In my time at Hope College, my experience with Residential Life has been the most impactful. Reflecting on my senior year, and the third year being a Resident Assistant, my path at Hope has been uniquely shaped because of my time in ResLife. The programming, values, and core mission of Residential Life at Hope College bring light to this campus and overall value to the college experience.
On my first official visit to Hope College during my senior year of high school, I fell in love with the Residential Life experience, which influenced my decision to come to Hope. I was particularly interested in visiting Durfee Hall, where I had heard rumors of a great community from other prospective students. Deciding to find out for ourselves, seventeen-year-old me and my future roommate Ethan stepped foot into the building that we would call home the following year. Though only planning on spending 15 minutes in the residence hall, we walked in and stayed for hours. The students in Durfee took us in as if we lived there and let us know all the ins and outs of their time at Hope. They helped us understand the value and meaning of a Hope College experience.
Hope College offers the deepest community I have ever known. If you are willing to lean into the experiences Hope has to offer, Hope will supply you with endless adventures. I think about the all-hall events that are put on by the staff, and how many of my lasting friends I’ve met at these events. An example was “Club Durf” my Freshman year. This is a recurring event during the Halloween season where everyone at Hope is invited to come dressed up for an evening of music at Durfee Hall. This is just one of the countless experiences I’ve had in the residence halls that have made lasting memories for me at Hope.
My sophomore year, I was an RA in Durfee – where I had lived the year before. This gave me a new perspective on the community, as I was now in the shoes of the event planning crew. The role of RA was one that I felt called to and had a significant monetary impact on helping me pay my room and board. The community in Durfee was so responsive to the planned events, that the residents I had two years ago are all still in one large friend group. These are friendships that will last a lifetime, and are found within the walls of the residential hall. Other friendships across various residential halls were made through more ResLife sponsored events, like pumpkin carving and movie nights.
Overall, being a part of Hope’s Residential Life for all 4 years was something that I know has made me a better person. I have learned so much from my time within the residential halls, and would encourage anyone looking for that same belonging to find it in ResLife.