A healthy mindset to have when coming to Biola is that every student comes with their own unique background and perspective on, well, EVERYTHING. It’s important for students to understand that within the Biola community everyone holds different views. This is exactly what makes Biola such an amazing community. It also affirms my belief that any community can foster diversity if it really tried, and it starts with the students.

I remember countless nights sitting in the Hart Lobby until 3 in the morning talking about experiences, differences, and similarities. There was one night in particular that stood out to me. My friends from Oregon and New Hampshire were in awe that I had never seen snow fall before. One friend described it as “rain that has no sound.” It was amazing to be able to imagine and learn from others' experiences. However, it goes way further than just that! That same night we all talked about our family life, political beliefs, and much more. We did not all agree, but that’s where the beauty was found. In our disagreement, we grew closer, and maintained our friendship. That has been my favorite part about the Biola community thus far.

In my experience at Biola, I have been a part of various subdivisions that foster this perspective in their own unique way. For instance, my film community constantly has discussions about story. Story, story, STORY. Along with this story, we always talk about the beauty of our own stories that carry over into the art or films we create together. One night, my friend, Jack and I stayed up watching videos and movies in the Biola Production Center, and we shared our backgrounds. We came from very different upbringings and came to God in dramatically different ways, and we embraced this to enhance our own understandings of God.

In the Torrey Honors Institute, my cohort and I constantly challenge our perspectives, learning and bouncing off each other’s ideas. It’s one of the most amazing things. Before every session or discussion, we have a devotion time, and recently, my cohort has adopted the idea of sharing our testimonies one by one each session. From this, we have learned how to better understand each other.

Lastly, my ambassador team fosters this conversation, as all we do is interact with well, YOU GUYS! We spend hours on hours talking with prospective students, no matter if they are coming from high school, community college, university, gap year, military, home life, anything. From this, we learn best how to embrace the idea that you guys may have interacted with God in a much different way than we did. Some people grow up in a Christian household, while some come to meet God in a different manner. No matter where you come from, learn to embrace your differences from others. I promise all that God has given you is for an amazing purpose, such as having a conversation in the Hart Lobby at 3 in the morning, sharing that one time God provided for you,etc. You never know how God can work through you or to you.

These are just a small few of those many experiences I’ve had at Biola. Can’t wait to share more with you all!

‘Til next time,

Blogger Holly Changsta