Listed below is a collection of examples of the small intricate moments in my college career so far. So often did I think that college was made up of big and bold decisions and trips, when in reality, a majority of my growth and enjoyment come from the simplistic adventures. The examples are as follows:

My late night food runs are important to me for a variety of reasons, it’s about more than just food. Some of those trips to get food have been filled with non-stop laughter and jokes. I can just feel my stomach hurting as tears rolled down my eyes on the way to Taco Bell. I can remember the comedic timing and crazy ideas met with chuckles as my friends and I schemed for hilarious scenarios on the way to Panda Express. I can still hear the pause between sentences as my friends and I quote our favorite TV show in hopes to create a laugh from each other as we head towards Chick-fil-A. However, not all drives were just laughs and jokes. Some of those drives hold emotional weight as my friends and I discuss matters of importance to us. Those conversations range from interpersonal content about other friends or classes, and even sometimes they grew to discuss social matters in our society today. These trips give us time to talk, to grow, and to further understand each other. Conversations continue well after we get food as we break bread together, and spend time in fellowship as best as college students can do.

I remember the moments I spent on my floor with my hallmates. We stay up late, sitting in the hallways discussing anything and everything. These are simple moments of bonding, and a coming together of brothers. Some of my closest friends were formed simply from walking into my hall and stopping to talk with people who were also out and about. These talks, much like those involved in the food runs, constantly vary in context. These experiences solidified my decision in knowing that I not only made a right choice in staying on campus, but that God purposefully placed me on the floor that I needed to be on so that I may grow and develop as He has always intended. Some of these friends grew into more than just friends, but also connections to other opportunities on campus and to be connected and meet even more people. These hallmates vary in background, in story, in humor, and in diversity. Because of this, I reflect in sheer admiration and blessedness, knowing how cool a chance I have been given to be at a school that I am at. And this realization simply came from walking into my hall and taking the time to talk to someone. To me, that seems insanely awesome and an experience easier to have.

I can remember the exploration that has been had. I grew up in an area surrounded by trees, lakes, mountains, and waterfalls. Coming to Southern California, I knew the landscape would be different. I was ready to be a part of the city life because it had always been my dream. Having the ability to explore this “concrete jungle” has become a dream come true and luckily La Mirada is in a great location to find fun spots for a variety of activities. I have had moments where a friend and I grab coffee and listen to spoken word poetry at McClains in Fullerton. After catching a movie in recliner seats, some friends and I will get crepes (my favorite being nutella and banana) in Brea. Or, if we were feeling really adventurous, we would travel to places like West Hollywood or Downtown LA to sight-see and visit some well-known places. A place I particularly fell in love with was Amoeba Music. This place was the perfect combination of all things I love and cherish, and to share in that experience with friends made it all the better. The place had books, records, movies, and even the occasional live show. I was beyond transfixed.

I think, for me, it is important to remember that college doesn’t need to be all about these monumental moments. To me, the smaller moments, mainly with a few close friends, have been the best college experiences by far. It usually involves talking and laughing and the simple things like going to get food. Yes, there is some adventuring but for the most part nothing has been too glamorous. So my advice to any of you who may be reading this is not to get lost in the thinking of wanting bigger. Of course it is nice to have those and at least experience something in that realm, but in my honest opinion I believe the most growth and development - that which will last a lifetime - comes from the smaller moments that happily fall in between.

- Max Klaiber