An Open Letter to All Admitted Christian Students:
Congratulations on your acceptance to Cal! As you wrap up your time in high school or community college and prepare for the transition to Berkeley, I’d like to warmly welcome you and assure you that Berkeley is a wonderful place to spend your college years. There are many attractive things at Cal that you can get involved in, and you’ll soon discover there are clubs for almost every interest you might have. But as a Christian, I can say what has made my college years most memorable has not primarily been the classes and clubs, but the experiences I have gained with the Lord, both personally and with my Christian companions.
On a personal level, college is truly an opportune time to know the Lord by having many precious experiences with Him. You may meet a new friend with whom you can share the Lord, and know Him as the God who desires all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). As you go through new struggles – perhaps a stubborn roommate, or a grade lower than you’ve ever seen before on a midterm – there might be an opportunity to know our Lord Jesus as the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Perhaps even now, there may be many fears and anxieties you have about coming to Berkeley – will it be too challenging? Will my faith survive? These, too, are opportunities to experience 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxiety on Him because it matters to Him concerning you.” These ordinary moments, whether glad or gloomy, are opportunities for us to grow and progress in our Christian walk, and make for the fondest memories. I hope you would look forward to them!
Throughout college, I’ve also learned that our Christian life is not meant to be individualistic. Finding a Christian community has helped me grow in so many ways, such as helping me to pray and read the Bible. There have been countless times when I found myself in a spiritual low, and a Christian companion of mine provided exactly the help that I needed. It’s so enjoyable to be with other Christians who love the Lord! Going to Bible studies, smaller group meetings, and outings, such as bowling or ice skating, have been some of the most memorable times for me at Cal.
I’d like to close with a spiritual highlight. This past fall, I took the GRE, an exam for applying to graduate school. The night before the exam, I was filled with anxiety, and decided to call one of my companions. Though he had already graduated the previous year, and we hadn’t talked very frequently that semester, we were still able to pray together so easily because of the spiritual relationship we had built up during college. And it was such a joy! We began praying not only for my exam, but also for our continued pursuit of the Lord. After the call, I was filled with peace, and all the anxiety and worry within me was gone. This is just one of many ways pursuing the Lord with companions has made my college years a true memorial.
I hope this would be an encouragement for you to pursue Christ in your college career – there is much to look forward to! May the Lord richly bless you.
Take a journey with us through an ordinary week at Cal!