It’s Not What You Know…

…It’s who you know. That line is often said, sometimes cynically, of things like getting a job. The implications are that it doesn’t matter how skilled or intelligent you are, what matters is that you know someone in a good position who can get you employed. That may well be the most common usage, but during my first couple of weeks at university, I’ve come to realise that the old adage could be taken a different way, a more positive way.

It’s one thing knowing all there is to know about a certain subject, but if there’s nobody to talk to about that, then what’s the point? To an extent, we may get personal pleasure from knowing something for the sake of knowing it, but humans are social creatures, and we generally like to be in the company of others. Not many of us would be comfortable in an environment in which no interaction was possible. Thus, surrounding yourself with the right people is important.

What’s the point of me writing this? It’s a question that I ask with pretty much every blog post that I right, but that’s because I think that’s it’s an important question to answer. I’m not trying to be some sort of life coach; I assume that what I’m trying to do is share some experiences that I’ve had recently that I’ve found encouraging and enjoyable, in the hope that you might be reading and take something positive from those experiences. Alternatively, you might read this and think that you’ve wasted five minutes of your life, but I can’t please everyone, so that’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

Since being here, at university, there have been two groups of people that have made my first weeks as enjoyable as they have been: Christians and English students. Being who I am, that’s probably not very surprising, but allow me to elaborate a little.

As a Christian, I have always been taught (and have always readily accepted) that you need to have a group of Christian friends whom you can be accountable to, honest with and go to with pretty much anything. I had that at home, and already I feel that I’m finding that here. I’ve met people that I can relate to, people who’ve had similar experiences to me and who are in the same boat that I’m in as a Christian finding their feet in university. It’s important to know that you’re not alone, and Christians should never have to feel alone. I’ve also met people, through church, who are older and more experienced than me, meaning, crucially, that they know what it’s like to go through university as a Christian and come out the other side. They know the trials that Christians face in this environment and they are in a position to help the younger guys through. I am so grateful that God has put these people in my path so early on, so that now I feel like I actually stand a chance here!

The other group of people that I’m very grateful for are English students. Maybe not all English students, but those English students who think like me. That doesn’t mean we all agree on everything – that would be incredibly boring – it means that they are people with a love of literature, people with a drive to create their own work and people who love to read and appreciate the work of others. I’ve never been surrounded by this many likeminded people in an academic environment, and now that I am surrounded by these people, I realise that I’ve been seriously missing out until now! Along with two of these people, I have embarked on a new blogging venture: The W.A.L.L. (see a link at the bottom) and have started to throw ideas around that could lead to something awesome. It’s something of an oxymoron, that there can be such diversity amongst such likeminded people, but it’s an oxymoron that I am profoundly thankful for.

So now I have to try to bring these thoughts into something that looks passably close to a conclusion. What is there to take from this? I would encourage you, whatever walk of life you’re from, to actively look to engage with people who share your love of something, be it a love of God, a love of literature, art, biology, engineering…anything! By talking to people like this, you will find that your mind will be opened to so many new ideas and possibilities. Above all, knowing people like that is fun. It makes life a little more enjoyable.

To finish: it’s not what you know, it’s finding people to talk about that knowledge with; that’s where the magic happens.

You can check out my new blogging venture, The W.A.L.L. at – but don’t worry, I won’t stop posting on here!

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