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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

After searching for community, I found peace through my religion

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Berenice Gomez-Chavez.
Chloe McKay relaxing at the beach on March 27 during Campus by the Sea, a camp in Catalina Island, Calif.

In my first year at City College, I felt alone. Many people were around me but there was no deeper connection where I allowed myself to be vulnerable; which became pivotal to the way I interact in my friendships now.

After a year of finding my place in Santa Barbara, a club in the City College provided me an outlet for Christian fellowship and getting closer to God.

Intervaristy is a christian fellowship club that has the goal of bringing young christian college students together to a community of Christ centered living and accountable fellowship. 

Throughout my time in the club, I have met so many amazing people that have boosted me toward improving my own relationship with God. 

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Fellowship through club activities on campus is such a good way to find community with people that are like minded. In the time I have been with this club I have learned so much about how important Christian community is to me. 

Being and feeling alone for such a long time during this year, I have grown comfortable with simply listening to people talk. Listening is easy for me, but maybe it has become too easy.

Friendships are so important to me and with that being said, being open and vulnerable about how a friend is feeling is something that I think is important for the relationship.

Little did I know that I was not sharing my own thoughts or feelings; just the surface layer or past stories. 

Being more involved with Intervaristy and finding a good Christian community this past semester, I have found a new sense of conviction and vulnerability.

Vulnerability to me is uncomfortable and a piece of life that really shows raw emotion to another person. It is often looked over as unnecessary to form friendships, but in the same aspect somehow, is it an imperative key to romantic relationships?

This dilemma is something that I have personally been working through by being vulnerable with friends that I trust rather than holding back my emotions and keeping them inside.

Additionally, trying to figure out when and who to talk to is another hurdle. I trust a lot of people, but figuring out who to talk to instead of rehearsing the same story over again with everyone is a struggle.

Looking deeper into my faith, God has shown me through my friends just how closed off I was and how it impacted not only their feelings but our friendship in general.

The act of being emotionally vulnerable in the moment is not easy and many people I know struggle with it.

Being a City College student entails that most likely many people, including myself, are moving on after two years, or they are doing things that take their free time away from college group activities.

There is a level of disconnect in relationships and friendships because of the idea that no one is staying for long so getting attached doesn’t seem worth it. However, through wise people around me, this idea was shifted.

The saying, ‘live in the moment’ may sound cliché, but it is something I want to encourage students, especially at two year colleges, to think about. Although time with people seems short, dive deeper into friendships and don’t get comfortable just listening like I did. People will want to hear you speak.

I will be taking this lesson with me as I move on to a four year college. As I transfer to Biola in the fall, a private christian college, the hope for christian community is high. However, being willing to start the process of getting to know new people and feel comfortable opening up to them will be a new challenge that I feel God is preparing me for. 

At Biola a lot of what I hope to experience there is what I am involved in now, which is being surrounded by friends that love and care for me and all the emotions I have, as well as a church that keeps me accountable and challenges my faith. 


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