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Benjamina’s advice for university

Benjamina Ebuehi took part in the seventh series of the Great British Bake Off. After leaving the show in week eight, she has gone on to run a freelance baking business. She shares her story of becoming a Christian at university

I grew up going to church every Sunday. That was just what happened on a Sunday: go to church, Sunday lunch, have a nap, get ready for school.

I grew up in a really good church. Really good teaching, I liked going to the youth group and I mainly went to see my friends.

But it wasn't until I got to university that it was definitely a personal choice – that I chose to have a relationship with God and understood what it meant to have a relationship with him and not just know the right answers in Sunday school. To know him and to live your life in a way that was pleasing to him. So I'd say uni was when I became Christian.

I think the reason that was the point of making that decision was a culmination of things. Choosing a church I wanted to go to rather than just accepting the church I always went to helped. So did being around lots of other students. There was a massive student community, so I think I just found it really refreshing to be around a lot of other young people who were just so 'on fire'.

I was like "how?" "Why?" I'd not seen that before, it was very different. The church I grew up in was evangelical, quite conservative. At uni it was a lot more charismatic and I was like "This is different!"

But it was a really good time of growing as an individual and just being like other students and understanding what it meant to have a relationship with God.

University can make or break your faith. You see a lot of people go left or right.

I ate a lot of carbonara. I always loved making a spaghetti carbonara and any time I say that everyone's like "that's so difficult - why would you do that?"

It's so easy! Just boil your spaghetti. In a little bowl mix some eggs and parmesan, black pepper salt. When your pasta's cooked get your eggs in and mix, mix. If you've got some bacon hanging around, or some chicken or some broccoli, throw that in – done! So easy!

 

I did Economics and thought I was going to be a banker and have all the money in the world. I wanted to be like that power woman! Then by the second year I was like, no way! That is not the life for me, I just could not hack it.

I think at uni I didn't know what direction I wanted to go in. I knew I loved food but didn't know how to make it a full-time thing. I knew I didn't want to be a chef; it was very much just a hobby. 

So, I thought, ooh teaching! I can teach, I get my holidays – I can bake in my holidays. That wouldn’t be too bad. So I was going to be a maths teacher. I was a teaching assistant for a year to get some experience.

When we were filming The Great British Bake Off I was still at the school. It was tricky to balance everything, because when I was at school all I could think of was “I need to practice, I need to do this, and I need to go to Sainsbury's. I need more butter and more eggs”, and then I'd get home and would bake, bake, bake until the early hours, so it was really an intense time.

But when it came out, and I went back to visit they were like "why didn't you tell us?!" And I was like “because you guys don't keep anything secret – you told me all your secrets between you, so there's no way I would tell you that."

It was really exciting because, again I knew I'd always wanted to do something with food, but I just didn't know what it would look like or have a title for it.

At first it was very exciting just to do something new and being self-employed every day is so different, every week is so different. But it does come with its challenges, OK every week is so different, it’s so unstable, there’s not that security of you get this every month and you can plan and budget.

Freelancing is so unpredictable you just have to trust in God – God will provide! He'll provide this month! So, at first it was very exciting, but again as with any job a lot of challenges as well.

Images taken from her website, Carrot and Crumb. Check it out website here!

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