Perspectives on the new school year

A freshman and senior share their thoughts on adjusting to college and preparing to enter the real world.


Job Ang

Robert Rodriguez, a Cinema and Media Arts major, is excited for his first semester at Biola. He is ready to confidently walk into new experiences, new challenges and a new community. | Tyler Otte/THE CHIMES

Tonika Reed, Writer

With the coming of each school year, many Biola students experience the joys and fears of being a first year student and adjusting to college life, as well as being a senior, graduating, and entering into what some call the real world. To explore the dichotomy of these two experiences, Jacqueline Rice, a graduating senior, shares about her plans for this year and her upcoming career and Robert Rodriguez, an incoming freshman, shares about what he plans to learn here and beyond.

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez is extremely excited to start his new life as an incoming college student. He plans using his major in Cinema and Media Arts to not be an average Biola student.

“I don’t want to live an average life,” Rodriguez said. “I want to live radically. I want to travel the world. Some people think being comfortable and secure is pleasurable, whereas I don’t sit comfortably with my life being planned out. I’ve spent too many years in the comfort zone.”

Rodriguez’s philosophy is that life is about faith and believing in the unseen. Fascinated by the mystery of life, he described how security in the form of monotony is not always best.

“I think life is about the risk worth taking…Life is about faith and not knowing what’s secure” Rodriguez said.

Although Rodriguez is definitely a risk taker, he is a little worried about failing.

“I’m worried about growing up too fast and or failing to make the best of my college life. I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.”

“I would like to influence pop culture and media in any possible capacity,” Rodriguez said. “I want somebody to consider change and not feel like change is being forced upon them.”

Rodriguez said that the thing he enjoys most about Biola is the community. Also, Rodriguez said that his journey to Biola was not really a journey in which he saw growth, but he feels that God allowing him to attend Biola was helpful for his growth as a person.

“I feel like coming here there wasn’t necessarily a growth but there has clearly been water,” Rodriguez said.

Ready to grow into the person that God has intended him to be, Rodriguez feels that he needs to overcome fear the most.

“I have to overcome being more independent and more responsible.”
Although Rodriguez dreams big, he realizes there are little steps to getting where he wants to be in his career. The thing he looks forward to learning most at Biola is truth.

“I look forward to learning the truth either directly or indirectly through the knowledge I gain here,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez’s advice to any incoming freshman and fellow students is to be yourself.

“It almost sounds cliché, but confidence is key,” Rodriguez said. “Strip yourself of all biases and fear that bind you, and that are creating a front. Just be who you are, because if you can achieve that you can achieve anything.”

Jacqueline Rice

Rice is excited about starting her senior year and is most looking forward to living in Alpha Hall.

“I’m most excited to build community this year,” Rice said.

She entered Biola as a junior transfer student, previously attending Glendale Community College in Arizona.

“I’ve always been passionate about kids,” Rice said.

Rice aspires to make an impact in the community of her hometown. Rice feels comforted in knowing that as a school psychologist she will be able to influence people for God’s glory.

“I see the school as a middle between home and church,” Rice said.

Rice decided to come to Biola because she believes it integrates Christian values and quality education well. Integration, for Rice, means seeing both the educational and Christian side of things. Rice’s favorite Bible classes were Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation with professor Frank Winans and Theology I with professor Erik Thoennes.

Through learning more about spiritual disciplines, Rice’s spiritual life has deepened.

“Being at Biola has made me go further into my relationship with God,” Rice said.

“I’ve learned how to look at my faith with my own opinions and not be fed the exact ideals of my church,” Rice said.

When Rice graduates she is going to miss the people, the Bible classes and chapel. She plans to become a substitute teacher in Arizona until she can get her master’s degree. Her advice to a freshman would be to create a healthy medium between school and fun.

“Go to chapel, do your reading, and realize that you’re here for school, and to have fun, so there needs to be a good balance,” Rice said.

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