Calling. What Is It?

As a college student you have to answer this all too familiar question a lot:
“What are you majoring in?”
Which can be followed up by, “What are you planning to do with that degree?”

As an undecided college student I fend off that “What are you majoring in?” question more often than I like.
“I do not know what I am majoring in.”
“What subject areas are you leaning towards?”
*Pulls out the latest “Top 3 Possible Majors* list that’s been floating through my head the last week and reels them off* “But I really still have an open mind, haven’t settled on anything….”
Then follows the kind but still worrisome response:
“Oh, you have plenty of time. You’re in a good place. You’ll figure it out.”

Do I really have plenty of time? This is a good place compared to what? Will I ever actually figure it out?

What is this “it” I have to figure out anyways? Some days “it” is figuring out how to get all my assignments for the night done while still getting a reasonable amount of sleep. Other days “it” is what should I earn a college degree in? Then on other days still “it” is what am I called to do?

Calling. Vocation. Major. Purpose. Career.

A year ago the question used to be “Where are you going to college?”

I fended that question off for a while too.  At first I didn’t know. Then I thought I knew.
Then God was like, “No, you need to listen to me.”
So I prayed (a lot), and I listened. Finally, I knew. God was calling me to be at Hope.
“Where are you going to college?”
“Hope College.”
“Where is that?” (I’m from Pennsylvania where not many people have heard of Hope)
“Holland, Michigan.”
“Wow, you’re going far. Why?”
“Hope just feels like the place for me. Christian atmosphere, small liberal arts school, vibrant community, has all the options degree-wise I am looking for…”
For my college decision I didn’t question “it”. I knew it was more than just my decision. “It” was God’s will.

I pray a lot about this next stage of life’s calling. I was looking for an answer along the lines of a vocation, a major, a purpose, a career. Then I went to Chapel on Monday.

I didn’t get the answer I was looking for. What I got was, once again, God saying, “No, you need to listen to me.” So I listened as President Knapp spoke on the topic of “Calling.”
The thoughts that resonated with me:

“Calling is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ wherever God places you.”
“Calling: to be a vessel of love wherever you are.”
“God needs disciples everywhere.”
“Figuring that out isn’t just finding a major and a job that God is calling you to, it’s not about finding a place.”
“Calling is to be. To be a disciple of Christ wherever life and your career take you.”

30 short minutes on a wintry Monday morning rocked my perspective on calling. I am still sitting in square one of trying to pick a major, but at least now I fully know that being who God wants me to be is in no way hinged on my college degree or even the career(s) I hold the rest of my life.

“It” is living in a way that shares the love of Christ.

That is where I will find my vocation and my purpose and my calling. Within my career, whether or not the major I choose is in that area. Wherever I end up going. Whatever it is I find myself doing.

I still have to fend off that question. But I know what “it” is that I am looking for.
A major and career are just stepping stones along the way.

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Have any thoughts on calling you want to share? Any questions about life at Hope or being undecided on a college or a major? Feel free to message me any time at

 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

~2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

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Published by Erin Hoolahan

Hi! My name is Erin Hoolahan and I am a Sophomore at Hope College. I am from Wexford, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Pittsburgh) and intend to double major in Classics and either English or Communications during my time here at Hope. I love to bake, play guitar and am involved in Ultimate Frisbee and Silent Praise. I am extremely excited about sharing my insights on life at Hope! Thanks for reading. :)

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