Grace from the graduation stage
Three seniors expose the truth behind preparing for the real world. | Jehn Kubiak/THE CHIMES
Leaving the comfort zone of college life seems terrifying, but the minds beneath the caps have plans beyond the ceremony. A business student, a bible scholar and an education undergraduate reveal the truth and preparation Biola has instilled in their future careers and immediate plans.
Progressing from student life to full adulthood has caused many a heartbreak and a few complete intellectual meltdowns. The path ahead is strewn with responsibility, and the end game of adulthood remains shrouded in mystery.
Brandon Wong, senior business management major, agrees that graduation felt far-off as an underclassman. While his end achievements require hard work, he understands the goals he wants to attain somewhat justify the means.
“Realizing that I’d have to transition from this great community and from the Biola bubble into the real world and into full-time work, it’s difficult,” Wong said. “Biola’s been teaching me all the necessary skills to succeed in the workforce, personally and spiritually. It’s nerve-wracking because you don’t know what to expect, but you’re ready for whatever comes.”
Faith in the Workplace
Similarly, Wong notes that Biola has intentionally stressed the importance of maintaining and sharing one’s faith in the workplace. Specifically as a business student, Wong admits to the importance of his faith in his future endeavors.
“I think one of the most important things Biola has done is reinforced and continued to develop my faith. I think that’s one of the most important tools you can have in your future,” Wong said. “Because that’s something you can always rely on in hard times and that will get you through whatever you need to get through.”
Feelings of Uncertainty
Anna Petrizzi, senior biblical studies major, admits to feelings of uncertainty in her immediate plans beyond graduation. While living with her parents, they more often play the role of cheerleader and yet maintain high expectations for her responsibilities in keeping up with housework.
“My parents are not the kind of people who would baby me. They push me to continue to work hard, they’d have me take responsibilities around the house,” Petrizzi said. “It’s almost like adult training school, which I’m looking forward to. It’s a transition period of what still feels like childhood with actual adulthood.”
Contrasting with lessons she has learned in her time here, Petrizzi stresses class instruction does not complete a full Biola education. For a nugget of advice to future graduating students, she pushes for understanding in times of stagnation after rigorous study.
“As a Bible major, the most important thing I’ve learned about is my relationship with God, and how and why to prioritize that,” Petrizzi said. “Realize that times of waiting are not bad times … Those are the times where you can really pursue God. And then you’re not doing nothing, you’re doing the most important thing, which is waiting and listening.”
Mary Knudson, senior elementary education major, relates to the same feelings of preparation from Biola toward her future and her immediate experiences.
“Biola has done for me what no other schools, I feel, could have done as well. It’s given me the foundation to build my life on in regards to my faith, in regards to how I interact in community,” Knudson said. “I feel like Biola has given me a really steady foundation on which to build my life upon. Even if I don’t know what my life will look like yet, I have a very steady ground.”
Point of Maturation
Knudson views graduation as a necessary movement toward greater things. Her experience at Biola, while extremely beneficial, has led to this point of maturation as well as significant change.
“There’s still sadness that comes with that because now, my whole four years was built around Biola and now, what does my life look like afterwards? But it feels like the next right step to take, which is a good feeling to have,” Knudson said. “I feel like I’ve come to this place where graduation feels like a very natural transition and a next step into living my life.”
After completing a university education, the scary void that exists between the now and that far place of “adulthood” closes rapidly. For Biola students, this means greater opportunities to share the faith to a greater number of people in the workplace and beyond.
However, the stage waits still. The victory lies in walking with boldness across it, into a life planned and yet unknown.