This blog post will be a little more reflective and I am so glad that I get to share this part of my heart with you! As I was thinking about my whole Biola journey and experience and how it has transformed me as a person, I just felt so much gratitude. Moving to another country for college and being far away from family has by far been one of the hardest things I’ve had to come across in life. But, it’s also been one of the best decisions I’ve made. And so here are 5 things I’ve learned in college:
You should really be yourself and nobody else
Coming to Biola as a global student made me question whether or not I should really stay true to who I am or if I should conform to being an American college girl. Who doesn’t want to fit in? I know I did back then. I didn’t embrace the fact that I grew up outside of the States and a lot of the time, I felt foreign. I tried dressing differently, speaking differently and, overall, acting differently. But none of that was me! This may sound cheesy but I’ve learned that being yourself in college is the way to go. I’ve learned that being genuine and loving who I am makes me super happy. There really is no one else you should be but yourself! Being different just makes you unique. Now, I love telling people stories of my time back home in Indonesia!
Being intentional goes a long way
Something I’ve noticed about maintaining friendships and relationships in college is that being intentional goes a long way. I feel like friendships in high school were a lot easier to maintain just because we saw the same people every day for years. But in college, with people having different schedules and commitments, it became harder to spend time with people as much as I wanted to. It’s funny how in college I savor the moments when I get to have a meal or grab a cup of coffee with a friend and really talk about life with them. Although these relationships may be harder to maintain, they are so worth it.
Being productive and working hard will pay off in the future
College is filled with opportunities! Before coming to Biola, I was always advised to join clubs, get jobs, and network a whole lot. Now I have come to realize that those are all very important. Go the extra mile with making office hour appointments and get to know your professors. Apply for those jobs and internships that you’ve been dreaming of! I love that the opportunities we have in college give us a tiny glimpse of the world beyond it.
It’s okay to miss home
Homesickness is the absolute worst. As an only child—and coming all the way from Indonesia—I battled homesickness so much during my freshman year. I was so sad all the time that I couldn’t eat, sleep, or focus on my studies. However I am now a senior and I can confidently tell you that it gets better. There are times when I do still get homesick but it’s a very normal thing. It’ll get better! If you’re ever feeling this way, I recommend talking to your roommate about it (if you’re comfortable) or just going out with friends. I get it, home is where the heart is. But hopefully you’ll come to love Biola and consider it a home away from home. I know I do :)
People grow apart and things change
Let me just say that friendships are tricky in college. I’ve noticed that every semester is different for me. There are people who I was super close to freshman year who I don’t really hang out with nowadays. Something that I’ve learned is that people grow apart and friendships may change. Maybe it’s you or maybe it’s them. But I’ve learned to accept this and look at it as a season in my life. It’s okay for people to need space. At the end of the day, the most important things are showing kindness and compassion for others.
Wow, this has become a super long blog. If you’ve made it til the end, thank you so much for reading and hearing my heart. A lot of the things I’ve gone through throughout my time at Biola may be hard but I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world! If anything, they’ve really shaped me to become the person I am now.