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!

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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