“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” That’s easier said than done and Kristina Verduyn at the young of 22 has found what most spend their life looking for, purpose and passion.

It hasn’t  always been that way for Kristina. She grew up in a small farm like town in California, called Visalia. Here as a kid she experienced a fun childhood that involved playing outside and  helping her dad with animals. She lived a life that she considered normal, not knowing that God had so much more in store for her. She grew up thinking she would go to college, become a nurse, like her Aunt, then return home to bless others with the skills she had learned. But if it’s one thing we can count on it’s for things  not to be how we plan them.Screenshot_2016-04-07-10-44-49

Her journey started with a giant leap of faith.  With no time to look back or second guess, this once California girl, with much support and direction  from her mom, became a suburban college student. Leaving behind her beloved family and everything she thought made her who she was was an emotional roller coaster. Kristina admits to the transition bringing tears to her eyes and speaks about how her emotions almost held her back. She experienced sadness for what she was leaving behind, fear for the unexpected future that laid before her and anger because she knew deep down what was right for her was no longer where she was.

Once at Trinity Christian College Kristina was homesick and didn’t have anyone to call a friend but she continued on regardless remembering that she had to do this for her.

As if  enough things around Kristina weren’t  changing, she suddenly realized that Nursing wasn’t for her and became a Media Communications major. That alone would be enough to break a person but Kristina is far from just anybody. Her story is founded on being courageous and shutting down nay-sayers. One to never live with regrets or a desolate life, Kristina set off to forge her own path.

Sitting across from her allowed me to understand where all of that willpower came from. It was obvious that her  experiences transformed her into the beautiful women she is today. Kristina spoke with so much passion and confidence, she was straightforward with her answers but not in a rude or arrogant way, she was calm and honest. She was positive throughout the entire interview proving it was Kristina’s attitude and approach that set her apart from others, and that it’s so much more to this once bartender than what meets the eye.

Can you tell me about your college experience? 

I hated being out here first I cried like every day in the first week and every time I called home I was crying and begging my mom to let me come home but eventually I kind of told myself to let go and try to build relationships.Once I made friends and explored out my comfort zone it became easier for me. Now I gradate in 3 weeks and plan on living here…permanently!

How do you plan on using you Media Comm major?

(Kristina speaks about her past internship and how it has given her many skills and a passion to help others reach a goal or overcome an obstacle) I want to do something in that direction, where I plan events or even dealing with public relations. I really want to work or do something where you’re that person who connects others with resources. I want to be the person that is the channel to the community from a company… Something that allows me to talk to the community and see where they come from so that I can be that Screenshot_2016-04-07-10-44-38_1bridge for them.

When did you realize this was your passion?

I honestly came to Trinity with the sole purpose of being a Nurse, so it was very hard for to accept the fact that wasn’t for me. My aunt was a nurse, I’d even taken nursing classes in high school but that wasn’t the path God was leading down. So I’ll have say my sophomore year, that was when I realized Nursing wasn’t for me. I talked to my mom, she mentioned how much I loved to talk to people and my big personality and how I’m actually good at writing, so communications was perfect. It combined both of those skills that came naturally.

What is your biggest fear in life or regret?

My biggest fear or regret would be not trying. There’s so many people who sell themselves short and think less of me based on what they see. I love proving those people wrong. I can be great and a rock-star at life. So my biggest regret would be letting myself down and letting them win.

Kristina Verduyn, a 22 year old college student, soon to be graduate, who decided to take control of her life and not be controlled by the unknown or preconceived notions. She instead took a chance at life and silenced any doubts in her mind. Kristina is what happens when you believe in yourself and take chances on your future. We all can learn something from her and that is “life doesn’t happen to us. We happen to life.”