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I have lived almost my whole life as a non-denominational Christian, raised in a Christian household. With my spirituality being one of the leading factors of my life, I may have had different thoughts and actions from those who don’t believe. Attending a public institution like CU Boulder has its ups and downs, but I will forever be grateful for the unique experience it has given me. In this article, I will share with you my faith journey throughout college thus far.

Stepping into freshman year of college, I had this vision of finding the one perfect campus ministry where I would make deep connections with everyone and eventually become a leader or staff member. 

With this vision in mind, I tried out almost every campus ministry in the first few weeks of classes. After some time, I realized that each and every one of them is astounding in their own way, and despite my eagerness to commit myself to all of them, I knew that I had no other choice but to limit myself to only the top one or two that I really liked. 

Sometime later that fall, I was heading to the library, and I crossed paths with someone who evangelizes Asian American students. Since I had some time to spare, I agreed to sit outside and do a bible study with her. After the bible study, we exchanged our contact information, and since then, we started studying the bible together weekly.

For the rest of freshman year, I finally committed myself to one Christian fellowship, while still doing weekly one-on-one bible studies with the person I met. Being part of a Christian community on campus helped me realize that everyone is different, and especially for a public institution like CU, it was interesting to see how these differences shift from one environment to another. 

Of course, being a Christian on campus is not always easy. By observing my classmates, friends, and everyone around me, I knew that it would be difficult to convince many of them to study the bible with me, or in the least, join me at ministry. 

Over time, I learned to respect everyone’s personalities, beliefs, and opinions regarding faith. I knew that instead of trying to have everyone agree with me or join me, I could feel satisfied even if it were just one or two people who seemed really interested and had the potential of dedicating themselves to God. 

Then came sophomore year. Despite being a fully remote student, I found opportunities to attend many different online Christian conferences and events. I had the chance to meet people who live in other parts of the country, and sometimes even in different countries. Listening to their distinctive stories and lessons regarding their faith inspired me to create a story that I, too, would be proud of. At this point, I knew I had a passion within me to spread the Bible’s message, and I wanted to manifest that through leadership.

Second semester of sophomore year came, and I started meeting weekly with my main fellowship’s student leaders and staff to plan bible studies. I was being mentored by them as I prepared to become a student leader during my junior year. 

Second semester in particular was a difficult time for me, because while I tried my best to survive the fully remote environment, I also went through some personal struggles. Reflecting back on this, I knew that what mainly kept me together was my faith; if it weren’t for my faith, I wouldn’t have been able to survive second semester. 

Now, here I am, a junior. I am currently a student leader for Asian American InterVarsity, and I have the hope of creating a network of students discipling other students after myself. This would not have been possible if not for the many different communities and people that I’ve met in the past two years. I’m truly grateful for both the challenges and blessings that CU has given me as a Christian student, and I can’t wait for what the rest of my college career will have in store for me and my faith.

Gennah Penalosa is currently a junior at the Leeds School of Business. During her free time, she likes to draw, play the guitar, and read webcomics.
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