Let the Countdown Begin!

How in the world am I graduating in just 2 short weeks?!?! When people say that time at college flies, they really are not kidding. I also was not planning on graduating early until this past summer. Thankfully, I will be staying in Holland hopefully until August, so I will still be able to enjoy second semester with friends. I just will not be attending classes. Next semester I plan on working part time and also taking a of couple trips. The trips I have planned so far include: Disney World with my best friend Grace in Florida, mission trip to Juarez, Mexico, with Hope students over Spring Break, and a ski trip with just my dad to Snowmass, Colorado. So many exciting new adventures to come!

I just found out recently that I will be working with Edward Jones as a Financial Advisor starting in June. After I finish studying for the series 7 and 66 exams, I am moving to St. Louis, MO for a 7-month training program. It It feels kind of surreal to know what I will be doing after graduation. I worked as an intern this past summer with Edward Jones, and that helped become familiar with the company.

Now that my time as a student is winding down, I have been reflecting upon all of the wonderful experiences I have had at Hope. Hope College has helped me grow in ways that I never knew I needed growing. The community and people are what makes this place so special.

Now, with just a few short weeks left, I still have many papers to finish and tests to prepare for with major studying. The last couple weeks of the semester are always full with school work, but I am going to enjoy my final weeks as a Hope student!

Hope's first annual lighting of the Christmas tree
Hope’s first annual lighting of the Christmas tree
Steph, Ali, and I during the last gathering
Steph, Ali, and I during the last gathering
Colin and I
Colin and I
Amy will always be my roommate
Amy will always be my roommate
Catherine and I
Catherine and I

Keep Calm and Study On

So this week has been nuts! I’ll just give you a mini outline of my week.

Monday

  • Worked out at the Dow
  • 4-hour role play interview over the phone for my after-graduation job
  • Gave a 15-minute presentation during my interview on Roth IRAs
  • Attended Mortar Board’s Friendship Prom with special needs adults from the community.
  • Met for a group presentation
  • Went to Applebee’s with some of my friends for Monique’s birthday
Mortar Board Friendship Prom
Mortar Board Friendship Prom

Tuesday

  • Presented a group project on the Federal Reserve
  • Worked a table outside of Phelps encouraging students to write a Thank you card to alumni (and I enjoyed an awesome Phelps meal)
  • Was in class 9:30 AM-5 PM
  • Attended the Business Club dinner with faculty from the college, local business professionals, and students
  • Spent the rest of the night in the library
Monique's Birthday Celebration
Monique’s Birthday Celebration

Wednesday

  • Woke up bright and early to work on homework at JP’s
  • Went to class and then work for the rest of the afternoon
  • Worked in the library for five hours
  • Finished the night celebrating one of my friend’s birthday

Thursday

  • Attended class from 9:30 AM-5:00 PM
  • Attended the Student Ambassador meeting from 11 AM-12 PM
  • Gave 2 presentations
  • Went out to dinner with Ali
  • Watched Hope Volleyball play in the National Championship Tournament
  • Listened to friends perform at the Thursday night coffee house in the Kletz
  • Played an 11:00 PM IM tennis game
  • Studied till 1:30 AM

Friday

  • Woke up bright and early (again) to study at Good Earth
  • Attended Chapel
  • Took my final test for the week
  • Now I’m breathing a sigh of relief

This week has been full of activity. I believe that learning how to balance everything in college is crucial. This week with all of my class assignments, I thought there was no way I would be able to accomplish everything. However, I just had to keep focus on my work, but also allow my time for a little fun here and there because you need breaks while studying. I didn’t come to Hope just to learn, but to also surround myself in an uplifting community. Sometimes in college you will feel completely overwhelmed! But you will make it through! I try to break my assignments into pieces so that I don’t cram it all in the night before it is due. I’ve learned a lot about studying and managing my time these past four years, and don’t worry you’ll learn the importance of time management very soon in college!

Enjoy your weekend. Hope it is relaxing!

Christianity at Hope College

Hey Everyone!

Hope you have had a great week. I thought for my blog today I would share some about the spiritual side of Hope College. I grew up in the public school system so coming to a small, private Christian school was a bit of an adjustment for me. I had never heard people speak so openly about their faith. During my first semester at Hope, I hung out with people who had not been raised in the church. I learned a lot from them and appreciated learning about different people’s beliefs. I value that Hope accepts people from all different backgrounds with all different beliefs. I also am so thankful that this has been a place where I could grow in my faith.

However, in all honesty, there have been times where it has been hard not to compare myself with the several Christians surrounding me. Hope College is not like the real world because Christianity is highly accepted here and many students desire to grow in their relationship with God. I’m thankful for the people who I have met here that have challenged me to grow in my relationship with Christ. I also am glad that this is a place where Christianity is not shoved down your throat. Hope College does a good job of trying to seek a balance. Hope does not make their students attend chapel, but it is always packed with people. So wherever you stand in your faith, all people are welcome here.

I recently read this blog titled sexy “Christianity” It challenged me to think about why I choose Christianity for myself among a strong Christian school. Here is just the end of his blog that I believe is some good food for thought:

“I wonder, after being a “Radical Christian” goes out of style, how many radically committed Christians will remain in our high schools, colleges, and work places? And right after American culture moves on from Africa, humanitarian aid, human rights, and issues like the AIDS epidemic and human trafficking crisis, as I promise it will soon, what will our radical faith look like? When being a “sold-out follower of Jesus” and “living simply so that others might simply live” loses its cultural lackluster, what will be next? What happens when stones start being thrown at people who identify themselves with the dead man? I have no doubt that there will be a faithful remnant, but I also acknowledge that they might just be hated and persecuted just like Jesus promised. Who will remain and what will it take to stick with Jesus until the end?

I believe A.W. Tozer has said it far better concerning his generation than I may be able to concerning mine. But regardless, I find his observation to be curiously relevant:”

“I do not recall another period when ‘faith’ was as popular as it is today. ‘If only we believe hard enough we’ll make it somehow.’ So goes the popular chant. What you believe is not important. Only believe… What is overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy. For it is not enough that we believe; we must believe the right thing about the right One.”

 

enjoy this sunset from Lake Macatawa
enjoy this sunset from Lake Macatawa

Weekend at Home!

This past weekend I was able to spend the night more than two nights at my home in Springfield, IL for the first time since Christmas Break last year. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to go home and spend time with my family. I decided to go home so I could attend the Amigos En Cristo Banquet. Amigos en Cristo is the non-profit organization that my dad helped start in 2007. The organization is a huge part of my family and is a passion of mine that I share with my dad. The banquet is one of the main ways the organization raises its support. My parents and others put a lot effort into planning and organizing such a large event. The field directors from Juarez, Mexico, came to the event and they brought four students from the program as well. The students performed some traditional Mexican dances that everyone really enjoyed. The event turned out to be a success with over 200 people attending.

Springfield had perfect weather while I was home. It was in the upper 60s and sunny. I spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors on the bike trail. I was able to see a lot of good family friends while home, and I have definitely missed these people. We played Balderdash for hours together and enjoyed some great food at dinner together. I also watched TV for the first time in months while at home. We watched the OSU football game and watched the Cardinals play in the World Series.

I enjoyed the relaxation and felt refreshed after spending time with great friends and family. It always feels good to go home, but I’m glad to be back at Hope. I’m trying to enjoy what little time I have left as much as possible!

Have an awesome week!

Morgan and I hanging out with my dog Nestle
Morgan and I hanging out with my dog Nestle
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The students performing a traditional Mexican dance

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26.2

It has been exactly a week now since Steph and I completed the Grand Rapids Marathon. After 26.2 miles of running we crossed the finish line. All of the hours of training had finally paid off and an item got crossed off my bucket list. I do not think I have ever felt so accomplished in my life.

We started training back in June and slowly worked our way up to completing a full marathon. I didn’t think I would want to run another marathon while I was training, but after crossing the finish line I wanted to try again. My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon the next time I run a Marathon. I also would like to do a marathon with more music and people. The Grand Rapids Marathon was pretty quiet since majority of the race was on a bike trail. However, the scenery was beautiful. My parents and friends came to watch the big event, and I loved seeing them at different spots while running. My friend Kimberly ran the last 6 miles with me and helped me finish. Miles 20-26 were definitely my hardest miles.

I’m already looking forward to my next marathon. Now whenever I need a nice study break I will research different marathons.

I’ll write again soon talking about my fun weekend home :]

Getting ready to cross the finish line!
Getting ready to cross the finish line!
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Loved the support from friends and family!

 

Fall Break

Fall Break came at a much needed time this year. The previous week was rather stressful, but fall break came to the rescue at just the right time. On Friday night I saw All Sons & Daughters perform in Grand Rapids. I really enjoyed the concert and love their music! I ate at Marie Catrib’s in Grand Rapids with some friends before the concert. The whole night was very relaxing and rejuvenating.

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Enjoying Roast & Toast on the Pier

On Saturday I embarked with 6 other girls to Petoskey, Michigan. We originally planned on visiting Pictured Rocks, but with the whole government shutdown we had to change our plans. Petoskey was a great option! We enjoyed a beautiful scenic drive up north with viewing the trees change into beautiful colors. When we arrived in Petoskey we stopped at Roast & Toast, a local coffee shop and brought our drinks out onto the pier. We also had perfect weather! The sun shined down on the lake and reflected the fall colors perfectly in the clear blue water. It was a perfect day where we walked around downtown and explored some of Petoskey. In the evening we set up our tent at Petoskey State Park. Once we were settled, we brought our dinner to the beach and watched the sunset.

It obviously isn’t camping without a fire, so we made a fire and then proceeded to laugh and sing worship songs around the fire. On Sunday morning I drove to Roast & Toast again and read my Bible and journaled. When I returned back to the campsite my friend Kimberly and I ran 8 miles along a bike path, and the scenery was incredible!

On Sunday afternoon we drove to Walloon Lake and explored Boyne City and enjoyed walking around in the middle of nature. Sarah and I found an abandoned lake cottage and swung on a swing and hammock in the middle of the woods.

Our group bonded together the second night around the campfire and had great discussions. I am so blessed with such wonderful friends at Hope! I’m

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Ran 8 miles on this trail

glad I was able to camp with some of my best friends and enjoy God’s creation together. We only camped one night so that we could catch up on sleep and work productively on homework today.

This weekend was the perfect time for relaxation, and I’m so thankful for more memories made with great friends!

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Enjoying the Hammock and swing

Fun Ahead

Fall Break is finally here!!!!!

I wasn’t sure if this week was ever going to end. I completed one group paper, two exams, and three papers, but I finally finished! This was definitely an exhausting week, but thank goodness fall break is here!

I’m leaving tomorrow morning with six other girls to go camping near Petoskey, Michigan! I went with basically the same group last year, and we camped at Sleeping Bear Dunes. I absolutely love camping and can’t wait to sit next to the fire and see beautiful Michigan scenery. The weather this week has been prime. I went running in Saugatuck this morning with a friend along Lake Michigan. I haven’t been running as much since I’ll be tapering this week in preparation for the marathon next weekend!

Even though this past week was crazy busy there were some cool events on campus. Last weekend Hope College welcomed its 12th President, Dr. John C. Knapp, on Friday, October 4, 2013, in a ceremony. Since I am a member of the Student Ambassador group I had the amazing opportunity to be apart of the celebration. On Friday afternoon I attended the President Inauguration Luncheon where I sat with former Hope College President, Gordon J. Van Wylen, and former CEO of Herman Miller, Max DePree. Both of the men were insightful and full of wisdom. I love the people around Hope, and the networking opportunities they provide.

Well I’m off to start packing and crossing off things on my long “to-do” list.

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Graves Hall on Inauguration Day
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The professors lined up for Inauguration
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Dimnet Chapel ready to welcome Dr. Knapp

 

Weekends in the Fall

Hey Everyone!

I cannot believe it is already October and the semester is now in full swing. This past weekend was packed with fun events. On Friday evening I ate with some friends on the patio at the City Vu restaurant in downtown Holland. We watched the sunset and chatted for hours. After dinner I played racket ball with a friend who graduated last year from Hope. He is now studying at University of Michigan. It was a lot of fun to catch up with him and play racket ball.

On Saturday morning my running buddy Steph and I drove to Grand Rapids for a 20-mile training run for the Grand Rapids Marathon. We woke up at 6:00 AM to start the run at 7:30. After 3 hours of nonstop running we drove back to Holland and bought some fresh food at the local farmer’s market downtown. Then I attended my final Pull at Hope College, and finally after losing all my years at Hope, Even Year won! I unfortunately was not able to see the very end of Pull, because I was headed to Grand Rapids to view ArtPrize.

On Saturday night I went with a big group of people from Hope to walk around Grand Rapids and check out some majorly talented pieces of art. After hanging around Grand Rapids we ate at Applebee’s for half-off apps (a very common thing to do at Hope).

Sunday morning I attended church and enjoyed such a beautiful day outside. I golfed at Winding Creek on a perfect fall day. After golfing I ate some delicious Qdoba outside and finished up my weekend with some homework and attending the Gathering.

One of the reasons I love Hope is because every weekend is different. There is always so much to do and different fun opportunities both on and off campus. I’m now a little behind in homework and need to catch up from such a fun weekend.

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather!photo 3

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Perfect day for golfing!

Love Qdoba!
Love Qdoba!