Barney's Story Meet Barney, 2nd Year, History, Hatfield. There are different things that make me come alive, but they all relate to me being with people. Relationships with others are life-bringing - connecting with people and being able to relate to them and understand who they are is incredible. I thrive off of connections and I think, ultimately, everyone does. I'm grateful to everyone in my life, those I see daily or even just every few years. As recently as the ski trip, I was able to spend time with people that I don't normally see, which was genuinely such a blessing. We can’t deny that everyone is different and that's what makes people interesting. I am very similar to one of my best friends, people often compare us which is flattering. But at the same time, we are so different. I think it's why I enjoy spending time with different groups of people so that I can understand them and appreciate their individual traits. Having a faith has a massive impact upon my life. It affects every area of my life. I try to behave in a way that glorifies God and not myself, believing that life is not just about me changes the way I act for sure. Being a human before considering faith is strange to think about because I question what there is to live for. I remember studying French existentialist writers at school and the thing I found most shocking and challenging was that their discussions about the futility of life were actually so powerful. I may have bad days, but I know what I’m living for and that gives me hope and joy in every situation. Being human when I take faith into consideration is an incredible thing because I am confident in who I am. To have a God who created everything and yet knows me individually and wants to have a deep relationship with me changes everything. It radically changes the way I view relationships. Even those people who I find frustrating are worthy of being loved and their differences are something to be celebrated rather than rejected. With God in the picture, as humans we have been made to be loved unconditionally. For me to be human is to try and mirror this with all those that I encounter. I choose to live in a way that is different to most of my friends and especially coming to university, I sometimes felt pressure or expectation to behave in a certain way, even if it was self-inflicted. Living life as a Christian doesn’t mean it’s easier than everyone else’s, There are still everyday challenges and I’m not immune to pain and suffering either. On a personal level, I have close friends who have struggled with depression and suicide. But I know what I’m living for and even when I don’t understand why certain things happen as they do, I can be confident that God is both good and in control, which is far more reassuring than the alternative. I can live a joyful life in the knowledge that my future is secure in God’s hands. One of the things I find difficult is the desire to be known. I am very lucky to have met and been able to spend time with a large number of people who are all incredible in their own way. But it’s possible to end up having a life filled with small talk without being able to form deeper connections. Something I’ve learnt is really important is being honest with those around me and really investing time in knowing them and allowing them to actually know me, with all my flaws and fears. This is really tricky when trying to maintain an impression of knowing everyone. God wants to have an intimate relationship with us, he invites us to know Him in that way. It is reassuring when I feel lonely to remember that I am fully known by God, and I think that we were made to share life in this way with those around us too. Barney's story interest you? Click here to read more about Human, coming soon!