Break the Normal - A Student Transition story

Posted by Debora Levis on 11/4/16 12:35 PM

Pack your bags, kiss your moms, squeeze the biggest hugs from your dad, and hop in the car because you’re leaving for school!

Nope, not that easy

Well, it wasn’t that easy for me, that is.

Moving away from my home in Los Angeles was one of the best, and most challenging choices, I ever made for myself. Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I was set on going to the local state school because it was the easiest, normal choice I could make until a missed date for a math placement exam was the factor of not being allowed to take classes the following fall. I was broken. I thought I had failed. I thought I lost my only chance. I was destined for community college (for a year, at least).  I turned my frown upside down and made my way over to the local community college and endured the longest semester of my life. Though community colleges aren’t known for being a place of actual community in the first place, I began to feel more and more out of place with each passing day. The thought of transferring over to the state school wasn’t even appealing anymore. I felt like God was allowing me to feel a need for change.

Once November made its way to Northridge, so did all my upper classmen friends who had moved away for school for the Thanksgiving break. I met with one of my childhood friends for dinner and she told me all about her experiences at Simpson from the prior year and a half. She told me of the change of pace the city of Redding was, the genuine friendships she was making, and the ways the Lord was meeting her because she listened to the clues He had dropped about leaving our town for Redding.

That’s when it clicked. That’s when every, last hair on my body stood tall with the realization that I too need to listen to the drops of heaven on my life.

The following March I came to my first preview weekend at Simpson and enjoyed every single second of it. The gorgeous campus, the town, the people, and the way I instantly felt at home. We visited Whisky Town Lake, at which I posted a picture on my Instagram with a caption that read “Future Home”, not knowing anything more about the future other than I was really hungry and wanted some In-n-Out later that evening. There was no way my parents were going to let me move eight hours away from home. There was no way I was going to even be able to afford a private university.

Fast forward to the next March of my sophomore year of college, simply days off in timing, I was back at Whisky Town with my two new Simpson friends and was enjoying the scenery Redding had to offer. Fast forward a little more to the present Debora that is loving her senior year of college, living with amazing roommates, with a leadership position at a local church, and now promoting Simpson anywhere she goes.

Coming to Simpson was the biggest plot twist of my life.  How could I ever leave my family whom I loved so much in the most popular city in the world for a small town with a small group of acquaintances? The answer is simple: God created me with a heart for new adventures and a soul strong enough to chase my dreams. He also granted me favor in financial aid because I am going to graduate from a private university with no debt in loans. There might be times when the mountain seems too high, the distance might be too far, your mom will miss you too much, but it is always worth it to listen to the voice inside you that’s telling you to take the risk, even if it is not your normal way of doing things. I have made life-long relationships at Simpson and in Redding and feel as though I have found my community. The best part is, I also found God in ways I never thought were possible and I can look back and thank Him for breaking the normal in my life.


Story by Simpson Senior, Deb Levis

deb profile.jpg

Tags: University, Simpson University, away from home, comfort zone, normality, redding, california