Dear Abby #2

Hey Hope 2018! As I promised, here is my second Dear Abby post. I hope that I answered your questions well! And remember, if you have any more, shoot me a direct message on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15.

What was the transition like from high school to college?

Well, I remember after high school graduation, I felt free. I finally had a summer that I did not need to worry about high school stuff. Anyways, that summer before college was busy and hectic, though. I was constantly with friends because we knew we would all split up because we chose different colleges. On top of being with friends, I was working, too. So that took up a good chunk of time. Also during that summer, I had to do some last minute things for Hope.

Back when I was a freshman, housing and class sign-up were a little different. I got my housing card in the summer and also signed up for my classes at that time (I think….it’s almost been 4 years). Anyways, being with friends, working, and doing last minute “college” things made the summer itself busy. But remember, although you may not be going to college with your best friends, it’s important to keep on open mind. I had a friend, who was already in college, and told me that piece of advice. 1) Keep an open mind and 2) It’s a new way to start clean. Keeping an open mind will make your transition so much easier. If you are stuck in your old ways, meeting new people and immersing yourself in the college culture will prove somewhat different. And college is a great way to start anew. Don’t worry about the labels you had in high school. If you carry this baggage with you to school, it might be rough at first. Just remember, college is so much better.

How on earth are you paying for Hope? I want to go so bad, and it’s my top choice, but I don’t know how I am going to pay for it!!

Great question. I asked the same question when I was in incoming freshman. Let me tell you this first, paying for Hope is possible. Don’t let that tuition number scare you. Like with any school, there’s a reason why they have their tuition established as so. Anyways, Hope offers many scholarships. Many of the popular ones include the academic scholarships and fine arts scholarships. Not to mention the great financial aid packages they tailor to you. Another thing you can do is apply for jobs throughout campus. This will definitely help. Some advice for you freshmen out there, go to your high school counselor’s office and locate any scholarship opportunities in your area. Different clubs and organizations, and schools themselves have scholarships available for you. You will definitely regret not taking advantage of that. Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that paying for Hope is feasible. Don’t fret and take a deep breath. God will makes things work out!

From the Hope 2018 page, it seems as if everyone knows their major already. I don’t even know what to study. What should I do?

Another great question. That’s the benefit of Hope. They have many established programs that draw students, including but not limited to nursing, engineering, education, and education. For some students, they’ve known what they wanted to do since they were fetuses. But for the majority, people are unsure of what they want to do. Including myself! I had the intention of doing the pre-med track with a major in biology or chemistry. Even though I really enjoyed those classes, it just did not feel right. I am so glad that I found the nursing route. I could implement my interest in the health science with the caring aspect. With that being said, Hope is a great place, especially with those students who are undecided. Because of its root in the liberal arts, students are introduced to many disciplines of learning. There is just so much exploration in each field. And from here, students make their decisions on what they want to do. And because of the liberal arts mindset, many people change their majors, sometimes more than once! Don’t fret my friend. You will find your calling.

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST!

I am a straight A student at my high school. Will college be like this?

Honest question, I like that! Let me be honest with you. Many students have the intention that they will do as well as they did in high school. That’s just not the case. Just because you got all A’s does not mean the same will happen in college. I know, I sound mean. But I also was a honor student in high school, but just the context and difficulty of college classes made me work even harder for a better grade. It is possible to get all As in college. You just have to be super committed and timely. Although doing well is always a plus, it is important to know that just because you don’t do well in a class or an assignment does not mean its the end of the world. There is a purpose for everything. My biggest advice for you, and everyone, is that you should study, read, and work hard. Getting an A is much harder in college.

There you go, folks. Keep asking questions, I would love to answer them!!

It’s Been A Long Week

Hey Friends! I’m so happy I’m finally posting. It’s been a long week to say the least. But now that “humpday” is over, I can truly recuperate from the busy-ness and the stress. I just want to share with you al what happened last weekend and this week!

WEEKEND: My weekend wasn’t really eventful until I had last minute plans. But before those last minute plans, all I did was homework. I was doing it for “prophylactic” measures. In nursing, prophylaxis for something means prevention. So, I did homework to prevent massive piles of it later on. And boy did it pay off. Right now, I would be drowning in an ocean of papers. But on Saturday, my friends Joey, Erica, and I went to an Asian Fusion restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids. Let me tell you how delicious it was. It was delicious. There. This was totally worth the 30 minute drive. Here are two photos from the excursion!

It's Joey, Erica, and myself!
It’s Joey, Erica, and myself!
Ok. This is the best Thai curry out there. Massaman Curry. If you haven't had it before, go get some NOW!
Ok. This is the best Thai curry out there. Massaman Curry. If you haven’t had it before, go get some NOW!

After our Asian food, we drove back to good ol’ Hope and went to OrangeLeaf, the best FroYo joint in Holland. Although it was like -10 degrees outside, this froyo was worth it because 1) I was with some of my best friends, and 2) it was pistachio flavor. If you haven’t had pistachio flavor, GO TRY SOME! Then on Sunday, I woke up super early, as in 7:30 AM to get even more work done. I am so glad I did. Because now, I have put myself super ahead on all of my work. I truly wish I had this motivation like, Freshman year? Anyways, I did homework with Joey for a while.

Once Joey and I had a good amount of homework done, we planned our weekend excursion in Europe! We are both going to the Vienna Summer School, and because we are attending both the May and June session, we get a free weekend! So, we decided on visiting ROME, ITALY! It’s quite exciting because we have our hotel booked, and our flights determined. This is just super exciting! (PAUSE: Time to jump up and down).

On a side note, after Europe this summer, I have another trip planned down my sleeve. This time, it’s CANADA! I am going to visit my family and Canada’s natural beauty, of course! This summer will be fun for sure. Here is a picture that is my main motivator for the rest of this semester! How can this picture not get you stoked for an adventure of a lifetime?

Top: Vienna, Austria Bottom: Banff National Park, Calgary, Canada
Top: Vienna, Austria
Bottom: Banff National Park, Calgary, Canada

Just last week, we, Hope College, had midterms. Now, we only have 8 weeks of class left. Time is seriously flying by. This last half of the semester, I also started a new clinical, ADULT NURSING! I am so stoked because I get to perform so many nursing skills and I get to observe really cool things. Nursing in general is just great. But with the start of this class comes with all of the extra work! But hey, its what I signed up for. In the end, its going to be worth it! Now, I am just cursing until Friday. I have great plans for this weekend. More homework, hanging out with some friends, and I’m going to Ann Arbor to watch a University of Michigan basketball game! I’m so STOKED!

Anyways, that’s it for now. Expect another blog post coming up – I am going to answer more questions from my “Dear Abby” question bank! It’s a good one, I promise!

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!!

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!

5K For The Kids

Happy Tuesday night, folks! I just want to post about my weekend. It really was mundane, I did a bunch of homework, cleaned my room, did some errands and just relaxed. Sometimes, I wish that there was more time in the weekend. We could all use some more time, right? Anyways, the highlight of my weekend was the 5K For The Kids sponsored by Hope College Dance Marathon! It was so much fun to run with friends for such a great cause!

Hope College Dance Marathon helps kids who are currently experiencing childhood cancers. They have done an amazing job raising money for the kids! It really is such a cool thing Hope College does to serve our community. If you want to learn more about Dance Marathon, just click!

Anyways, I just wanted to share some of my pictures from this weekend’s 5K. It was a great short race, and I was prepared for it because I have been running! I hope you enjoy the pictures! I know this is a short post, but don’t worry, I’ll be posting more this week! If you haven’t already, make sure you follow me at @HopeMarvin15 on Twitter!

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It’s OK to be Social

Alrighty folks, I’m back again with another post. Great right? So here is my “thesis” of this blog. Although college has a large focus on academics, it is OK to be social. I felt as if I was writing a formal paper there for a sec. Anyways, yes. As a nursing major, I am completely buried in homework and study literally 24/7. It can get irritating, but it’s the life I chose, and it’s my calling. So secretly, I enjoy this work sometimes (weird, I know). But last weekend, I did a lot of homework so I had time to just relax this week. But, I also was social and hung out with my friends! Ultimately, you have to find that balance between academia and the social realm, which is pretty unique here at Hope.

So, my homework is already done for this week. It is SO nice to have this work done. I have had so much time to focus on relaxing and working on SAC stuff. I’m a project lead for the annual Chicago Trip, so that is stressful. Just imagine schoolwork on top of that… it would be a disaster!! Regardless, maybe I’ll do this more often, the doing my work ahead of time because i have so much time for myself now!

But along with the completion of my work, I found time to be with some of my best buddies. It is good to have this time in college because it maintains your sanity. Trust me. Anyways, it was fellow blogger’s Chelsea Barfield‘s 22nd birthday, and my friend Nate’s 21st. So, we went over to his house to enjoy each other’s presence. We played trivia about each other, and all I have to say to that is we learn something new everyday, HAHA!

Maizey Jane and Me!
Maizey Jane and Me!

Along with having fun at the birthday party, I met Chelsea’s precious puppy, Maizey Jane. She DEFINITELY wins the cutest puppy award. This is the kind of dog I want when I get out college. Something cute, cuddly, and fun. Something Maizey! Afterwards, I ended up watching Despicable Me 2 with one of my best buddies, Joey. Oh man did I laugh a lot. Another thing I wish I could have are Minions. They’re simply the best. That following Saturday, I did some homework, worked out, and hung out with my friend Hannah! We watched 21 and Over and Pitch Perfect. It was a nice way to unwind. She also took me grocery shopping, and I bought a box of clementines. By the time we finished our movie, I ate 8. Yes, 8. They are the best. Then, that Sunday, I slept in a little bit, had breakfast with Joey, did some homework with Hannah and Allie, ate dinner, then watched my favorite TV Show, Revenge. If you haven’t seen it, GO. It’s on Netflix. It’s full of mystery and suspense, and in the perfect combination.

Ultimately, I had a productive weekend. Because I had those intervals in which I hung out with my friends, I got a lot done! See, everyone has 24 hours in a day, we just spend it differently. That’s it for now! If you haven’t already, FOLLOW ME on TWITTER! Just shoot me questions if you have any! I’ll be posting again later this week!

Until then!

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!

7 MILES!
7 MILES!

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!