Photos courtesy of Kayla Hall
“Since freshman year I’ve definitely learned how to be more independent — especially now since going abroad and coming back. But having my best friends still abroad — It’s forced me to come away from being cliquey.”
Kayla Hall, a 19-year-old sophomore and pre-med Sports Administration major with a minor in African-American Studies, spent her last semester studying abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland. Now back on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus, Hall carries fond memories of her past semester with her while transitioning to life back in the states.
“I was kind of thrown for a loop when I came back because I was expecting to be with sophomores in sophomore housing, but they put me in Drescher,” she said. “I think it’s been really hard for me living alone because I don’t want to isolate myself, but I find myself doing that sometimes. So lately I’ve been forcing myself to go to main campus, and I stay on main campus all day and study, so I can have the energy to get stuff done.”
Describing her personality as “the most introverted extrovert,” Hall said she enjoys having her own space to think but needs people around her.
“I get my energy from other people,” she said. “I don’t have to be talking 24/7, but I just like having someone there because it just gives me energy and makes me motivated.”
When looking back on her time abroad, Hall said she was happy that she chose Lausanne, even though her three best friends from freshman year were attending different programs.
“I’m really proud of myself because past me would’ve just went to Florence because my friends were going,” she said.
Hall credits her experiences at Pepperdine for helping her choose what she really wants in life.
“I think that being in college has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and made me say no. I want to do this, so I’m going to do it. It’s not going to be comfortable for me, but I’m going to do it because this is what I want to do.”
Hall said her reasoning for choosing the Lausanne program was because she wanted to learn French.
“My family is Creole, and my grandpa speaks French-based Creole, so I thought it would be cool to communicate with him,” she said.
While Hall cannot yet communicate with her grandfather in French, she is “still hopeful.”
Regardless of obstacles that arise in college, Hall said she will continue to try to grow and learn and chooses to looks on the bright-side of every situation, leaning on her relationship with God for help.
“I think this semester has been good so far because I’m learning more about my strengths and my weaknesses,” she said. “Living alone, I definitely get to spend more time with God, and my dad always tells me this experience will help me get to know myself more.”
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