Journey to Cal
It's been a very incredible and unique journey that I have gone through this year and a half that leads me to UC Berkeley. God really blessed me throughout this journey. UC Berkeley actually wasn't my first choice at all before this because it seems really stressful, and I do not even know if I will be able to graduate from Cal. Still, somehow, I also wanted to get in because it has the world's top 3 ranking in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science field, and it fulfills my happiness and pride to be a student at Cal.
However, everything started to change after I met my first mentor, Aaron (I somehow saw a website called International Students Mentorship Program (ISMP), so I just registered for it) in September 2020, and he taught me many things about American culture and introduced me to more of his friends/peers who graduated from UC Berkeley. In November 2020, he and his friends decided to start a ministry for junior college students. They included me in the group called Klesis Bay International, where all the mentors were Cal graduates. I would call this the first most comfortable community that I had in my college life, and we met through zoom every Friday, played some games, and did Bible study together (I wasn't a Christian back then, but I am open to learning new things).
After my mentors left for Pittsburg to plant a church in CMU and Pitt in June, that's when I had another new mentor, Caleb, until now. He brought me to Gracepoint Berkeley (my current church, and Aaron and the mentors were also part of Gracepoint Berkeley) and encouraged me to drive up to Berkeley every Sunday for Sunday Service. Thinking back, I have been driving up to Berkeley every Sunday for almost 7 months. Caleb and the other Klebay mentors introduced me to IUSM & IGSM Berkeley, which are clubs in Cal that my church started years ago for international students. We went to Thanksgiving Banquet, ISM Winter Retreat 2022, Easter Sunday Service, and a lot of other events together, and basically, I felt like this is my home. I started to think, "I know I might be super stressful in Cal, but I have my church there, and this is totally enough." IUSM is where I want to be part of and learn more about God and one day go to plant a church in some other colleges as well. UC Berkeley has since then become the one and only choice of university I want to transfer to. I don't know where to go if I don't get into Cal, but I have faith in Him that He will provide as He Lord knows which school suits the best for me.
And here I am now, at UC Berkeley, officially part of IUSM Berkeley, and I can grow more faith in Him and really see how He paved my path to the university that I want to go to and also to learn more of His Word. Everyone in IUSM is rejoices when they heard I got accepted into Cal and this has reinforced my faith in Him. God blessed me throughout the journey and allowed me to be part of IUSM and Gracepoint Berkeley. Go Bears, and Praise the Lord