Hi there! Thanks for clicking on this post! I’m excited to share a bit of my Biola journey with you. My hope is that I can give you a better idea of what Biola is like and that you be encouraged and inspired to seek the Lord’s guiding voice—especially if you’re feeling a little lost in regards to college or life decisions.
As a senior in high school, I had very few ideas for what career I would have liked to pursue. I didn’t have a lot of obvious passions or outstanding talents to guide my decisions. I was discouraged and anxious for my future because every idea that I had in my head looked kind of foggy. Because of this, the idea of college was intimidating. I thought, “Do I even want to go to college?…Is college for me?…I don’t know what I would study.” Somewhere along the way, I checked out one school near my home but my visit there made me even more discouraged and intimidated. There was no excited stirring in my heart — just a lull.
After that discouraging visit, my mom encouraged me to visit the one my brother was attending: Biola University! Despite my apprehensiveness about going on another overnight college visit, she signed me up for a three-night event called Biola Bound. I prayed about my future quite often so before I went I asked God for obvious guidance. In my mind was the passage Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I simply acknowledged the Lord, asking him to be at the forefront of my mind as I considered this college.
On the first day of Biola Bound, I felt very welcomed by the students and faculty of Biola. I didn’t feel overlooked, like I had felt at the other school. It was a unique feeling, and I was intrigued by how sincere the people of Biola seemed.
The next day, I was taken to a local church, In-N-Out, and Disneyland!
When we got to Disneyland, one of the Biola Bound activities, most of my peers (the other high schoolers visiting Biola) split off from the Biola staff. However, I felt a tug on my heart that told me to spend the day with the Biola student leaders (the student ambassadors) instead. I stood in a lot of long lines with the ambassadors all day; and again, I didn’t feel overlooked. Even though the ambassadors were older than me and were friends with each other, they engaged with me. I felt sincerely seen. These college students wanted to know who I was and help me discover whether or not Biola would be a good fit for me.
A student said something to me that day, and I never forgot it. She said, “Biola is the best place to have your worst day.” I thought that was a pretty bold thing to say, yet she said it with so much confidence!
The third day was one of the most pivotal days of my life. I woke up after the Disneyland day, feeling just a little less hard-hearted and intimidated about college. I still carried self-doubt, though. I thought Biola was cool, but what would I even study?
I had the opportunity to eat lunch with some professors that day. I asked as many questions as I could think of. Even though I had no real career ideas, these professors seemed to see my potential more than I could. Their excitement about my potential to impact the world for Jesus Christ really struck me. At some point during that lunch, I reflected on my experience at Biola so far: how I felt so seen and cared about, how people treated me as an individual and truly seemed to have my best interest at heart, and how I felt the presence of God all over campus.
I had been stubborn about the idea of college up until then, but I believe God planted a thought in my mind during that lunch: Even if I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in the future, I did know that I loved Jesus Christ. Biola. I thought, could be a place for me to spiritually grow, be a part of a supportive community, and discover more about God’s greater calling for my life. Plus, getting a college degree would be nice.
Chills ran through my body, as I let myself imagine being a Biola student. With an overwhelming mix of excitement, fear, and peace, I felt God “making my paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6). I applied for Biola soon after Biola Bound and was quickly accepted. Though I was a little nervous to tell people that I didn’t know what I wanted to study, I remained confident in the decision to attend Biola.
I was in love with this school before I even knew what I wanted to study; and I think that’s largely because Christ is at the center of the events and the people who run them. I wanted to have my “worst days” at Biola, surrounded by like-minded people, like that student ambassador had said.
Now that I’m a student here, I can tell you that I made the right choice. All the things I loved about Biola Bound were not fake or misleading. This school really IS a good place to have a bad day. I do belong here. I am seen and known. I am growing in my faith. I picked a major that seemed like a decent fit, and I’m going to get a degree by the end of my time here. Despite my fear and self-doubt, God made a path that lead me to Biola. While Biola may not be where God is calling you, I do want to encourage you to consider Proverbs 3:5-6 while you seek direction for your life.