Dear Prospective Students

Dear Prospective Students,

This is my “letter” to you. As of today the class of 2015 graduates in 58 days (less than 2 months)! A large sum of my four years at Hope have been shaped by involvement within the campus community. Hope has so much to offer, but you have to seek many of these opportunities out. I want you to take advantage of what Hope has to offer; these opportunities will enhance your college experiences beyond what words can imagine. Trust me, these 4 years have flown by and I can still remember move-in day as if it were yesterday. Here are some opportunities you can take advantage of and tips that will make experience at Hope memorable.

My freshman self.
My freshman self.

1. MEET NEW PEOPLE!

This may be obvious, but it’s the first thing you need to do. Move-In Day is overwhelming, you’re stepping into what will be your home for the first year. Your first instinct is to stay in your room, but go meet people! Whether that’s in your residence hall, or just around campus. You can also meet new people at the Activities Fair, or through Orientation! You may feel uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. I have many friends who go to state universities and they stuck together. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but expanding that bubble will make or break your experience.

2. Introduce Yourself to your Professors!

This was advice I received from an upperclassman when I was going into college. The professors at Hope don’t profess for the sake of education. They care for your well-being as a student and want to be a resource. Take 5 minutes to introduce yourself before, or after some of your first classes! Heck, set up meeting times to discuss your Hope experience or academics. I meet with one of my professors weekly to discuss academics and my life. This ultimately led me to having an academic mentor, and those are so beneficial.

3. STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS ARE A MUST

Well, you should definitely give them a try! Student Activities Committee, or SAC is part of the student organizations category, and being a director of the largest student organization has been a blessing, really. My leadership skills continue to grow, and the team I work with is simply amazing! There so many more groups to get involved in too, which is so great! Some examples are Dance Marathon, Student Congress, and Student Ambassadors.

4. Greek Life

Greek Life is another great way to meet people and to get connected with Hope. The Greek organizations at Hope are unlike any other in that they are local. You will only find these sororities and fraternities at Hope! Within the organizations, you can network with current students and alumni. I have many friends involved in Greek Life, and they absolutely love it!

5. VOLUNTEER!

The Holland community is very spoiled in that it has a large supply of volunteers! Many Hope students volunteer in the Holland community. There are so many places you can volunteer within the community. Some are the Holland Health Clinic, CASA (Children’s After School Achievement), The Rock, Holland Hospital, Center for Women in Transition (CWIT), and so much more. Hope College also has the Volunteer Services office where they can network with you organizations you can volunteer for!

6. Campus Jobs

I previously posted a blog about having a job during college. If you decide to have a job, GREAT! This will definitely make your time at Hope worthwhile. Having a job not only gets you money, but it also networks you with various faculty and staff throughout campus and teaches you the importance of time management skills. Definitely worth it. This job, as a student blogger, is all of that and rewarding. I am able to help YOU ALL out!

And lastly…

7. RESOURCES, RESOURCES, RESOURCES

Oh my lanta. Hope has SO many resources for its students. These resources will help you with your Hope College experience. For example, use the career development center for tips on resumes, have mock job interviews, and get networked with businesses! Maybe you’ll even get your first “big kid” job through them! Another great one is the Academic Success Center! They will pair you up with a tutor (fo’ free) for help with any of your classes. I’ve had several tutors for several classes. It really makes a difference! There are so many more resources on campus, you just have to come here to find out!

I hope this was helpful for you all! Your time at Hope will change you (in the best way)! If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me through Hope on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

I Got Into College! What Next?

It’s that time of the year, folks! Well yes, Christmas and being with family, but as well as getting those college acceptance letters! There’s a new college graduating class cohort, the class of 2019. That seems so far away, but trust me, it will be 2019 in no time. I can’t believe I graduate in 2011, and 2015 is only a few days away. Sooner than later, I’ll be in my cap and gown at graduation! Anyway, listen up class of 2019! You may have got into your college of your dreams which is great! If you didn’t, THAT’S OK! Keep an open-mind, opportunities will come. It sounds too good to be true, but life moves on and it won’t stop.

For many of you, you may have applied to several schools and were accepted at several. Now that you’re in, what comes next? Reflecting back on this time when I was a senior in high school is fun and I want to share what I did with you. It is an exciting, yet stressful time. Hopefully, this can ease some of that stress. But at the same time, it’s definitely time to start planning ahead. Before you know it, the high school graduating class of 2015 will be freshmen. Time creeps up, and it creeps up fast.

1. CELEBRATE!

After all of those hours spent on ACT studying, college apps and essays, and waiting, your time is here. CELEBRATE and breathe! Getting into college is only the first step, but is a milestone. Share with your family and friends, this is huge! Once you’re all celebrated out, choices will need to be made, including narrowing down your choices. If you really loved these schools, maybe a second visit wouldn’t hurt. One great way to experience college is doing an overnight stay. Then, you can get the sense of what that particular school is like! Talk to people that go to that school, do more research on your school options! You’re eventually going to have to pick one, so make sure its the right one. Affirm your thoughts!

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2. Be Realistic

College is expensive. There, I said it. You may have been accepted to your dream school, but is it a feasible option? Check out the scholarships you’ve received, apply for more scholarships to bring the costs down, and definitely fill out your FAFSA to see if you qualify for financial aid. These are great ways to make the college selection process more realistic, for both you and family. Figure out how finances will work because they play a HUGE factor in your college career. Other than establishing finances, identify if that is the school for you in terms of size, location, and distance. And make sure your motives are your own, not that of your friends. College is a huge chapter in your life; you need to write that chapter, not others!

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3. DO WELL

Just because you’ve been accepted into college doesn’t mean you can slack off the rest of your senior year. Your college will still look at your academic standing during your senior year. They too have the power to withdraw scholarships from you if. Heck, if you completely slack off, they can withdraw your acceptance. So my advice to you high school seniors is to continue doing well! Senioritis is real. You want to go to college now and you want to graduate. Don’t let that get in the way of your studies which are still important!

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4. Make your choice!

Picking the right school doesn’t have to happen overnight. For some, it will, but for many, it won’t. Once you’ve identified which school is the most practical in terms of scholarship and financial aid packages, location, distance, and size, and if that college is the one for you, make your choice! Being accepted to school is exciting, but choosing my college was even more exciting. The next big chapter of your life will be there, and to just know that is exhilarating. Make sure you make your decisions by the school’s deadlines. I would play it on the safe side and make a decision before then to give yourself some leeway! Once this choice is made, keep up with that school’s news through social media. It will let you know what’s going on around campus.

tumblr_inline_n3er2uX3Yz1s0u9u5If you want to see what college life for me at Hope College is like, please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and on Instagram at MarvSolberg. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading, folks!

GIF sources were found using Google.