The school bell rang, the formal happened, the graduation ceremony with tears occurred, the schoolies holiday happened, you’ve either had three months off or worked crazily in some job and now you are entering university. Say goodbye to hall passes, late notes, lack of availability of junk food, absent days recorded (okay, well sometimes they are), permission to use the bathrooms during class, youth group and even some of those friends from high school. You’ve now entered a new reality.
The reality is, is that university is different, every semester you’ll be thrown around classes, rarely gripping onto the desired tutorial or workshop time you want or even with the friends you want. You’ll be put into group assessments with partners who will leave you on seen or unread and ask the day before what they needed to do. All the while, attempting to catch up with high-school friends in catch up’s that take way too long to plan and inevitably someone will cancel last minute, or you won’t even organise them and just say “We should catch up soon!”.
Hopefully, you will still have your church friends. But make no mistake, university is different with its drinking and party culture, you’ll attend to at the invitation of new found friends, but the importance is to remember the God standard you have in your life. At times you may fail to meet that standard as we all do, but the necessary reminder is to not abandon the pursuit of God. The saving grace of university is the different clubs and societies on campus, particularly even in the Christian field, whether its QUT Freedom, Power to Change, Hillsong on Campus, QUT Christians, Campus Christian Movement, Indonesian Christians or International Christians.
These clubs offer a chance to find fellow believers and stay connected as you navigate the different realities of the university and how faith interacts with that. Take advantage of it, find a fellow believer and stick close, because university will challenge you mentally, spiritually and intellectually. Maybe also physically depending on your course or if you have to continually face Death Hill at KG. Perhaps you’re reading this, and you’re not a first year, the advice is the same if you share the Christian faith, connect in with other Christians at Uni and enrich your own university experience. God Bless as you start on this journey, or return to it.
By Juval Stephens