Walking on a Tightrope
Have you ever suddenly hopped onto the edge of a curb and pretended you were on a tightrope for no sensible reason at all? My freshman year was a bit like that.
Without the usual handholding of my parents, I entered college with my full attention fixed on trying to balance everything while holding desperately onto a fear of falling. It was the first time I had to choose what I wanted to care about or value. Whether it was having fun, focusing on career, making meaningful friendships, doing whatever I wanted, etc...I was running around testing the durability of each rope, trying to figure out which one I had the most potential to cross and would keep me comfortably safe all the way through. I wanted to choose the best direction to take during my college years because once I was in the middle of the tightrope it would be too difficult to turn back.
In retrospect, I’m incredibly glad I didn’t choose the most secure rope. I took a risk that changed the route my college years would take: in my first semester I joined a Christian club on campus called Acts2Fellowship (A2F). Having been exposed to Christianity from my parents before, I was slightly hesitant, but I realized I now had full volition to choose if I wanted to explore further or disregard it. To me this rope seemed unpredictable, unnecessary, and not even worth considering at times, but truly, truly, I was blind to many fundamental attributes of Christianity and what a Christian community is as well.
You can never completely know what a church and the people are like unless you personally experience it yourself. As I opened my life to people in A2F and vice versa, I began to depend less on myself and more on them for balance. Through attending events and hanging out with the other students in A2F, I noticed that these people genuinely want to be a part of my life. Hearing many of the older ones vulnerably share their stories with students compelled me to share my story as well and learn from them why and how Christianity fits into that picture. I understood then that this community honestly wanted to guide me to think critically about my life—about the end of the rope.
During the beginning of my freshman year, my eyes were so focused on my feet and trying not to fall that I didn’t look up to see where I actually wanted to go. Yet, when I finally raised my head—of course, I completely fell multiple times. That’s when I realized I’m only a couple inches off the ground.
Cameron Opartkiettikul (class of 2022, Berkeley A2F) is an English major and knows the whole alphabet. If he wasn’t a college student, he would be a YouTuber doing an eating show (aka mukbangs) just so he can have an excuse to always get boba, lattes and watermelon.