When I came to Hope College in the sticky, sweltering month of August, I was bottled up with uncertainty. Moving to a new city and school requires a lot of social and environmental change. However, I can genuinely say that Hope College’s campus has become as comforting as the couch in the living room of my childhood home. My name is Michaela Stock, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, I am freshman at Hope College. Currently, I’m studying Art History, Music, and Management. I have plans to pursue Arts Administration upon graduation and am looking to be employed within the field of Museum Studies or Music Business. Learning and living at Hope College is a privilege, and I’m grateful to be in a place where people want to grow and improve their minds.
Curiosity is the wind that howls through Hope’s campus. The past four months at Hope have been full of beautiful experiences to unwrap and invigorating challenges to wrestle with. I am being stretched over new canvases by my classes and personal quest for higher intellect. As a music student, being in classical music courses without ever being classically trained is influencing the way I create, listen, and learn music. While taking French, I am sharpening my mind in ways I don’t often experience, such as learning innovative memory techniques for all of the vocabulary memorization required. Hope College is a place full of dynamics in and out of the classroom, and I have found that by actively seeking all campus has to offer, I can find exactly what I’m looking for here within my education.
Part of gaining a higher education, however, is through job field experience–not just classwork. During my first two weeks on campus, I got involved with the Hope College Concerts Series and was hired as a Core Concerts member. HCCS is team of eight students who book and run the concerts that tour through Hope’s venues. Working shows alongside some of my most favorite musicians, such as Wild Child and Michigander, is providing me with an unparalleled experience within Music Business. I am gaining connections with artist’s managers and the musicians themselves through running the shows. Not to mention, the Concerts Series team is incredible, and I’ve formed great friendships through the job. Schooling at Hope College goes way beyond the classroom, and I’m overwhelmed by the real-world opportunities my HCCS job provides me with.
I also work in the Hope College Alumni and Family Engagement office. This job has a much different atmosphere from my Core Concerts position. At the Alumni Office, I am responsible for answering calls, sending emails, and general paperwork. My job in the Alumni Office is providing me with practical business experience as well as connections within Hope College that exceed daily student life. Working alongside adults and gaining administrative knowledge is rewarding and extremely practical. I’m grateful to have both the opportunity to work at Concerts Series and the Alumni Office, as they provide a diverse work experience and richer education while studying at Hope.
Daily life at Hope College is so much richer than just my classes and work though. The chapels here provide me a set aside time for worship and reflection with the Lord. Three days a week, I overlook hundreds of my peers swaying below me from the balcony of Dimnent. Our voices collect together in praise as I stand under a kaleidoscope of stained glass imagery. On my walks across campus, I’m always greeted by familiar faces, whether by friends or distant acquaintances. I’m often stopped in the Pine Grove by squirrels pounding across the sidewalk, cheeks packed full of treats. Campus is not just home to college students, you know! At night, my dorm is filled with friends and mugs of hot tea, steam billowing over the lip of our cups, the hallway full of flung open doors and echoes of laughter.
Hope College’s campus is full of friendliness and quirks, and I am incredibly grateful to be here. When I moved to Holland, I didn’t expect Hope to be so full of honest community from my peers and professors. Moving out and into Hope’s campus has been the smoothest transition I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I’m grateful to the Hope community for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere for incoming students. When I look ahead and into the next three and a half years I have on campus, I’m inspired and excited to push myself further towards my goals and gain greater knowledge on what it truly means to live a full, wild, and genuine life at Hope and beyond.