A message from Josh Abbas,

As Vice President of Student Congress, I have had the opportunity to see the many things
students involve themselves in. With 50+ student organizations and 20+ sports teams, the student
body is filled with diverse experiences, ideas, and identities. With so many opportunities to
choose from, it is easy for students to feel like they are running a four-year marathon, competing
to see who can fit the most into their college experience. Some (myself included) sprint early and
burn out quickly, while others jog comfortably, knowing when to slow down and take a breather.
One thing I’ve noticed from those who set their rhythm well is the practice of living generously.
As a student, generosity can be a loaded word. No, I’m not asking you to get out your wallet, nor
am I asking you to “be generous with your time” and start saying yes to everything that comes
your way. Instead, be generous to your time. One thing a busy schedule doesn’t make room for
is the capacity to be present and available. Joyful opportunities like coffee with a professor or
going to a last-minute concert with a friend are always out of reach when my schedule looks like
Van Gogh’s next piece. A planner packed with to-dos left no space to be generous with anything.
One way to live generously is to set a rhythm that gives space for generosity to fall into place.
Other than time, students also have a lot to give! Students are extraordinary and have a wealth of
strengths to invest in a whole new environment. Whether it’s giving a TEDx talk, conducting
research, serving food, gardening, or winning a national championship, I’ve seen countless
incredible things students are capable of. Be generous with your gifts, and you’ll find that
there’s plenty you can do.
Finally, accept the generosity of others. As you begin your college career, others will want to
invest in you. Orientation leaders, RA’s, professors, chaplains, and more. These leaders have a
lot to say and much to give (maybe even free coffee). Their part in my life made college more
than a place to get an education. It was also where I could learn how to be a good human. So
reach out, or take hold of the opportunity to accept someone’s generosity, and then remember to
be generous with what you’ve learned to those that come after you.
Generosity is a trademark of Hope and one that I am sure you will find. The pace of college life
doesn’t slow down, but amidst this culture of busyness, generosity can ground us and make it

Published by Student Orientation

Hope College New Student Orientation strives to create a smooth and welcoming transition to college for students and their families.

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