A Tale of Two Students

by Janna Perrien ‘01

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was an age of wisdom, it was an age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. . ." –A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

New students arrived early Saturday morning September 2, 2000 to begin their epoch--their--life as Christian scholars. Both students and parents were filled with mixed emotion: the excitement of independence along with the sadness of leaving their family and friends. Students stood in lines for ID cards and room assignments, while parents, arms full of boxes, waited with proud faces as their sons and daughters embarked on a new journey.

Student the First

Christina Guevarra of Monterey Park, California anxiously stood in line to receive her Alpha Group assignment, with her parents, Eddie and Virginia, by her side. But the commotion of hundreds of students and the many tasks ahead did not smolder the anticipation of what her new home held for her.

The Preparation

Months before this significant day, Christina rediscovered APU while browsing at her high school's college fair. The name sounded familiar because her friend, Glory Sung '03, was currently attending Azusa Pacific. She decided to check APU out for herself. During her campus visit, she made her final decision to join the Cougar family.

"It was a very positive environment," Christina recalled. "Everyone was nice, the campus was great, and I like all the new additions and improvements." Both Eddie and Virginia were very satisfied with Christina's choice, "We looked at APU and thought it was a very good school," said Virginia.

The New Home

With the registration process complete and a car full of must-haves, Christina was ready for her new home: Adam's Hall, third floor. The Guevarras eagerly parked their car in front of Adams, and proceeded to haul boxes up the three flights of stairs. With an earnest smile, Christina opened her door to a new friend--her roommate, Amber Fowler, a graphic design major. After introductions of parents and roommates subsided, the room filled with the day's business: getting settled.

"How does this look here?"

"Eddie, please put this box in the closet."

"Dad, can you please move my bed a little more?"

"Is it all right if we put the refrigerator here?"

"Mom, will you make up my bed?"

"There's more room than I expected--look at all this closet space."

The Goodbye

Eddie and Virginia were pleased that their daughter was adjusting well to her surroundings. Their adjustment would begin when they arrived at home to their empty nest.

"Her older brothers and sisters are already in college," said Eddie. "So we are getting used to them being gone." However, the glances at his youngest daughter conveyed a different message-the adjustment would not be that easy.

Parents and daughter are glad that the Guevarras' home is only a half-hour away. "We like that APU is close enough for her to come home," said Virginia. Christina admitted that she, too, was comforted knowing that the distance between her old and new home was short.

At the end of the day, they left their daughter, assured by her independence and great potential to succeed and flourish at Azusa Pacific. "She is a very responsible kid-in the top 10 percent of her class," Eddie bragged. "I will miss them, but I know that they'll visit," said Christina.

Student the Second

Meanwhile, other students were arriving by the minute. A mini van from Canyon City, California, stuffed with boxes, carried Josh Rice and his family to another canyon city—Azusa. His father, mother, and younger brother and sister all came to send him off. The beaming parents seemed as ecstatic about Josh's new life as he did.

The Story

As Josh waited to check in, he explained that he was first introduced to APU by his cousin, Annie McMillen '03, a nursing major. "She's the one who told me all about it," said Josh. In addition, his parents, both graduates of Biola University, encouraged him to pursue a Christian education. Like Christina, it was a visit to campus that persuaded Josh to choose APU.

"I decided to come here because it was really friendly," Josh said. "Some of the schools I visited weren't. I felt like I fit in with the kids here."

"We are glad he chose APU," said his mother, Sharon.

"But now who will have to help me with my computer?" added his father, Mike. (Josh, who declared computer science as his major, built his family's home computers.)

The Move-In

"I am a little nervous about getting settled," Josh admitted. He was unable to get in touch with his roommate before moving in and was not sure what to expect. But he was very enthusiastic about living in Smith Hall.

"When I came to visit, I loved how Smith was so close knit and how everyone hung out together," he explained.

As his family members moved in his prized computer (which he also built himself) and other personal possessions, he met his resident advisor, Marcus Robinson '02. A rug was placed on the floor and Josh began to unpack, wondering when his roommate would arrive.

Later, Josh discovered his roommate would not be attending APU. "I was a little disappointed," said Josh. But he quickly found camaraderie with others on his wing.

The Family

Josh's younger brother, Jeremy, carried in his contribution to Josh's college life—a skateboard Jeremy had built. Josh knows his brother will miss him, even if he doesn't come out and say it. "He's going to be a freshman in high school this year. So this summer we hung out a lot and I gave him advice," said Josh.

His junior high school sister, Heather, helped unload the car and posed for pictures. She shyly watched everything from a distance as if attempting to absorb as much of this place as possible.

Saying goodbye to his parents wasn't too difficult. "They were cool about things," said Josh. "And I told them I'd talk to them in a couple of days."

"They told me that they loved me. I know we'll miss each other, but I am going to enjoy being on my own."