Being a student in London is weird. It’s almost as though you’re half-in, half-out of the real world, with one foot in your university halls and one foot on the central line at rush hour surrounded by world-weary commuters.
It’s a part of my student experience that I love: the idea of being in a campus bubble where I don’t see anybody over the age of twenty five for the majority of the year never interested me. I love the city. I love the fact that we can surround ourselves with actual adults who have experienced life and can afford a pint without having to contemplate a loan from Wonga. I love that there is always something to do here; an event to go to, or new bar to try, or a crooked part of the tube map you’ve yet to explore. London is the best, and please, please Lord never let me leave.
However, as much as I’m trying to not sound like one of those girls from Made in Chelsea when they weekend at their parents’ Sussex mansion, it can be really nice to get out of the city.
Don’t panic. I just mean for a weekend! Like seriously, just a weekend. Then it’s right back to complaining about how we’ll never own our own houses and dodging death by red buses. But for a weekend, it can be really great to take a break. To hang out in the country with our friends, delve into the word of God, and encounter Him amidst peace and tranquillity. The ChristChurch London Student Weekend Away is a perfect opportunity.
I like to consider myself a veteran of the weekend (I’ve been two years running – I am clearly an expert), and I can honestly say it’s a highlight of my year. Every time I go God speaks to me about something happening back in London, and I actually have the time and space to think about it properly. The teaching is always top notch, and it’s a much smaller, more intimate environment than the Mermaid in which to explore questions and issues. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you can worship and pray without a time limit: 3am prayer sessions with your friends are real and they are powerful. Sometimes when God is speaking, you just have to hang out and listen.
On that same note, it’s like a giant sleepover with your favourite people and also, brand new people who you can take the time to get to know. There is so much fun to be had, so many memories to make, and so much food to eat. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you there, look out for me: I’ll be the one stuffing my face with biscuits and stealing all the marshmallows from the bonfire.
The Student Weekend Away will take place from 27-29 November at Carroty Wood Adventure Centre in Tonbridge. Tickets are £39 which covers all your accommodation and food, and booking closes on Sunday 22 November. You can find out information and book a ticket here.