Alex Does Outdoorsy Things

XASS: Where are you from? What year are you? What do you hope to major in?

Alex: All right. Hello everyone, I’m Alex. I am a frosh from Austin, Texas, by way of Bozeman, Montana. I’m looking at majoring in maybe computer science or biomedical computation.

XASS: When you say from Austin by way of Bozeman, what do you mean?

Alex: So, I was born here on Stanford campus and then shortly after that my dad got a job in Bozeman, Montana. So that’s where I had my formative years growing up in a non-denominational church. My parents were not believers when I was born. My mom was a lapsed Catholic and my dad was a pretty staunch atheist. But my dad’s boss invited them to church and they joined a fellowship called BSF, Bible Study Fellowship.

They got really into it and read through the whole Bible, and that’s the environment in which I was raised by the time I was conscious. Then 10 years later, we moved to Washington for a year and then ended up in Austin. I just followed my dad’s job.

XASS: You were born at Stanford, so were your parents Stanford students?

Alex: My dad did his master’s here. And he grew up in Los Altos for high school. He actually did his childhood in Costa Rica, yeah.

XASS: Oh, wow. Okay. Siblings?

Alex: No siblings. It’s just me.

XASS: So why Stanford?

Alex: Why Stanford? Oh, I think when I was young, my idea of what a college was very closely married with Stanford, just watching the Big Game and my dad was a big fan. His brother also did his master’s here and they grew up around the area.

So for me, Stanford was never pushed on me, my parents were never pushy about it. But as I grew older and I got more into computers and I thought about where I would want to go if I wanted to pursue that. It was between Stanford and MIT, cold and warm, home and far away, so I chose here. I mean, they chose me, I didn’t really choose them. That’s how it works out, right?

XASS: Once you got into Stanford, why Chi Alpha? How’d you connect with this ministry?

Alex: I actually was just biking past a graduate club fair, and I saw Christian ministry. I was looking for one because I was worried about that coming into college and Stanford in particular. So I remember I met you, it was the day of Beyond Sex Ed. You were like, “Watch out!” *both laugh* And then you said not everyone here is like that. So, that was some good starting advice and then I came up for the reFARMation and I really liked it. Then I never actually tried out any other groups, I just stuck with it, because it was very welcoming. I got into a life group very quickly and it was good.

XASS: You mentioned computers are your academic thing. What are your hobbies, your non-academic passions?

Alex: When I was younger, I probably spent too much time playing video games, but we don’t really have any time for that anymore. When I was growing up, it was going to ski resorts every weekend. That was a big part of my childhood. So skiing and snowboarding and then when I was a little bit older, my dad, we went on scuba diving trips together. So that’s kind of like the outdoorsy component. In terms of other hobbies, I’ve always just followed technology news and looking at different stocks for technology companies, stuff like that.

XASS: Has Stanford so far been a spiritually beneficial experience, harmful, neutral? What’s your journey been like here?

Alex: Yeah, I think coming … at my high school, there was none of this, it was a very secular environment. I grew up through private Christian schools until high school. So that was a good environment where I was always around believers, and so it was a good foundation for me. Stanford has been definitely an improvement over high school. Because in high school, you meet once a week with your youth group and that’s all. But now it’s like, okay, Wednesday you go, you see people on campus all the time. You have people in your dorm, maybe. I don’t, actually, I’m the only one. But you see people in your life groups, so it’s much more integrated and I feel more in a community.

XASS: Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?

Alex: Yeah, so the one that I put on my Instagram bio is Proverbs 3:13. “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” and then it goes to 14, “for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” So it’s sort of not exactly like … it’s more like a … it’s a proverb, right? It’s not exactly Jesus-related, but I find a lot of inspiration from it.

XASS: Very good. And now, Alex, it’s time for the classic Chi Alpha Spotlight Series question, are you in a relationship?

Alex: I am not. It’s very simple.

XASS: Are you hopeful to change that or are you very content in your singleness right now?

Alex: I think I have enough on my hands. If the right person comes along, then maybe. But yeah, pretty neutral right now. Just trying to get all the work done.

XASS: All right. Alex, thank you for your time!