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!!

Dear Abby #1

Happy Hump Day to all! I know for many students on campus, it’s been a stressful week. I am happy to bring the good news, you are officially more than halfway through the week, and Friday comes in two days, so get pumped. For myself, I have been having a rough week, and next week won’t look any better. It’s just the life of tests, quizzes, papers, and meetings. I mean, this is what I signed up for, and I’m glad I did, but it’s just a lot right now.

Regardless, I know in one of my blog posts, I suggested the “Dear Abby” idea where you ask questions, and I’ll answer them anonymously. I thought I wouldn’t get any questions, or little questions, but I actually received an overwhelming amount!! I’ll feature my favorite questions; that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the other ones!! Here we go!

“Dear Abby, how do you have so much time to be involved on campus while being a full time student?”

Great question. Actually, during my freshman year, I primarily focused on my studies because I really wanted to get into the Nursing program. I didn’t have a job, I actively participated in limited amounts of organizations on campus, and you could locate me on the third floor of the library. Come sophomore year, I still focused on academia, but I got super involved. But being super involved was not the best idea. Although I am a student first, a lot of my time went to different organizations that my academics suffered a little. Fall semester was a little patchy. By spring semester of my sophomore year, I finally properly managed my time with involvement. My spring semester academically was very smooth, and I was active on campus without being overwhelmed. My greatest piece of advice is time management. Sign up for what you only have time for. You are a student first, so class is a priority, but it is also important to be involved. In my opinion, being a student and excelling in academics, but not being active throughout campus doesn’t give students an edge. I truly believe students who excel in academics and are involved throughout campus organizations are at a large advantage!

“Dear Abby, just from your blog posts and tweets, you seem like you are really passionate about nursing. What major would you do if you weren’t a nursing major?”

Another super awesome question. Right now, I could not see myself being any different major. I am blessed to be in the nursing program and am eternally grateful to the Hope College Nursing Department and God with providing me with this opportunity. BUT, if I was not a nursing major, I would be a political science major and go to law school to become an immigration lawyer. Another cool option would be a double major in political science and communications and be a broadcaster for a political news channel!

“Dear Abby, how has your faith grown since being at Hope College? I am just afraid religion will be shoved down my throat!”

I was also afraid that religion would be constantly shoved down my throat. But Hope’s environment is so nurturing, each individual grows in their faith differently! Freshman year, my faith was there, but it wasn’t rooted. I never went to The Gathering, and I rarely went to Chapel. P.S., The Gathering is a church service on Sunday nights, IT’S AWESOME. I just thought I could be doing homework at that time. But my second semester of my freshman year, my roommate convinced me enough to go to The Gathering, and I am so incredibly mad that I missed an entire semester of that. I loved the sermons, the worship songs, and the atmosphere. I will tell you that Chapel was one of the reasons I chose Hope College. It made me feel like home. But when I actually came to school, the majority of my classes were science classes, and I needed to give them my full attention. So I only went to Chapel a few times. But going to The Gathering made me realize why I came to this awesome school. Anyways, religion won’t be shoved down your throat. Your journey in your faith and God will be your journey. It can be quick, it may take time, and it might have its ups and downs. Journey’s are full of surprises! Hope does have resources, like Campus Ministries, Bible Study groups and much more to help facilitate your joinery in Christ. Just remember, it’s your choice!!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST!!

“Dear Abby, convince me why I should go to Hope.”

Interesting question. I actually wrote a blog post about this. But it was a while back, so I’ll summarize what I said. I can give you all of the positives and negatives about this school. Each school can. I am a student blogger because I want to share my experience with prospective students, and I want to show what life is like at college. It’s pretty awesome, that’s for sure! Ultimately, it’s up to you. It shouldn’t be the facts about a school that makes you decide to go there; it should be about tailoring your needs. I wanted to go to a college that was not huge, had a great student to faculty ratio, great financial aid packages, awesome student life, recognized academics, and a decent distance from home. Many colleges fulfilled this criteria. From there, I visited schools and through visits, I scratched off schools that didn’t make me feel at home. When I visited Hope, my criteria were fulfilled, PLUS MORE. The plus more is what definitely helped me chose this institution. There was faith incorporated in my learning, the atmosphere was nurturing, and the professors care about you!! I knew this was the place for me. I could not see myself anywhere else. So, when you go on visits and ask questions, admissions reps and student can tell you what you want to hear, but ultimately, its up to you to decide. Challenge yourself at each school you visit and see if it tailors your wants and needs!

Okay folks, those four questions were pretty awesome. Keep shooting me some more questions because I would gladly answer them. If you haven’t already, follow me on twitter at @HopeMarvin15. Thanks for reading!!