Homecoming Weekend!

Happy Sunday, Readers! I hope you’ve been taking part in the wonderful events of Homecoming this weekend, but if you haven’t, I’m here to tell you all about them!

For those of you who didn’t know, it was Homecoming weekend this weekend. That means there were a bunch of alumni on campus to celebrate their class reunions and see the new things that have been happening around Hope’s campus. (If you didn’t notice the crowds, trust me, there were a lot of people on Hope’s campus!)

As for events, there were a lot of alumni events, but there were also events for students. On Friday, there were departmental reunions, as well as Sorority reunions, and an event called Homecoming on 8th Street, where alumni and students could go to the Knickerbocker Theatre and visit the shops downtown. The students also enjoyed the Homecoming Hoedown on Friday night which is put on by the Student Activities Committee and is a great event full of dancing, food, and a petting barn, complete with the cutest bunnies!

Saturday kicked off with the Homecoming 5K run for alumni in the morning, and more reunions for sororities, fraternities, and residence halls. At noon, everyone on campus had the opportunity to go to the Dow to sample the Taste of the South lunch Hope put on. Then at 6 p.m., there was the Homecoming football game to round out the night.

Sunday was the day I enjoyed the most throughout the weekend. I am a Student Ambassador, and the groups main goal is to bridge the gap between students and alumni, making the transition smooth. Our task for the day was to go to the Dimnent Heritage Society Brunch at the Haworth Hotel and converse with special donors to Hope who have given significantly in some way to Hope. It was so fun to have conversations with people who love Hope so much and to see how Hope has changed throughout the years through their stories.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I hope you got to enjoy some of the events! Enjoy this week, readers! Until next time!

Fall colors at Hope College
Sesquicentennial AND Fall colors = winner winner chicken dinner!

The Must-Do’s of Fall Break

Fall Break – the first return home of the year for most students, smacked right in the beginning of the pumpkin-spiced season we all call fall.

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What does one do on this Fall Break? Here are a few must’s.

Go apple/pumpkin picking. 

This is clearly at the top of everyone’s to-do lists over break. Who doesn’t love donuts and cider from the farm they grew up going to?

Catch up on some Netflix. Maybe a season or three.

All I can say is I’m not exaggerating. I know people who have gone through entire seasons in just three short days. It’s nothing to worry about; all the exams and meetings from the past couple weeks haven’t allowed for adequate down time.

If you’re not a TV watcher, finally read those books you’ve been meaning to get to. 

This is, unashamedly, me. I can’t watch more than three quarters of a 40-minute Netflix episode at a time. I can, however, read for hours at a time when I’m given it.

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Bake. Pumpkin bread, preferably. 

There’s nothing better than warm baked goods in the fall. We all know that anything pumpkin flavored is in season right now. I checked this one off my list with some pumpkin pecan bread.

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Get a hair cut. Everyone does it. I did it last year. 

I don’t know what it is about the fall in college the makes people want to chop off all their hair. It’s adorable, but I can’t figure out where the drive comes from. Maybe all the change in weather, leaf colors, and environment leads to it.

Family time, this includes pets.

You haven’t seen your dog or your mom in almost two months. Admit you’re deprived, that you didn’t love her as much as she deserved before you left, and remember how they run for you every time you come home.

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Enjoying some good home-cooked meals. Phelps just doesn’t cut it sometimes. 

Phelps is a great place to eat in terms of variety at each meal, but sometimes it isn’t what you’re used to eating, and the repetition can get a little boring. At this point, you’ve had to start getting creative with quesadillas in the panini maker and you’ve sampled every cereal there is. You’re ready for mom’s cooking again.

Visit that one restaurant that Holland doesn’t have. Chipotle, I’m talking to you. 

This is just my personal space to rant about how Holland doesn’t have a Chipotle. I have to drive all the way to Grand Rapids just to get a fresh, hand-made burrito? Outrageous. Okay, so there might be other more local restaurants and diners that you were thinking of, but for some reason Chipotle is always what comes to mind when I’m going home. Burritos are important.

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I hope everyone on campus or off campus had a great and relaxing Fall Break! It’s good to bed back at Hope, though. Feel free to add more Fall Break must’s if you’d like in the comments. I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading,


A is for Apple (Picking)

Hello Readers! Happy Hump Day!! Only a few days until the weekend – hallelujah!

Speaking of the weekend, what are you planning on doing with yours? SAC always has a movie or some fun event going on, or there’s always the option of staying in and watching documentaries on Saturday night (which my housemates and I may or may not have done last weekend…), but what if you want something fun to do off campus during your lazy Saturday? Plus, it’s the beginning of fall and end of summer, so you want to be outside, right? Well in this post, I’m going to talk about just one option for your weekend – Crane’s Orchard.

Cranes, if you don’t know, is an apple orchard. There’s Cranes in the city, which is right here in Holland, but that’s not the orchard, and that’s not where you’d go to pick apples (silly). The orchard is in Fennville, Michigan, about a half an hour drive from Holland, and like any typical apple orchard, you’d go here to pick apples! According to their website, they have just about every apple you can think of – Macintosh, Gala, Golden Supreme, Blondee, and Honey Crisp. The way it works once you get to the orchard is you get a bag, fill up your bag with as many yummy apples as you want, and then pay just $0.90 per pound of apples. What?! That’s a fantastic price! And I’m telling you, these apples are absolutely delicious and well worth your money. Once you’ve picked your apples, you can head to Cranes Pie Pantry and Restaurant, which is in the same vicinity as Crane’s Orchard, for some cider and donuts – a fall classic. (**A note to East-Siders** Crane’s isn’t a cider mill. You’ll have to get your fill of watching cider being made when you go home for fall break.)

Lucky for the Hope community, Crane’s Orchard just opened back up last weekend for the fall season, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you’ve found exactly what you’re looking of! I’ve gone to Crane’s at least once every Fall while at Hope, and this year it’s become an event for our house, complete with baking pies after we pick our apples. I’m pumped!

Keep looking forward to the weekend, Readers! Try out some Crane’s if it fits your fancy. Enjoy!

Until next time.

Four Weeks in 18 Pictures

I feel like so much has happened over the last four weeks that the only way I can properly display it is through pictures.
So, enjoy my last four weeks at Hope in 18 pictures!

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I hope you enjoyed the pictures and have a lovely week!
If you happen to want to see even more pictures you can look at my Instagram and Twitter

It’s All About Fall

It’s been two weeks since Fall Break has ended, but autumn has just begun – and on campus, many of us are psyched to bring back the UGGS, pumpkin spice lattes, beanies, and all of the leaf jumping and as many afternoon Starbucks runs that can fit into a college student’s schedule.

I’ll admit it. I’m a lover of lattes and leggings, and once the cold weather hits, I’m wearing a hat and floppy sweater 24/7. And, if you take the time to look around campus, many of us are jumping right into this trend.

But this trend has the capacity to go deeper than the surface. It’s not just about the clothes one wears or lattes one drinks.

It’s about the heart. If we were to join together and share the same love for one another and God’s creation that we do for UGGS and pumpkin spice flavored everything, imagine what the world around us could look like. What if we referenced the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives as often as we referenced our favorite trends of the fall season? What if we shared our passion for God in the same way we share our love for jumping into piles of leaves?

We could also change our perspective in entirety. What if we ditched the leggings and pumpkin spice lattes and walked out in boldness and engaged in a trend that is hidden from the public eye? What if we were so focused on sharing God’s glory that the our fall trends fell behind us and our eyes were opened to the treasures He has waiting for us?

Now, the real question comes: speaking your truth and from your heart – would you give up your leggings and UGGS if that was what God called you to do?

So often, we see others around us demonstrating love and passion for a given purpose and we settle and say, “good enough” when instead God is calling for us to leave everything behind and awaken into a new understanding. It is important for us to keep in mind that He will provide us with new and better gifts for the things we leave behind. One pumpkin spice latte will lead to another, but the joy of the Lord remains in our heart forever.

Apple Picking with Delaney
Delaney and I sharing our love for fall at Crane’s Apple Orchard last Sunday. Photo Credit: Haley Menzies

Discern your calling. Ask God what His plans are for you. You were made to stand out. He created you.

And, imagine this: He loves you even more than you love fall.

Questions? Comments? Comment below or shoot me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu. Want to keep up with what I’m up to? Follow me on Twitter @hopesophie17.

It Feels Like Fall Semester (Finally)

One thing I noticed since I started blogging for this school year was that I haven’t talked about my first three weeks. Wow, that shows you that I’m still in summer mode. It’s definitely a hard transition, but it happens every year. Crazy to think that my next big “adjustment” will be from college to work! But now that the weather is cooling down, it finally feels like Fall Semester. Hopefully, the weather can push me to get things rolling because I won’t be thinking about summer. As weird as it may sound, I definitely associate cool/cold weather with school.

First Week:

The first week of school was great! It was so fun to see my friends again, and I am beyond excited to have the same professors I had previously. My course load this semester is very light compared to my other semesters, but I did that with intent. I am now just finishing up graduation requirements. Again, crazy how I have to think about that. During this week, I had my first SAC meeting, and had “syllabus week” with my classes to just get oriented and go through a brief overview of the semester. That weekend, (yeah, the first weekend of the school year), my best friend Joey and I ventured to Ann Arbor to watch the University of Michigan play their first football game of the season. Boy was that a blast! Life really did hit me until the second week though.

Second Week:

LIFE. It struck, but I should have seen it coming. Because my schedule is sparse, it’s hard to structure my days because they vary. Some days, I will just do a bunch of work, but on other days, I just try to relax. I had more SAC meetings, we had our SAC retreat, and school is finally picking up its momentum.

Third Week:

3 weeks in already, and I can’t believe it. After this week, it has been 1 month already. Time really flies, whether you want it to or not. Again, more assignments due, lots of reading, errands, and using those time management skills. But after a long and hectic week, my roommate and I headed to Ann Arbor to watch University of Michigan’s second home game. I guess you could say I’m a big fan, but HOPE is truly where it’s at.

Check out my slideshow with some of the greatest moments during the first week of school! I have yet to post blogs regarding my Europe adventure this past summer, and look forward to a new vlog! Anyways, thanks for reading and until next time!

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Hello There Hope, Nice to See You Again!

Hello! My name is Marisela, or Mari, and I am a new student blogger here. I am a junior studying English/Creative Writing and French. I like reading fiction novels, baking cupcakes, making music playlists for my friends, and taking photos. I am living in Cook Hall this year because I will hopefully be studying abroad in the spring (more on that soon!) I am SO. EXCITED. to be able to share my Hope experiences with you all, introducing you to my favorite spots on campus/Holland, and giving you glimpses into my junior year and what activities I am involved in. So, here we go!

It feels good to be back on campus. I missed walking through the Pine Grove and bumping into friends and even the occasional frisbee (it has yet to happen since I’ve arrived, thankfully). I missed how beautiful campus really is in the early mornings when I would walk around a few minutes before class. If you are not a morning person like I am, trust me, Hope will make you change your mind. Professors are up early preparing for their classes, drinking their morning coffee from Lemonjello’s or JP’s while students head over to Phelps for a hearty breakfast. Workers in front of Phelps are putting in new grass and flowers. Construction workers are busy finishing up the new musical arts building too. So I don’t know about you, but all of this hustle and bustle that goes on each morning gets me going. 

View from the bench I am currently sitting on. #nofilterneeded
View from the bench I am currently sitting on. #nofilterneeded

Not that Hope is only pretty in the mornings, though. I think it’s also best to come visit Hope right during midday, around noon. You will see the campus at it’s busiest, with students walking, jogging, (occasionally sprinting), and long boarding to class. But what I loved about Hope when I came to visit during high school is that the students here actually say Hi to one another! Look, I grew up in the city of Chicago and people there aren’t as friendly. I would never say hi to anyone walking down the street because they would truly think I was crazy ok? But here, it’s the opposite. A wave hello to a complete stranger is not weird, and I like that.

Now that classes have started and my schedule is starting to get busier, I try not to forget to step back and appreciate this beautiful campus I get to live on everyday. Take in those few minutes of alone time in the morning and appreciate where you are, where you come from. Maybe even be brave enough to say hello to a stranger on your way:)

Tweet me @HopeMarisela16 or shoot me an email at marisela.meraz@hope.edu. Have a great day and thanks for reading!

May The Odds Ever Be In Your Favor

Happy Monday to all! I know that last Monday I posted a blog on realizing that Monday is a fresh new start, whether last week was bad or not. This Monday, you’ll really need to start fresh. Why? It’s REGISTRATION WEEK, people! Hence the title, I know it’s from the Hunger Games trilogy, but it seriously applies to this week. All Hope students are registering for classes for the Spring Semester already. I feel like it was Move-In day yesterday. To those of you looking at Hope, sometimes, people make registration seem horrendous (people are entitled to their own opinion), but I am here to tell you the good news that comes out of it.

  • People think the Registrar is the enemy, they’re not! They’re just trying to be logistical.
  • The Registrar WILL help you if you don’t get into a class you want.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the class you want, there are a plethora of classes to choose from, although they may not be your first choice. The Registrar can be flexible!
  • Remember to have back-up schedules, just in-case yours doesn’t work out. And remember that it’s not the end of the world.

For those of you interested in Hope, registration is a simple process that people make to be complicated. Based on the number of credits you have, they will randomly assign times in which you can register. So here is a simple equation:

# of Credits = Registration Time

Simple enough, right? But some people do not come in with any credits, so they register last, and some people come in a a bajillion credits, so they will be one of the first. So my advice for those in high school, get as many college credits as you can before coming! It’ll be a great advantage. AFTER registration week is over, everyone will not be stressed, and everyone will be friends again. So hopefully from reading this, I hope you remember one thing, you’ll get into a class, guaranteed.

Have a great Monday everyone! I’ll be posting about my weekend sometime today or tomorrow, so keep on the look-out! Otherwise, CLICK HERE to see my twitter page, and follow me! Feel free to ask me any questions you have!

Everyone’s Favorite Day!

Despite many exams, assignments, and projects being due on Friday, everyone still loves Friday. I can guarantee it is everyone’s favorite day (in the weekday of course!) If you’re reading this, give yourself a pat on the back. You made it through this week. I know for some, it was just such a draining week. I know it was for me. This week, I didn’t have any big exams, but I had so much busy work. Talk about redundant. Anyway, with all of that said, I’m glad I made it to Friday. Maybe I’ll play “Friday” by Rebecca Black…

Anyways, I’m so glad this week is over. All of my assignments are done, I took care of myself, and I didn’t get sick! I feel like everyone is coming down with something. I ran twice this week, which also made me feel great despite my heavy load of work!


On Tuesday, I ran 7 miles, because I could. It was such a nice day for a run because it was beautiful, warm, and sunny. I also beat a PR of mine, which was even more encouraging. I know this sounds CRAZY but the following day, I ran 3.22 miles with a friend.

3.22 Miles!
3.22 Miles!

So all in all, I ran a little more than 10 miles this week! And on top of that, I wake up early to workout in the mornings. Seriously though, I recommend just getting active and moving around. You’ll feel great, be more energized, and less stressed! Speaking of which, if you haven’t read my blog on stress, you should! CLICK HERE! Anyways, today is a very special day for three reasons. 1) IT’S NOVEMBER! 2) IT’S CHELSEA’S 22nd BIRTHDAY and 3) IT’S NATE’S BIRTHDAY! Ok, so I am a little biased, they’re some of my amazing friends, but today is going to be all about them! You might know Chelsea because she is a fellow blogger! CLICK HERE to go to her blog page! It’s got great content, I definitely recommend it! Anyways, I can’t wait until my classes are done because we are going to spend some time together celebrating.

It's Chelsea and me!
It’s Chelsea and me!
Nate and me, and this sums up our friendship!
Nate and me, and this sums up our friendship!

I’m so thankful it’s Friday. If you want to read more about other Hope College students, make sure you check out the Life in Orange and Blue Blog Page. There are some great posts and college advice and life. Time for me to get ready so I can tackle the day. If you get a chance today, make sure you just stop, breathe, and think for a moment. Be thankful for life, family, and friends. Count your blessings, and give thanks for the little things! That really get’s me motivated! If you haven’t done so already read some of my other blogs! Follow me on TWITTER! Feel free to ask questions about anything. I’m here to help! Also, spread the word about this post! Have a great Friday!

Stress For Dummies (or College Students)

Stress is probably one of the most used words in college. “Oh, how are you doing today?” “Stressed.” That’s my response at least. But I just wanted to post on stress, because it’s an issue we all face. Usually, stress is a great thing, and is a common thing. In healthy amounts, it helps us gets motivated to achieve what we want to do. Sometimes, I work well under stress because I take it as a challenge. So there’s one way of managing your stress, accept it as a challenge.

Another way you should manage stress is by getting sleep. More than 8 hours, at least. Why? Because you’ll retain the information you learned the night before while studying, and you’re more alert so you can learn more. When you’re stressed, you’re also more prone to getting sick. So, sleeping will help because 1) you’ll retain more, 2) you’ll be more alert and awake, and 3) you’ll be less prone to sickness.

So far, we have accepting our stress as a challenge and sleeping. Now, I want to talk about time management. College is such a busy time with academics and social groups. Both play such a big role in your college career. That’s one thing I learned last year; I was too busy with my work, and I spent a lot of time doing extra-cirriculars. I had no balance between school and social life. So, I had to manage time. At first, this was hard. For some, it comes easier. But you need to realize that you’re here for school, so that should be your priority. Don’t join too many extra-cirriculars you can’t handle. Definitely though, if you are interested in doing something, go for it! But realize how much time you have and prioritize. So, there’s another way to take on stress, time management.

And lastly, my favorite way of relieving stress. exercise. This can be running, walking, weightlifting, swimming, playing sports, and being physically active. My body just feels so awesome afterwards. I feel like I am unstoppable and that I can take on the day. To tackle stress, we should all accept it as a challenge, sleep, manage our time, and exercise. By all means, there are so many more ways. But these are the things you can do immediately that can produce immediate, to almost immediate effects. NOW, you are all thinking why are you telling me this? We already know this. Well, in my defense, we all know how to manage our stress, but most of us don’t do anything about it. This leads to stress just piling up, so it’s harder and harder to get rid of. So, I’m encouraging that you at least do some of these techniques, because trust me, they will help. Managing my stress immediately helped me in so many ways. I wish I would have done it sooner that later, but hey, better late than never, right?

Ok, that’s all I have for now. Expect another post later today! If you have any questions, TWEET me, and follow me! It will be a grand time.

RESOURCES: Here is an awesome link about stress management. There is also a questionnaire you can take to see where you are with stress. Click here!