Getting involved is worth the sacrifice

Before you graduate, take advantage of the many opportunities you have to grow yourself and impact Biola’s campus.

Austin Green, Managing Editor

(This story was originally published in print on March 14, 2019).

On March 12, the United States Department of Justice brought criminal charges against 50 people involved in a scheme to get undeserving students from wealthy families into expensive, competitive colleges.

Reaction to the news on social media brought swift condemnation on not only those who had cheated the college admissions system, but also the system itself. Many took the opportunity to voice their disapproval of traditional universities as a whole. And there are indeed some valid criticisms of the typical brick-and-mortar university system in today’s culture, as laid out in this very section last semester.

The far more deserving targets of outrage, though, are the families who skirted the rules so they could brag that their children had seemingly earned spots in prestigious universities. I do not personally know any of the parents who were indicted on Tuesday, nor any of their children, but simple logic would indicate that these students probably take their privileged college life for granted more than those who earned the right to be there.


Thankfully, I do not see this attitude too often among my friends at Biola. In fact, I often see the opposite—thankfulness at the ability to attend a college like this one and a desire to give back by becoming involved in different groups, jobs and leadership on campus.

In other areas of campus, though, I see an increasing lack of that desire to become involved. I do not know why that is the case. There is certainly no lack of opportunities to serve.

For instance, there were only nine total candidates in 13 possible Student Government Association election races. Not only was there only one ticket for president and vice president this year, the first time that has happened in recent memory, but no candidates ran for four of the seven on-campus senate seats. Nobody ran for the Block and Bluff senate positions, either, and only one ran for either of the two positions available to represent off-campus commuters.

At least people eventually applied for those positions after the elections. The Student Missionary Union, meanwhile, had to extend the application deadline for its global missions trips because no male students had signed up.

So why this lack of involvement? Of course there are plenty of valid reasons—overwhelming schoolwork, financial need and physical and mental health issues just to name a few—that limit students from being able to participate in areas of leadership on campus.

Many others on this campus, though, are blessed with the means and ability to give back to Biola, even in a limited capacity. For whatever reason, they just refuse to. That breaks my heart, because they are missing out on so much.


I cannot imagine my Biola experience if it was just limited to school and friend groups. Some of my most formative experiences during my college years have come through my involvement as an editor at the Chimes and as an SMU volunteer. I have met people I never would have met, and made friends I never would have made. I have been stretched, I have grown and I have encountered God’s love in ways I never would have otherwise.

Often, it was a sacrifice. I have spent hours during school nights working in the Chimes office during my almost two years as an editor here—even now, I am finishing this article during a production night for the print issue that you are now reading. If you are reading this piece online, I have poured plenty of time and probably more stress than I should have into helping build the website you are reading it on.

During my first semester as the Chimes’ sports editor, I also applied to be on an all-guys SMU missions team over winter break of my sophomore year. Before long, I found myself adjusting to a stressful new job, dealing with a heavy load of schoolwork and sacrificing much of the free time I had left in order to train and fundraise for my trip. It was one of the most anxiety-riddled stretches of my life. Ultimately, though, it was so worthwhile. I learned new things about myself and the world around me, and left that season having been changed for the better.

This is just one example. Over the past couple years, I have watched with pride as friends of mine have grown into leadership roles within SGA, SMU, Student Programming and Activities, Global Student Programs and Development, Student Orientation Services, Admissions, Residence Life, various clubs and many other organizations in and around Biola. It was not always easy for them, either. A lot of times, it has caused us to go longer than we would like without seeing each other.

These jobs are not always glamorous. They may not always look great on resumes or on social media. They require a sacrifice of what free time you have on your busy schedules. However, they give you an invaluable chance to grow as a leader and as a person as well as to learn more about yourself and, more importantly, your relationship with your creator.

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