College,  Stories

Freshman Foresight

Written by Jennifer Wenzel

Forget Ring by Spring. James Zapata, a human biology major, puts this stereotype into perspective. “There are so many people here that you can build a genuine friendship with. That should be the point of dating: to get to know people genuinely without that agenda,” he says. “We fall into the trap of pursuing the goal above the person…which is a huge mistake. Pursue people for who they are and seek to love them as who they are.”

Pursue People. Brian Glaze, a biblical and theological studies major, emphasizes the importance of developing friendships. “The number one enemy to any relationship is complacency. Relationships require consistent effort and pursuit,” he says. “The people that you will develop bonds with are those that you seek after consistently.”

Get Involved. Chanel Taylor, a sociology major, encourages involvement. “Freshman year is when you have the open-ended opportunities,” she says. “I would have taken advantage of any and everything I could have done possible, even if I didn’t like it or I was hesitant to get the exposure to it.”

Ask for Help. Molly Folkert, a math major, appreciates help. “Other people are just as confused as you are…It made me feel free when I realized that I was not the only one struggling.”

GET to, Don’t HAVE to. James Zapata loves that Biola requires students to attend 30 chapels per semester and complete a Bible minor. “It is a mistake to come in and see it as ‘I have to do it,’ but rather, ‘I get to do it.’ It’s a beautiful thing that you get to celebrate in the open, freely, with the body of Christ, with your brothers and sisters.”

Rejoice in All Things. Taylor Stribbling, a sociology major and SGA president-elect, urges students to look to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 for encouragement to find joy in all things. “That speaks volumes to me because, no matter what circumstance of my life, I should always be rejoicing. I should always be giving thanks, and I should always be praying.”

Be Here to Meet God. Victoria Simons, an English major, uses Isaiah 51:6 to remind her that God is her center. “I am here to find God and to grow closer to God,” she states. “Every person that I meet and every thing that I do is eventually going to fade, but He and His salvation and the love He has for me is going to be forever.”

To My Little Sister: Cling to His faithfulness. I graduate in May. My little sister starts at Biola in August. As I think about her, I can’t help but reflect on who I once was as a freshman. God has drastically changed me. My precious sister, college is both exciting and hard. I cannot say exactly what you will face, but I can say that God is in control. Cling to His faithfulness. He will show you why you are here. You will change.

And it is worth it.

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