What this school year has brought me thus far

Coming to Biola as a Freshman and new student to this university, the Biola family welcomed me with open arms. I’ve loved every experience and opportunity that I’ve had and been able to share with others this year. This school year has brought me lots of laughs, fun times, good vibes, and stress too. With all of what this year has provided, here are a few of my takeaways and experiences:

  • I was able to hit the ground running from the being during training summer for the  First Generation (FirstGen) Scholars Program. This has been such a blessing for my student development.
  • Biola has such an enriching community: in my first year here I was able to make strong bonds with friends, professors, and mentors.
  • In FirstGen, I learned how to get involved and better utilize my resources.
  • Through the art department, I learned to love my major.
  • I joined the ambassador team and have enjoyed my time with admissions more than you can possibly comprehend.
  • I became Vice President of my club, Art League.
  • I had some stressful days of overwhelming work.
  • I conquered my classes and got good grades despite the workload that piled up.
  • I learned how to run a campaign.
  • I became more open to what God was putting in front of me. I learned that there’s no real need to stress—it’s just our natural reaction.

This list could go on and on because of how many experienced I’ve had so far. I feel that I’ve grown so much in the past few months and, looking back a year ago, it’s crazy just how fast time flies by. Growth doesn’t come from comfort zones and I know I really pushed myself this initial year of my college education. During my sophomore year I’m going to be even more focused, driven, concise and goal-oriented. This year was such a blessing because I was able to learn from my interactions, grow through my participation in  unique programs, and walk alongside mentors and leaders: all have truly shaped me and I am ever so grateful for those moments.

Furthermore, I’ve seen my learning habits change for the better through the ways I work and study. I’ve also seen my writing become more natural and academic so that it is intentional in reaching the right audiences. We all have a voice; I’m proud I have stayed true to mine by being a part of the ambassadors of Biola. I have loved every minute of being on this team from making acceptance videos to working events—and writing blogs like this one. What better way to demonstrate my love for Biola then through interactions with students online, since I too have been through the process of being a prospective student. Being intentional about my social media presence is something that I have been able to hone in on. I think that I have achieved staying true to myself online and in real time.

What God is doing in this season

As I tie the knot on this year, I reflect on what God has done so far in this season of my life. He has taught me to be more patient and loving, and has continued to soften my heart day in and day out. God has really been moving mountains for me and I see that in my calls to do things I never thought I’d do. My departure to Athens, Greece (for a missions trip) is right around the corner and I am now reflecting on how  my involvement in refugee ministry and relief is something I never would have thought was going to be put on my heart. My heart aches for what those people are going through and I sympathize with missionaries’ experiences there. God continues to strengthen me in the areas that I lack strength, and even though this may all sound vague and general, He has fought for me on countless occasions—proving that I don’t need to worry. With this school year coming to a close, I thank Him for being my driving force to wake up in the morning. In this season of change,  new doors are opening and I pray for guidance and peace for both me and you.

Final Farewell

So this is it I guess. Every journey has an end and this journey has certainly been a great one. As you walk into the next season of your life as well, my hope is that you may experience the same joy, strength, and guidance I have also encountered. My last blog for this school year ends with a final call to action: I wish that you would make a continued impact in your community. Whether you’re a friend, prospective student, parent, or mentor, I hope I’ve done my part in motivating and inspiring you to be your best by telling my story! Whatever you do, do it 100% and do it to glorify God.

2 Peter 1:5-6

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

So since I am not so great at goodbyes, just consider this a see you later.

Until next time,

Noa