The days are long, but the years are short

Alyssa wraps up her year of blogging with a few funny stories and a reflection on the past year of life as a college freshman.


Alyssa Alvarez, Writer

So, the rapture was supposed to happen Saturday… that was awkward. Too bad the Bible doesn’t give a disclaimer about no one actually being able to know the day or the hour of the last day. Oh wait, it does! (Matthew 24:36)

Facing the “dreaded shorts tan”

Anyways, something I have thoroughly enjoyed about Biola is how nice the weather usually is. It is something I am used to at home, and am quite glad I didn’t leave behind when going away to school. A couple of Thursdays ago, it was a lovely, warm and sunny day. At 11:30 a.m, I was sitting at Fluor fountain with a book and waiting for my roommate to come and have lunch with me. With my feet propped up on the side of the fountain and book in my lap, I read for a while, then joined Abby when she came. As soon as I stood up, I saw it.

The dreaded shorts tan got me again. Only, this wasn’t just my shorts that left an unattractive tan line on my skin, it was also the book in my lap that had covered my legs up to my mid-thigh leaving only my knees a new color. Vowing to fix it later, I had lunch and headed back out to the fountain for some more down time and sun absorption. With the sun behind me on my left, I read for another hour (with my book strictly in my hands and not on my lap), then I got a phone call that lasted another hour, and with the sun beating down, I felt quite warm. When I hung up and got back to my dorm, dread slowly churned in my stomach.

My entire left side was red. My neck and collar, the bottom of my sleeve down my arm, the hem of my shorts down my leg, all on one side of me. I thanked God that I had put sunscreen on my face that morning, just in case. The best part was I had my hair pulled back that day, which I never do, so the back of my neck turned so red it was purple, as well as the top of my ear. I suppose that is the price for being white and trying not to be.

End of finals means end of freshman year

Also, I am feeling the real stress of finals week this semester. Last semester, most people were freaking out a lot and getting stressed, and I thought, “This isn’t so bad….” Then suddenly, in the these last few weeks of school, I am overwhelmed with papers and exams and projects and book reports, and I understand the stress. It seems strange that we work so hard for such a concentrated period of time, and then suddenly have absolutely nothing to do for three months. I wish it could be evened out a little more, but I suppose this is the way it has always been. It is nice to look forward to a time when there won’t be anything to do or any books to read or any schoolwork we should look ahead at and get started on.

Which leads me to now. Having studied constantly for the past four days, and sporadically in the last few weeks, I have completed some finals and am ready for the ones to come. Finishing these next few days will mark the end of my freshman year, and the end of this blog.

A year of experiences and transformation

I have talked a lot about how much I can’t believe this year has gone by so fast. I know we are all aware that time flies, and I have been told the semesters only go faster through the four years of college. But wow, one year down and my life as college freshman is already complete.

This year has been the most transforming year of my life so far. I came to college for the first time. I tasted and savored dorm life. I fought my way through East LA in the scorching hot sun after running out of gas. I made friends for life. On Halloween, I was a farmer to the animals of my floor. I helped make the coolest Christmas gingerbread house I’ve ever seen (really). I reconciled a broken relationship with a high school friend. I felt the real fear of financial struggles. My heart was transformed to love the nations of the world at Missions Conference. I have learned more theology than most Christians of the world get the opportunity to hear. I decided to be a journalist. I witnessed a friend come to Christ. I lost someone very dear to me. And I am going to experience the fearful process of chapel make-ups.

Living a purposeful life

God’s lesson for me this year has been this: do not waste your life (coincidentally, also the title of a book by John Piper which is required reading in some of Biola’s Bible classes). The time God has given me is precious. His plans for me are extraordinary, I know that much. All I have to do is accept that His plans for me are bigger than myself, that most of them indeed have nothing to do with me at all, and in light of that, to seek opportunities to live radically.

Because God did not make this girl to live in a box or to be a cookie cutter Christian. I am here to shake up the world with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming Jesus wherever God sends me. God has blessed me this summer with a job at Forest Home, the Christian camp for kids. I knocked at His door for opportunities to be a part of His plans, and He provided.

Excited for the new journey

So now, thank you, Biola, friends, and my family for your faithful readership. It is hard to say goodbye, but I will be back next semester, ready for the new wave of this journey that God has set before me. Thank you for allowing me to document my experiences and my memories, because those are what last; those are what matter.

If you want to comment, tell me the most memorable moment of your freshman year, a gnarly sunburn story, or tell me which blog was your favorite to read! Thank you!

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