Expectations vs Reality

God, I will thank you forever for what you have done.
With those who worship you, I will trust you because you are good.” – Psalm 52:9

We’re into week 6 of Summer Term. That’s pretty scary – it’s almost the end of First Year. Hard to believe that back in September I was a nervous fresher, coming into a house of 20 people. That’s no joke, by the way. It doesn’t mean a house with 2 or 3 different ‘flats’ within it. It’s a house, with 20 bedrooms. But that’s beside the point. There were 19 other people living with me. Whilst it was in my first preference college, it was far from my ‘ideal’ house. At least, that’s what I thought when I first arrived. It would be noisy, it would be messy, it would be intimidating.

And to be fair, it is noisy. In fact, it’s a little bit unnerving if it falls quiet, actually. There’ll always be someone going through the squeaky kitchen door, always someone chatting. It does fall quiet at night, though. The others are generally very respectful of everyone’s need to sleep, and when they have had house parties, they’ve let us know.

It is quite messy, although I’d be the first to admit that quite a lot of the mess is probably mine. In the small kitchen, at least. But it’s not too messy. I’ve been in far messier houses, and people are generally pretty good at the Monday night clear-up in time for the Tuesday morning cleaning day.

The one thing it certainly isn’t is intimidating. I suppose it helped that I was in contact with others via Facebook for a good month and a half beforehand. It meant I knew what they were doing, for the most part what they looked like, and it did make moving in a lot easier.

Before arriving at uni, I would definitely have preferred a smaller house.

But now, I wouldn’t change anything.

In the first few weeks in the house, I was in the big kitchen getting ready for Church choir, and something came up which led to someone in the house asking if God really answered prayers. And I thought a minute, back to everything that had happened in those few weeks. And I said yes.

God had put me in a fantastic position at the beginning of my uni life. Within that situation, I found a fellow Christian, who also happened to be a coursemate, who also happened to be living in the room next door to me, who I’ve made fantastic friends with and will be living with me next year. Within that situation, I’ve made a group of firm friends, and I’ve settled in really well, despite initial expectations.

And in the year after arriving?

Well, I’ll be sad to leave. I’ve made so many great friends in this house. One of them seems to be very interested in Christianity; I’m getting her a bilingual Bible so she can read it in her own language, at her own pace. She’s been along to a few events, and I’m fairly sure she understands why we’re Christians, even if she’s not quite a Christian herself. But I’ll continue praying for her.

It will certainly be weird next year with only five of us.

But I still have 3½ weeks left of term, and another couple until I actually move out, so there’s still time. I don’t have to say goodbye just yet!

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