Why did I chose Hope College? What lead me to making this final decision that would control where the next four years of my life would go? I have personally done some self-reflection and came up with 5 reasons as to why I chose Hope.
As someone who loves meeting new people as well as being able to say “hi” to people wherever I go; the size of Hope College’s campus was a big plus. Before going on my first tour of Hope while in high school I really hadn’t thought much about the size of the college or university I wanted.
Then, I got onto Hope’s campus and I was in shock. First of all, it was fall, my favorite season and the Pine Grove was gorgeous. I felt at home. My tour guide seemed to know everyone and I realized that was something I wanted. That sense of community. I also don’t care much for large crowds.
I wanted a personal relationship with my professors as well. Being able to visit them during their office hours and not have to worry about being judged was a bonus. I found comfort in the understanding that most of the professors at Hope wanted to get to know me. Not just as a student, but as a person. That meant a lot to me, and realizing that Hope’s professors wanted these kinds of relationships with their students because the class sizes were at a max of 40 students helped me realize that college size really mattered to me.
Hope College is located in the beautiful downtown area of Holland, MI. A gorgeous city near Lake Michigan. Balmy summers and brisk winters. I grew up in Holland, well, Zeeland, but it’s close enough that I spent most of time in Holland. I was not interested in staying in Holland for college. I was going to be the child who went somewhere far away.
But here I am, at Hope College in Holland, MI. And I can’t complain. I spend a lot of time wandering downtown, just looking at the shops, eating at the many restaurants or just going to grab coffee.
While I am close to home, I enjoy being able to call Hope my home as well. I love it at Hope more than high school me ever thought I could love college. There is comfort in the location of Hope College.
I am a social butterfly. While I don’t like large crowds, I do enjoy creating relationships. Hope has a strong community of students. I go to events that are being hosted and always feel included even if I don’t know anyone.
Community was shown to me on my first tour. I will always talk about this experience as it was one of the main reasons that Hope made it to the top of my list. Everyone would say hello to my tour guide and myself. He knew everyone. I wanted that. I wanted to walk around campus and be able to greet those that I knew, whether from class, clubs, or living areas.
Hope gives students the ability to make lifelong friendships and beneficial relationships during their time here. Whether that is through the clubs that are offered, the summer programs or sports. There is something for everyone to get involved in and feel welcomed.
As a freshman, I was pretty convinced I was going to be a Psychology Major with a Minor in Studio Art. I am still a Minor in Studio Art but I now have an English Major with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Big difference. Yet, I would not have been able to make the self-discovery that lead me to change my major if I hadn’t been at Hope. I am convinced of that.
While looking for a college to go to I always made sure they had a psychology department and an art department. There were plenty of colleges that had both, but none seemed to fit. Some had amazing psychology departments but were lacking in the art department, other were well-developed in the arts but didn’t offer much in psychology. Then Hope came along and offered amazing programs in both departments.
Even though I am no longer a Psychology Major, the programs that Hope offers are very diverse. Especially due to the Liberal Arts aspect. I have friends with majors or minors that are combinations of a bunch of different departments, and Hope was the reason they were able to create a major or minor tuned to their interests.
I never thought this would be a reason I would have given as to why I am at Hope. But here we are. The diverse education I am receiving through the Liberal Arts is very beneficial. While it can be time-consuming and seem like an inconvenience when you have to take a class that does not pertain to your major, it’s worth it. At least to me it is.
As a writer and an artist I accept the ability that Hope has given me to use a range of topics in my creativity. I have taken a psychology class that has helped me develop a deeper understanding of my own characters. I have taken religion courses that allow me to create scenes and characters who are diverse from my own beliefs. There are classes that I have had to take for gen-eds that I was not a fan of, math being one of those. I am not a math person, never have been. Yet, those courses were more beneficial than I thought.
When I was in the classes I wasn’t fond of I had a lot of anxiety, but my professors were extremely helpful. Now, looking back, I see how much those classes helped me. I realized that math is actually kind of helpful to understand, and understanding nature through my GEMS (General Education Mathematics and Science) class I took Freshman year has given me a different outlook.
In the End
There are a ton of reasons to chose Hope College, but those are just my personal Top 5. You may have different ones, or you may disagree with mine and that’s okay. We are all different. Yet, I know that I will be encouraging people to look into Hope College for the rest of my life after I graduate.