January 2, 2019

Lina, Class of 2018 – Alumni Impact Story

I have just finished my first semester at Westmont College, and as I have been reflecting back on these past four months, I see how much I have experienced and the changes that have occurred. However, through the support and guidance from my parents, as well as my foundational education from Pacifica, I have found that I am well equipped for this leap to adulthood.

Truthfully, I can say that my transition to Westmont has been seamless. As Mr. O’Neil emphasizes, being known and vulnerable in community is imperative in creating true relationships with others. This sense of being known that has been ingrained in me and has transferred into intentionality in seeking community in college. I have been able to find a group of friends who already feel like family, and as a group we deliberately pursue adventures commingled with diving deeper into the word of God and what He is doing in all of our lives. My deep relationships with Pacifica’s faculty has prepared me to be comfortable attending my professor’s office hours and taking them out to lunch to get to know them better. I have already found several professors who I trust to give me profound life advice.  

Within the realm of academics, college has not been a terrifying jump, but rather a natural extension of my scholarly endeavors at Pacifica. At first, it was sort of disorienting to have so much free time, but as I dove into my classes, it became easier to immerse myself in what I was learning and the richness of it all. The structure of classes parallels Pacifica’s very closely, as there are many small classes with Socratic style discussion about virtuous living and flourishing in relation to each discipline. Namely, the Augustinian course I am enrolled in, Faith Seeking Understanding, delves into the ideologies of the Christian founding fathers and how their ideas and experiences can help us to lead humble and righteous lives. These discussions have been so enriching and an important continuation of the daily conversations I had at Pacifica.

Having served in a variety of leadership positions at Pacifica, I found it easy to dive into leadership opportunities at Westmont. Within the first three weeks, I was elected as my dorm’s senator, and shortly thereafter began serving on Westmont College’s Student Association (WCSA). The need for humility in leadership that Pacifica taught me has equipped me to serve on this council well, as we address important decisions for the community of the school. I am also a photographer at The Citadel, our yearbook, and am involved with a local ministry called Jesus Burgers that serves the UCSB community.

Thus far, my experience at Westmont has been full of outrageous fun, deep discussions, and immense joy in learning. I am forever indebted to the staff, faculty, and my peers at Pacifica for helping to endow me with what I needed to embark on this adventure. If I could give a piece of advice to the current students at Pacifica, I would encourage them to be engaged, grateful, and kind as it will serve them greatly in the next juncture of their life. Most of all, I would exhort them to keep the faith, as He never fails to bring great joy and adventure into the lives of those who believe. To the staff and faculty, I would share my deepest thanks for faithfully keeping to Pacifica’s vision because all of the pouring out they do is not in vain. To the supporters of Pacifica, I desire to emphasize what a worthy venture Pacifica is as it produces something decidedly different that will surely have tremendous success and impact in this radically dynamic world of ours.  

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