By Rourke Mullins, Hope College Senior
Here it is, you’re 18 years old and the moment in life has come where you are asked to answer one of the most important questions of your life, “Where are you going to college?” It’s a daunting question that for myself, created a pit in my stomach. I didn’t know how to navigate my way through these feelings and the endless amounts of college mail my mom would throw on my desk. I know I am not alone in this feeling. So, the question is, how do we answer this question that carries more weight than most of us have ever dealt with?
For myself, I swung and missed at my first try. I had decided to attend a university for all of the wrong reasons. I choose it because, in reality, it was a cop out. It was a choice that had the lowest amount of risk and a choice that revolved around things that did not matter. I quickly realized this and had to force myself back to square one and ask, “Where am I going to college?” This time, the once impossible and scary question now seemed so clear. I am going to go home. Not back where I grew up home but a place where I feel at home. This moment is when it all changed for me.
I made a list of all the reasons of why I loved home and some of them were comfort, peace, and the feeling of being wanted. I took on my new college search with clear eyes and a heart that was looking for this new home that I was so hungry for. By the grace of God, I was led to this small Liberal Arts College on the West side of Michigan called Hope College. A place where you walk down the street and are able to say hi to your friends or complete strangers, a place where you can get incredible coffee and have conversations that will change your life forever, a place that hold’s you close during dark times and celebrates your good times. It’s a place that I now call home. A place where I feel comfort, peace, and the feeling of being wanted.
Here I am 3 years later looking back on my experience and what a journey it has been. So if you are in the place that I was in, scared by the thought of where you will attend college, I encourage you to change your perspective. Allow yourself to look at colleges not as where you will be leaving your home to go to, but look at colleges as were your next home will be. For myself, I have found a home in Hope forever.