Welcome back to the Orientation blog! Today, Assistant Director Sarah Gruchow shares some of her thoughts after her experience this past year at Hope as a freshman. We know that new students are transitioning to college during a weird time, so we hope that her advice inspires you:

Graduating during a pandemic was quite the surprise and I can recall the day that school got canceled like it was yesterday. I felt an immense amount of shock and disbelief and had no idea what to expect and boy did I not expect the cards that were dealt. Not getting those last few months of high school was hard and the transition to college seemed extremely difficult and although it was a windy and long road we got through it. But hey, I did it and boy was it something. I had no idea what to expect coming to college during a global pandemic and it was hard, but at the same time it was filled with so many incredible memories.

I’ve learned through all of this that we have to make the most of what we are given no matter the circumstances. We have the ability to make any situation the best we can and I strived to do just that. At Hope I met some of the best friends I could have ever asked for and I am very lucky to be able to say that. I know it can be hard to make friends at college and even harder when we are told to basically stay away from each other. By putting yourself out there, easier said than done I know, you can meet some incredible people and Hope college is filled with those. Knock on your neighbor’s door, ask to go to dinner with strangers, go to all your dorm activities and introduce yourself to others, try your best to join clubs or go to activities around campus. There are so many ways to meet people!

This transition is hard and during a pandemic it’s even harder, but we’ve done it once and we can do it again. Persevere, my friends, and good things are bound to come your way. And during these hard times it’s easy to make bad things worse, but try the hard thing and make the most of it. Go on adventures, laugh with friends, and live it up! 🙂

Sarah Gruchow is a rising sophomore from Grand Rapids, MI, studying Environmental Science with a Biology Concentration.

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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