What it’s like being a Christian at uni
I love VKs just as much as the next sinner
Religion can be a touchy subject at uni for all parties. When you ‘come out’ as being religious in freshers week (sorry, ‘Welcome Week’) people immediately feel the need to share their preconceptions of your particular religion with you.
Somebody once said to me, “Oh, but you’re so down to earth?” It’s sad when you realise people just assume you would be incredibly self-righteous about it. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but out of the religious people I’ve met (Christian or not) none of them are tight lipped God-wannabes with closed minds and snap judgements. We’re just as ‘sinful’ as the rest, and we know it.
I won’t lie, a delicate selection of Christians can be very much in your face, brandishing their faith like a sword to smite down all you dirty sinners. I wouldn’t listen to them because we’re actually quite nice, mostly. Not every Christian you meet is smugly praying for your broken soul while they watch you chunder your guts out in the SU toilets. They’re probably hoping you feel better in the morning or are just as wrecked themselves (by accident, obviously. “Your body is a temple,” and all that).
That’s not to say I’m not judgemental, but I don’t sit in lectures silently condemning you because I saw you necking on with 5 guys last night – I’m judging you because you just asked the lecturer who John Milton was, you heathen. My expert knowledge of Genesis comes in very handy when studying Paradise Lost, by the way.
I don’t even go to a church at uni, which a lot of people are weirdly surprised about. Sure, there’s an amazing Christian Union at RoHo, and loads of great churches around full of lovely students to choose from. It’s just that getting on a minibus to church at 9am on a Sunday morning in no way appeals to me. I’ll just wait until I visit my home church’s evening service, thanks. You can pray anywhere, including your bed.
Of course, an inevitable part of having the “religious” label is that people think going out “isn’t your thing”. Trust me, I want to drown my week in blue VKs and dance to criminally bad music in that pit of debauchery just as much as you do, pal. And yes, I will go out “looking like that” because bae said I looked sexy af in that top. I’m not Amish. Don’t get me confused with other denominations either – no, I will not have to say 20 Hail Mary’s after each Jagerbomb as penance.
A less fun aspect of telling your more philosophical friends about it is that they really, really enjoy grilling you, and more than anything this can just be annoying. No, I can’t prove that God is real, that’s why it’s called ‘faith’. No, I don’t hate gay people. Yes, I do hate you because you’re really getting on my tits. Sure, ask me questions if you’re genuinely interested in the answer, but don’t be silly with it.
Being a Christian has given me a totally different perspective on uni life to what I would have had, and it’s been incredibly hard to not stray away from my faith at times. Sometimes I feel so incredibly lost and other times I know exactly where I’m going, but as nauseating as it sounds my faith gets me through every day. That’s not to say I’ve fulfilled everyone’s (or even my own) image of the perfect Christian woman, and I’m not proclaiming myself to be some kind of moral compass, but I’m happy with how I’m living my life and I’m not here to criticise yours.
As always, these views are completely my own, and do not represent or make generalisations for the Christian community. So no hate, yeah.