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. 

Movie of the Weekend: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler-poster-excerpt

It’s cold, dark, and snowy and I just watched what could be one of the best movies of the year. On sale on Google’s Play store for about 5 bucks, my girlfriend and I ordered some Hungry Howie’s and decided to escape the Michigan life and delve into the the neo-noir underbelly of Nightcrawler’s Los Angeles.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, check out the trailer here.

I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie. From the trailer, it was something about a guy with a camera filming tragedy on the Los Angeles pavement. So Rachel and I turned down the lights and mashed our faces in pizza unaware of the mental roller-coaster we were about to experience.

The film revolves around the persistent character of Lou Bloom portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal as he desperately finds work. Captured by the energetic allure of crime journalism, Lou muscles his way into the gritty work of capturing late-night tragedy on camera with the encouragement of morning news director Nina Romina. His newfound career expands as he hires a protégé, Rick Carey, to help him capture crime and feed the news machine with tragedy, violence, and loss. The rest you must watch for yourself.

There’s more at stake than journalism with Nightcrawler. The film itself was an intense rollercoaster ride of action and suspense, but it ultimately had us, the audience, look both into ourselves and around us.

There may be spoilers so I do not recommend reading my reflection about the movie below until after watching it yourself.

Mouseover for Potential Spoiler(s)

I highly recommend everyone to watch Nightcrawler and if you can, enroll in a cinema class at Hope!

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!!

A Week In Review

TGIF. I never knew this day would come. Okay, Fridays always come, I’m just over-exaggerating. Many exciting things happened this past week, and more exciting things are going to happen. Want to know why? Because WINTER BREAK IS AROUND THE CORNER! Truly exciting. Okay, so I want to share with y’all what I did from last Friday until today; like a ‘Week in Review’ dealio.

LAST FRIDAY
A week ago today, I had my first Hibachi experience. Yes, I’ve been to plenty of Japanese restaurants, but I’ve never fully experienced Hibachi, when the chefs cook the food in front of you. Talk about a tease. I was sooooooo hungry by the time our chef was cooking, all I wanted to do was eat, but his dazzling display of skill and talent was well worth it. I just want to take the time to thank my friends who made these plans. In the slideshow at the bottom of this post, there’s an artsy picture I took.

SUPERBOWL SUNDAY
Obviously, last Sunday was the Superbowl. A bunch of my friends, including Chelsea Barfield, fellow Hope blogger, went to our family friend’s house, the Winters. They are so nice to have us over all the time. Seriously, if you’re reading this – YOU ROCK. Anyways, we enjoyed each others company, great food, and interesting game… if it was a game, to say the least. In the slideshow below, there’s a picture of me and my friend Alex with brownies on our teeth to make us look buck-toothed. It’s kind of a weird tradition started my freshman year. Classic me; goofball.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4th
For my Maternity clinical, we are required to have a periopertative experience. For those of you who don’t understand medical jargon, periopertative means the entire surgery process; pre, intra, and post. You know how PERImeter means around something? PERIoperative represents the same idea, all around the surgical process. Anyways, it was such an exciting day. It started at 0645 (sorry, I’m used to military time now). You might think that’s early, it is, but for surgery, I’ll do anything. Once I got to the hospital, they welcomed me, and had me change ASAP so I can start my day. I chose to be with the ENT surgeon (ears-nose-throat). He seriously had back-to-back-to-back-to-back surgeries. He was so fast. Because of this, I observed 10 surgeries that day. It was super exciting to say the least. I’ve truly never explored surgical nursing – but after this awesome experience, I’m thinking about it!!!

WINTER BREAK
I’m oh so glad it’s break after my class today. Although I should be relaxing, I will be partaking in many homework assignments and getting ahead so I am in tip-top shape for what’s to come this semester. Also, if you didn’t know, THE 22ND WINTER OLYMPICS STARTED YESTERDAY IN SOCHI, RUSSIA! I watched it literally for 4 hours. Tonight at 1930 (7:00 p.m.) is the opening ceremony. Here is a link to get you PUMPED.

THE 22ND WINTER OLYMPICS!

And then when I’m not watching the Olympics, I’ll be watching my new favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation. Well, here is that slideshow I promised!

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I’ll definitely be posting something during break, so be on the lookout!

I Can’t Right Now, I’m Busy.

It is now Winter Break Eve, and I am ready to flee. But, I just can’t. I have SO much to do between now and tomorrow before I take a mini vaca in a town where there is more snow and it is colder. Wow, my break just sounded really melancholy. So, to make it better, I’ll be staying inside where it’s warm! There, that’s a little better.

You read my title, and I probably got your attention. Raise your hand if you’re busy right now

PAUSE

Okay, I can’t see you raise your hands, but I’m sure most of you did physically and metaphorically. I’m not going to lie, “I can’t right now, I’m busy” is one of my favorite excuses from the book. But I’ve noticed lately that instead of legitimately using it as an excuse, people just use the phrase to one up each other.

Firstly, why do want to “one up” each other by using this phrase. If you are going to do such a devious thing, you might as well be creative or blunt about. If a friend asks, “Hey, want to hang out tonight?” and you just don’t feel like doing it, just say so or think of something clever.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any broken friendships.

Back to what I was saying, instead of saying you’re busy when you’re obviously not, just tell the truth. Sometimes, the truth hurts, but lies are worse.

Secondly, everyone at college is busy. People are merely busy in different aspects. For example, those in the health field majors have seminars, shadowing experiences, and homework. The fine arts majors have performances, rehearsals, workshops, and homework. Others have work, and for a select few, some have multiple jobs. Ultimately, everyone is busy. No matter why you like it or not. Some people may seems busier than others, and hey, that may be the case. But don’t you dare tell people you are busier than them. Everyone has different lives.

Ok, I just wanted to rant there because this happened to me this week. Someone told me they were busier than me. That’s just not the case, pal. Just be honest with each other, ya!?

NEWS: Ok I have some exciting news. I want to start answering questions posted by other anonymously, like in a “Dear Abby” format. Send me your questions through email at, marvin.solberg@hope.edu and make sure you’re subject says “Dear Abby.” Ask questions about anything; school, friends, work, whatever! I want to be a resource for y’all, especially in your transition into college. Otherwise, you can direct message me on twitter and ask me that way, and I will answer anonymously that way as well. If you haven’t followed me yet, its about time. CLICK HERE. Let’s see how this rolls!

#Snowpocalypse

From frigid arctic air, ice, and ungodly amounts of snow, Hope College has endured so much already this semester. I’m pretty sure that this fine institution has made HISTORY. Why? 2½ snow days in ONE SEMESTER. This school never closes because of snow because we’re a residential college. Meaning, the majority of students live on-campus, and faculty/staff live in the greater Holland area. But, mother nature is no match for the Flying Dutch. She definitely stopped by West Michigan and left her mark.

Although she has left the majority of her mark, she’s still lingering, and it’s quite irritating. Nonetheless, that’s not stopping me from my fun! I want share with you all what happened during my extended weekend! So yeah, EXTENDED weekend! The campus closed down at noon, and my only class was at 1. Score. After walking back to my apartment, I did absolutely nothing. THEN, one of my bests, HANNAH, had the brilliant idea of going to Meijer for groceries, you know before we get trapped in the snow. Here’s an interesting quote she said, and it’s so true…

“Why do we always decide to get groceries whenever there’s a winter storm?”

Anyway, there was a bunch of snow on her car. And she was not having it. So, I cleaned it off, but then I realized I didn’t have my gloves on, so Hannah had to finish the snow removal. She was just a little frustrated with the snow.

She's just not that happy about the snow.
She’s just not that happy about the snow.

By the way, if any of you need tours of our beautiful campus, Hannah is your girl! She is a tour guide at admissions, and let me tell you, she gives some GOOD tours!! Ok, so after our little Meijer adventure, we worked on some homework (yeah, it’s what we did during the majority of the snow day), then we treated ourselves to dinner, enjoyed a thriller movie called 911 with Halle Berry (SIDE NOTE: it’s really INTENSE), then went to sleep respectively.

Saturday came along, and the weather still has not changed one bit. So much wind, so much snow, and so much frigidness. Might I add, the Holland Road Commission and Hope College took a while to plow the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks because there was simply so. much. snow. Here is a picture on my way to back to Hannah’s apartment. The snow is merely endless.

Endless amount of snow.
Endless amount of snow.

My goal for this Saturday: get work done. I had some curriculum development I had to tend to, and some homework. But before I did any of that, I went to the Dow to workout with Hannah and Divya. We were literally working out for more than an hour. And let me tell you, I AM SORE. But it’s the good kind of sore! So, I had so much adrenaline after working out, I was motivated to accomplish everything on my “to-do” list. First on that list was to move my car to my apartment parking lot. Let me tell you, that was a hassle. I got my care out of my parking spot, but I could not get it out of the actual parking lot, so I called for some help. My good friend Austin had to come and help shovel me out. TWICE! Once in the parking lot where my car was, and one at my apartment’s parking lot. Crazy. But, I didn’t feel silly because I saw AT LEAST 10 people who were stuck and digging their cars out. In the midst of the frustration, I took a snowpocalypse selfie. Here ya go.

#Snowpocalypse #selfie
#Snowpocalypse #selfie

Eventually, I did my work and homework. It ended up being a pretty good day. After homework, I made myself some dinner, and went over to Hannah and Divya’s apartment to finish up some homework, and just hang out! On the way there, there was a huge snow pile. I had to take a picture.

But look at that snow pile.
But look at that snow pile.

All I wanted to do was to play in it, but I was not properly equipped. Anyways, after I arrived at their apartment, Hannah was making dinner for herself and Divya, and it looked so amazing, and it was DELICIOUS. Want a picture?

Made by Chef Hannah
Made by Chef Hannah

Not only did her food look appetizing, it was very decadent. Anyways, after dinner, and just talking, we ended up watching another movie, End Of Watch. I’m currently in the midst of watching it, so I’m going to leave it here for now. I’ll post more tomorrow, make sure you are on the watch!