Words of Wisdom: On Getting Involved

For this topic, we have one sophomore (someone who just finished her freshmen year) and senior (someone who knows the ins and outs of ways to get involved at Hope). Read their pieces of advice for how to get involved at Hope and make your Hope experience your own!

Lizzy Bassett is one of the Sophomore Class Reps on Student Congress and a Dykstra Hall RA. She is pursuing a degree in Communication and Global Studies. When she’s not doing schoolwork, you can always find Lizzy talking too loud and attending campus events, such as Coffeehouse. One of Lizzy’s favorite activities freshman year was Nykerk Oration, and she hopes you to audition for it too!

When entering college, you might have heard people tell you to “say yes to everything,” or “try as many things as possible.” While these sentiments are good and true, they are only part of the story. You can be taught how to say “yes” to everything, but you can’t be taught how to be passionate.

However, you might find your passions by saying yes to different opportunities, and when that happens, lean into it. You’ll find that there may be a time when one of the activities you joined for fun somehow becomes more important and meaningful than just a club or campus tradition. Lean into it.  Sometimes, your involvement will hand you a sense of responsibility for something larger than yourself. When this happens, it’s up to you whether or not you seize the opportunity and run with it. In Roald Dahl’s book, Matilda, five-year-old Matilda says, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.” Allow this to be your license to take risks. Be so bold that the impact that you create is just as deep as the impact your passion has on you. New students, for what it’s worth, lean into it. Go the whole hog.

Jared Lowe is entering his senior year at Hope. He is studying Business and Chemistry, and hopes to work in healthcare administration after college. He is a worship team leader for the Chapel band, a high jumper for the Track & Field team, and a Young Life leader. His favorite chick flick is The Proposal, and his favorite Yankee candle scent is Balsam and Cedar.

Take care of yourself first semester! Don’t stress too much about your schoolwork, but be diligent. Hope offers so much more than just an education. You can study your passion in school, but still pursue hobbies and other passions outside of the classroom. It’s all about balance.

 Take guitar lessons so you can learn that song you’ve always wanted to play. Join a bible study to find a great community and participate in intentional conversations. Play intramural badminton with that girl or guy down the hall that you inevitably have a crush on. I can tell you from experience that your four years here will feel like four weeks, so think very deeply about the impact you want to make and the spiritual and personal growth that you want to experience during your time here!

Words of Wisdom: On Making Friends

Two junior women give some advice to new students about how to make friends at Hope College!

Hey! I’m Samantha Choy and I am going to be a junior this fall! I’m studying music and ministry and I’m involved in Nykerk, intramurals, and the worship team. 

Even though Hope is on the smaller side compared to big state schools, making friends can still be difficult. It’s important to branch out and get to know people who are different from you because you can learn so much from them, and they may surprise you! Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone even if you don’t know them very well. People at Hope LOVE meeting up at LJ’s to grab a cup of coffee and to sit down for a chat. And can I let you in on a little secret? Every other new student is just as eager as you are to make friends. So, seriously, don’t be afraid to send that text and make plans to hang out.

 Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel like you’ve found your ‘people’ right away or even in the first year! I made great friends during my freshman year, people who I still love dearly today, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I met some of my best friends! So keep trying! It may be hard, but good things don’t always come easy. If you make an effort and are authentic, you’ll meet the right people at the right times.

Hi everyone! My name is Caryn Dannah and I a student at Hope College pursuing a degree in Religion with a Christian History and Theology focus. On top of being a student at Hope College, I am also a resident assistant, volunteer services committee member, secretary for Hope Catholics club, and a Phelps Scholar alumni. I also have also dedicated a lot of my time to volunteering and mission trips because I have a passion for serving people around me.

I believe that the best way to make friends at Hope is to get involved shortly after you arrive. Hope College is full of so many communities that have the opportunity to come together and overlap in such unique ways. This could be in your residence hall, campus traditions, the Phelps Scholars Program, athletics, bible study, music ensembles, theatre, academic clubs, or more! Getting involved in these different areas of campus will allow you to discover so much more along the way, and often include fun activities such as beach trips or doughnut runs.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try something new! I joined so many different clubs during my first year and it was amazing getting to know so many different kinds of people. Putting yourself out there will contribute to your college experience in an incredible way!

Words of Wisdom: On Getting Started

Two rising sophomores provide some advice for new students by drawing from the beginning of their freshmen year experience:

My name is Ka’niya Houston. I am a rising sophomore, and I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. While on campus, you can find me on Hope’s radio station, the Phelps Scholars Program, Chapel, or volunteering at Third Reform Church. I love music – any genre! You can also find me at Coffeehouse either on stage or in the crowd cheering my heart out for my friends and strangers. Hope is my home away from home!

You’ve finally made it! You have been preparing for this moment: you’ve worked, saved, shopped, and now you’re so close to moving in. The first week on campus will probably feel a little overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of certain opportunities. Get to know your OA leaders and other students in your group, check out different clubs at the activity fair, or say “hey hey” to random people in your residence hall!

 One thing I encourage you to do is to let go of all the expectations you have. College will be your experience YOURS, no one else’s. This first year is not about being perfect.  With this in mind, allow yourself to be free and independent, and enjoy this time without all that pressure! College truly is a new chapter in your life, and Hope gives you the tools and resources to be the person you want to be! 

This year is all about being your true, imperfect self, while still learning more about your passions and interests. Whether you are a student that confidently knows what they want and what they are here for, is unsure about their place, or is motivated but still doesn’t know their purpose, DO NOT WORRY; Hope is here for you! You don’t have to be the biggest go-getter in the world, but I truly encourage you to have the best first year in the way YOU see fit!

My name is Ethan Getchell and I am a Sophomore at Hope College. I am from Portland, MI and I am intending to major in Business and Communications. I lived in Durfee Hall freshman year and am now the Social Media Chair for Student Congress. I also do photography and social media for the Business Club and am a Core Member of the Student Activities Committee. In my free time I make videos for Hope Admissions as a Student Influencer, hangout with my brothers in the Arcadian Fraternity, and during the wintertime, join the Ski Club for exciting trips.

In high school, it was easy for me to be involved, and I played three sports, represented on student congress, led youth groups and attended social events. When I started at Hope, the hardest part was budgeting my time and not spreading myself too thin. I quickly learned the difference between high school and college, particularly in the weight of each group Hope has to offer. 

Walking through the activities fair, it was easy for me to write my name down for every club, and this is encouraged by students and staff. However, what I needed to learn earlier is that writing my name down does not tie me into that group. I felt obligated to fill up every waking moment with Hope related activities, sometimes abandoning sleep to do so. My advice, at least starting off, is to not bite off more than you can chew. 

This is a new environment, and no matter how smooth of a transition you have, the stresses, both good and bad, will affect you. Remember to look after yourself and to save time for prayer, meditation, and mental health restoration before filling your evenings with one thing after another. Definitely get involved, but be mindful. Hope has so much to offer, and you have time to try it all, but you don’t have to do it all at once!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 7/24

We have another FAQ Friday ReCap for you! It’s hard to believe we only have two more weeks until Orientation begins… We can’t wait for you to arrive!

Before we get to the answers to your questions, though, we thought we would provide the link to the Student and Family Meeting from July 23. President Scogin, Provost Short-Thompson, a few of the COVID-19 Steering Committee members, as well as a bunch of campus leaders talk about what Hope will look like in the fall. This includes Hope’s plan for testing students and staff, how classes will work in-person and online, and more information about living cohorts from Res Life. We highly encourage you to watch this because our campus leaders answer so many great questions!

You can also go to hope.edu/coronavirus to ask and get answered any questions you may have!

Alright, let’s get back to FAQ Friday!


What things will you have for people moving in early? Your RAs and living cohort friends will be available to hang out with and such. We also encourage you to explore downtown, walk around campus, get prepared for school to begin (ie. pick-up your school books from the bookstore). Orientation will also host some evening events that are centered around becoming familiar with Hope culture.

I’m coming in the spring enrollment. Will there be another orientation for the Spring enrollment? January orientation!

Campus Life

For meal plans, is it a total of 15 meals for the week or a certain amount per day? The meal plans are your meals per week, and there is not a limit to meal swipes per day.

I have classes that start 10 minutes apart! How does that work?? It only takes 7 minutes to get across campus, so this shouldn’t be a problem! YOu can talk to your professor if you’re still nervous about arriving late, though, and they are usually understanding. Otherwise, riding your bike to class can make for a speedier commute.

Will chapels still happen? And if so, what will it be like? Hope just announced on Thursday that Chapels will be offered online at the normal times (MWF at 10:30am). If you want some examples of what this could look like, please check out the virtual chapels from last spring. This will be fun because chapels will be available at any time now!


Will most of the extracurriculars still happen because of COVID? Yes! They just may look a bit different. Student groups will have to abide by the same guidelines as the rest of campus, so we may see some virtual events and smaller events throughout the year.

What are intramurals sports like? Teams will compete at night and the games last less than an hour. You can have a team of up to 12 people and you can choose to compete in the more or less competitive leagues. Keep an eye on your email for the “captain’s meetings” at the beginning of each season. This is how you will be able to form a team for whichever sport you would like to play!

Where is the best spot to go hammocking? On-campus, I like the cluster of trees outside of Voorhees or anywhere in the Pine Grove. Off-campus, I like to go to Tunnel Park at the top of the hill! There are so many great, woody areas around campus that you’ll d=find the spot that you prefer!

How can a student get to the beach without a car? You can go with friends in their cars! The beach is only 5 miles from Hope, so you can totally run or bike there as well. 

Understanding Your Classes Recording (7/21)

We have another event recording for you and this one is all about your classes at Hope! Watch this to hear from our Associate Registrar, our expert on how classrooms will look amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and our Senior Academic and Career Advisor at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.

You should have received your class schedule last week, so check your Hope email if you haven’t had a chance to see that yet.

And, remember that you have a form you have to submit to your academic advisor due on Friday, July 24 as well as a StrengthsQuest Assessment through the Boerigter Center to complete by Friday as well.

As always, if you have any questions, please email orientation@hope.edu and keep checking your Hope email for our next “Something Every Tuesday”.

From One 2020 Senior to Another

In this photo, my friend Abby (right with mortarboard) and I (left in the red beret and gown) sit in on our last exam period via Zoom. Can you tell it was for our Art Major capstone class?

A few months ago, I finished my college experience curled up in a chair, wearing my graduation gown like a housecoat, staring at my laptop in disbelief. The Zoom window of my final exam meeting had just closed. Was I really done? Reaching the milestone of graduation in a pandemic is a ridiculous experience. I can’t even pretend to offer any rationalization or advice for the problems this time has created for you. I can only bring empathy for your experiences. Or, perhaps, more importantly, your missed experiences. Wow, do I know what it’s like to miss those last big moments. The last gatherings, the long-awaited traditions, saying goodbye to treasured professors and valued friends, and don’t even get me started on graduation. As a first-generation college student, I grieve for that big celebration of my years of hard work. 

There’s more, though, than missing the things that had filled you with anticipatory excitement for years. There’s the addition. There’s an addition of uncertainty in this new world we have to step into. How are we supposed to make this transition in a reality that is simply defined by chaos? Post-graduation is supposed to be a time of exploration, learning, and growing. But how do we do that with the addition of distance? Of isolation? Of fear?

This is the grief and anxiety that has filled my past few months. Maybe it sounds familiar. Maybe you feel more, maybe you feel different. But I don’t want to talk about this grief and anxiety. Let me tell you, I’m over it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a degree in Psychology. I know how important proper grieving is, how crucial it is to process these big, pressing emotions. But y’all. I’m so tired. 

Can we talk about “I’m sorry” fatigue? Everywhere I seem to turn, I’m being offered condolences for my situation. My doctor, my grandma, a car salesman, a couple from church, they all want to say, “I’m sorry you had to end your senior year this way.” Usually my heart swells at any attempt at empathy. It’s so important to be able to recognize the pain of other people’s experiences, to reach out and acknowledge that. Frankly, though, I’m tired of this particular pain being acknowledged. 

I see a future in which we are more creative, more flexible, more empathic, more RESILIENT because of this time.

There’s a phrase I used to use in the critiques I did in my art classes when I wanted to politely say I didn’t like something. I mean, it wasn’t that adding fake hair to the sculpture was the wrong choice, it’s just that, “I wish I was seeing something else.” When people say they’re sorry about my experiences, I wish I was hearing something else.

I want to hear, “I’m excited for whatever you can do next.” I’m ready for, “How can I support you as you try to move forward?”  Because friends, surprisingly enough, I have Hope. I have Hope for our future. I see a future in which we are more creative, more flexible, more empathic, more RESILIENT because of this time. I have Hope that even as our present looks different than we had ever pictured, we can still do. There is still experience to gain. We still have more to learn about ourselves. We will strive to see our world get better, balancing our grief in one hand and our Hope in another. Because a time of change, really a time of crisis, doesn’t have to mean a time of hopelessness for us.

A few weeks ago I received a flat package in the mail with DO NOT BEND stricken across the front. Inside, behind a plain sheet of cardboard, was my diploma. Despite how different, how utterly wrong the end to my senior year seemed, I still accomplished what I came to do. I did all of the work. I persevered. We persevered. And, friends, I’m excited for whatever we can do next. 

Hannah Bugg graduated from Hope in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Studio Art. She currently works as a Resident Director at Hope, and can be found around campus talking to the squirrels probably with an LJ’s coffee in her hand.

FAQ Friday Re-Cap: July 17


Before we get started answering questions, we want to briefly talk about move-in logistics.

You (or your student) were just assigned a move-in time this week. If you do not have that information, please email orientation@hope.edu or housing@hope.edu. That email will reiterate some of these clarifications:

  • During your move-in time, you will have three hours with whatever family members you want to move you in. 
  • There is not a limit on who helps you but there is a limit on time: 3 hours!
  • Your room and residence hall will be your new home for the next few months, so we strongly encourage you to treat it like yours! Please sleep in your residence hall throughout the week during staggered move-in, even if your family is staying in Holland.
  • Pro Tip: it would be handy to bring some tools (hammer, screwdriver, tape measure) to help with arranging your room or lofting your bed. Occasionally, the bed-frames are finicky! 

Tip for families: A toolbox is a great gift for your new college student. They will be the envy of their living cohort if they have a toolbox to fix little things that happen throughout the year. 

Are there any activities planned for the students who move-in early: Yes! During the day, students will be able to eat in the dining halls, pick-up their books from the bookstore, grab a parking pass, engage with their hall/house/clustermates, explore downtown, etc. Orientation will also be hosting some smaller-scale events in the evenings after move-in is finished for the day.  More details are to come!

Residential Life

Is there storage in the dorm halls for student use?: Not during the school year… but they can store bikes for you during the winter and can store larger items for students living out-of-state during the summertime.

Where do students have access to printers? Printers are available in the basement of each dorm along with computers that are connected to those printers. CIT has instructions for how students can connect their laptops to printers. Cottages and apartments do not have printers, but students have free access to non-color printers in the library and in some academic buildings. Color printing is available for 25 cents a page through the library and Print and Mail Services!

Are vacuums available? Vacuums are available for each living cohort.

What cleaning supplies do we need to bring for the dorms? Community cleaning supplies will be available in the community spaces. You should also be sure to bring paper towels, kleenex, clorox wipes, lysol, hand sanitizer, and anything else you might need to keep your room clean and germ free!

Another Tip: Don’t forget to bring laundry detergent, softener, dryer sheets, or whatever you may need to wash your clothes because cleaning your laundry is just as important! Cam usually does a dollar store run to buy smaller, individual cleaning supplies (wax candle things, duster, sponge, handheld vacuum, dish soap, laundry soap, little broom and dustpan)

How will I get my ID for the school year? Submit a headshot photo (you can find the link to submit it here!) Please us a blank background, bright lighting, and have it be a picture of only you! You need this ID to access your res hall and the dining hall!

How can students use the Dow Center? This is the gym on campus. It also has an indoor track and basketball courts and a pool. You can use it any time that it is open with just your Hope ID. We are unsure if the Dow will be open because we have to comply with the executive orders from our governor.

Where Can I Find…

Are all of the FAQs and answers listed somewhere? Yes, on our blog! Every Monday, we post written out answers to the questions we received on Friday. The link is in our bio! We also just added a cool new resource on our website called “10 things to know (or do) to prepare for college.” You can find our full archive of FAQ Friday Re-Caps there!

I have not been receiving the Zoom links to the live events on Tuesdays, where can I find those? Check out our orientation website (10 things) or blog for the links to those!

I know a lot of information is in those Tuesday Tidings emails, can I have access to those too? The link to the Tuesday Tidings emails is available to access on our website as part of the “10 Things to know before coming to college.” You can find the full archive here.


  • A reminder that you have an academic advisor form and StrengthsQuest assessment due on July 24th! (Both of those are in your Hope email)
  • Submit your ID photo!
  • Check your Hope email regularly!

Living On-Campus Event Recording (7/14)

If you missed the live Tuesday event this week, no worries! We’ve got you covered with this recording. More details are below!

In this video, you will find information on what move-in and campus living will look like. By now, you should have received your assigned 3-hour time slot for move in. Email housing@hope.edu or orientation@hope.edu if you have questions about that email and the process it describes.

Anyone can help you move-in during your time slot! However, we do ask that you only use your 3-hour time slot to move-in. After that, families will be asked to leave campus, and students will ease into their college experience. So, there is no limit on the number of people that can help you move-in, but there is a limit on the time: 3-hours!

You also should have received an email update about how to get your student ID made. Please be sure to submit your picture as soon as possible so we can give you your ID when you arrive on campus!

One last thing: If you are interested in exploring some of the student groups that you could join at Hope, you can get a little sneak peek by checking out the Orientation Instagram (@hopeorientation). There, we have a highlight called “Activities Fair” where you can find videos created by our student leaders describing their club and how to get involved.

The Five Messages: Be A Good Human

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:8-10

Many people do not believe that they are not a “good human.” However, at the present moment, it’s hard to see where all the good humans are in the world. There is injustice, death, political tensions, and above all that, a global pandemic.

Over the past few months, I’ve had a lot of time to think, as we all have, and I am realizing that being a good human does not necessarily have to be a grand gesture that changes the world.  Being a good human is in the small things we do every day. It is waking up every day and choosing to treat the people around us with love, compassion, and respect.

Being a Good Human at Hope

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, and the semester was shifted online, it was new territory for everyone. No one knew what this would look like or how we would navigate college online. I would be lying if I said it was an easy transition.

Despite the switch, my favorite class was on Monday nights. My professor took the first and last 10 minutes of class to go through the roster and individually ask each of us how we were doing. He asked how our online classes were going, if we were okay being at home, how we were emotionally doing, and more. He told us he was praying for us and that he was just one email away if we ever needed anything. In a time when we needed that support, this professor was there for us. That is being a good human. 

Another time that I distinctly remember is from my freshman year. My birthday is at the beginning of the school year, so as a freshman, not many people knew when it was. Two friends that I had added on Snapchat a few weeks earlier had noticed this, and they surprised me with a mini celebration and cinnamon rolls in the basement of Scott Hall. It was a simple gesture, but to me, it meant so much more. Being in a completely new environment and overwhelmed with the newness of college, I felt seen and cared about. That is being a good human. 

These are just a few examples of this concept at play at Hope College. This will be a time when you are going to be challenged every day. You are going to have ups and downs. You will learn, grow, and change. There will be plenty of times where you will be challenged and being a good human to others may seem difficult or even impossible. Just remember that responding to a situation, no matter how frustrating, with grace and love will always be worth it. 

Being a good human is in the small things we do every day.

Transitioning to college has its own set of challenges, and amid a global pandemic, those challenges become 10 times harder. However, new students and the class of 2024  are resilient, strong, and capable to handle these challenges. By being good humans, we will all get through this unprecedented time together. 

Molly is a rising junior from Grand Rapids studying communications. At Hope, she is involved in Greek Life, Dance Marathon, intramural sports, Bible studies, and she works at the Boerigter Center! Outside of school, she loves cooking, traveling, being outside, going to concerts, and hanging with friends and family. She is obsessed with her two dogs and her goal in life is to one day give a TedTalk.

A Letter to Hope Families

Hello, and welcome to Hope College!

We are Darren and Judy Gross, the co-chairs of the Parents’ Council, which is a committee of Hope parents and Administration. The Council works to provide communication between families and the college by identifying and addressing the needs and concerns of families. The team also guides members of the parent
community toward increased support, understanding, and enthusiasm for Hope.

Parents Council 2019 – 2020

We are happy to be planning for the start of the school year and getting into the swing of things again. As at most places, things will be different at Hope this year too, but that is okay.

The Hope Experience will remain the same. Hope is more than a college; it is a feeling! We are so excited to have you, your family, and your new Hope student be a part of the Hope community.

There is no better place to learn and grow, and you will feel the energy across campus and throughout the city the minute you arrive.

This community includes the entire student body, the faculty and staff, and the city of Holland. There is no better place to learn and grow, and you will feel the energy across campus and throughout the city the minute you arrive. Enjoy it. It is an amazing place to be.

We encourage you to engage with Hope in any way that you can while always trusting that your student will find their way, build resilience, and impress you with what they learn at Hope.

We have two children. Sydney is a Hope graduate, now in optometry school, and Matthew will be starting his junior year at Hope College. Hope has prepared both of our children for success in many ways, and it is truly a special place. Tough times will come, but we have personally seen how Hope has prepared our children to persevere, think outside the box, and overcome any type of challenge. We can attest to how great Hope is!

You can find details and contact information about the Parents’ Council at  hope.edu/families. Contact any of the team members if you have questions or need advice on how to navigate getting your student settled in and ready for their Hope Experience.

We look forward to meeting you at various events over the next few years.

Go Hope!
Darren and Judy Gross

Darren and Judy Gross