XASS: Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from? What year are you?
Abigail: I’m from Orange County, California, and I am a freshman.
XASS: Okay. So why Stanford?
Abigail: Well, I guess, the main reasons… Well, one of the reasons was because my grandpa went here, so that’s how I learned about Stanford from a young age. That started my interest and then I learned more about it when applying… Also, my grandparents live close to here, so that’s also really nice to know that even though I don’t have immediate family that’s super-close, I have my grandparents near here.
And I traveled around this area a lot, so it’s just a combination of the schools that I got into, picking which one I think would fit best with what I needed.
XASS: What did Stanford have that you were looking for?
Abigail: One of the things that I liked about Stanford was that academically, there isn’t a lot of pressure to choose a major right away, like some other schools, and that was something that I really wanted because I don’t really know what I want to do with my life.
I know that I love art, and drawing and painting, but that’s not necessarily what I want my career to be. I just needed someplace that would allow me to explore my options.
XASS: You and your sister both got plugged into Chi Alpha so quickly, how’d that come about?
Abigail: I was raised in a Christian household. I’ve gone to church ever since I can remember, since I was a baby, basically. My parents were in Campus Crusade for Christ, so I’ve always had ministry around.
My mom actually went to seminary and my parents do a bunch of things for the church, so I’ve always had opportunities to engage with my Christian community.
XASS: Why Chi Alpha?
Abigail: I actually went to InterVarsity first because my parents knew about it and said, “Hey. We learned about this group, you should go there and check it out.” So I went to a meeting, but I didn’t want to settle on a group right away because I knew that there were so many, so I asked which ones were the main ones so I could have a few to pick from. And people mentioned Chi Alpha, so I decided to come check it out. Also Grace and a bunch of people who live close to me come here.
And out of all the Christian groups I went to, this one just seems to have the friendliest community, the most loving community, and I really loved the way that they worship too. I love that they’re so free. I’m not a great singer at all, but it’s nice to have the liberty to sing, however badly I do, along with other people who can sing great, and maybe others who can’t sing as well either, but everybody’s singing enthusiastically, you know?
XASS: Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?
Abigail: I don’t know if I’ve settled on a favorite one yet, but one that I really like is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “God is faithful and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with this testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
I’ve had different trials in my life… And some of them are still going on, so I guess that verse just reminds me that even if I may not see God working immediately in my life, healing will come and when I look back I’ll see what He was doing. And I will be able to use this time to grow in my faith and in the future, I’ll be able to help other people who may be going through similar things as I did.
XASS: What advice would you have for frosh next year trying to figure out faith and life at Stanford?
Abigail: Let me think about this. Well, first of all, you need to find a community that can uplift you and who you can go to if you have questions or doubts about your faith and find answers. Also, I think one thing that’s really important is to have someone in your life who is like a mentor in Christ. So if you have a question or if you have a problem, you can go to them and you can know that you are getting a biblically based answer. And obviously when you’re in college, you’re going to encounter people with lots of different ideas and they’re going to challenge you. You’re also going to encounter situations that you’ve never encountered before, and especially at Stanford, since it is secular, it’s just nice to have a Christian friend you can go to talk to. So, I guess, have a mentor.
XASS: Okay. Final question, Abigail. The classic spotlight series question, are you in a relationship?
XASS: That was very emphatic. Any additional commentary?
Abigail: If something were to come up and if the timing was right, then I’d be open to it.
XASS: Gentlemen, you heard it here first. Abigail, thanks for your time!