First, I just want to say: Welcome to Hope! I transferred to Hope College last fall, so I know just how intimidating moving to a new school can be! I remember feeling nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, but also excited for a new start.
At first, I was not interested in attending the Orientation Weekend because I wasn’t a new freshman; I had already been to college and thought I knew what it was all about. I thought I would be lumped in with all the new incoming freshmen who had yet to experience college. However, I am so glad I ended up going because my assumptions were not true! Transfer Student Orientation is different from New Student Orientation, and is designed so that transfer students can get acclimated to Hope and make connections on campus with upperclassmen and other transfer students. I had lots of fun, gained valuable information, and made some awesome friendships!
I was surprised to discover that there was already a supportive transfer community waiting for me when I arrived.
The most meaningful aspect of Orientation was becoming part of the incredible transfer community and the campus community at Hope. When I transferred to Hope College, I thought I would be one of the only transfer students on campus. However, I realized there are hundreds of current students who transferred to Hope at some point in their college career. I was surprised to discover that there was already a supportive transfer community waiting for me when I arrived. I was not defined as a “transfer student” or “the new student.” I immediately felt welcomed by both students and professors.
The weekend started off with a welcome dinner hosted by Barbara Miller and Peggy Gorno from Admissions. The food was delicious, and it was reassuring to realize I was not going through the transition alone. Another valuable experience for transfer students was the Tracking My Degree Completion session. It was great to learn about the unique resources Hope College offers to support transfer students with their academic plans. My favorite part of Orientation was when all the transfer students were treated to frozen yogurt and got to hang out together downtown. It was great to spend time with this group, and I enjoyed having the chance to get to know so many cool people.
Attending Orientation allowed me to have more time to move and settle in before classes started, and this was a huge bonus. I was able to get my textbooks, Hope ID, and other important items without feeling rushed. Additionally, it was awesome to get to know my roommate and explore the Holland area with new friends. I highly recommend visiting the beach to catch the sunset!
Through Orientation, I also learned about all the opportunities there are to get involved on campus. Getting involved on campus is a great way to have a positive transfer experience, meet people, create friendships, and develop leadership skills. There are tons of awesome student groups, clubs, organizations, and volunteer positions.
This past year, I was part of a weekly Bible study, volunteered at CASA (an after-school tutoring program for elementary students), and became a student employee working for Admissions. This coming year, I will be part of the Emmaus Scholars program, vice president of the Psychology Club, and a member of the Student Activities Committee. There are so many fun and rewarding ways to get involved; Hope truly has something for everyone!
I had a really positive transfer experience, and attending Orientation helped create a smooth transition for me. This year, I am part of the Orientation Team, and I cannot wait to welcome you to the campus community. I am so glad you chose Hope College, and I look forward to meeting all of you soon!