In this season of remote learning, we have spent more time in our living spaces, perhaps with our family back home or with roommates in different towns. Many of us are fatigued from staring at our own faces on Zoom all day long. These situations have caused us to spend more time with ourselves, which creates an opportunity for us to take the time to get to know ourselves and the person God designed us to be.

For many of us, college marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of life alongside unforeseen challenges like balancing school and life, finding it harder to connect with people online, or obstacles in our personal lives. College can be a time of growth and discovery – discovering who we are and who God made us to be. Using this time to intentionally grow in our own self-awareness will make a huge impact on our future life milestones.

Growing in self-awareness helps us in our relationships with others, getting a job, choosing our life long friends and flourishing in our purpose. As I look back on my time at Biola, I have discovered what was most helpful in developing my own self-awareness. Here’s what I’ve learned.

When we get to know God, we will discover who we are.

The God of the universe knows us fully and He loves us. Learning about God’s character through His word, we discover we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139), that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) and that we have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). When we know the powerful truths of God, we discover the sustaining truths of who He made us to be. These truths leave no room for comparison in our lives; God created each of us for a purpose and as we live for Him, we discover our gifts. We can also recognize and celebrate the gifts in the people around us.

The more we learn about other people, the more we will discover about ourselves.

When we take the time to learn about another person’s life, especially those from different backgrounds, we discover not only about who the person is, but about ourselves as well. Through conversations with others, we can discover how we communicate, unconscious biases we might have and our attitudes towards our own upbringings. This process helps us grow in compassion for others. In this season of physical distancing, I’ve learned to take that extra intentional step to call a friend I have not spoken to in a while or reach out to someone I’ve been wanting to get to know to set up a virtual meeting to chat.

Utilize the variety of tools that can help give words to your experiences.

The Career Center offers online assessments for students to discover more about their personalities and potential future paths. By making an appointment with the Career Center, you can talk through these helpful tools in order to grow in self-awareness. Additionally, The 5 Love Languages and Spiritual Pathways are also helpful resources to dive deeper in self-awareness. Simply answering questions in personality assessments can help us reflect on ourselves and our behaviors. When taking personality assessments, be sure to also read the descriptions of your results and make sure it is accurate to you. It is also important to remember that the results of these assessments are not your identity, but they are helpful tools to give you language to parts of your life that may be harder to identify.

Growing in self-awareness is a process. It does not happen overnight, but in this unique season of remote learning and social distancing, we now have the opportunity to get to know ourselves in light of God’s love. Let us make the most of this time in college by collecting tools in our toolbox that will take us beyond the pandemic, beyond the college years and into the next phases of our lives. Growth in self-awareness is crucial in the ways we love and know God, the ways we love and care for our people, and the ways in which we take care of ourselves well.

Let the words of Galatians 6:9 encourage you: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Written by Bailey Giersch, Senior Communication Studies Major, Peer Wellness Ambassador