By Kimerly Biesinger
Ever since I was little, I wanted to go somewhere far away for college. But not just anywhere far away, I wanted to go BIG! At the beginning of my senior year, I decided I wanted to attend Yale University. You may have heard of it? Ivy League, Connecticut, kind-of-a-big-deal?
I prayed and studied for years to come to this decision. Yale was my personal dream and I felt that my answer from heaven was yes, so I went for it! Outside of my family, though, there were only about four people who actually believed I could get in. They were right, though. Those schools don’t admit anyone. Besides, very few students from Utah are admitted into the Ivy League, let alone from my high school! When my early application was deferred I was not surprised. Completely heartbroken, but not surprised.
I was so confused! Why had God given me the desire to do something so great, made me feel good about going through with it, and then denied me the opportunity? I knew that God had the power to get me in to school, but I don’t know why he didn’t.
Trying my best to be resilient, I started with a second round of applications. This time, I applied all over the best universities across the United States. While waiting for the next wave of decisions, I found myself struggling to trust in the Lord’s plan for me.
All of my admissions decisions were released the evening of March 28th, 2018. In seminary that day, we read 3 Nephi 13. It was like the Spirit had planned this lesson to land on this specific day exactly for me to hear it! I would absolutely recommend reading verses 25-34, but here are a few lines from those verses that especially stuck out to me that day.
“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, even if ye are not of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewith shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
As I read those verses, I felt like I was being hit by a bus! I was overcome with the feeling that God was enormously aware of me and my situation, and he had a meticulously planned path for me, as long as I chose to follow it. Opening all of my decisions that day, I felt the Spirit of peace so strongly. I knew that I had been placed where God wanted me to be.
The good news is, that day I got in!!! I was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, where I now study materials science and engineering. I do not know why I was placed here instead of where I originally wanted, but I do know that God knows why! He helped me achieve just as much as I had hoped, but sent me in the direction He needed me.
After getting in, making the transition to school was incredibly difficult. I was 17 when my family dropped me off with my three suitcases worth of belongings and a one-way flight to Philadelphia. I have never been more terrified! I cried for two hours in the terminal, and the whole six-hour flight. I wasn’t even an adult, but was about to live by myself thousands of miles away from home in a city where I knew nobody! Plus, I was about to attend school with hundreds of students who had been prepared much better than I had for such an intense education.
I did it though! In the last seven months, I have made phenomenal friends, traveled the east coast, passed a semester of classes, turned 18, and learned so much about myself and the Savior. None of these things came easily! I have struggled and grown through some of the most difficult times in my life these past months as well. There were some days I felt myself being completely carried by angels and the strength of the Savior's Atonement. He has helped me do everything!
Since moving to Philadelphia, my eyes have been opened to the abilities of young people today! I have friends in my classes who run businesses, are elite athletes, have made revolutionary technological discoveries, or have developed incredible artistic talents. These young people have been able to accomplish things that have been wrestled with for decades! The influence youth and young adults have on today's world in any and every discipline is greater than ever before in history! I testify that the Savior is aware of each and every one of us. He is familiar with our dreams and goals, and wants our success just as much as we do. If we choose to rely on Him, He will make everything possible unto us.
I grew up in West Valley City, Utah. I'm the oldest of seven--two sisters and four brothers. I graduated from Kearns High School in 2018! Now, I live in Philadelphia where I go to school at the University of Pennsylvania. I am studying Materials Science and Engineering. I also work with a company doing research on startup technology! Some of my hobbies include swimming, hiking, watching movies, and hanging out with my AMAZING friends!!