For those of you who may be freaking out about college and the decision making process, I would love to tell you a bit about my story. Now, this isn’t some radical life-changing tale where there was many moving pieces, but I think for many the more simple stories are the most relatable ones. So, here it goes:

I was always the most stressed in life when dealing with where I should go to college. For the most part, I knew I wanted to go to a private university, but I never dismissed the idea of a state college or a public university. However, I did know that I wanted to go to school in Los Angeles due to its proximity to the film industry. So during my Junior and Senior year of high school, my family and I traveled down south, as I lived in Northern California, to visit specific schools I had looked into.

If there is a school in Southern California that had a refutable film program, you can be sure I visited it. I won’t specifically name the schools, but they consisted of all different types. How Biola has a Biola Bound where students can visit campus and stay the night for a few days to get a deeper feel for the school, other universities nearby do a similar thing (except they don’t offer Disneyland, just saying). On the surface, I was genuinely looking for schools that fit all the criteria such as:

Can I afford this?

Does it have my Major?

How good is my Major at the school?

What is the community life like?

What is the living situation like?

Does the food taste good?

I traveled all throughout the greater Los Angeles schools that answered these questions to the best of ability. However, when I traveled beyond the surface in my college decision making process and began asking questions such as:

Will I grow here?

Can I love the Lord more here?

Will I develop life-changing friendships?

Will I become the man I need to be here?

And after asking such questions, my gears began to shift and the picture became clearer for me. It definitely helped visiting the schools too, which I highly recommend you consider doing because it ultimately helped make my decision. I stayed on the floor Haven in Hart during my Biola Bound. I met people who genuinely cared for me and my well-being. The school provided a great outlet for film and career experiences. But ultimately, it answered the “beyond the surface” questions as well as the other ones. I felt it when I visited.

Now, Biola may not come off as that way to all who visit and that is ok, you should go where the Lord is calling you to go. Additionally, the surface questions are incredibly important and it is not all about the “beyond the surface questions” because that is not reasonable for all people. My college decision was a stress filled nightmare, but one that was worth it all. I am so glad I took the time and effort researching colleges and visiting because it placed me exactly where the Lord needed me.

-Max Klaiber