Cloudy with a Chance of Snow: What to do when travel plans change

There are few things about traveling home that are “easy” being an out-of-state student. But is it worth it?

Absolutely.

Up until about 7 PM on Tuesday, my family was planning to make the 7-hour trip to Michigan to come and pick me up to being Christmas break. Then, with all the crazy weather happening up here in the Holland area, my mom called me up and said they wouldn’t be able to make it due to the snow. In which case, she booked me a flight from Grand Rapids to travel home today!

I re-packed my belongings into airport-friendly bags (I had previously packed half of my stuff into a clothing hamper!) and adapted my schedule a little bit to ride with my friend Mallory to the airport, because she was headed toward Grand Rapids today as well! I’m so thankful to have such great friends here at Hope. They’re always there when I need them.

Here I am, hanging out in the GR airport for a couple hours before my flight. Here’s some advice for out-of-state students (or anyone, really!) when travel plans change and you have to adapt quickly:

1. Don’t Stress.

Spur-of-the-moment plan changes seem a little stressful (especially during finals week!), but have no fear. Number one, remember that God has you in His hands and He is watching over you. Number two, remember that things are never as bad as they seem. 🙂

2. Send boxes home.

I went to the Bookstore, and they were generous to give me a GIANT box (for free!) so that I could pack some of my clothing and extra stuff I couldn’t fit into my duffel bag. I mailed that home from the mail room in DeWitt (the funniest part was that the box was so wide, it hardly fit through the mail room window… that was pretty hilarious) so that I could send some of my puffy stuff — like my ski coat and favorite blanket — so that I would have it over Christmas break.

2. Roll your clothes.

If you fold your clothes and then roll them (beach towel style), it saves a TON of space in a suitcase! My friend mentioned that to me as I was packing and it was unbelievable how much more I could pack.

4. Stay in contact with your parents.

Especially when the weather is bad, be sure to send them a call/text as you hit each “checkpoint” — such as a gas station, airport, or other location — to ensure that you’re safe and sound. The last thing you want them to do is to worry!

Overall, just remember to be flexible and embrace anything that comes your way. It’s important to remember that your worries are nothing in comparison to the amazing plan God has for you!

Safe travels over the holiday season, and best wishes! Enjoy this time with your family — it is the most wonderful time of the year!

Keep up with me @hopesophie17 or send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu.

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Sophie Guetzko

Hey, I'm Sophie. I'm a third year college student graduating a year early, in May 2016. Follow me (I'm a Leadership minor) @hopesophie17 on Twitter and Instagram, send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu-- I'd love to chat (I'm a Communication major). While on campus, I've been involved with numerous Bible Studies, The Anchor newspaper, CFL Consulting, and recently started my own t-shirt company through the CFL Incubator program. Hope to talk soon!

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