day. Find Him in the joys, find Him in the sorrows, and find Him in the downright mundane (trust me, Uni will offer you plenty of them, especially at 9am...)

So during this wild and exciting first year, seek, go deeper, but don't just stop there. Seek and never stop seeking!

4) Don’t hold back!

By Isaac Withers

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.’ Pope Paul VI. This was a massively important quote for me to come across in my first year. I was having this big old struggle with mortality at the time, and my life was getting a bit bleak. I had a lot of uncertain friendships and I didn’t have an output for my creativity yet, no society or projects that I loved. I was just getting by.

I’d love to relive my first year and do it better, because much like how the grades at the end didn’t really matter too much, that attitude sort of permeated the whole thing – that the next years were the ones that counted. Obviously, they all count, every day counts, and I wish I’d spent a lot of them better. A lot of them were lost to lie ins, and a lot were spent looking inward instead of outward. There’s a real joy to just entering into other people’s mess and listening to them. There’s also a real joy in not feeling ready, but knowing what God is asking you to do, no matter how hypocritical it might feel to take the lead. But courage isn’t the absence of fear, it can only exist in the face of it. It should never deter us. So I’d tell my first year self not to hold back, and to live like every day is a gift.

5) Watch how much you grow.

By Paddie Denton

Sometimes, Uni can suck. It's not always easy, you face challenges that you have not yet been faced with before, you may meet people who cause you hurt and you may be faced with who you are as person more than you ever have before. But, you will have grow so much!! You will meet the people you will be friends with for a life time, you will grow in faith, in knowledge, and in person-hood. 

Do not ever be disheartened when Uni gets hard, because it will, but these times are your opportunities for growth. The absolute truth is this: it is brilliant, you are brilliant, and you mustn't forget to embrace it and just watch yourself grow.

Now... Go get it!

By Barbara Onuonga 

All I have to say is this: It is about to get real, so buckle up and remember to have FUN! 

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." 

- John 10:10

Check out more of our Student blogs here!


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