Congratulations incoming class of 2023! You guys made it! I hope you’re all excited for some of the most life-changing and impactful years of your life. As a senior who is on his way out, I can really say that my time in college has been the most trying, but also the most rewarding years of my life. However, I can truly testify that my greatest reward has been my spiritual growth in the Lord. The Bible says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). By seeking Him in college, He has rewarded me with countless wonderful experiences of Him.
You may be wondering: can my relationship with God really grow and advance in a place like UC Berkeley? I would like to assure you that it most definitely can! Despite Berkeley’s reputation, it is absolutely possible to be a student here and live a normal Christian life at the same time. While I don’t have a how-to manual on pursuing God in college, I do want to share with you what has personally helped me throughout my Christian life as a college student.
What has truly been the foundation of my Christian life is maintaining a personal relationship with God. Whatever my outward environment may be, spending time with Him in a personal and intimate way has strengthened my faith and my love for Him. Coming to Him in prayer, reading His Word, or even simply calling on His name in any place (1 Cor. 1:2)–these are great and easy ways to spend personal time with Him, no matter how busy you are!
My Christian walk at Berkeley has also been enriched by surrounding myself with other believers who love God and His Word. One thing I learned in college is that the Christian life is not individualistic. It is a life of pursuing God “with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). I can only thank the Lord that I’ve had my spiritual companions throughout my college years always encouraging me to enjoy God every day.
Beyond my personal growth, what has filled my Christian life with purpose is also seeing that God has a need. There are many others on campus that are either looking for God, or do not know that they need Him. I received the Lord my freshman year through some believers that shared the gospel with me. Doing the same for others by sharing this gospel and telling them about what I’ve seen and heard has been a great joy to me. Remember that if the Lord sends you to Berkeley, it is also because He needs you here! God can do the same through you and touch many hearts at Berkeley!
I found all these things that have led me to advance in my Christian walk in my community at Christians on Campus. So don’t wait to get plugged into your own Christian community! If you are looking for one, rest assured that you will always have a home with Christians on Campus. But wherever you end up, our greatest hope for you is that you would fall more in love with the Lord during your college years.
You will always be in our prayers. May God bless you with many rich experiences of Him. May He shine brighter and brighter at UC Berkeley!