If you were to ask me ten years ago where would I be in 2016, my answer would be completely different than what is true today. I mean, my name is still Vina and I still really like eating ice cream at any hour of the day, but the path that I’m walking now is different than what I used to think it would be. The eleven year old version of me would’ve most likely said that I’d be a junior at the University of Oregon, studying to becoming a teacher. Although I still root for my Ducks and I wouldn’t mind being a teacher one day, my life hasn’t played out that way. In fact, I’m entering my third year as a film major at Biola University, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe the road that I’m on is the road that God has paved out for me.

My decision to come to Biola stemmed from a gradual process that took years for God to plant within me. Basically, I realized my freshman year of high school in a film and journalism class that God wanted me to pursue film, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what I would be doing within that industry. As my junior year rolled around and I began looking for colleges, I knew there were two very important things that I needed in a college: a strong film program and a healthy Christian community. And there was one school that just kept popping up everywhere I looked –– Biola University. It was so clear to me that God wanted me to go to Biola. By my senior year, I was set on it. I just had to convince my parents to let me go to college nearly a thousand miles away. After months of praying and discussing with my parents, my dad and I went out for a little daddy-daughter date at one of my favorite restaurants (aka The Cheesecake Factory), to talk to me about the final decision he and my mom had made. I remember feeling so at peace that night because I knew God had soften my parents’ hearts and He did! My parents said yes to Biola! I was overwhelmed by relief and joy that night, and shortly after, I enrolled.

Later that fall, I started at Biola University. Ever since then, my college journey has been a constant challenge to trust in God’s plan for my life, especially when it comes to film. However, I am so incredibly thankful for my time here these past two years. From the various film job opportunities I’ve had, to being a Resident Advisor in a dorm, to getting plugged into a church community; I’ve grown tremendously. I know that if I didn’t follow the path that God set out for me, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

As I begin my third year, I’ve received many pleasant surprises from God: a job, more film opportunities, an apartment with amazing roommates, and a supportive community around me. However, entering this school year has felt different than years past; not because I’m older, but because I’m feeling a bit lost as to what my future holds. God has been faithful to me during my Biola journey in leading me to all the places that I needed to be, and I know that He will remain faithful. My junior year is going to be an amazing and growing year, and I can’t wait to share my journey with you!

With that said, if you have any questions about my journey to Biola, the film department, the community, or anything that your mind can think of, I’d be happy to answer them. The process of following the path that God laid out for you is challenging sometimes, especially when it comes to picking a college. I’ve been there, and I would love to talk you about it if you’re feeling a little unsure.