Being Christian at University
From Kasia Stoinska
Welcome to the ‘Being at University’ podcast. I’m Harriet Harris, Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, and in this first series we explore what it is like being people of particular faith or belief at University.
If we follow faith or belief traditions, these are profound shapers of our values, our choices and lifestyles, how we conduct our relationships: in short, they provide the inner compass by which we navigate our lives.
What I love about this series is hearing students talk about how their faith or beliefs bring them joy, deep friendships, a feeling of support during hard times, and a sense of perspective. They also talk about challenges, with mental health, with discrimination and micro-aggressions, with visibility and also invisibility. And we hear lots throughout this series about choosing a university, arriving at university, making friends, joining societies – the stuff of student life.
Today I am joined by Lindiwe Dhlakama, a MSc student in Africa and International Development, talking with me about ‘Being Christian at University’. Lindiwe talks about the shock of the dark Scottish winter having come from Zimbabwe, the difficulty of meeting friends during covid lockdown, and how these impacted her mental health and imposter syndrome. She talks about how her faith helped her to process her feelings, gain courage for her studies, approach each day anew, and challenge the deeply embedded notion that our worth is connected to our University grades. She also talks about the challenges that Christian scriptures and tradition can pose when tackling racial and sexual injustice, and on the other side, the courage and drive for justice that the faith can provide.
Music: ‘Avulekile’ by Soweto Melodic Voices, from their CD Harambee, 2014.
Soweto Melodic Voices is a youth choir from Soweto, supported by the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, to inspire young people and schools in Edinburgh, and to record music in Soweto. For details of the Edinburgh-Soweto link see here.