Freshers’ week is a unique experience… Underneath the flyers, wristbands and free pens… We’re all working out who we are and how we want to be seen.
School is over forever. Your parents are miles away, and most people here know nothing about you. This is an opportunity to redefine yourself, mould yourself, style yourself into whoever you want to be. But the big question is:
Who will you become?
Being who you really are is a fantastic thing. Society encourages us to be ourselves, but ideally in the same few ways as everyone else.
We can end up relying on our ‘thing’ – be it looks, intelligence, humour, style, sexual aptitude – to prove ourselves.
We can end up fabricating an identity, like a costume or a disguise.
We’re left with a nagging feeling we’re accepted because of what we do, rather than who we truly are.
So who are we really? when we strip it all away do we know? Can we genuinely know and be accepted for who we are?
Surprisingly, Christians reckon they’ve bumped into the answers to some of these questions. Just as an author lovingly shapes and develops his or her characters, we believe each person carries their own unique identity and purpose lovingly forged by their Maker.
Many people perceive Christianity to be something that inhibits identity and self-expression; a straight-jacket on their freedom or a list of rules to be followed. So when life throws big questions at us, we look elsewhere for what we really want. It’s a shame – because at heart, God offers genuine freedom and a friendship with Him that meets our deepest needs.
Enjoy every minute of your uni experience. It will shape your life, relationships and identity forever. But take some time to think about who you are and what things truly give you meaning. And maybe ask the questions society tells you to leave well alone…