Soaring Stories: Global student Baillie Myers redefines her Identity at Biola

Global student talks about her struggle transitioning from Mexico to the Biola environment.

Global student sophomore Baillie Myers

Global student sophomore Baillie Myers

Isabelle Thompson, News Editor

As if adjusting to college life is not hard enough, global student Baillie Myers also had to become accustomed to American culture upon moving from Puebla Mexico to Biola, her freshman year.

While the sophomore psychology major is technically an American citizen, she has always felt her real home to be back in Mexico. Having lived in both countries, Myers expressed how she feels influenced by both cultures, which has had confusing effects when navigating her sense of identity.

GROWING UP IN MEXICO

Since moving to Mexico at the age of 12 with her missionary parents, Myers has found a love for the culture as well as the community in Puebla, which she says has become like family.

“I think one of the biggest impacts that Mexico has had on my life is how loving the people are,” Myers said. “They practically treat you like family. I think that’s something I miss dearly, just that family feeling. The people my family worked with are such giving and loving people. We’re family now.”

With blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin, Baillie Myers says she was easily distinguishable in smaller communities and oftentimes, her appearance came across as somewhat of an oddity.

“I think the hardest thing growing up [in Mexico] was that there were no other white people, or blondes or blue eyed people, so when people would see me they would think that they had to touch me and I’m not a touchy person. They would touch my skin or pull my hair to make sure I was a real person. So growing up, no teenage girl wants that,” said Myers.

BECOMING PART OF BIOLA

Myers discovered Biola through her brother, who is also a student. She liked the fact it wasn’t too far away from home and that the school offered faith-based education.

“I think the main thing that brought me here was the fact that there is a minor in Bible and I’m seeking to become a missionary in the future, so that’s one of the big things,” said Myers.

There were many things with which Myers was unfamiliar, but she did not go through this transitional process alone. Because of Global Student Programs & Development at Biola, Myers was able to connect with other students who better understood what she was going through.

“I came to the orientation for the global students and was able to just meet a lot of international students with kind of the same background as me and were kind of going through the same things. That was a really good thing for me just because I didn’t feel as alone anymore,” Myers said.

Although Myers struggled with finding a sense of identity when she became part of the demographic majority on campus, she believes this struggle has caused her to strengthen her identity in God.

“From being such an abnormality, where you didn’t see anyone else with my skintone or anything like that to a school where three fourths of the students, I look like them, there was such an identity crisis when I came back because i was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how do I stand out in this crowd,’” Myers said. “I think that’s something that I had to deal with God about. I think that my struggle of identity isn’t there as much anymore, because I made my identity in Christ stronger.”

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