Let the Adventures Begin: Weekend #1

My roommate, Kristin, and her parents kindly offered to welcome us into their home for the weekend. So on Friday Kristin and I packed up, grabbed our best friend, and left our bee problem and campus behind us for the weekend. We drove an hour and a half south to La Porte, Indiana, counting the significant amount of police cars already out and about watching the Labor Day weekend traffic as we went.

That night we went to New Buffalo to go to the beach and eat dinner. We went at the perfect time. The sun was beginning to set, throwing its brilliant colors across the sky and on the water and the beach had an abundant supply of nice, flat stones. We spent a while skipping (or attempting to skip) stones as the sun sank in the sky (much like most of the stones I threw in the water). It was fun, peaceful, and a welcome step away from the hectic whirlwind of getting back to campus and college life.

We climbed the dunes for an optimal view of the sunset before heading to dinner.

Finally, we ended the night with some ice cream

I tried Blue Moon ice cream for the first time
I tried Blue Moon ice cream for the first time

Saturday was spent mostly on sleep, homework, and a preview of what dinners next year will be like when we have to cook for ourselves. And Sunday was some more sleep, homework, and food before heading back to campus for the first Gathering of the year and a little more homework. Weekend #1 was fun, peaceful, and a welcome step away from the hectic whirlwind of getting back to campus and college life. I’m looking forward to all the adventures that lie ahead, on campus and off.

Thanks for reading & Happy Hump Day!

I post some thoughts and (mostly lots of) pictures about life at Hope through my eyes on Instagram (@e_delaney333) and Twitter (@HopeErin18) if you like using those forms of social media! Also feel free to email me at erin.hoolahan@hope.edu if you have any questions or comments 🙂

Exploring – St. Joseph, Michigan


I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday. Last night I was in St. Joseph, Michigan, for my sorority’s Spring Formal. The hotel that hosted us was just kitty corner to the downtown. I was surprised at how cute the town was, and thought I’d share in my blog post this week. St. Joseph is only an hour away from Hope, and makes for a pretty great getaway.

The streets were brick, which I loved. I love the feeling of being in a small town. Below the street was the beach, as you can see in the first photo. In the lit up building is a carousel and game center; we wanted to go in, but there was a prom going on inside.

Once we saw how pretty the sun was going down, we decided we needed ice cream to go with it. So we found a little place called the Chocolate Cafe. Here they had live music playing and tons of chocolate treats, including the ice cream that we wanted.

It was $4.00 for a scoop, but they gave us so much that it was worth it, not to mention how good it tasted. Quality ice cream, if you’re looking for some. They also had cakes and other baked goods. I even saw some fancy hot chocolate. It’s a pretty great idea for a store, if you ask me.

When we got to the beach it was pretty dark out, but that didn’t stop us from jumping on the swing sets and enjoying the night. When it got too cold, we decided to head back up. It was on our way back that we found a Falafel Shop, The Beachside Deli, and one of the guys in our group stopped to get one.

After that we head back to the hotel to just hang out. It was really nice to get away from Hope and explore somewhere else for a bit, even if it was just an hour away. I’m so glad there was stuff to do downtown, since dancing and all that formal jazz isn’t really my thing.

Have a great week,


If you have any questions for me you can contact me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, through Facebook, or my twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!

Why Drinking a Slushie in 7 Degree Weather Was Good For My Ego

I was drinking a slushie today in the parking lot of Holland State Park.

I know that sounds kind of weird, but it’s actually an experience I take part in on a semi-regular basis. It was a 20 oz ICEE, to be exact, and it was one sale for only $1 from the Meijer convenient store. But this is not a post about promoting the consumption of slushies.

Today I encountered a concept that is likely one I experience often, but never understood in this capacity until this particular day.

Drinking the slushie was really cold. And it was really cold outside. The radio said it feels like 7 degrees in Holland, and my car agreed. And the more I stood outside – doing something I wanted – and drank the slushie – also doing something I wanted – the colder I became. And I started getting frustrated.

It wasn’t real frustration, but it was a “grrr” feeling that started in my heart, because the exciting adventure I thought I’d encounter at the beach ended up being me enduring a freezing Holland winter day. My teeth started chattering. My face became numb.

And that’s when it hit me.

I created an expectation of an “awesome” experience that I thought would occur when I did everything I wanted.

But I soon realized that external factors caused what I want to not be enough to provide comfort. In that moment, there was no fulfillment. There was no joy. There was just me, getting colder by the second as I stood outside in the winter wind.

It’s pride every time, isn’t it? I’m so quick to assume that everything that I want will be enough for me. Then, when it isn’t, I’m reluctant to change my path. I could have climbed back into my car in an instant. Instead, I walked further down the pier.

I kept pushing myself, saying, “things will get better. Things will change.” And they didn’t.

Nothing changed until I realized and accepted that I had shown up underprepared. I couldn’t do this on my own with the resources I had.

Instead of walking further down the pier, I turned around and walked back to my car.

It wasn’t giving up. It was choosing humility. Because in that moment, I realized that pride produces anguish and humility produces endurance. And I needed the heater in my car to make me feel warm again.

Frozen Waves
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2

We’re so quick to keep pushing forward on our own. So quick to “prove ourselves” and continue until we get stuck, feeling guilty in the end. But it’s not worth it. Many times, we have to back off and realize that pride is the culprit of being able to find true success. Next time, I’ll think before I act. And maybe bring an extra pair of mittens.

When we walk into situations fully prepared, it’s amazing how quickly pride diminishes.

And that’s why drinking a slushie in 7 degree weather was good for my ego.

Are you staying warm in the winter wind? Follow me @hopesophie17 for college tips and to keep up with what I’m up to in-between blog posts. Have a great week!

Sunday Beach Adventure

We have been blessed with some beautiful weather this past week and I wanted to take advantage of what might be our last opportunity to venture to the beach before fall’s chill sets in.

So, my roommate promised that if I finished writing my papers she would take me to the beach this weekend. I finished one and outlined the second so we considered that close enough and took a homework break with a friend on our floor to get some Cold Stone ice cream and then head to the beach.

While my parents were in Holland for orientation weekend back in August they found Laketown Beach Park and insisted I get the chance to visit before winter. I am so glad that we did! From the parking lot you have to climb stairs up the dunes and then down the other side to reach the water. The view was breathtaking! The sound of the water and feel of the sand under my feet was enough to give my mind a re-charging for the week ahead.

I took too many pictures of the amazing view, but here are a few of my favorites from our beach adventure!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fall recess is in just 5 days! I can’t wait to visit home for awhile, but I will miss the beautiful sights Holland, MI has to offer.

I hope you have a fabulous week!
Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for thoughts and images of life at Hope from my point of view 🙂

It’s Colder Up North Than It Is In Holland

ROAD TRIP: One (of many) adventures a college student will take part in throughout their years of schooling.

And, since we were searching for an adventure, that’s exactly what we did. My cousin, Jordan, her roommate, Rachel, and I made a trek up north on Friday afternoon to my family’s timeshare about an hour south of Traverse City. We spent Friday night eating Skittles and popcorn, watching movies, and talking about all of the typical girly things that college girls tend to discuss on Friday nights.

On Saturday, we beached. It was 48 degrees and cloudy, but that didn’t stop us! We put on our sweatshirts and wandered up and down the pier in Frankfort, MI. We snapped a ton of pictures from our adventures, and here are some of the best:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While we were walking up the pier, I took my shoes off (who are you if you keep your shoes on at the beach?) and I walked around in my socks. As we were about to leave, a guy asked me, “Why aren’t you wearing shoes?”

I, for some reason, was really tickled by that… so, I took my picture with them (even they, to my knowledge, don’t know that I did.)

They wanted to know why I wasn't wearing shoes

Those tiny specks WAY down the pier? Yeah, those three are the guys who asked me why I wasn’t wearing shoes. It was quite the adventure.

Although the Hope campus and Holland area are SO much fun, it was nice to have a weekend getaway! What’s your favorite beach or vacation spot in Michigan? Tweet at me @hopesophie17 or comment below. Questions? Other comments? Please feel free to send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu. Have a great week!

Hey, I’m Home Again!

Home Sweet Hope, as the saying goes.

It’s a new year with new and exciting experiences ahead, and I am psyched to see what God has planned for me in the coming weeks. With this in mind, I figure with the new year starting off, I’ll throw in a reintroduction as well as a recap of my first two weeks of classes.

I’m best known by either Sophie or Soph, depending on the day and depending on who I happen to be talking to. Maybe you had a chance to see some of my posts over the summer, but if you’re new to checking out the Hope College blog, first of all, WELCOME!! and second of all, I’ll reintroduce myself to give you a chance to get to know me better.

I have recently declared a Communication major and Leadership minor (it’s about time, considering I’ve completed/enrolled in 20 Communication credits and 10 Leadership credits), and it has been cool to see new opportunities develop by turning in my official declaration. For one, my face is posted in the Communication hallway on a pretty sweet bulletin board along with my fellow Communication majors. Second, I have a non-academic requirement of my Leadership minor to have a mentor, who I have recently contacted. My heart is so happy.

Over and over again, I see God opening new doors for me to dance through. I’m so lost in His grace. When I walk through the doors of Dimnent each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and on Sunday nights and am surrounded daily by amazing and inspiring peers and professors, I am reminded why the campus of Hope is my favorite place to be.

Here’s a quick glimpse of what my first two weeks on campus have looked like thus far:

First day of school:

First Day of School

Now, I didn’t think I’d begin the first day of my Sophomore year on crutches, but it turns out that the amount of walking talking place on a college campus was something my left leg couldn’t handle right away (side note: I broke my foot earlier this summer). So, I crutched/scootered around, kept practicing my physical therapy exercises, found the elevators in all of the academic buildings, and sweated (a lot, as you can see I’m sweating in this picture) because it was incredibly muggy and, for anyone who has been on crutches, you know how much extra effort it takes to get places. Good news, though – as of yesterday, both of my feet are officially walking!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I could stay at the beach forever, and that’s all I really have to say about that.

Of course, I’ve been doing my homework, calling my family (don’t forget to do that!), and doing plenty of other productive things… but the beach, yeah, that’s my absolute favorite.

Want to continue to keep up with me? Keep up with my blog here, follow me on twitter @hopesophie17, or if you have questions or comments please feel free to tweet at me @hopesophie17 or send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu. Have a great weekend!

Learning to Relax

Last week was definitely a very stressful week. I had a lot of homework to catch up on from being gone during the weekend. It seemed like my tests, quizzes, papers, and projects all piled up over night. It was just one of those weeks where I always felt like I needed to work on homework. Even in the midst of this busy jammed pack week, I took some time to relax. I seriously do not know how my week fills up so fast, but I feel like I never have time to just sit back and relax. During this crazy week Grace, Amy, and I treated ourselves with manicures and pedicures for Amy’s birthday. I felt so relaxed the entire time. Grace and I definitely needed a pedicure after our run, and Amy deserved one for all of her hard work.           

Beach at Lake Michigan- So relaxing

It is incredible to me how different I perceive time in college than what I did in high school. In high school, I did not really have any control over my schedule. My regular routine schedule in high school was: school 8 am-3 pm, 3:30pm- 5:30 pm soccer practice 6pm-7pm dinner 7pm-10pm homework. 

In college, my classes are much more spread out, and I choose which activities I want to commit my time. I also have learned the importance of time management and working ahead in classes. Nothing is worse than the feeling of being behind in classes. I encourage all freshmen to walk into college knowing you will need to set aside more time for school work. College classes demand more time and require close attention to details. My calendar on my phone and laptop help me stay organized and on top off all of my obligations. I also recommend writing down homework as soon as it is assigned. I have learned that if I do not write it down right away it is quite possible I will forget.  

Since I always have a lot on my plate to keep me busy; I have learned the importance of taking time to relax and rejuvenate. I am more than ready to leave for Thanksgiving break so I can catch up on sleep and spend time relaxing.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”   – Matthew 11:28-30       

To Study, Or Not to Study?

To Study, Or Not to Study? Holland, Michigan is so absolutely beautiful, so I constantly feel tempted to explore the outdoors and play in the current beautiful weather. Last Saturday, my friends and I were studying at Starbucks, when suddenly I received the urge to play in the water at the beach. I asked my friends if we should be on top of our game and keep studying, or if we should close our books and head for the beach. We all agreed to jump right in the car and change into our swimsuits. We drove back to campus with the windows rolled down and blasted the music.  Here are some of the common activities we do at the beach:

  • Lay out and catch some rays
  • Walk along the water
  • Play frisbee in the lake
  • Jump off the pier
  • Play beach volleyball
  • Read for fun
  • Make sandcastles

Whenever you arrive at State Park, you have to park far away so you do not have to pay for parking. However, the walk is definitely worth it.

I absolutely love Lake Michigan and its beaches. I think this picture needs to be on a postcard or something. Holland is full of beauty, and I think every Hope student enjoys visiting its beaches.

I am glad I ended up taking a study break to enjoy the wonderful beach. It is super important to enjoy the nice weather while we still have it. Hopefully I will be able to make another trip to the beach sometime this week. I’ll keep you posted =]

Until next time,


Reunited with Hope Friends!

Yet again, I was reunited with some more Hope friends this past weekend. Three of my friends who are working at Spring Hill Camp this summer came to visit. Also, two of my friends drove from Indiana. We were all reunited. We walked the streets of downtown Holland Saturday morning. Following a visit to Lemonjello’s with Froggy’s. We filled up on coffee and burgers before heading to the beach, which was filled with people.

Holland really livens up during the summer months. I had never seen so many people at the beach in Holland. The weather was absolutely beautiful. We soaked up some rays, swam in the water, and walked along the beach. After the beach, we dined at the Brewery downtown. The food tasted great and hit the spot after a long day. After dinner, we sat in the Pine Grove and talked for hours.

Once I arrived back at my house, my housemate and I decided to grab a midnight snack from Meijer. We devoured a container of ice cream and finished off a package of cookies. Thank goodness Meijer is only a short distance from campus.

I probably take at least five trips to Meijer during the summer. However, I almost always bike there. I really have enjoyed riding my bike lately. I never used to ride my bike in high school, but bring your bike to college!

Yesterday I was telling my cousin what she should bring to college. I’ll be sending out a blog post soon about what to pack and how I packed all of my things into my mom’s mini van. It was quite a challenge but ended well. 

I need to get back to work. I hope you all have great weeks! Here are some pictures from my recent bike rides:

Beach Escape!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all are doing well. Today concludes the first day of exam week. I woke up at 7 to study before my Spanish exam this morning. I was very tired because I had stayed up late working on my stats final exam paper, but no worries… IT IS FINISHED! I felt so relieved to have that accomplished. Now I am just finishing up with a couple of other papers. 

Of course, I did not study all weekend. I allowed myself some fun. I went out to dinner in Grand Rapids, attended a concert outside of Good Time Donuts, attended my roommate’s dance concert, hung out with people, longboarded, visited Holland State Park, ate at a Mexican restaurant, and went to Starbucks. With all of this, I still was able to accomplish a lot of homework and have fun. 

I think my favorite part about the weekend was visiting the beach at Holland State Park. I had never visited there before, and it was gorgeous. We watched the sunset and walked along the beach. Hopefully I will be able to go to the beach another time this week. I love study breaks! Today, my roommate and I shopped downtown Holland, and we also went to Wal-Mart and Target. Now we are “studying” and trying to accomplish some homework.

I should probably get back to my homework now. I’ll be filling you in more about final week!

Beautiful Sunset!

I love my friends!

Group Shot =]