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. 

Your “Back to Hope” Playlist

Over the summer I got to thinking about Hope blogging. I felt as if every year I wrote the same posts: back to school, the Pull, Winter Fantasia, Nykerk, SAC events, etc.

This year, I’m vowing to make more unconventional and creative posts. My first is this one, a playlist perfected for that perfect back to Hope College feel. These are songs that I hear around campus, give me a special Hope vibe, or are always played at any Hope social event.

I’m starting junior year off with some feel good tunes, and now you can too! Listen to it on Spotify or follow the list of songs below.

  • I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • More Like Love – Ben Rector
  • I Lived – One Republic
  • Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON
  • Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
  • Wake Me up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
  • Let the Good Times Roll – Ben Rector
  • Love on Top – Beyonce
  • Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Easy Love – Original Mix – Sigala
  • I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
  • Where You Lead – Carole King
  • Classic – MKTO
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  • Downtown – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • Where Is The Love – The Black Eyed Peas
  • Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammar
  • Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne) – Clean Bandit
  • Bright – Echosmith
  • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  • I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Geronimo – Sheppard
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  • When Can I See You Again – Owl City

These are all songs that get me pumped to be back at Hope. I hope you enjoy listening to some of them!

Best,
Brooke

A Trip to the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin

The greenhouse at the Downtown Market
The greenhouse at the Downtown Market

This past Saturday night, I went down to Calvin College with one of our chaplains, Lauren Taylor, some other girls from Hope and a faculty member and his family. Calvin hosts the Festival of Faith and Writing every year, which is probably its most redeeming quality. (They’re our big rival, in case you missed that one).

We piled into a Hope van and took off. When we got there, we got to hear Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, speak. She is a self-taught theologian from Canada.

Sarah spoke on her experience with being told that she does not have the privilege to share God’s word or her opinions on God’s word. Before her book got published, she was often told that she was unqualified to do any of this without a degree from seminary school.

She talked about how we are all qualified to share God’s word, no matter what our degree. She asked what qualifications God expects us to have to share his word.

I found this to be a very moving subject. A lot of times on Hope’s campus, faith experiences are compared and analyzed. It’s easy to tell yourself that someone else’s experience is stronger than your own, or that they have a deeper relationship with God than you do.

There are no qualifications for God’s love, besides the most basic things (ie. believing, repentance, obedience to God and His word, etc.).

I believe that as long as you are walking with the Lord, you are in a good place. Sarah Bessey really pounded that into me, even though she wasn’t directly speaking on that topic.

After hearing her speak, we went to the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids for dinner. We discussed some of the things that Bessey talked about, hearing different opinions around the table.

As we ate, I listened to opinions of my peers and sank back. I let their words, some that I wasn’t sure I agreed with, to marinate inside me. Some said that they didn’t completely agree with Bessey, because to have theory on God’s word you must know theology.

I just think that Bessey was talking about something much simpler than that; we all have a calling to live out and spread the gospel. Whether it be through writing, theology, teaching or medicine, we’re all qualified as God’s children to spread his word.

The Seven Wonders of Someone Halfway Done With College

I often find myself wishing that time would stop, or at the very least that things would shift into slow motion for at least a week or maybe five minutes.

When they say that your time in college flies by fast, they aren’t lying.

It’s scary yet exciting to know that in the same amount of time that I have already spent at Hope, I will be leaving and venturing off into the real world.

Here are seven things I wonder as I think about leaving Hope in two years:

  1. What’s the real world really like?
    • Let’s be honest, we all wonder this.
  2. Are there other places like Hope?
    • I like the welcoming and supportive atmosphere that Hope has, but will I be able to find that somewhere else?
  3. Will I find the same faith community?
    • This is one of my biggest worries about leaving Hope. I’ll have to venture out and find a faith community, perhaps even create one, instead of having one built and placed right in my lap.
  4. Will my best friends stay my best friends?
    • I’m really crossing my fingers for this one. I know some pretty great people here and I hope they’re my friends for life.
  5. Where will I live?
    • Will I go back home? Will I make somewhere new my home? The world may never know. Until I graduate.
  6. What will my job be?
    • Really though. I have my plans but the more I talk to alumni, the more I realize that you often don’t end up doing what you thought you would.
  7. Can I just stay here a little bit longer?
    • The answer is, yes, you can stay here two more years. Maybe it’ll be enough, but right now I love Hope and wouldn’t trade it for any other place.

I’m sure that incoming freshmen and graduating seniors are also wondering some of these things. Being a sophomore in the middle of it all can make the end seem blind, like it’s never coming. But it is and I have so many thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading,

Brooke

Five Spring Must-Dos at Hope College

The pine grove in the sun
The Pine Grove in the sun

Never mind the fact that the ground on Hope’s campus is lightly dusted with snow right now, we’re going to talk about spring at Hope College.

There’s so much you can do when the weather starts heating up a bit. I don’t mean summer heat, I mean that nice spring warmth where the sun is shying out of its winter position and warming the earth while a light breeze brushes up against your ankles as you walk to classes.

Here are five “must-do’s” at Hope in the Spring:

  1. Studying in the Pine Grove. There’s nothing better than laying on a blanket,
    Reading in the Pine Grove
    Reading in the Pine Grove

    feeling the sun up against your back, and looking over your ten-page study guide for psychology. Just kidding about the study guide part, but being in the Pine Grove makes it a little better.

  2. Frolf. Frisbee Golf. Lots of students like to go around campus and play this fun game when it starts to get warmer out.
  3. Tulips popping up in the spring time at Hope!
    Tulips popping up in the spring time at Hope!

    Runs and walks to Windmill Island. It’s always fun to take a friend and take advantage of the nice weather by exercising. Instead of going to workout on a machine, it’s nice to breathe fresh air while getting exercise.

  4. Do an intramural. There are lots of spring intramurals going on at Hope. Some of them are soccer, softball, flag football, racquetball and ultimate frisbee.
  5. Spring Fling. I saved the best for last. This is an event put on by Hope’s Student Activities Committee every spring the weekend before finals. There’s a picnic in the pine grove, inflatables, a band with some dancing, a zip-line, a Photo Booth, laser tag, and much more.

Spring is pretty sweet at Hope. It’s a shame that we don’t get to enjoy it for long, seeing as we get out in almost a month (and it’s still snowing…).

Thanks for reading!

Brooke

An Immersion Excursion: New Jersey Immersion Trip 2016

Hope’s campus is filled once again and bursting with life, especially now that the sun is out. Yet I feel a little bit lost and in the wrong, all because I’m not in New Jersey with the 12 other people I spent the last week with.

Last Saturday, our group left bright and early to drive over to New Jersey. We drove all day, finally making it to Highland Park, NJ, that night. The next day, we spent time in the church and even went to visit a Russian Orthodox church to hear a speaker talk about the Syrian refugees.

The next four days were spent serving and immersing ourselves in the church’s culture. We went out to the Jersey Shore to help a family prepare their house to be lifted, which is required by New Jersey law since Hurricane Sandy hit. We also put up dry wall in another house and painted a house in the High Land Park area.

We did other things as well, such as visit a detention center for undocumented immigrants, receive a tour of the church’s outreach in the area, and attend a seder service.

On Friday, we got to visit New York City for our day off.

It’s very hard to sum up the week in a 300-400 word blog post. I can’t elaborate on any of the deep and meaningful moments that we shared together as a group. Every morning and night we had devotionals and a breakdown of the day, which really helped to process the way that we saw God working in every day life.

I would sum up the trip by stating two things that I learned:

  1. I met and saw God working through so many people this past week. It’s incredible the way that these people give up everything for Him. I learned a lot about what it truly means to be a servant to God and lay down your life to Him.
  2. I met people with incredible stories and incredible faith. These people did not and do not lead easy lives, yet they trust in God and keep such strong faith in Him. It helped me to see what it really means to have faith in God, and also how much one can go through and still keep that faith.

I’m a little sad without my team. They’re still all around Hope’s campus, but I miss spending every day with them. I miss New Jersey and the work that we did there, but I still see God working in all of our lives here.

If you can get a chance to, sign up to go on an Immersion Trip through Campus Ministries. It truly was a life changing experience. Unfortunately the blog platform won’t upload my photos! I will try to get them up as soon as possible.

Where Do You Find Your Meaning? A Dance 42 Reflection

Last night, I went to see Dance 42, an annual show put on by the Dance Department of Hope College. I wish I had photos to share, but unfortunately photography was not allowed.  Last year, it was called Dance 41 and next year it will be called Dance 43. You get the picture, it’s been going on for a while.

Above is a video from Dance 37, the only one that I could find online.

The students audition in September. This leaves them the rest of the year up until March to work on their performances and perfect them.

I went to the show because I had friends in some of the dances, but I didn’t experience it last year. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Some people had told me it was really good, but some acts were sort of odd. As I watched, I understood why they could seem that way. Some of the dance moves were very interpretive and I had a hard time finding meaning in them.

When my friend, Allie, finished her performance, she came and sat with me. As the show progressed, she told me what each dance was about. They all started to make more sense to me.

What drew me in when thinking about Dance 42 was the fact that everyone has an area of life in which they create meaning or try to draw meaning from. For me, it’s literature and my religion. For others, it’s dance, science, nature, etc.

It’s beautiful how so many different paths can be used to soul-search and make something out of life. Everyone has a preference, and dance works for those who put their time and efforts into Dance 42.

Once I recognized that, I began to appreciate it so much more.

Brooke


You can email me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, find me on Facebook, or check out my Twitter @hopebrooke18.