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Starting Univeristy in a Covid–19 World

Sarah Moorcroft, 28/09/20

Sarah Moorcroft, a student at Queens University in Belfast, shares her experience of this year’s Fresher’s Track and her thoughts of starting university in a Covid–19 world.

Starting Univeristy in a Covid–19 World

Will I still be able to meet people? How will I know what clubs to join if there’s no Freshers’ Week? Is my university experience going to be ruined?  Questions which I’m sure a few freshers  considered as our starting date crept closer, while restrictions were on the rise again.

All things COVID aside, I was nervously excited about starting French and Beginners’ Spanish at Queen’s. Having studied French, German and Maths at A Level, I was apprehensive about learning Spanish from scratch, but I felt God calling me to this course so here I am!

 As we’re all too aware, a lot this year is different. On the one hand, COVID has raised questions concerning meeting people, how much teaching will be online and how much can we engage in university life. However, after 6 months of limited work, limited routine and limited social life, I was also very excited about starting and being able to get back into a routine, build friendships and get involved as much as possible while at Queen’s.

The Freshers’ Track topics of Identity, Lifestyle and Mission really interested me and each Friday night they did not disappoint. We were reminded firstly of the importance of being involved in a church. In John 15v4 Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” We were encouraged to be part of a local church while  at uni because nothing can replace church. CU is not a substitute.

We looked at Acts 17v24 where we are told, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” Here we are reminded that God is in control, He made the world and He has a reason for allowing a pandemic like COVID to happen. We were also reminded to always be ready to share the Good News and to use every opportunity to spread the Gospel; our daily actions are important and can have more of an impact than we know.

In Psalm 24 we are told that everything we have and enjoy belongs to the Lord. We should get involved in student life because withdrawing from the world is not what God intended for us. “Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (v24)  Whatever we do, we are to “do it all for the glory of God”. Finally, what we involve ourselves in is not as important as truly knowing God. We need to read the bible daily and constantly seek to grow in faith.

Thank you to CUI for continuing to help freshers despite the difficult circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed the tracks and was reminded of important truths before starting university.