I like to call this transitional part of my life “The Aloha Days.” Saying goodbye to one life is hard, but concurrently saying hello to a new one is more than enough to make it all worthwhile. Saying hello and goodbye at the same time. Just like Aloha.
My name is Alyssa Alvarez and I am a freshman English major at Biola. These are the silly, random, and sometimes totally senseless things that go on in my day to day life. I’m just your average student, but I hope some of what I go through you can relate to, and others I hope will make you laugh. For starters, this how I came to Biola: As quickly as my senior year began, I felt it coming to a close. God had worked through the grapevine as He often finds ways to do, and led me to a door I was not expecting. After months of indecisive monotony I somehow found myself at Biola’s doorstep, acceptance letter in hand, waiting for my cue to enter.
Starting out on my journey, the dominant side of my mind was fearless with God on my side and the Holy Spirit in my heart. He was telling me this is the place for me, and I listened. There was of course the dreaded Empty-Nest Syndrome that had settled in with my parents, and because I am the youngest child and my parents live separately, there were two nests I was emptying single handedly and simultaneously. But I also realized that God’s truth in Philippians 4:6 applies directly to me. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
So that’s what I did. With thanksgiving, I prayed for understanding from my dad, and pride for my mom on the great job she did readying me for the world (and for giving me a solid life lesson on laundry detergent at age 18) instead of worrying that I’m on my own. And it was as easy as that! Well, not really. It was still hard, but praying always helps, and in my mental preparation for college, I had many important things to worry about.
Dorm shopping, for example. Of all the exciting things in my life so far, the elation I felt while dorm shopping was incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced! It was almost as exciting as my first visit to Biola, overwhelming in atmosphere and joy. Nothing compares to finding the perfect bed spread, especially after searching Wal Mart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other stores that shall remain nameless (Really, Mom? Really?) Also, connecting with my roommates on Facebook for the first time and learning about the girls whom I hoped would soon become two of my best friends was an excellent way to pump me up for school. Not to mention buying a pack of glow-in-the-dark stars for my room. Oh yes!
I talked to my SOS leader, was on the phone with admissions constantly, and all the while spent hours deciding what was necessary for my dorm and what really needed to stay. (For example, the books I have collected over the years. My beloved classics needed to stay home… Sad face.)
Now here I am, beyond elated to begin my journey, and overjoyed that I am able to share it with you in writing. I know college will be everything my mentors and friends have told me it will be, but I am confident I’ll find my own adventures as well. Having sat in on a few classes, (particularly Professor Jung’s Biblical Interp. class!) my nervous excitement has skyrocketed. Knowing that I am finally coming to a place where faith isn’t just something the speaker at the campus Christian club mentions, but a living thing in classrooms and in lives is incredible. And being surrounded by people who are just like me—excited, inspired, inquisitive, ready-or-not, but most of all, seeking Christ— I know is going to make my college life amazing.
All in all, in the midst of the mess that is life and transitions, I am learning that God is good. Romans 8:28 says, “For I know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I have been called according to God’s purpose, and with the Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me, I know that good will draw closer. Biola, here I come!