The first time I met Jon Wallace, president of APU, I told him I was planning on attending Biola.
You may not know that Biola and APU are intense rival colleges. For years, there have been pranks and friendly competition traded back and forth between the two schools.
I didn’t know this as a senior in high school; I also didn’t know who Jon Wallace was. He was just an old friend of my parents who seemed to have an unusually high interest in where I was going to college.
I did, eventually, see the light and ultimately decided to apply to APU. Jon Wallace either forgot about this little incident or he was gracious enough to pretend he had forgotten, because three years later, I am about a month and a half into my senior year here at APU.
And I’m glad I ended up at APU. I’m not trying to say that choosing another school would have been a bad decision or would have had a negative impact on my life in any way. Actually, I firmly believe that it doesn’t really matter which school you end up at; all that matters is what you make of whatever environment you choose.
I remember being in high school and being terrified that I would make the wrong decision as to where I went to college. I remember weighing the pros and cons in my mind over and over until I was so confused about how to make this decision that it gave me a never-ending headache. I was absolutely convinced that there was one particular choice that God wanted me to make and if I could just think about it enough, I would figure it out.
But then I had a high school Bible teacher talk to me about God’s will. He said, “As long as you are striving to be in the center of God’s will, you will not make a bad decision.” This completely changed my approach to choosing a college. Rather than focusing on where God wanted me to be, I began to focus on where I could use my talents and honor God to the best of my ability.
So I chose APU. Not because it was the more Christ-like school, but because the strong English program and the focus on missions and the larger student body and all the beautiful trees on campus appealed to me. I could have served God just as well at Biola or Westmont or even a secular school, but I chose APU because it seemed the most me.
I am so grateful to have a God who gives me the freedom to make these kinds of decisions.