WOW, do I suck at keeping up with blogging! I didn’t even keep up with those once a week posts that I wanted to do about what I am thankful for. Well, in my defense, this last semester was super hectic and busy. I was just focused on doing as much as I can before I left the great Biola campus. But now that it’s all over (and I’m officially in the adult world of unemployment), I have time to rant again! LOL
I still cannot believe graduation already past. Like, it felt too short for all the hours I put into getting that degree (except for the part when they called all 700+ graduates’ names. I was too hungry that it was all a blur). But it was a great time and boy, did I feel so loved that day. My whole family was there, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends that I consider family, and some even flew out from Florida to see me walk. It was such a special, pivotal moment for me and I am too #blessed for words (yes, I did that on purpose. It’s funny — just laugh).
Now that my undergraduate time is officially over, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on my three years at Biola and simply to share with you what I have learned while being there. Whether you are about to start college, preparing to graduate yourself, or are far from your college years, hopefully you relate to some wisdom (am I old enough to have that yet?) that I gained from the experience.
1) It’s okay not to know who you are yet. That’s part of the college experience. You change your major, you make new best friends, you start new habits, you explore new places, and you come up with new ideas that become part of your dreams. Life-long goals form, you create things you didn’t know you were capable of, and you learn how to push through and persevere. I had so many self-reflecting moments the last 3 years. There was a period when I didn’t think being a Cinema & Media Arts major was for me anymore because I didn’t like being on film sets every weekend like all the rest of the film majors. I had lonely moments when I missed things of my past and I had uplifting moments when I realized how close I am with certain people regardless if I only just met them at Biola. There are just so many opportunities in college that you were never given in high school, so take advantage of them and those experiences will help you figure out your likes and dislikes. Experiences will help shape you as a person. And even when you think you are set on something, you always change and that’s still okay. Hold tight to the foundations that shape you, but don’t forget that change is good. It shows that you aren’t staying in one place in life, but that you are seeking and moving forward.
2) You can enjoy doing more than one thing in life. Yes, you should have something you are focused on pursuing, but that doesn’t have to be the only thing you do in life. I don’t know how it is for people of other majors, but this one is especially true for film students like myself. Film students tend to stick with film students, not because they don’t like anyone else, but they just happen to be spending so many long hours with each other making films. But sometimes I get tired of making films. Sometimes, I just want to dance. Sometimes, I just want to draw. Sometimes, I just want to play music. That’s why I don’t spend all my time committing to film projects every weekend. If that’s what you like to do, the go for it! But for me, I enjoy dancing so I committed long hours in the late evenings to join a mock rock group at my school (if you don’t know what that is, watch this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzxhWJWKgyw). That was one of the best things I did at Biola! It was such a blast! I enjoy drawing so I have been designing things on Adobe Illustrator on my free time. I enjoy music so I continued playing in my worship team at church every Sunday. Expand your horizons. Join a lot of groups, do a lot of hobbies! Do things that you enjoy! Life is too short not to.
3) Facebook fasts are necessary. I know it’s difficult, but it is extremely helpful. And you don’t even have to completely give up Facebook, but if you’re like me and find yourself simply opening a browser window and naturally just typing “F” right away, then listen up. Take conscious breaks away from Facebook, or any other social media outlets that you are addicted to. The obvious reason is that it helps with time management. You waste less time looking at useless things like what some random person ate for lunch or that new Buzzfeed article about “Which Avenger are you?” But a huge reason why I have to take Facebook fasts is because I tend to compare myself to what other people are doing. I see other film students working on projects and the next thing I know is I’m beating myself up about not doing enough film things and feeling like I don’t have enough skill or talent in film. Or I see Christians doing mission work in third world countries and the next thing I know is I’m feeling bad about the new dress I just bought and I rethink the way I live. It’s just not healthy. You are you for a reason. God has different callings for different people and He is working on me at a different pace than others as well. I am not on this earth to live out anyone else’s story but my own. I cannot fall into the temptation of comparing myself to others or else I will never be who God intended for me to be.
4) Learn to be vulnerable with people. We are not meant to go through this life alone. We all have flaws; we all make mistakes. We all are going through something and it is nice to have someone to go through it with. This one was something I really had to get courage to do throughout my time at Biola. It has been my biggest learning process since day 1 my freshman year, and I’m still continuously having to chip off bits and pieces of the mask I wear on my face. One blessing about Biola is that it is a Christian campus. One downfall about Biola is that it is a Christian campus. It is so easy to fall into the lie that everyone is in a perfect place in their walks with the Lord all the time because you read all their Bible verse posts on Facebook, see them praying for each other around campus, and hear all their theological debates on a daily basis. I absolutely loved it, but I felt like no one would understand me because everyone else is perfect with Jesus. Boy, was that a huge lie from the enemy. I remember the second semester of my freshman year, my Biblical Interpretation & Spiritual Formation professor challenged us to share a little more than we are used to with certain people in our life. She talked about how God, of course, is always there to talk to and we can always count on Him to show us unconditional love and exponential amounts of grace. BUT when you share your life with another human being and you actually see God’s unconditional love and exponential amounts of grace poured out to you by another human being, it is so powerful. It is a living testament of God’s love for us and just showing a little vulnerability makes all that difference.
5) Take time to take it all in. I honestly think it is impossible to completely live life taking it all in 100%, but try not to always look forward to something else because you will miss what is in front of you right now. This really made so much sense to me when I went to London. My days were limited, so I had to make sure I was soaking it all in before it just passed me in a blink of an eye. I tend to mess this up a lot. I am always looking forward to something and I forget to be thankful for the present. This past semester, my boss was sharing how with her second child right now, she learned from the first one how fast it all passes, so now even in the tough times and the sleepless nights, she still takes it all in because she knows how fast it passes anyways. My last few weeks at Biola when it was sinking in that I was graduating, I would just walk campus, look around me, and just thank Jesus for the memories I have had and for providing me the opportunity to even be there without having much hassle about where I would find money for tuition and things like that. There are blessings throughout each day and we cannot forget to take time and be thankful for them.
6) Education is something we always take for granted. In America, we are overloaded with school. When I would be stressed out with all the reading, essays, and projects I would have, I always had to remind myself about the little kids I met in Africa who would walk 10+ miles by themselves in their little uniforms and no shoes just to get to school. Education is a huge blessing that not everyone gets and the fact that I was able to finish college is a huge blessing that I definitely took for granted so many times throughout the 3 years I was there.
7) Take time to have meals with people and find out how they are really doing. Break bread, go out to dinner with people, cook with each other, go on a donut run, bake fattening foods with each other. Just eat! And do life with each other. For some reason, food always gets people in a good mood to talk. Sharing a meal (not by posting it on Instagram) is a great way to unplug, unwind, and just talk with people. Especially for me, as an introvert, making plans to eat with someone always got me out of my room and got me talking with people. Instead of going on social media to find out what someone has been up to, you can actually make plans to meet with them and find out in person. And food is just always a plus. #fatlyfe
8) Jesus is the real MVP. Don’t forget to give Him all the glory in everything. And spending quiet time with Him is a must. I have been caught red-handed this semester not spending much quality time at all with Him and I have noticed how physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course spiritually drained I was throughout the semester because of it. But it’s soooo easy to put Him aside. He’ll always be there anyways, right? But you’ll notice yourself longing for Him. You’ll have a void that you’ll try filling with other things to distract you from Him, but nothing seems to ever complete you. Trust me, I’m dealing with bad habits I have made this past year because I have been putting Jesus time aside.
Anyways, I hope those were helpful to you and hopefully you can learn from things I went through in college so that you can savor every moment of it!
Now enjoy some photos from graduation! Oh, and if you do something funny on that green screen photo of my friends and I, send it to me! I’d love to see what backgrounds you guys put us in 🙂