What to Expect for First Year Advising

Freshman advising is an incredibly laid back experience. The process depends on whether you declare a major your first year.

Not sure on your major yet?

If you don’t declare a major your first year, your advisor won’t change. Your First Year Seminar professor will be your advisor until you declare your major. There’s no need to worry if you don’t know what you’re going to major in, most programs can still be completed in four years if you declare your sophomore (and in some cases, junior) year. Before classes even begin (during Orientation week), you are required to meet with your advisor to go over the classes you’re enrolled in. Then, at the end of your first semester (and all semesters to follow), you are required to again meet with your professor and go through the classes you’re planning on taking for the following semester.

Declare a major

You can request a professor from the department for your major directly on the major declaration sheet, or you may be assigned an advising professor. You should meet with your new advisor, especially if you’ve never met them before, just so the two of you can get to know each other outside of the constraints of a classroom. From there, your advisor can give you specific, thoughtful advice regarding your major, and the classes they believe would be best for you.

Your advisor is the person who can help you with just about anything and everything. They’re there for you and they want to help you, and watch you succeed. They can help you figure out what classes would be best for you and help you find internships and summer jobs. They can be excellent references on resumes, and a great source of guidance.

Your responsibilities are to take initiative in scheduling appointments and having a valid reason to meet with your advisor. Whatever you schedule an appointment for, you should be prepared for the meeting. For example, when you have your semestral meeting with your advisor regarding classes to take, you should have the classes you’re planning on taking already in mind to share with them.

Exploring majors

Hope’s liberal arts emphasis allows you to explore multiple possible majors, while still working towards graduation. This means that you’re free to take courses ranging from the arts to math, and still receive helpful credits along the way. Hope also offers a career development center where you can take tests that show you which field you would be best in. Your advisor is another great source of advice when exploring majors and planning for your future. 

Dear Hope College

Dear Hope College,

Let me preface this post with some honesty – Hope was NOT my first choice. I didn’t want to come here because I had family that has been here. I wanted to go somewhere different, not following in the footsteps of my family. Four years later, I find myself struggling leaving behind an institution that has changed me for good in so many ways. Although I am ready to graduate and apply the things I have learned, leaving behind the friendships among my friends and professors will be the most challenging part. I know I won’t be able to call my friends who are 5 minutes away and see if they want to go to dinner, or go watch a movie, and that very thought scares me. Plus, being 6,000 miles away is going to make it more difficult, but this is all part of the challenge.

Since my freshman year, my faith has grown exponentially. Not only did Chapel and the Gathering help in this process, but the intentionality my friends and professors had in my spiritual journey really propelled me. The pure intentionality that is characteristic of the Hope College community is very unique and cannot be found anywhere else. Without the supportive community Hope harbors, I would not be the same adult I am today. This is what attracts so many students to come here. It’s amazing.

Additionally, Hope has provided me with opportunities that no other college could have given. Firstly, I was accepted into the Nursing program, one of the most difficult programs to get into. Without this backbone in my college career, where would I be!? The experiences that I’ve had within the program also led me to other opportunities including becoming a teaching assistant (TA).

I was also able to visit Washington D.C. for two years in a row; one year to meet presidential candidates and the other to discuss and learn more about social injustices. I was accepted to study abroad in Vienna with Hope’s Vienna Summer School, yet again providing me with an unforgettable experience. The memories and friendships formed are ones that are merely unforgettable.

One of my highlights throughout my entire college career is my involvement in student life, with Student Activities Committee (SAC). Becoming a student leader and leading an influential group on campus has allowed me to grow in ways I could not have imagined. Through this organization, I gained skills, an influential mentor, and life-long friends. I continuously rave about how hard-working my organization is and I am incredibly proud. Leaving behind an organization such as SAC will be tough knowing that it is going to exponentially grow.

It’s crazy to think about everything that has happened these past four years. A lot of things make sense now. I now understand why some opportunities were closed for me; God had a better plan for me and opened other doors for me. All of my experiences too now make sense, because all of my hard work has paid off and I am headed to serve in Cameroon with the Peace Corps. My jigsaw puzzle is complete, for now!

This liberal arts college, this campus, and these people make Hope what it is. Knowing that I have been part of Hope’s heart and soul is the very reason why I don’t want to leave. The individuals who have supported me through my triumphs and set-backs, from the moments I celebrated to times I cried, thank you so much for being there for me. You too, Hope College, thank you for being there for me. Hope is more than just a school with a great accolades; Hope is a community in which you are supported, loved, and appreciated. And for that, Hope College, I thank you.

With much love,
Marvin Solberg

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Spring Semester Highlights

Okay, friends. This is my last post for the semester 🙁 It’s crazy to think that at this time tomorrow, I will be unpacking my stuff at home and I’ll be getting ready for Vienna. My junior year just flew by, and in less than 24 hours, I’ll be officially a senior. Life, STOP! Well, to end my blogging “reign,” I want to close with some of my semester highlights!

1) SNOWPOCALYPSE

This was just awesome. And by awesome, I mean having so many days of class canceled because that is very rare for Hope College! This past winter, Holland had more than 100 inches of snow. Lake Michigan was completely frozen, we had crazy arctic winds, and temperatures were LITERALLY below zero. But in the midst of all the winter storms, here is one picture that captures God’s awesome creation.

Here's a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.
Here’s a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.

2) FINALIZATION OF VIENNA

Yes. This semester, everything for Vienna was taken care of. Tuition, flights, and even my little vacation to Rome for one weekend. I remember when going to Vienna was just a thought. Now, it’s a reality and I’m leaving in 5 days! I can’t emphasize enough how fast time flies. Not even kidding! I’ll be here in no time!

Just a short 5 more days!
Just a short 5 more days!

3) SOCHI 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS

Olympics are seriously the best time. The world gathers as one (doesn’t matter whether countries have bad relations with other countries) and competes in several disciplines. Being that the olympics were in Russia, they were quite controversial. But regardless, it was so much fun to watch. I wish I could do what olympians do, but I’m happy at Hope too!

The Olympic Rings
The Olympic Rings

4) UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN BASKETBALL GAME

Yeah yeah yeah, I know I go to Hope. But the University of Michigan is cool, too. My family is an avid fan. Last semester, I went to a football game there, so I thought I’d give basketball a try as well. When Joey and I were there, we did the typical Ann Arbor stuff, eat, walk around, look at how huge campus is, and obviously watched the game. It was so cool through because I tweeted, and my tweet showed up on their jumbotron. It was just so cool! Don’t remember? Here’s a pic!

Look! It's Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!
Look! It’s Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!

5) JESS VISITS HOPE COLLEGE

So last year, I had the opportunity to lead an immersion trip with my good friend Jess. But here’s the problem, I was just a sophomore and she was a senior, so she graduated! She had the awesome opportunity to intern at Sojourners in Washington D.C., where our immersion trip was. Naturally, she moved there to take this awesome opportunity. But this past March, she also had the opportunity to go back to her beloved school where she could see her beloved friends! Although it was a short time, it was just so awesome to have her in our presence!

Jess visits Hope!
Jess visits Hope!

6) GIRLFRIEND

Yep, the title says it all. I’m not usually public about these things, but this will be okay. Well yeah, meet my girlfriend Brooke. She is a bunch of fun and I enjoy being around her because I always smile! Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. This is definitely a HUGE highlight of my semester. Here’s a picture of us at the Bowl!

Here we are!
Here we are!

7) LASTLY, SPRING FLING

Being on SAC this year, I had the opportunity to plan several events for our campus. Last semester, my largest project was Chicago. This semester, it was Spring Fling, a celebration of the last day of classes! Another thing I am excited about it my director position for SAC next year. I am so incredibly blessed and excited to be working with some amazing individuals to make our campus a better place. Speaking of directors, here is my co-director and myself at Spring Fling!

Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!
Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!

Third Year: CHECK. I am basically 3/4 done with my college career. I still can’t wrap my mind around that. Thank you so so so so so so much friends for reading my blogs this past year. It means so much. I am happy that I can serve you all. I’ll probably be blogging while in Europe, so look forward to those. But as this school year comes to a close for me, I just want to say your time at Hope is coming class of 2018! Cherish every moment you have here. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior. Take the opportunities to face challenges and try new things. Your college experience and value will increase without a doubt. If you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and follow me on Instagram at MarvSolberg. Thanks again, and I can’t wait to see the class of 2018 on Hope’s campus shortly!

Your Final Dear Abby Post

Hey friends! I know it’s been a while since I posted a “Dear Abby” post. Here is your last one. Many of you sent really interesting questions, and I had to think hard about these answers, but I know it’s enough to give you guidance. It’s unreal how tomorrow is the closing day of the entire semester. One more year of college under my belt. But before I get into Dear Abby, look out for my final post either tonight or tomorrow. It’s good.

Dear Abby, I am looking forward to going to Hope, but I feel as if I am not mature in my faith yet. Any suggestions?

Great great great question. I was once at your place, and many students who go here are still in this position! So first things first, don’t feel uncomfortable, you’re not the only one! For me, I’ve always identified myself as a Christian. I went to church, sang hymns, was in youth group, you name it. It wasn’t until I came to Hope that I realized what faith was, and where I was in it. It helped that I had friends that were already a good distance in their walk with Christ, so they were truly there for me and supported me. Let me tell you, even with their help, my journey was rough.

One of the defining factors that led me to Hope was Chapel and Gathering. But believe it or not, I only went to a few services because I was way too deep in my homework. That’s all I thought there was. I mean, I did well, but all I did was study. I wasn’t always a social butterfly, and my religion had gone down in my priority. But one Sunday, I had an epiphany at the Gathering. I realized that I was at Hope to become a nurse not for myself, but for God. As I continued conversations with my friends and continually attended Chapel and the Gathering, I noticed that I was happier and more productive. It was awesome to say the least. But moral of the story is that no one is at the same spot with their journey with God. Realize that you’re not the only in that position. Hope offers so many great resources to help you with your journey, such as Campus Ministries. Oh man, they do wonders!

Dear Abby, I heard Michigan winters are brutal. Coming from Southern Cali, how should I prepare?

Brutal is an understatement, for non-Michiganders at least! I mean, you’d think Michiganders would be used to the winters, but nope. Sometimes, I swear its like people haven’t seen snow. But you should be prepared to see how beautiful it is. Honestly, the snowfall and especially on this campus is STUNNING and out of this world. So, do that. Then I’d suggest a heavy and comfortable winter coat. Everyone has one, it’s like a requirement unless you want to freeze. This past winter, temperatures were sub-zero, and Holland was colder than Antarctica plenty of times. No joke. With your coat, you should probably have warm gloves if you are going to play in the snow, and thinner gloves for functional purposes (like driving, or going to class). A hat is also recommended. Although I don’t have one, many do. I typically use my hood and it works. Another important thing to something to keep your neck warm, like a scarf. Trust me, you’ll want one. It’s just practical. Lastly, boots boots boots. Do you want to walk in snow with canvas shoes? I think not (unless you want frostbite). If you’re prepared for the winter, you won’t mind it. A lot of students go out to Lake Michigan to walk on the lake frozen. It’s actually really neat! I can’t wait for you to experience it!

Dear Abby, I am really nervous I won’t find friends. Well, not even that, I’m just anxious to meet new people!

Thanks for that. Everyone needs to know that every freshman is going to be anxious. It’s a HUGE transition, no matter where you come from. Being on the finishing up end of my college, it’s actually interesting to reflect on how I met my core group of friends! You will meet so so so many people from your residence halls, classes, and organizations! Hope College does a great life in integrating the social aspect to your college life, because it’s essential! We’re humans, we are social!

My recommendation for you, and any of you who are anxious about meeting others; be open! College is your chance to branch out from your norm. Take advantage of this because it can help you out in life! For example, make connections with your professors and elders. One day, you might be filling out a job or internship appellation, and you can use them as your reference! Another example, if you are used to having that “one friend group” like you did in high school, forget that! Although you may have a group of core buddies, you are going to have so many more bubbles in your social life, which is even better. That way, you won’t get annoyed with your friends!!! My largest piece of advice for you all is to invest your time in this. If no time is invested, nothing will happen! So, 1) invest and 2) be open!

Dear Abby, JP’s or LJ’s?

Classic, haha. JP’s for homework and LJ’s for socializing. Both coffee shops rock. My freshman year, I was always at JP’s. My sophomore year, I was at both, and this past year, I was more at LJ’s. Their pastries (my favorite is the raspberry bran muffin, followed by almond green tea, and then honey bran) are TO DIE FOR. And they also sell my favorite cookie, the snickerdoodle. So, that’s why I’m there a lot. Both places have great student discounts at times and coupons. Being a college student, I’d recommend taking advantage of these deals!

Dear Abby, PC or Mac?

Another interesting question. For myself, I have a Mac, and I love it. I used to use PCs, but I’ve gotten used to Mac and actually accustomed to it. I actually have difficult time using a PC. But hey, it’s all personal preference. Many students have Macs, but many students also have PCs; personal preference! The important thing to remember is that you just need a laptop so you can do homework and type papers. And I guess Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, you name it!

LASTLY

Dear Abby, did you ever get homesick?

Growing up, I was always busy during the summers, whether that’s working or going to summer camps. I’ve been accustomed to being independent and not being home, but it’s totally different for everyone. I think I was homesick twice during my freshman year. The first time I called home was a week into school when college slapped me in the face. And by that, I mean having to do so much homework. It was just different because instead of coming home to my family, I came home to my roommate, which is nice too don’t get me wrong! Just different. Everyone adjusts to college differently. I felt as if I adjusted quickly, but others may take longer and that’s okay. Hope has awesome resources though if you are experiencing homesickness, like CAPS (counseling and psychological services). They do wonders! 100% confidential, supportive, and there for you! Also, your RA and your friends are also great resources. Hope this helps!

Ok Hope 2018. That’s all I have for you! It’s been great answering your questions and I hope they help you with your transition to college! I can’t wait to meet some of you on campus!

Bountiful Blessings

Hey friends! It has totally been such a long time since I’ve posted. I guess that reflects how busy the last week of class and exam week is…? Anyways, what matters is that I’m posting now! I just want to share how my last week of class as a junior was, and how my exam week is going. It’s crazy for me to believe that I am leaving Hope in 3 days, and I am flying to Europe in less than a week. Seriously, time flies when you’re having fun and are busy. I’m going to be senior in a short 3 days. THAT’S CRAZY. I’m going to start with my Easter weekend, so you can get the whole picture.

EASTER: Easter break was the “calm” before the storm. In the sense that the last week of class was going to be so very hectic. But Easter was wonderful. I spent time with my family, and family time is always a good time. I’m so glad that I saw my cousins, and most of them too! We’re all busy, and just coming together for a short couple of hours was perfect. Here is a picture of my crazy cousins!

Here are some of my cousins!
Here are some of my cousins!

After Easter dinner, I drove back to Holland to face one of my craziest weeks out of my entire semester. Why, you might ask? Well, I had two finals for two of my nursing classes. I came back a little early so I could get a head-start on studying. But before I studied, I went out to dinner with some of my best friends. It was awesome because 1) it was very warm that Sunday, and 2) we took my friends car and the top goes down. So essentially,i it was a convertible thingy. All that matters is that I started looking forward to summer even more!

MONDAY: Last Monday, I had my last Adult Nursing lecture. YES. The only thing that was frustrating was that we still had so much material to cover for our exam that same week. Typical nursing though. After our 4-ish hours of lecture, it was time to grab a bite to eat, then study all night. And by all night, until 2:00 a.m. I know, sounds pretty fun right!?

TUESDAY: Tuesday morning, I had my practicum evaluation with my nursing professor. The purpose of the evaluations was to identify my strengths and areas for growth, and for me to know how well I did in the clinical setting. And let me tell you, I can’t complain! Evaluations, no matter from which clinical and professor is affirming for me. I know every time that I go into an evaluation that I want to be a nurse, regardless how stressful our days are! After, I just studied, for the rest of the day until late in the morning. Another pretty eventful day (sarcasm).

WEDNESDAY: Wednesdays are always busy. In the morning, I had my Advanced Adult exam, and I was just happy to get that out of the way. Following that exam, I studied more and prepared for my classes that day. In our nursing research class, we had presentations (I did mine last week) and we just listened peer proposals for research. Let me tell you, a lot of students do not like this class, but as the nerd I am, I really enjoyed it. This is something I want to do with my life, research!! After my long day of class, it was time to study again, for the third day in a row. WOO. But before I could do that, I had my first SAC meeting for the 2014-2015 school year as a director. I’m SO EXCITED for SAC next year!

THURSDAY: I studied all week, so Thursday was the day to prove to myself, as well as my professor, that I know my material. And I did. All of my hard work paid off. I got an excellent grade on a nursing exam. And it’s a nursing exam, so that’s saying something! After my exam, it was straight to bed because I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before. When I woke up from my extended nap, I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group regarding nursing central stations. It was a great experience! In the end, those who participated received a gift cards to Lemonjello’s. SCORE, coffee for DAYS. After the focus group, I watched Parks and Rec to help me wind my week down.

FRIDAY: So much to talk about! On the last Friday of class, Hope College SAC has an event called Spring Fling. And oh my goodness, what a perfect way to celebrate after one school year! Spring Fling had a special value for me this year because I, along with 3 other SAC members planned the event. And it was just so rewarding to see everyone having fun and celebrating. You can’t beat smiles!! Here is a slideshow of pictures of some of my fellow SAC members and friends at Spring Fling!

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Okay friends, that’s all for now. I still have so much to tell you all before the year comes to a close! Be on the look out! Thanks again!

My Week

Hey all! I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I would post now. The last few weeks of the semester are the worst, in that there is so much work to do and I don’t feel like there is enough time to do it! You can say these next 3 weeks will be stressful, but at least I’ll have something to look forward to… VIENNA! Anyway, here I go!

This past weekend was busy. I haven’t seen a lot of my friends last week, so there was so much to catchup on, whether that was through coffee meetups, or meals, I did whatever I could to be in touch with them because they are important!! Sunday morning, I did some homework and catching up with my friend Erica. Then, we went on a run because it was just so beautiful. I’m so excited to be running outside again, because running inside is just boring. Later Sunday, I went to Saugatuck and hiked Mt. Baldhead with Brooke. She is really cool. But anyway, the view was super cool. I’m all about nature! To top it off, the weather has been exceptionally nice, so it was definitely appropriate to be outside! Here is a pic from the top!

Brooke and I on top of Mt. Baldhead. The view of Saugatuck and Lake Michigan was absolutely awesome!
Brooke and I on top of Mt. Baldhead. The view of Saugatuck and Lake Michigan was absolutely awesome!

It was really hard to do homework this weekend because of the weather. All I can think about it summer and summer vacation, and this really nice weather isn’t helping at all! But it’s nice to see that Mother Nature has a nice side, right? Anyways, I did my homework Sunday night when it got a little chilly, so I could be outside as long as possible, and it was the best choice by far!

Monday and Tuesday were clinical days, and it was a little rough in that the weather was just so nice and I had no desire to be inside. After clinical on Tuesday, I went for another run with Erica. This time, we ran to Windmill Island and it was AWESOME! Here’s a pic.

How Dutch of me.
How Dutch of me.

But hey, I didn’t mind the nursing work 😉 Wednesday, I just had one class, and the rest of the time, I was doing homework and catching up for the rest of the week. Today, I just have one class. Then I’m going to work on some homework followed by a run!!! I’m looking forward to it because it’s ABOVE 60 degrees outside. I didn’t know it could get that warm! Overall, the rest of the week should be a smooth ride. As the semester winds down, all I have left to do are some projects and exam study time! This weekend is also going to be full of so many adventures, and I can’t wait to post about that! Alright all, that’s it for now! I CANT WAIT TO MEET THOSE WHO ARE COMING TO ADMITTED STUDENTS DAY!

Dear Abby #3

Can you guys believe it’s almost April? As in tomorrow will be April. That means that we Hope students only have 1 month or less left of the spring semester! It’s pure madness. Honestly, it’s crazy to believe that I’m almost done with my junior year. I registered for classes this morning, and it said that my registration purpose was for “Senior.” Maybe Hope made a mistake? I’m not ready to leave this place. Pretty darn soon, Hope 2018 will be here! SO EXCITING!!

Anyways, here is the third “Dear Abby.” You guys ask great questions, and I enjoy answering them because I can too reminisce!

Dear Abby, food. Is the food good at Hope? What do you do for meals?

Great question. Hope has 2 dining halls, Phelps and Cook. Phelps is primarily for underclassmen, and Cook Hall is for upperclassmen. The majority of the students eat at Phelps. Anyway, I absolutely don’t mind the food. I need to eat! I mean, some days are excellent, and some days are so-so. We also have the Kletz snack bar! Here, you can use Dutch Dollars to get food, of use your meal plans if you have over 70 credits I believe. That’s what I usually do. I find the Kletz very convenient because it’s fast, and closer to my apartment. But for me, I like to change things a bit when it comes to food. If i’ve had a long day, or its the weekend, I will treat myself by going to a restaurant with my buddies (PF Changs, Applebees), cook on my own (I actually do a good amount of cooking), or get fast food, oopsie. Ultimately, the food at Hope is great! It has to be because you are paying good money to be here, so you only deserve the best. Hope also has a great meal plan program, so you have flexibility in meals! Hopefully, this helps!

Dear Abby, during my tour and visit at Hope, they said you can have your car on campus. Should I bring mine?

That is correct. As freshmen, you can have cars on campus, which is really convenient. Here’s my take. If you live a good distance from campus, a car is almost necessary so you can drive yourself home. But, if you know others from your area that are going to Hope, you can carpool with them. That way, you are saving money, and it’s cost effective. When you come here, you will meet a good chunk of people who have cars, so driving in Holland won’t be a problem. But because parking is survival of the fittest here, finding a parking space is always a competition. Sometimes, I get really upset because the same car is parked in the same spot for an extended period of time. If you have a car on campus, use it! I use my car all of the time, whether thats going to Grand Rapids for clinicals, running errands, attending community events, buying groceries, or going out to eat. Lastly, if you have a car, your parents won’t have to pick you up! That was my logic when I told my parents I wanted to bring my car to college, and hey, it worked!

Dear Abby, it’s obviously going to hard to pay for school, so I would like to get a job. What is your take on this?

Awesome awesome awesome question. I totally agree with you with in regard to the difficulty paying for school. My financial aid package deemed eligible “Federal Work Study.” This was great, because these students get the priority for jobs on campus! There is a huge work fair at the beginning of the year, and you can apply to as many as you want, then several departments will be in contact with you regarding positions. From there, all you have to do is pick! If you’re not on Federal Work Study, don’t fret! There are still many job opportunities. During my freshman year, I decided not work. Reason? I wanted to establish myself a student, and take time to establish a great friend group. Those two things in itself is a full time job! I don’t regret not working my freshman year. I am very happy with my choice, otherwise, I wouldn’t have my core group of friends! So, I started working my sophomore year, and my jobs truly have fluctuated just based on availability. Right now, I’m loving my jobs, and can’t wait to continue with them next year! If you feel like you want to wait a year, or a semester, go for it! If you want to get into work ASAP, go for it! Just make sure you prioritize school first, always!

Last but not least!

Dear Abby, it’s obvious that you are very involved in student affairs at Hope. How did you get these student leader positions?

The simple answer to that question is through the grace of God, honestly. Since being at Hope, I have been presented with so many student leadership opportunities, whether that’s 2 years of doing orientation, being an immersion trip leader, or being involved in SAC. I work very hard in what I do because I want it to have true meaning. In terms of these positions, they do not come to me. You have to go to them. One big this college students may have difficulty doing is stepping out of their comfort zone and try something new. In high school, I was one of those quiet kids if you didn’t know me, but if you did know me, I was full of energy. I can tell you for sure that its changed; I’m always the loud one now! 🙂 To get into these positions, I merely applied to them and showed my advisors my potential. I know I have potential, it was just a matter of executing it. By being accepted into these roles, I continue to show my hard work and my potential. It’s always a learning process. Essentially, if you want student leadership positions, work hard and prove to others AND yourself that you are high capable! Be self-aware! Hopefully this helps!

Thanks again for the questions, friends! Keep asking them. I honestly love answering them. You can either send me a direct message on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 or talk to me on Hope on Facebook! Thanks for reading!!