While lying in my bed over Christmas break I began getting all sorts of notifications from the Hope College admitted student’s Facebook group. This is a group that prospective students for the following academic year are able to access once they’ve received their acceptance letter.
I was instantly brought back to my days as an avid pre-college Facebook group user. First you peruse what everyone else has been posting and asking. You write and rewrite an introduction for yourself five times before deleting it and starting over again. You enthusiastically comment on someone’s post who shares the same hobbies as you, watches the same Netflix series as you, or is from a town nearby your own.
After much reflection, I’ve decided that this feeling is somewhat universal to incoming college students. I still feel somewhat excited myself when I read the posts on the page. However, there are often misconceptions that I believe need to be addressed. These are topics that aren’t always addressed in a Facebook group.
Here are a few that I’ve come up with. Be aware that these are not true to everyone’s thought process, but they likely may be to a lot of students. I’m just here to help out.
You don’t need to be decided on your major.
There’s nothing worse than reading through the posts and seeing that everybody and their mother knows what they’re going to be studying for the next four years of their life. I’ll let you in on a little secret: most of these people will change their minds. That’s right. So get ready to explore, friends! Hope is an awesome place to do so.
Hope College is not camp.
Clarification: Hope is a place of learning that sometimes feels like camp. Before I came to Hope, this place seemed like a June through July dream. There’s worship every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Students can be seen lounging about the Pine Grove in their hammocks when it’s nice out. We even have an Outdoor Adventure Club. Not to mention living in dorms for the first two years of your college experience adds to the camp-like feel. Let’s not forget about our education, whiles still having good, summer-style fun. Living super close to the beach is awesome, but bringing your bio textbook along is even cooler.
Professors aren’t scary.
They’re absolutely not out to get you. In the movies, professors are portrayed as cold, tricky people who want to make you look bad in class. That’s not the case, especially at Hope. Our professors truly care about their students’ well being and success.
Phelps isn’t as bad as people say it is.
Most of the time. I still tell my friends this. While they’re complaining about their grilled chicken and fresh vegetables, other campuses are eating pizza and chicken nuggets for every meal. (Fine, we have that stuff too, but we definitely have better options than some current students make it sound like we do.)
A major doesn’t equal a profession.
Unless you’re going into nursing, pre-med, education, social work, or another pre-professional program, you’re major does not define what you do for the rest of your life. I’m an English major, and there are about eight branches of careers that I can go into, with a plethora of jobs located under each branch. The same thing goes for someone majoring in Biology, Business, French, etc. Try not to let the idea of a major get into your head to much. You’re here to learn skills and a degree that will allow you to be successful in the future, no matter what you end up doing.
That’s all I’ve got for right now. Take each of them with a bit of consideration, but not so much that you’re bogged down by anything I’ve written. The college experience is different for everyone, and that’s pretty special.
I hope everyone had a relaxing winter break and is settling back into the school/work routine wherever you are.
Thanks for reading,