Starting university can be a daunting time for young adults and their parents. How will I adjust? How will I integrate? And how will I stay connected to my faith? were all questions I contemplated as I embarked on this next chapter of my life, many moons ago! It is likely that (although time has moved on from my undergrad days) young adults getting ready to fly the nest will be thinking those same things. So, I have compiled a short guide of useful tips to help prepare.

Thousands of young people across England will be attending freshers’ week over the coming weeks. For most, this will be their first time living away from home. This period of transition could be a time of excitement, anticipation and anxiety all at once.

It will no doubt be a time of making new friends, being exposed to new social settings, new classmates and sharing living quarters with strangers. Which is why it is important for parents to help guide young adults and discuss the importance of their Christian values as they prepare to adjust to their new environment.

Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Having open and honest conversations provides your child with an opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have about living away from home and allows you to guide them and direct them with biblical principles that will help govern their lives and situations that may arise. 

So, in preparation of your young adult starting university or even if they are moving onto their second, third or fourth year, these tips may prove useful in helping them navigate their surroundings, whilst holding true to their Christian values and beliefs and being a good witness of the gospel.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

1. Prayer

It is important to remind your young adult to remain prayerful at all times, seeking God for guidance and protection, comfort and assurance. Psalm 145:18 says, The Lord is near to all them that call on Him, to all that call on Him in truth.” Many things will feel uncertain and new, but God remains the same yesterday, today and forevermore. He is a constant and unchangeable God who is always there, so let’s remind our young adults to pray and to turn to Him in times of need.

2. Accountability

The Bible says we are our brother’s keeper; God did not intend for us to be alone, so encourage your young adult, before setting off to university, to identify someone they can talk to while they are away from home. This could be a mentor, pastor, church leader or family friend. Advise them to pick someone they feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with and who has a grounded knowledge of the Bible and discipleship.

3. Find a local church

Iron sharpens iron, which is why it is so important for your young adult to find a new church home where they will be living and that they can attend regularly, if they will no longer be attending their home church’. There are several resources online that can help them navigate what local churches there are in their area and which allow them to connect with local Christians on campus.

4. Set boundaries

Your young adult will be meeting lots of new people in their first few weeks and will be invited to participate in a wide range of social activities, as well as most likely having an unsupervised shared living space. Therefore, it is critical to speak to them about setting boundaries and to remind them to be led by the Holy Spirit in order to apply wisdom and discernment when making decisions.

5. Being a witness

The Bible says that we will be seen as a peculiar people and that we are set apart. So encourage your young adult that God did not intend for them to fit in with the crowd, but to be salt and light and therefore it is okay if they do not follow their peers. Encourage them that being seen as different” could be an opportunity to witness to a friend or a classmate and share the principles of their faith and their desire to please God, even if that means doing something different from those around them. 

As you or your young adult may feel apprehensive about them leaving home, pray over them, speak with them and share with them this guidance and assure them that God is always with them, no matter where they are, near or far. Having these conversations with your child or young person before they leave home for university could be extremely helpful and impactful as they embark on this new adventure, allowing them to openly embrace change and adjust well during this time of transition.


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