My Summer Plans!

Welp, I may be writing this one a little early with still having a week of school and then finals, but it is clear to see where my mind has already gone: SUMMMMMEERRR!

Walt Disney Animation Studios animated GIF

This is a summer that I am very excited for. My last summer was one where it seemed like all the  Facebook albums of other people who went to Hope were titled along the lines of “BEST SUMMER EVER!” My title wasn’t anything close to that. BUT, I really feel like this summer is likely to be the best one yet!

summer animated GIF Ya want to know why? I get to stay in Holland at Hope all summer long! What is even better, is that I will be at the school I love, yet not having any homework or classes (my dream).

This summer is one where I will be employed by the Events and Conferences Office as an ECC, or an Events and Conferences Coordinator. What that means is that all the conferences that go through Hope College, whether that is a wedding or a summer camp, are going to be regulated and organized by myself, 4 other students, and my bosses. This job is described as being constantly busy and very high stress, but to me, that sounds exciting, as that is the life I like to live (especially when homework is not involved).

Along with the work of the job, I am also provided with Hope housing and meal plan! Thus, I will be living in a Hope Cottage with 2 other guys that are ECCs and next to a cottage that houses the 2 other girl ECCs. These people that I get to live in community with are great people and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to get to spend my summer with them. Also, since I will be at Hope in the Summer, that means that I get to experience a Holland summer: Tulip Time, warm temperatures, Lake Michigan, the beach, and so much more greatness.

All in all, I couldn’t be more excited for this summer. I may not be home much due to the work (but when I do go home it will be for family weddings, which I love), but I am excited to do the work I will be doing, the community I will be with, and the place I will be at. I really do believe that this will be the best summer yet. With that said, I still have two weeks here at school before I start the job, so let’s GO!

DORM options for MEN

Hey future Men of Hope College,
Some of you have been asking about the dorm/residential hall options that Hope has and what they are like. Due to that, I want to write to tell you about the different “feel” of each of the dorms. This is important because you will be filling out housing in May and have the option to request specific dorms. I am going to the list the dorms from most rowdy (can be loud) to least rowdy (usually quiet).
DURFEE HALL: This is the only all-guys dorm on campus. It houses both sophomores and freshmen. It is known for being a little more rowdy than most of the other dorms, but in a good way; it has a very social atmosphere (which can get loud). It has really close community, to the point where doors are always opened and unlocked, there is a Durfee table where the “Men of Durf” sit during meal times, a row in Chapel were the “Men of Durf” sit, and a lot of funny and rowdy traditions that happen.
KOLLEN HALL: This is the biggest dorm on campus. It is co-ed by guys living on the East side and girls living on the West side of the building. This dorm houses both freshmen and sophomores. This dorm has a good social setting in the lobbies and in the hallways/rooms (sometimes can get loud). This dorm houses a lot of the student athletes on campus.
PHELPS HALL: This dorm is co-ed with the boys on the second floor and the girls on the third floor. This residential hall houses both freshman and sophomores. It is also connected to the dining hall, thus people never have to leave their hall depending on the day (nice for those cold winter Saturdays). This dorm is known for being really social and having a close knit community, so much that they are called “Phelps Fam.”
WYCKOFF HALL: This dorm is co-ed with girls on the first floor and guys on the second and third floor. This dorm is social, yet isn’t really connected with being loud or rowdy; it is more contained than the other dorms. Someone explained it to me once as having the ability to be social, yet also having the option of being peacefully alone in your room. It also has good community as the residents are often known as the “Wolf Pack.”
VOORHEES HALL: This residential hall is one that has a very “homey” feel to it due to the way the building was constructed. It is co-ed with the first and bottom floor housing girls and the third floor housing boys. This dorm is a little more quiet, yet can still be labeled as being social.
COOK HALL: This residential hall is newest dorm on campus and thus has features that other older dorms don’t have (such as air conditioning). Due to that, not many freshmen live in Cook; it is a predominately sophomore occupied dorm. This dorm is more closed off, yet has a really nice space.
SCOTT HALL: This hall houses all the Phelps Scholars, so if you didn’t apply and get accepted to that program, then you probably wouldn’t live there.

LICHTY: This hall houses all the members of the STEM program, so if you didn’t apply and get accepted, then you wouldn’t live there.
Whether you want a quiet dorm just to do homework or a loud social dorm or anything in between, Hope has you covered! Also, just to clarify with the housing request, you aren’t guaranteed to get what you request, but it can help in the deciding process!
If you have anymore questions about specifics with dorm (or anything), email me at!

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins.

5 Reasons You Should Bring a Futon/Couch to College

Prospective Students: LISTEN! If you don’t have a futon or a couch for you freshman year, here are some reasons why you should try to get one before you move into college.

1. Allow for a social space

friends animated GIF

Couches and futons make friends.

2. Futon = NAPS

parks and recreation animated GIF

You are going to take some naps. They are unavoidable in college. Don’t pretend you won’t.

3. You will want a place to sit besides your desk chair

bear animated GIF

Whether you are doing homework, playing a video game, or watching a movie, it is nice to have a more comfortable place to sit.

4. Sleepovers

by The Barkers animated GIF

The more the merrier!

5). Gives a little bit more spunk/hominess to your room

way animated GIF

Make the room your own!


My freshman year, I didn’t have a futon, but I have one this year as a sophomore. It has been so much better. I didn’t like taking naps in my bed, so  people would always find me sleeping in the strangest places (the library, a dorm lounge, or maybe even a table). My room this year in comparison to my other room my freshman year allows for much more of a communal place, a lot of which can be attributed to the futon.

Therefore, don’t worry about space and get a futon! (Side-note: If you are living in Dykstra, due to the cluster system, you don’t need and probably won’t be able to fit a futon)

Also, you can always wait until you come to school and then you can thrift for a couch (this really makes it cheap too).

In the words or Nike, “Just Do It.”

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!

Those Moments When I Considered Dropping Out…

LibraryBook_130206This last week was one that I would say was slightly difficult. How so? Well, simply put – school. This last week I have been fighting off a sickness, while having to prepare for and take 3 exams, while also trying to do my other homework, and juggling life. To be honest, this week isn’t that abnormal in the sense of busyness, but this one hit more harder than the others. So why? Because it was heavy on the academic part of my schedule.

“I wish I could do college without the academic part” is something I often find myself saying or thinking. I am not naturally a learner; I don’t enjoy doing research. School doesn’t naturally come to me – I have to work hard at it to be successful. Due to that, unlike my other activities and clubs, school drains me physically and mentally. The amount of effort I have to put forward exhausts me. It exhausts me to such a point that it is hard for me to find joy in the fact that I am doing schooling. The lack of joy makes me ponder whether I even want to do school… I actually consider dropping out of college. What always ends up keeping me enrolled is the clubs and organizations that I am involved in that I love and have grown and am growing so much from, the friends that I love who play a huge role in my life, or just the simple fact that I need a degree and I need to do well in order for me to be be successful post college and then adequately be a steward of my gifts.

You know what though, none of those motivations help me find any joy in the fact of me being a student. They just make me trudge the swamp of having to be a student. That is not what I want, not even a tiny bit. I know it is a blessing and a privilege that I have the opportunity to be getting an education, thus I want to be able to acknowledge that I am getting something from it.

And that acknowledgement has come. I was able to take some time at this end of the week and journal about all of this. In that time of reflecting and writing, I decided to take the time and look at all my classes that I have taken while I was a Hope student and write down what impacting thing I have learned from them. In doing that I was able to see that each of my classes have helped play a role in shaping how I think, how I act, and the man I am today. So with that new found knowledge, I want to make that my motivation in not dropping out of school and in having motivation for doing my schooling: I may not enjoy each class I take and the work that goes along with it, but with each class I take, I have the opportunity and often the benefit of gaining something to make myself a better human being.

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!


I know… another Spring Break blog post, but guess what?!?!? This trip was so freakin’ amazing, there is now way that I can’t share! This past week, me and 9 other of my friends took off for Colorado.

For me, this was my first time out west (before this trip, I had never been more west that Illinois). This road trip was so good that, there is no way to cap it up in just a few short words, so I have made three subtopics: Adventure, Sights, and Friends.

Adventure. BOY, WAS IT EVER! We did a ton of adventuring in just one short week, both hot and cold. We hiked in a place called Red Rock, walked around Denver City, boulder-ed and climbed to the top of a flat iron in Boulder, drove up a mountain, watched the sun set over the mountain, hiked alongside Breckenridge mountain, and skied down Copper mountain (THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME EVER SKIING!!!). I had the time of my life doing these adventures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Half of that “time of my life” came from the sights. Wow. Just wow. That is all I can say. I was and still am blown away. Again, this is the first time I had ever seen anything like what I saw over spring break. It was all just breathtaking and amazing to see the beauty that God has put on this earth.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The other half that made this trip the “time of my life” was the people. I love my friends and am so blessed to have met every single one of them. Over this trip we had amazing laughter and adventures, but we also just has amazing and godly conversation, something I always crave in relationships. This community that am I in, is one that is so nurturing for me both in helping others to grow and in the encouragement for me to grow as well. I know it is super cliche, but #blessed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All in all, this has been the best Spring Break of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!

The Best Weekend Yet

Wow. What a weekend…This last weekend was Dance Marathon. This is an extraordinary event where all the money that is raised goes towards the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This money is raised through fundraisers, but also through donations brought in through the participants of Dance Marathon. On top of the participants raising money, they stand on the feet for 24 hours in order to support the kids who are daily fighting their battle against their illness. This whole event is all for the families of kids at the Hospital, and for the kids themselves, to make them feel like superstars.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year for the marathon, I had the honor to serve on the Dream Team (the 28-ish students that put the Marathon on) as the Morale co-chair. One of the duties of this role is making and choreographing a 9-minute line dance that is taught throughout the entire Marathon. This is a project that my morale co-chair and I have been working at since the first semester and finally taught it to the DM participants last weekend.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last year, as a freshman, the Marathon meant a lot to me, mostly because it was a lot of fun as I love to dance and have unnatural surplus of energy – thus I didn’t get tired. This year the Marathon had a whole new spin. A lot of that was due to the larger role I had within it, but also due to the situations I went through leading up to the event. As some of you may be aware from reading my other blogs, I recently sprained my ankle. After I sprained it and got off my crutches, I re-sprained it just shy of 3 weeks before Dance Marathon.

This was a moment that was crushing in my life, yet also humbling. In this moment, I made the decision that it was not fair to myself, to my co-chair, to the rest of Dream Team, to the participants at Dance Marathon, and most importantly to the kids to continue on in my duty if I wasn’t fully able to enact in it. It was in that moment that a lot of pride was broken down inside of me and that I realized how little this event truly had to with me, but was 100% for the kids being treated at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Fortunately, my ankle was healed in time for the Marathon and I was able to continue in my duties as Morale-Co Chair, yet now I had a much healthier and correct perspective. Due this mindset, this year’s Marathon was a lot more emotional as well as passion driven. I loved hearing the families share their stories and I found it very moving.

I am so proud to be a part of this organization due to what it can provide for these families that have gone through so much. I am also proud of how at this year’s Marathon, we were able to raise a record amount of money and well as have a record amount of participants.  I thank God for the events that led up to this marathon, including re-spraining my ankle, because if I didn’t stumble, that I would have seen the Marathon through blind eyes.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


If you are reading this as a prospective student or a student that has never done Dance Marathon, I encourage you to do it next year and allow these families stories to move you as they moved me.

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!

One of my Favorite Words

First, listen to this:

Here is the Auditorium that we got to use on Sunday to preform the songs we learned all while the Glory was going to God!

Wow….So this weekend, I and members of the Hope College Gospel Choir and the Black Student Union had an amazing opportunity to go to a Black Sacred Music Symposium. This was an event hosted at the University of Illinois that focused on what Black Sacred Music was as well as putting that into action. What I mean by that, is we got to hear from numerous speakers focusing on topics like “How to prepare for singing gospel music,” “The calling of being a director,” “The lyrics behind the songs,” and so much more. Not only did we get to learn all this insightful information, but we also got to learn different genres of gospel songs and sing them with a mass choir at a performance on Sunday (which was more than a performance – it was using the voices and the soul of everyone  in the room as well as the lyrics behind the songs to give Jesus praise.)

The Fam
Got to experience this with some of my Gospel Choir Friends.
We adopted some family titles during this trip, mom, dad, and their three children.

This event was amazing, but you know what made it ever greater, it was FREE! Ahhh, one of my favorite words….free. 🙂 We got to stay in a nice Hyatt Hotel for free. 

Hotel Room
This wasn’t a bad place to stay for free. 🙂

We got to be apart of this symposium for free. We got to Campaign, IL, on a Hope bus for free. The only thing I spent some money on was two meals. This was possible through Dr. Trent-Brown setting everything up (SHOUT OUT) and through Hope providing the money for us to be able to do this stuff for free. Hope really values the opportunities that student life can provide, and thus Hope Administration Staff is often very willing to work details out with clubs so that students can pay less to nothing at all.

Man, this conference was amazing. Hope’s willingness to provide for students is amazing. I love this place.

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!