Spring Semester at Hope

Hope is a school filled with both goofy and revered traditions (which is part of the reason I was so excited to become a student here!) Many of the big, competitive traditions take place in the fall, such as The Pull or the Nykerk Cup, but there are many more events that happen every year in the winter and spring. The first snow marks the beginning of many traditions. Students scramble into the Pine Grove for a peer organized snowball fight. The Durfee boys gather and carol to Dykstra and Gilmore… in their boxers. They are always freezing cold, but have to keep that tradition alive!

In February, SAC, or the Student Activities Committee, holds Winter Fantasia at a beautiful location in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a chance to pull out your heels or tie and spruce up for night of dancing. From hors d’euvres to photo booths to elegant fountains and chandeliers, this is a chance to get whisked away from studies for a night.

Dance Marathon takes place in March and is a major part of life on campus. This fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital holds events to raise money beginning in the fall semester, but the big event is the 24 hour extravaganza of dancing and fun mixed with the stories recounting the reality of some of these kid’s lives and reminding participants why they’re on their feet for 24 hours. There are countless ways to get involved: you can be a part of the “Dream Team” that plans the event, be a moraler for the dancers, or be on a team and dance for 24 hours.

Enjoying the sun at Spring Fling.

Spring Fling is the big end of the year hurrah. Planned by SAC, students join together in the Pine Grove one last time. There are bouncy house obstacle courses, mechanical bull riding, a zip-line, good food, and more.

This team put two shopping carts together.

Another event that takes place during Spring Fling is The Push: a shopping cart race around the Pine Grove. Teams of around 5 take turns pushing members in the shopping cart, then switch every lap. It’s a fun element added into this end of the year event.

Hope You Go Greek!

Fraternities and sororities are a huge part of going to college in America. No matter where you go there are different ideas, stereotypes, and myths about Greek organizations. I am here to give you a glimpse into the amazing, diverse, and fun-loving lives of greek members at Hope College. Greek Life at Hope aims to enrich the lives of students by fostering lifelong relationships and connections through leadership, academic, and social accountability. Each organization is unique and brings something completely different to the Hope community.

About 20% of the campus is a member of a Greek organization. From this group of people, you will find students that are involved in nearly every activity on campus.

One thing that is special about the culture of Greek Life at Hope is that it is not exclusive and it will never inhibit you from experiencing other parts of campus. I have found that in joining a sorority I opened up connections to nearly every pocket on campus and was able to meet people outside of my dorm, class, major, and even interests. Nearly every campus activity that you join you can count on a Greek member being there. To be Greek at Hope is a great way to have a presence in Hope’s community and to be able to see a familiar face no matter where you go.

There are a couple of things that make Greek Life at Hope a little different. For one, we have rush in the spring as opposed to many schools that recruit new members in the fall. This allows freshmen to get settled and meet people from every organization without any sort of pressure. In addition to that, our rush process is a little over two weeks long. This allows for rushees — students rushing a fraternity or sorority — to actually get to know the actives and vice versa. What I really appreciate about our rush process is that it is designed so that rushees are given multiple opportunities to explore every single organization before finding which one would best fit them. When I rushed, not only did I find a sorority I love, but I met so many people in different organizations all around campus.

Once rush is over rushees will receive a bid, a formal invitation, to join an organization. At this point, Greek Orientation starts — a 3-week orientation process that all new actives will go through after choosing an organization. These 3 weeks are filled with learning about the history and traditions of each organization. It was during this time that I created hilarious memories and bonds with my pledge class, the same people that rushed with me.

After those three weeks are over, you are welcomed with open arms to be an active member of your sorority or fraternity. This is when the real fun begins. There are countless social events that will introduce you to members of nearly every Greek Organization on campus. Not only will you grow socially but each organization participates in fundraisers that will benefit the community. Fun fact: Did you know that Dance Marathon was brought to Hope by Greek Life? Since then the Greek community has been a pivotal part of the success of Dance Marathon at Hope.

Once joining this community you will find that there are a couple of things that differentiate Hope Greek Life from the Greek communities you may hear about at other schools. For instance, apart from one national fraternity on campus, every other organization is local. The only difference is that local organizations do not abide by any national laws regarding dues. Another thing you will find is that organizations may not be referred to by their letters. For instance, there are Dorians, Emersonian, Sibyllines, and Cosmos. May feel tricky but you could easily get the hang of it. Another difference is that not every member lives in the organization’s house. At Hope, only about ten members live in the organization’s cottage.

I rushed Delta Phi because I wanted to be a part of something at Hope. What I found is that I entered a community that stretched me to experience college in a completely different way. I found friends that make me laugh for hours, are up for every kind of adventure and are committed to supporting each other in all kinds of ways. I love carrying on traditions and values that began before I was even born. I became part of a family line of amazing women that remind me to work hard and live life to the fullest. I am incredibly thankful for being a part of Greek Life at Hope College and the ways that it has enhanced my time at Hope. I know it may sound like a lot but I encourage all students to explore the opportunities that this community can bring!

You can find out more about Greek Life here! For another, more detailed, blog about Greek Life at Hope check out this blog!

Why Your Freshman Year Roommate Experience Doesn’t Define Your Hope Experience

I love residential life on Hope College’s campus maybe just a little too much. Over the last three years of living on Hope’s campus, I have enjoyed spending the last two being a Resident Assistant (also affectionately known as a R.A.) to the women of Phelps Hall and Mayor’s Cottage. Living on-campus has shaped me to be a much better person than I was when I entered college. However, I never would’ve expected that to be the case during my freshman year.

Abigail Brummel is a junior and former resident of Phelps Hall.

When I decided to attend Hope my senior year of high school, I didn’t really know anyone else who was planning on attending. Because of this, I decided to come in without a roommate, otherwise known as ‘going potluck.’ I filled out my housing form and prayed that the Lord would lead me to a lifelong friend and the most amazing roommate ever. I pictured us decorating our room in corresponding colors and staying up past midnight sharing secrets. As you can tell, I was pretty naive to how the real world works then. That was not what happened.

I want to preface this story by saying that I still occasionally see my freshman year roommate. If she is reading this, I want her to know that I appreciated our time together and that I think she is an amazing person. We just weren’t amazing people for each other.

Our first semester living together was one of barely speaking and living two very separate lives. I loved our quaint little dorm room in Phelps Hall; she didn’t really like being their very much. I enjoyed being on campus 24/7 and didn’t really see my family very often; her mom is her best friend and she went and slept at home a couple nights a week. I didn’t particularly mind our arrangement. I thought it was okay. However, I don’t believe that she did.

About a month into our second semester, my roommate sent me a text asking if we could chat that evening. She hadn’t been sleeping in our room for the past couple nights, so I thought she just wanted to catch up when she got back. When I arrived back at our room, she asked me to sit and explained to me that she had decided that she no longer wished to live in the dorms and was moving back home. She said that being in a dorm gave a bit of anxiety that she couldn’t shake. I had no idea that she had felt this way. I was shocked. She said she was leaving and wanted to give me my space to process and understand her decision. After she left, I went and bawled in my friend’s room for the next hour.

Once she had moved out, I lived alone for the rest of the year. Being unsure what I was going to do for housing the next year, one of my good friends set me up with a girl also looking for a roommate. We hung out a couple times and found we really liked hanging out with each other, enough to live together. Now, she is one of my best friends and my roommate of two years. Having seen both sides of the spectrum, the loneliness of not having a roommate to someone who I can talk to about anything, has truly made me into a better R.A., friend, and person.

If you’ve made it this far in my story, stick with me for a moral. No matter how your roommate relationship goes, I want to let you know what I didn’t then. What I didn’t understand was that her decision to leave had nothing to do with me. It wasn’t that I was a bad roommate or a bad friend; she just needed to find a space where she could be comfortable. My space was the dorm; her space was at home. Going our separate ways made me better and I cannot thank her enough for that.

The Most Wonderful Time at Hope College

Coming back to campus after Thanksgiving may not sound like any fun. However, there is nothing like Christmas music and festive decorations to make the last couple weeks of the semester that much better. Holland, Michigan, may be well known as a beach town, but there is something so enchanting about 8th Street covered in snow and strung with lights and stockings above the Bultman Student Center fireplace.

Every year Student Congress decorates the Bultman Student Center with everything from a 20-foot tree to poinsettias and lights. The dining halls are always festive and Phelps has one of the best Christmas playlists out there.

The annual Presidential Christmas Tree Lighting

When President John Knapp and Mrs. Kelly Knapp were at Hope they planted a Christmas tree right next to the President’s House. Every year since, our campus has come together the week after Thanksgiving for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

This year was the President’s Sixth Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The campus gathered around the tree and we counted down for the tree to light up. With a beautifully lit tree, we sing Christmas carols led by the President.

When Betty Voskuil moved into the President’s House, she wanted to continue the longtime tradition of setting up luminaries along the sidewalk of her house on Christmas. She then thought it would be even more beautiful to place the luminaries along the sidewalk through the Pine Grove. After we lit the tree at the President’s House, all the students walked through the luminaries to the Bultman Student Center.

In recent years we have decorated Santa cookies in the Bultman Student Center while Christmas hits blast through the speakers. This year, we took it to the next level and combined the Tree Lighting with the weekly SAC Coffeehouse for a Christmas-themed Coffeehouse. There were three different performers but one of the most memorable was President Voskuil opening up the Christmas Karaoke with Jingle Bells.

The whole afternoon is such a fun study break for students to gather and celebrate the holiday season, but the Christmas Tree Lighting is just one of the many festivities around campus this time of year. Dykstra Hall, for years, has a decorating contest that completely transforms the residential hall. You will never see anything like it. I’ve seen everything from a full reenactment of the movie Elf to the entire cluster wrapped in wrapping paper.

Dykstra Cluster 1-2 completely wrapped in wrapping paper.

I could go on and on about the Holland Parade of Lights or all of Durfee Hall singing Christmas Carols in the alleyway between Dykstra and Gilmore. All of these traditions make Hope that much more like home during the holidays.

Finding Your “Thing” at Hope College

Whether it’s friends, clubs, or a major, finding your “thing” in college can be a daunting task. With about 80 different clubs and student groups at Hope College, you have plenty to choose from! Here are some tips that will hopefully help you determine what “thing” is right for you.  

  1. Think about your interests.

Are you an athlete? You don’t have to be on a Hope varsity team to play sports here; there are many intramural options. Maybe trying to make the world a better place is more your style? There are community service organizations on campus that can help you do your part for the world.

It doesn’t have to be something you did in high school or something you’ve tried before. It could be something you’ve never even heard of before, like this thing we have called “The Pull.” You think you know what a tug-of-war is? Think again. The Pull is a whole new level of tug-of-war, and one of the nation’s oldest standing college traditions!

  1. Try, try, and try again!

There is no better time than college to step out of your comfort zone and try something new! Remember, if you try something and it isn’t working out for you, you don’t have to stick with it. Part of the college experience is exploring things you may not have had the opportunity to do before. Try it out and if you don’t like it, if it doesn’t fit in your schedule, or if it simply isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to step away from it. That’s okay.  

Currently, I am involved in YoungLife, Greek Life, Nykerk, and I have an on-campus job. But my “things” didn’t come right away. My freshman year I was involved in a handful of other activities like intramural sports, Habitat for Humanity and Ski & Snowboard Club. Do I play intramural badminton anymore? No, but it was a great experience to explore and I met some great friends! It’s important to figure out what fits best for you and your schedule.

  1. Hope has many resources to help you find your place.
  • At the beginning of each year there is an Activities and Volunteer Fair. This is an exciting opportunity that allows you to explore all the organizations Hope College has to offer.

    Hope College students hold their annual Activity Fair in the Pine Grove on Hope’s campus.
  • The Student Activities Committee (commonly referred to as SAC) is an awesome organization on campus that plans fun student activities for everyone on campus.
  • Stuck on which major to choose? Stop by the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. They can help you identify your strengths and find which educational or occupational path may be right for you.
  • And, don’t forget to check out this list of all the clubs and organizations Hope has to offer! 
  1. Try not to worry about finding your “thing” right away!

You may find the activity, club, major, etc. you love to do right away, but it may take a year or two. Take the time to explore different options and don’t be afraid to ask for help, I promise you will find your “thing” eventually!

Learning To Be Thankful One Day At A Time

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. When I tell people this, I generally get a lot of questions asking why. No, it’s not because my favorite food is mashed potatoes (though it definitely takes a nice second to puppy chow) or because I love watching the Lions lose every year. It’s the idea of taking a specific day out of your life to be thankful. I don’t know about you, but I often forget how good I truly have it. I do not lack food or shelter or a loving support system of family and friends, yet, without fail, I never tell my amazing Heavenly Father about these gifts and why I love them except on this one day a year.

Just going through my normal day provides me with enough things to be thankful for to last a lifetime.

I wake up at the cottage that I share with five of my closest friends. I cannot tell you enough how amazing they all are and how grateful I am to be able to live with them on campus. Our cottage, Mayor’s, sits right across the street from Centennial Park. The Park is beautiful during this time of year. There are so many bright and vibrant colors on the tree. I thank God for my friends, a warm house, and the colors that lighten our lives.

Female student jumps in front of wood church doors. As I walk through Hope’s campus towards my first class, I find an abundance of things to be thankful for in each glance. I pass Dimnent Chapel, my favorite place to worship, and the Bultman Student Center, where I always try to study but fail because I always see so many people that I know and love. I arrive at the DePree Art Center, my favorite building on campus. Inside it sit all my friends, ready to learn and make amazing art together. There is no shortage of inspiration here. I thank God for the places on campus that aide in making me a more rounded student and person, as well as a major (Art) that I love so much.

After class, I go to work at Hope’s Public Affairs and Marketing office where I work as a student graphic designer. I enjoy making materials like posters and cards that go out to all sides of campus. It’s so fun seeing my work hanging up places. I am thankful for the opportunities there that are teaching me to become a better graphic designer, the bosses that want to see me learn, and the coworkers that always keep me smiling.

After my day is done, I return back to my cottage. Without fail, I always have at least one text on my phone for one of my family members. Even though I don’t get to see them every day, it’s nice to know that they are one ever one text or phone call away. I’m thankful for a family that is always so present, no matter where we are.

That concludes my day of thankfulness, yet it doesn’t even begin to cover all of the things that I could be thankful for.

Campus in a Summer State of Mind

hope hat and water bottle in foreground, shadow of big red lighthouse in background

When your parents first drop you off at Hope, it is hard to imagine that you might not want to go back to “home sweet home” next summer. Holland is an enjoyable city to be in from Fall to Spring, but summertime is prime time for this beach town. Locals will tell you that Hope students are truly missing out when they pack their bags for summer, only to return when classes start up for fall.

Finding Friends

What is stopping people from staying around in the summer? Most often it is the misconception that campus is dead. That is farthest from the truth. Hope has a variety of activities and programs that keep the campus full of life all summer long. Events and Conferences host dozens of camps that bring in new groups from all over the country weekly. And, while it’s definitely not the same vibe as during the school year, there are plenty of Hope students who stick around campus in the summer that it’s no trouble finding friends to hang out with. I used to be skeptical about staying in Holland over a break until one Easter I wasn’t able to make it home. Turns out, there were so many others that I would not have gotten to know and love if I had not stayed on campus.

Working on Campus

Student workers for physical plant driving a utility vehicle. Nearly every office on campus hires students to help them out during the summer. You learn so much and gain respect for the way that our staff and faculty spend all summer bettering the campus so that everything runs smoothly when students return in the fall.  Student workers help with everything from landscaping with Physical Plant, researching with their professors, giving campus tours with the Admissions office, and more! All of these options are valuable experiences and opportunities that are still relaxed enough to give you plenty of play time outside of the office.

Living in a Beach Town

The Holland area is a vacation destination for thousands of people every summer which makes staying here over the summer the perfect balance between work and vacation. I have been to the beach and out for ice cream nearly every day and it never gets old. If you are down for an adventure, there are plenty of day trip options to nearby state parks or other beach towns like Saugatuck or Grand Haven. Or relax by taking advantage of the Pine Grove, beach volleyball courts, or strolling beautiful downtown Holland. With all this to do, my friends and I haven’t had a dull moment on campus this summer.

Staying at Hope in the summer is experiencing the same friendly and loving community except with a summer state of mind. Most of the same resources you use during the academic year such as the Bultman Student Center, the Dow, and the library are still available. Plus staff and faculty love to see students around in the summer, and often times, they are even more willing to meet with you if you need advising or just a chat. You are guaranteed to meet new people and have fun experiences you would not have during the school year. Turns out, in college, staying at school over the summer is actually really fun!

Live Where You Learn

Picture it: You are a high school graduate ready to make “the big move” to become a college student with a college life, on a college campus, in college housing. You are ready to start a new chapter where independence and learning are your new way of life. You are ready! And you know what? We are ready for you, too!

Living in the same campus environment where you learn makes your Hope education as complete as it can be.

Living on Hope’s beautiful, 150-acre campus is an integral part of every Hope student’s experience. When you live in any one of our 11 residence halls, 13 apartment buildings, or 75 cottages, you are residing in the same campus environment in which you learn, making your Hope education as complete as it can be. You will be immersed in a social AND intellectual community, one that is both friendly and challenging. And that’s the point: a Hope education is a holistic education that includes residential life.

Imagine beyond your first year

Example of Vorhees Hall room
Large windows and abundant natural lighting are a bonus in many of our residence halls.

Imagine your life at Hope long-term, not just one term! We encourage our students think beyond a first-year mindset and have a four-year perspective when it comes to housing because what makes living on campus at Hope so unique is your living experiences grow as you grow.

As you make connections and build relationships in residence halls during freshmen and sophomore years, you’ll be meeting people with whom you’ll want to share cottages and apartments with as juniors and seniors. Usually by third or fourth year, you’ll be ready for a more independent environment yet you’ll still receive support from residential life, maintenance, and campus safety staff who are all committed to making your housing experience enjoyable.

Unique options for all

Kitchen in a Hope College cottage.
Example of a Hope cottage kitchen.
Dining room inside a Hope College cottage.
Dining room inside a cottage at Hope.

At Hope, our college-owned cottages and apartments are distinctive and varied. Some are larger. Some are smaller. Some apartments are downtown above local shops. Some cottages are historic homes. Some are themed for students who speak Spanish or French; for students involved in Campus Ministries or International Education; for Greek life; and, for students who participate in Emmaus Scholars, Phelps Scholars and Day1.

As for residence halls, some rooms are doubles, some are triples, and some are suites. Most halls have a community kitchen, computer labs and a common living area.

Whatever space you live in though, it is yours to personalize and call home. Our Hope RAs (resident assistants) are also there to give 24/7 care and support because they are Hope students, too, living right where you live. They’re there to ensure all our residents feel safe, included and respected in their campus home.

Steps ahead

Phelps Hall room at Hope CollegeDeposit-paid incoming freshman will receive housing information in late May.  Roommate requests can be accommodated, but it’s usually not necessary to request a roommate. Our team works diligently  with great care and attention to hand-match roommates from the information they provide on housing questionnaire cards. There is no random placement.

A Hope education is a holistic education and that most certainly includes residential life.

Still have questions? We have answers and are glad to help. Please ask us at housing@hope.edu. We want to make your move to Home Sweet Hope an enjoyable and memorable one.

#ThrowWhatYouKnow (Everything You Want to Know About Greek Life and More)

 

To rush or not to rush?

A brilliant question that inevitably crosses the mind of many soon-to-be-freshman. And with great reason. It’s a big decision!

Greek Life, no matter where you are in the country, comes with its own unique set of myths, stereotypes, and hesitations. I’m sure you know someone whose Instagram caption is forever “#throwwhatyouknow”. Annnnd then I’m sure you know someone else who always insisting that Greeks “buy their friends”.

I’m not here to sway you one way or another, I’m here to share with you my experience and give our future freshman a view into the process.

TERMS

First of all, let’s start by breaking down some very important terms. If we are going to have an open conversation about Greek Life, then it’s vital you know what it all means! And quite frankly, Greek Life is a language all of its own so I’m sure you’ll find having some clear definitions will be very helpful. (Enter cheesy dad joke something along the lines of “it’s all Greek to me”)

  • Organization – A broad term to describe any fraternity or sorority
  • Actives – Current members of an organization
  • Rush – The process one goes through to join an organization (participants are known as rushees)
  • Open Event – a rush event that anyone can attend
  • Closed Event – a rush event that one must be invited to
  • Bid – What one will receive when an organization is interested in taking a rushee
  • G.O. – This stands for Greek Orientation. This is a Hope College exclusive term. It refers to the 3-week orientation process all new actives go through after choosing an organization
  • Pledge Class – The actives who rushed the same year as oneself
  • Philanthropy – This is the non-profit cause that each organization supports throughout the year via fundraisers and activities
  • “Finding Your Home” – This is a colloquial saying conveying the message that there is a perfect place for every rushee

 

HOPE COLLEGE STATISTICS AND BACKGROUND

Now that you have all of the terms under your belt, we can move into more specifics!

Hope College has 7 sororities and 8 fraternities. About 20% of the Hope College student body participates in Greek Life. Most of Hope’s organizations are local with the exception of one fraternity (Phi Sigma Kappa) that is national. The difference between local and national organizations are laws that each must follow and the dues that must be paid. Contrary to many schools, Hope students rush second-semester allowing room for the incoming freshman to informally meet people in every organization without any pressure to make decisions. Additionally, rush is about 2 and a half weeks long giving rushees plenty of time to actually know the actives. There are currently 704 active members of Hope’s Greek Life and it’s always growing with room for you to find your home!

RUSH

Just to be clear, rush is very different for guys and girls. I will explain each, but I’m sorry guys, I just don’t have the same expertise and experience rushing frats. I’ll do my best, but maybe someday one of you can come and tell me more about it.

GUYS

Guys rush is rather informal. Events will consist of pizza, pool, laser tag, dodgeball and all of sorts of ‘manly’ activities. All events are open until the very last event which is closed and readily known as an informal. If you are invited to an informal, you will ask a date to attend the event with you. An informal invitation is usually followed by a bid, but you do not need to be invited to an informal to receive a bid.

GIRLS

Girls rush is a little more structured than guys rush. There will typically be an open event followed by a closed event. This pattern will repeat about four times over two weeks. The events will range from lip sync battles to bowling to dodgeball (yes apparently, dodgeball is loved by guys and girls alike). The rush season is closed with preference in which the rushees write down their top 3 preferences for an organization. Bids are handed out that night by representatives of the sorority.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

So now that you’ve heard basically every fact you need to understand Hope’s Greek system, I’ll give you a real student’s experience and perspective of Greek Life. First of all, I’m a Del Phi (aka a Delta Phi) and I couldn’t ask for anything more! I absolutely adore it and I’m incredibly thankful for the people I’ve met through Hope’s Greek Life – it’s brought some of my best friends into my life!

That being said, I didn’t always think I was going to rush. In fact, as I came into college, I was rather against the idea. I didn’t want a huge sorority house experience in which I only talked to Greek Life people and that’s it. I wanted to make sure I had friends in lots of areas and I had the freedom to explore whatever I felt called to.

After stepping onto campus, I quickly discovered that Hope’s Greek system is not at all an exclusive group. At Hope, everyone in Greek Life is highly involved on campus with loads of other interests, clubs, sports, and activities. And that really caught my eye. I quickly made friends who were in Greek Life without even realizing it. This was the first time I experienced one of the things I still so highly respect about Hope’s Greek Life: it’s not a bubble.

Greek Life students have friends all over campus. In fact, students all over campus have friends all over campus. I think this is more of a Hope-culture-thing than a Greek-Life-culture-thing, but it’s so pervasive that you can experience throughout every organization – Greek or not. I fell in love with this aspect of Hope’s Greek Life and soon after I decided to rush. I quickly decided to go Del Phi and it was one of the easiest decisions I ever made! I FOUND MY HOME AND I HOPE YOU DO TOO!

Once you’re all done with rush and G.O. then you are ~activated~ and that is when some seriously fun stuff starts! We do all sorts of great events and fundraisers! Some of my personal faves are…

Dance Marathon (a 24-hour dance party fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital)

Canoe (a canoeing day trip you take with all your sistaaas… or brothers)

Pink Day (a bake sale that the Del Phi’s put on to fundraise for breast cancer research, our philanthropy)

And, of course, there so many fun reasons to get all dressed up like FORMAL!!

FUN FACTS

I’ll leave you with a couple of fun facts that help paint an even broader, fuller picture. I hope this blog helped you clarify your thoughts on Hope Greek Life and maybe even settle some nerves about rushing!

  • A majority Hope College Greek Organizations aren’t referred to by their letters. Some common names you’ll hear are Dorians, Cosmos, Emersonians, and many more.
  • Every Hope College Greek Organization has an elected position that organizes bible studies and prayer requests, known as the Chaplin.
  • Not everyone in an organization lives in the organization’s house (or cottage as we call them). Each Greek cottage holds about 10 people.
  • Here is the website if you’re interested in learning more! https://hope.edu/offices/student-life/greek-life/

A Message of Encouragement: A Senior Witness from a Friend

Everyone has a story. But it is usually not the one that they are telling.

These words were spoken by a good friend, in chapel this past Wednesday.

It was something that I needed to hear. Something the people of Hope College probably needed to hear too.

I’m a junior at Hope. And I by no means have things figured out. But I’m starting to realize that my friend was right. We usually aren’t telling the story we’re living. But why…?

Most often, there is one thing that holds us back from who we’re made to be. I tend to think that thing is fear.

Fear.

Fear of not fitting in.

Fear of being vulnerable.

Fear of not having a good story to tell.

These are all legit fears.

But let me tell you what else my friend told us at chapel on Wednesday…

“God didn’t create you to be like somebody else. He created you uniquely in his image.”  

The point here is not if you believe in God or not. The point is that you are unique. You have gifts, talents, humor, and so much more. So, let me tell you, you were never made to fit in. You were made to stand out!

“I used to feel like I had to be perfect… Becoming vulnerable with others has given me freedom from that.”

I’ll be honest. Being vulnerable with people is hard. Especially those close to you.

I’ve found it easy to be “good.” This is much easier than, “You know, I’m not having a great day,” or “I’m really struggling with this…” Now I’m not saying we should go around telling people all of our struggles and be Debbie downers. I’m all about positivity and the more we can have in this world the better. It is in sharing with those we are close to that is important. It will give you a sense of freedom. Your relationships will be strengthened. And you will have overcome a legitimate fear.

“Don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have on someone else’s life.”

 We tend to believe our influence and story we tell with our life is not good enough. Here me out on this… You are making an impact. Whether you know it or not. You are.

If you don’t think you have a good story to tell, experiment with the following: Walk down the street and give someone a warm smile. Maybe a friendly “hello.” If they don’t smile back, I’ll take the blame! What I’m trying to say is that making an impact is so simple! Often, we think we have to do big things to tell a good story. I’m learning it’s the little things that make the story good.

Most the time we don’t tell our actual story. We let fear win. But fear doesn’t have to win! Remember: You are unique. You are made to be vulnerable. You are making an impact. The way we live our life is the story we tell. So, let me ask you… What story are you currently telling?