Welcome back to the Orientation blog! Today, an Assistant Director, Kylie Galloway, is sharing some words of wisdom on the first of our five messages: Mindset Matters.

When I arrived on campus in August of 2018, I found myself far away from home and did not know anyone at Hope. In fact, barely any friends or family thought I would leave Minnesota for college because I was a homebody who didn’t even like sleepovers when I was younger!

It’s safe to say I was quite overwhelmed as I moved into Dykstra Hall and Orientation began. I remember my first O-Team meeting clearly. A few freshmen in the group were confident and chatting with our Orientation Assistants, but I remember looking around at several shy, intimidated faces, much like I imagine my own.

My mom and I on move-in day, August 2018

One of the first things we talked about was the five messages of Orientation: Mindset Matters, Believe in Yourself, Value Differences, Ask for Help, and Be a Good Human.

I needed to hear those messages; they shifted my mindset that first evening. I realized we were all new to Hope and this whole college thing; I wasn’t experiencing this alone. From then on, my mindset shaped how the highs and lows affected me. It wasn’t so much a timid attitude anymore. I was resilient in each opportunity.

Reminiscing on those first few weeks at Hope, the phrase “mindset matters” got me through the great days and the tough days, the days when I was super homesick and the days when I felt like Hope was becoming home. Going into my senior year, I realize that the phrase “mindset matters” has actually affected my entire college experience. 

First day of college

In hindsight, I wish I began shaping my mindset before I arrived on campus. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely arrived hopeful and full of excitement, but it was certainly a hard transition. Knowing how much the phrase “Mindset Matters” has impacted my personal experience, I challenge you to begin shaping your mindset before you arrive on campus. Why not start before your college experience even begins?! 

Mindset is described as the lens through which we process the events of our lives and, therefore, it shapes our experiences.  I like to think of mindset as the lens on a telescope. It helps us examine different parts of our lives and gives us a greater understanding of those experiences, much like a telescope helps us see different parts of the world around us.

Professors often talk about having a “growth mindset,” but that mindset goes beyond the classroom. If growth isn’t top of mind, we are stagnant. As college students, growth opportunities are at every turn. Whether it be a new topic in class, a leadership opportunity, or simply life experience, growth is inevitable. A growth mindset takes every twist and turn life gives us and turns them into learning experiences, changing us for the better.

When I say college is a rollercoaster, it is. From incredible opportunities and amazing friendships to a year filled with mask-wearing and physical distancing, there have been many highs and lows in my personal experience. But, I’ve realized that mindset has the power to stabilize the rollercoaster. It’s easy to get caught up in the great and, some days, in the not-so-great, but a growth-centered mindset gives us the ability to turn the ups and downs into learning opportunities for the future. 

But, I’ve realized that mindset has the power to stabilize the rollercoaster.

Kylie Galloway

Mindset matters because it frames the way we experience each day, not only during Orientation, but during our entire lives. Before you arrive on campus in about a month and a half, take a moment and think about your mindset as you begin the next chapter of life. And remember, we’re all here to walk alongside you through it! You’re not alone, we’ve been there too. 

Kylie Galloway is a rising senior from Minnesota studying Communication with a Spanish and History Minor.

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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