Continuing our series of stories from freshers, Emily shares about what it can be like when you don't fit the student norm and you end up worrying if you might not fit in at all.
When I first came to the University of the Creative Arts I was pretty exited about being a Christian and having the chance to meet new people. I wanted to show them that Christianity isn’t weird, we don’t have stern faces and that we’re not all about rules. I did have a few worries though.
I knew a lot of students would go out to clubs and drinking. I had never been to a club as I have epilepsy and although I haven’t had a seizure for about 10 years I didn’t want to risk the strobes. I’m not a big fan of alcohol either, I’d much prefer a massive glass of apple juice on the beach! However I didn’t want to exclude myself or be seen as boring! As I am quite a confident person and am happy to just be who I am, I left those worries behind. I was excited about going to Uni!
Freshers week was the week that I moved into halls. I used that week to get to know the people around and get used to living by myself. People did go out clubbing a lot, but I enjoyed getting to know everyone in cozy environments like the pub and each others’ flats. My new friends started to recognize I was a Christian when they asked me what I was up to on Sunday evenings. I didn’t hide the fact I was a Christian but I wanted the conversation to just come up naturally, which it did. We started to talk a bit deeper about things, which I loved!
I was so exited about starting a new church. A couple of people from my home church had already come to uni ahead of me and joined a church when they had come to uni and they loved it. Everyone was so friendly and I just felt so welcome. And there were so many more people to meet! Lush!
I feel like this year has been a real step in my relationship with Jesus and I have loved every minute!