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!

#Hope2018

Hashtag Hope 2018. You’re in, but what now?

Before I answer that, you have NO idea how excited I am for the Hope College Class of 2018. Me, along with the student bloggers have been glued to the Hope College Facebook App answering your questions and introducing ourselves. It’s quite fun. What I am most excited about is the diversity of this class. I can already tell that every admitted student has something to bring to the table — that’s why you’ve been accepted to this fine institution! But what’s so fun to see is what every single one of you are interested in. From music, to languages, to pre-professional health studies, NURSING (my major!) and many more majors, everyone has different interests for different reasons, and it’s just awesome to read why. This is going to be one awesome group.

Ok, you are in, what now? As 2014 sneaks in on us, it’s time to fill out the FAFSA, or the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. Make sure you have your, and your family’s tax info on this! Filling this out determines the amount of financial aid you receive. Also, Hope College also has it’s own “FAFSA” called the SAF, or Supplemental Application for Financial Aid. I strongly recommend filling both of these out. They can help pay for your education! Right now, a head start on filling out financial aid papers is beneficial!

Another thing you admitted students should do is look for scholarships, either through your high school academic counseling office, or national ones. Whatever scholarships you may apply for, take advantage of them. Again, they can help you pay for school — it reduces your overall cost!

For the students who are interested in the performing arts, make sure you seek out Hope College’s Distinguished Artist Awards. Eligible students can receive $2,500 each year in a performing arts discipline. Click here for more details!

One of the most important things you can do, if you are truly committed to Hope College, is to start to get to know people from your class through the Hope College Facebook App! You can meet students, just like you, from your hometown or who share your same interests. If you also haven’t visited the campus already, I STRONGLY suggest calling admissions and make an appointment for a visit! It’s going to be your school in a matter of months, so why not, right!? For some of you, you have been living vicariously through our blogs and twitter accounts. To really make Hope life become a reality, stay with a Hope student for a weekend! You can experience what it is like being on campus and seeking out opportunities to do many activities throughout campus and Holland!

Again, if you are truly committed to this awesome institution, you can even send in your deposit! But that’s only if you are ready! So Hope College Class of 2018, it may seem like a long ways, but before you know it, it will be Orientation. I want to welcome and congratulate you on your acceptance again, and I can’t wait to see you here at Hope!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! You can also follow me on twitter at @HopeMarvin15.

GO DUTCH!

Choosing Hope College

Isn’t it a great feeling to be on break, everyone? Just sitting and relaxing, not doing anything? By the end of exam week, my brain was fried, and it needed to recover. I can safely say that my brain is at optimum functioning. Anyways, seeing as many students from the Class of 2018 are receiving their acceptance letters, I wanted to share why I chose Hope College. If you are admitted student, I hope you find some inspiration in this. If you are a current Hope College student, maybe you can reflect back on why you chose this wonderful institution. I actually had some help from admitted students; here is a shoutout to the three of them. Thank you so much for some inspiration for this blog post Christy, Mariah, and Sara E.! I hope you enjoy the read, and find some inspiration and excitement in it!

Senior Year: Around August, college applications were my life. Well, more like throughout the first half of my senior year, preparing for college was my life. To be honest, my high school did not a very good job of helping me with the college process, so it was definitely a learning experience. But I’m glad I taught my self, because look at where I am now. Anyways, I applied to many schools, specifically to have a variety of options. Although the options part of it was good, the fees and time was draining. So, if you’re still applying for schools, prioritize. Which schools truly appeal to you?

I had family (my uncle and two cousins) that went to Hope. I actually had the mindset that Hope was the last place I would go, merely because my family has been there. I wanted to be different, I wanted to veer off the “common” path. Soon enough, I found myself on Hope College’s campus on the first visit day during the fall of 2010 (holy moly, 3 years ago!). I thought to myself, “Here we go, let’s just get this done quickly.” First stop, Schaap Science Center. There, I observed a chemistry class. And let me tell you, it was the coolest thing! I was in AP Chemistry during this time, and what the college students were doing in class – I ACTUALLY KNEW! What a cool experience for me. I wanted to go to school for something science-related, and this chemistry class definitely affirmed that belief. Next stop, Chapel.

As cheesy as this may sound, this is definitely the turning point in my college decisions. Although I had other schools to visit, my heart was immediately set on this school. A bunch of students let us sit in their pew with them, and they welcomed me to Hope. Where else can you find a community like that? (Right, Mariah?!) I clearly remember Josh Banner, the Music Worship Leader welcoming the students to Hope, and I heard so much excitement from the crowd! Not to mention, that chapel was so packed! That was definitely a good sign. Then, the whole congregation started singing. THIS WAS IT. I knew. God definitely told me, “Welcome to your new home.” I had the chills, because of how exciting it was!!! I already knew this is where I belong, but there was just so much more to do!

After Chapel, I ate lunch at Phelps, and met with some faculty members from the different departments. Here, I felt like I was interrogating them with questions. Why Hope? Why should I go here? As I asked these questions, I found myself answering them, and this was definitely a sign that I belong here. Soon enough, my visit day was complete. I did not want to leave, I wanted to jump right in and stay, but I had to graduate first! Although my visit was over, I requested more literature. And after reading through the many brochures my admissions representative, (ANDREW MEYERS!) had sent me, I literally said out loud, “I’M HOPE BOUND!”

If you’re reading this, that was a “long-story-short” version. This blog post would go on and on if I included every detail, but I made it short and sweet for you all. But before I sign-off, I want to share some important Hope facts with you that I learned from the literature.

Student-Faculty Ratio: Yep, Hope college is proud to have student-faculty ratio at 13:1. This was so important to me. I wanted my professors to know me on a first name basis, and I wanted to have a personal relationship with them. I was definitely right in choosing Hope because I have established so many relationships with my professors. This has allowed me to use them as references, or just people to talk to!

Vibrantly Christian: Hope College incorporates Christianity within its mission statement, which means it is intertwined with student life and academics. I went to a large public high school, so going to a Christian school was such a great change for me. My faith continues to evolve, and all of my friendships are Christ-based.

Nationally Ranked: Hope College has many national rankings and honors. One of the most important (to me), and the most significant was its excellence in undergraduate research. I knew that I would want to pursue research someday, so this was a great factor. This college truly does a magnificent job in undergraduate research. Hope College does it so well that it is ranked with the most elite large universities. Hope is truly special.

Financial Aid Packages: Okay, the thing that worried me the most was, “Can I afford Hope?” Although the tuition price may scare many of you, don’t fret. Hope gives excellent financial packages as well as grants and scholarships! Just do well in high school, and you can get a large sum of money in scholarships. Financial aid along with scholarships really made Hope College affordable!

Campus: And at last, the campus and the community itself. As Christy explained, Hope College is very beautiful, in all four seasons! The architecture is picturesque, the people are friendly, and it contains so much history! For many, the campus is the selling point for students, and if you’re looking for a beautiful campus, try Hope!

Yes, it’s December. But before you know it, January, February, March, and April will just zoom by, When May comes along, and that deposit is due, that’s the moment of truth! I hope you find what I have shared with you inspiring and helpful as you make your college choices. Hope is simply an amazing place, it fosters my academic, social, and spiritual growth. Hope is ready for you; are you ready for Hope!?

Follow me on twitter: @HopeMarvin15
Feel free to also read some of my other blog posts! There’s a great variety to choose from!

My Semester Highlights!

I can’t believe that my semester ends tomorrow. Well, I actually can. As my friend put it, the days drag on, but the weeks just fly by! My fifth semester of college has been nothing but a learning experience and fun. I learned more about God, myself, my relationship with Him, my friends, and my relationships with them. Obviously, I learned more about nursing, but I also had a fun semester on top of academia! I kept busy by being involved, working, and just doing school. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst semester and 10 being the best semester, I would give this semester an 8! That’s pretty good! I just want to share my top moments with you this semester!

STUDENT BLOGGING

When I learned that I was accepted to be a student blogger, I was nothing but excited. I love sharing my experiences with others, and I enjoy the effect that it can have on people. I hope (no pun intended) that my blog has nothing but an inspiration to you all who read it! I can’t wait to continue to blog next semester, but don’t worry. I’ll blog during break so you can keep up!

PRACTICUMS/NURSING

This semester, I started my nursing practicums. Now that I have started them, I am in it for the long run! Being in the hospital setting was great affirmation for me because I know this is what I wanted to do, and I LOVE IT. I am happy God put me on the nursing track. Along with my practicums, I had many opportunities to be involved within the program itself. I became a nursing TA for one of my favorite classes. I cannot wait to continue on with that as well!

OUR NEW PRESIDENT

Our college inaugurated the our 12th president! It was so cool to be a part of this experience, and it was definitely a historic event. I mean, when is the next time we will get a new president? In like, 10-15 years? You never know! Just being a part of this transition was awesome. On top of his inauguration, his involvement within the student body has been nothing but wonderful. On several occasions, he opened his patio for students to eat cookies, nachos, salsa, and drink punch. I mean, how cool is that!? And we also had the opportunity to talk with him and Mrs. Knapp! This college is simply UNIQUE!

THE PULL/NYKERK

Although I am Odd Year, The Pull was a pretty historic event for the Even Year, and I congratulate them! The Pull is always intense and awesome. One of my fellow nursing majors and friend was the pull rep for the Odd Year, so it was cool to ask him all about it! On the other hand, Odd Year won Nykerk, which was awesome. Hope traditions are seriously the best because there is so much student involvement in them. Not all schools has this!

SAC

I also had the awesome opportunity to serve on SAC (Student Activies Committee). As a core member, I had the opportunity to plan events for campus, which was a bunch of fun! Some big events include the Chicago Trip, and I planned that! SAC has been such a great experience. I was challenged as in individual, but I also grew, made new relationships, and gained new skills! For next year, I am a SAC DIRECTOR! I learned about this news just yesterday! I am so stoked to serve as a director for our campus next year! Expect awesome things, everyone!

WISCONSIN ADVENTURE

In October, I had the opportunity to visit Hannah’s hometown of Green Lake. Hannah is one of my best friends, so it was just even more fun! This was the first time I have ever been to Wisconsin, and my priority was eating fried cheese. Did it happen? OF COURSE! And while in Wisconsin, Hannah and I met Bucky The Badger. How cool!?

BUCKY THE BADGER, and Hannah!
BUCKY THE BADGER, and Hannah!

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ADVENTURE

On October 19th, my best friend Joey and I trekked to Ann Arbor for the weekend to watch a Michigan football game. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and it was definitely on my bucket list. I am SO glad it is now checked off. We watched The Indiana Hoosiers play The Wolverines, and it was a great game to go to because MICHIGAN WON! If you have the opportunity to go to a big school to watch a football game, I recommend it.

Halftime photo
Halftime photo

HOMECOMING HOEDOWN

This is always a highlight of any fall semester. There is just so much fun during the Hoedown, especially if you are with all of your awesome friends. My favorite part was eating the fall inspired food, and line dancing. It’s always a blast! Here is a picture!

Here are some of my favorite people; Erica and Joey!
Here are some of my favorite people; Erica and Joey!

FIRST ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING

This was something to put down for the books. President Knapp, his family, and Hope College started a new tradition of lighting a Christmas tree. It was SO cold at this event, but how could you miss it!? It was the first one, EVER. And now, I can say that, “Oh! I was at the first tree lighting 50 years ago!” when I’m older. But here is a picture!

Here is the lit tree with my candle. How cool!
Here is the lit tree with my candle. How cool!

LAS VEGAS THANKSGIVING TRIP!

For Thanksgiving Break this year, I had the opportunity to go visit and sightsee Las Vegas. It was so awesome!!! We saw shows like The Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil. We also went to all of the famous hotels, and toured around. We also went to The Hoover Dam and ate a lot of Filipino food. This is definitely a trip I will not forget!

Just living life off the edge...of the Hoover Dam!
Just living life off the edge…of the Hoover Dam!

THE NUTCRACKER!

Every year, Ballet Club puts on a ballet entitled, “The Nutcracker.” It is really famous, and is a classic ballet for the winter time. I performed the role of BOTH the Nutcracker and the Cavalier. Can you say exhausting, but fun!? My friends and family came and saw me perform. It truly was a blessing to have them in the audience. Here is a picture of my mom, brother, and me!

Here I am with my mom and brother!
Here I am with my mom and brother!

VIENNA ACCEPTANCE!

Really early in the semester, I applied for the Vienna May Term. Then as the semester was winding down, I decided I wanted to spend both May and June in Vienna. SO, I ended up applying for both. Just last week, I was informed I was accepted to both terms, received my first choice for classes, and RECEIVED A SCHOLARSHIP! So I am definitely going. This is just a picture of what I’ll be seeing so soon!

I'll be here for 2 MONTHS this summer!
I’ll be here for 2 MONTHS this summer!

WOW! A lot happened this semester. Writing about it was some good reminiscing. Now, just one exam and one day separates me from Christmas Break! I am so ready to be home with family and friends! I hope you all had great semester (for those of you on the semester system) and I hope you all had a great 1st trimester/part of your 2nd trimester (for those of you in the trimester system)! Stay updated with my break posts by following me on Twitter! God Bless everyone!

-Marvin