As our young people leave for uni we try to give them a little goody bag. This year it included:
- Pot Noodle
- Bag for life
- Post-it notes
- Baked beans
- First by Matt Carvel
Some of these are fairly useless and jokey presents, others have a more serious use and meaning to them but for us it is important that we mark this rite of passage as they leave home for the first time. We want our young people to know that as they leave our youth ministry, as they leave our little village on the edge of the New Forest and head out into the big wide world we still deeply care for them.
As part of our goodbye we also run an event for those going off to university for the first time where we eat lots of pizza, and chat around topics such as accommodation, finance, lectures, friendships, relationships, social life, CU, church and more using a mixture of youth leaders and some 2nd and 3rd year students. We had lots of feedback this year that this was a really helpful event giving lots of practical information and helping to deal with their fears and nervousness.
With all our students we try to keep in contact – over the first term we plan to send a couple of parcels to each of our students, and send fortnightly emails keeping in touch with each of them. We’re looking forward to a Christmas social when they’ll all next be back together as a big group.