Finding your “people” in college was one of the most intimidating things about college. It was a fresh start for me, a fresh start for everyone. I had a lot of questions, things like:
- Will I find people who like me and have similar interests?
- Will I grow in my faith through my friends?
- Will I find someone who I enjoy living with…(roommates are scary)
It all started the first weekend that I arrived on campus – Orientation Weekend. Right away I was playing games, going on scavenger hunts and meeting as many people as possible. On Sunday of Orientation Weekend, all of the incoming freshmen went to Convocation, a celebration welcoming us into the Hope community. This was the first memory I have of having friends in college. We all lived in the same dorm and the five of us went to Convocation together. Three years later we have made so many memories, just because we walked to Devos for Convocation!
Just by being active in the dorm life in Lichty Hall, I made so many friends during my freshman year. We would all participate in dorm events put on by Residential Life Staff (our RA’s and RD) such as exploring downtown Holland, late-night donut runs and decorating Christmas cookies.
Flash forward to Sophomore year: a new dorm, new roommates, and harder classes. As an engineering student, I wanted my friends to have similar workloads and still be social. I got the privilege of living in Cook Hall with the three girls that I met as we walked to Convocation. Who knew that the first picture I ever took at Hope would result in three of the best roommates I’ve ever had. The four of us were all busy with school as we were STEM majors but we enjoyed hanging out too. One of my favorite memories was around Halloween. The four of us were employed through Admissions as Overnight Hosts and at one of our group events, we had to wrap each other up in toilet paper like mummies! It was a race against all of the other Overnight Hosts…if you ask me, we totally were the quickest! Even through employment at Hope, I have been able to meet so many amazing people and grow my already existing relationships.
Another amazing thing at Hope is getting to meet people from all over the globe. For example, most of my friends are not from Michigan. In the picture below everyone is from a different place. One from Kansas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and two international students. Within this small group, there are so many incredible stories, ideas and viewpoints to be discussed. This is applicable throughout all of Hope. Everyone has a unique story and you grow together through your stories.
Meeting people from other places allows for fun trips, too. For example, I went home with my roommate Abby for a spring break! Home for Abby is Kansas…and it was way more than cornfields and cows. I loved exploring her home, living her life for a week and it only grew us closer together.
College is the time to explore and sometimes that means sending friends off to study abroad. Sweet Emma studied in France for a semester and this was us saying goodbye to her for nine months. While in the moment we were laughing through tears, hearing all of her amazing stories as she came back was incredible!
Hope has not only given me a close friend group to live life with but additionally given me a wide variety of friends. I love going off-campus and running into Hope students. One of my favorite spots is a climbing gym right off of campus. All of the Hope students in this picture share the same hobby as I do, bouldering! We climb together and grow together. We hold each other accountable and have a fun time while getting stronger!
I could go on and on about the amazing communities there are at Hope. Everyone finds their people at Hope whether it’s through dorm life, employment, clubs or hobbies. The best part of Hope for me is always meeting new people and hearing their stories. While in this article I have highlighted some of my favorite people, I have left out so many, each with a unique and incredible story.