Exploring – St. Joseph, Michigan


I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday. Last night I was in St. Joseph, Michigan, for my sorority’s Spring Formal. The hotel that hosted us was just kitty corner to the downtown. I was surprised at how cute the town was, and thought I’d share in my blog post this week. St. Joseph is only an hour away from Hope, and makes for a pretty great getaway.

The streets were brick, which I loved. I love the feeling of being in a small town. Below the street was the beach, as you can see in the first photo. In the lit up building is a carousel and game center; we wanted to go in, but there was a prom going on inside.

Once we saw how pretty the sun was going down, we decided we needed ice cream to go with it. So we found a little place called the Chocolate Cafe. Here they had live music playing and tons of chocolate treats, including the ice cream that we wanted.

It was $4.00 for a scoop, but they gave us so much that it was worth it, not to mention how good it tasted. Quality ice cream, if you’re looking for some. They also had cakes and other baked goods. I even saw some fancy hot chocolate. It’s a pretty great idea for a store, if you ask me.

When we got to the beach it was pretty dark out, but that didn’t stop us from jumping on the swing sets and enjoying the night. When it got too cold, we decided to head back up. It was on our way back that we found a Falafel Shop, The Beachside Deli, and one of the guys in our group stopped to get one.

After that we head back to the hotel to just hang out. It was really nice to get away from Hope and explore somewhere else for a bit, even if it was just an hour away. I’m so glad there was stuff to do downtown, since dancing and all that formal jazz isn’t really my thing.

Have a great week,


If you have any questions for me you can contact me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, through Facebook, or my twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!

Reasons Why You Should Go To Admitted Students Day

April 18th is approaching, and there are questions out there about Admitted Student Day, so I thought I would answer them for everyone! If you can’t make it, just remember that it’s completely OK! You won’t lose priority in choosing your roommates and it won’t put you “behind” by any means. What this day is intended for is to give you a taste of what happens at Hope, and it also provides you opportunities to take care of some business!

If you can’t decide whether or not you should come, let this blog post convince you to come. Here are reasons as to why you should come:

1. If you’re committed to coming to Hope, it’s a wonderful excuse to come and explore campus again (or for the first time!) It’s pretty during all seasons, so you might as well get a little taste of what Hope is like in the spring! Exploring Holland can also be advantageous. i mean, you will be living here shortly, so why not explore the town?

2. So many students will be here! It is a wonderful opportunity to meet those who you’ve been in contact with on Hope on Facebook, or just to meet fellow Dutchmen! Maybe you can get your roommate situation settled, or just meet other with your same interests. In addition to other students, important faculty will also be here. President Knapp will be there, and other key Hope faculty that will definitely be an integral part of your Hope College experience!

3. Other than students and faculty, organizations and clubs will also be present during Admitted Student Day! You can meet with clubs you may be potentially interested in joining. And those weirdos whose blogs you have been reading all year will be there, too (myself included!). It’s a great time to ask any questions you have about Hope, transitioning from post-high school life to college, and just any other general questions. (By the way, us student bloggers are AMPED to meet you)!

4. Admitted Student Day is another chance to convene with other with your similar interests, including fields of study. I definitely think this is something to take advantage of. Experts from various disciplines will be present to answer any questions you have, and they also want to meet you!

Here's a cliché Hope College picture. I challenge you take on while you're here!
Here’s a cliché Hope College picture. I challenge you take on while you’re here!

Hopefully, this is enough to convince you! Admitted Student Day is truly a blast. You will be able to get all of questions answered, hopefully making you less nervous! Us student bloggers as well as the entire Hope community are very excited to see you and meet some of you! If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me on both Twitter and Instagram!

P.S., I dare you to take picture with anything Hope and post it on the Hope on Facebook page!

Housing & Meet and Greet VLOG!

Hey friends! We know it’s been a while since we posted a vlog, but today is your lucky day! Leslie and I made a very special one, one that focuses on an example of Hope housing (Cook Village), as well as some information about us as your student bloggers! This is a video you DON’T want to miss out reading on!!

If you want us to talk about any other topics regarding all things Hope College, make sure to follow us on twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and @HopeLeslie15 and tweet at us! If you would rather, shoot us an email and MarvAndLeslie@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you! Make sure you share the video with your friends! Thanks for all the continued support!

A Lifetime Accomplishment

Hello friends! I am very excited to share with you awesome news. This past weekend, I ran AND completed the Park2Park Half Marathon here in Holland! So yes, this was definitely the highlight of my weekend. After more than 200 miles of training, I crossed that finish line exhausted, in pain, but happy. No one can take the accomplishment away from me!

To make the race even better, my best buddy Joey and many of my close friends ran the race too. Seeing familiar faces really made me push myself to keep going. Trust me, I wanted to stop. At the 8th mile, I started having runner’s trots, which are cramps. Then, my legs started hurting bad. It was just one bad event after another. At this point, I was ready to just walk the entire thing. But, I never start something and not finish. I owed it to myself to keep going so I did. I might of not had the time I wanted, but it was about the journey and the finish for me!

Here I am crossing the finish line 13.1 miles later!
Here I am crossing the finish line 13.1 miles later!

I encourage you all to try running races. Start small of course, with 5K’s and what not. Then up your game, then dream big! I signed up for this half marathon in the late spring/early summer so I had time to train. Make sure you allow yourself adequate time to train, and make the time for it. I remember I used to very much detest running. But once in the mindset, all you’ll want to do is run. Truly, it’s the effort that counts. Also, running is free therapy. It will get your mind off thoughts and clear your head. Yeah, you might be in physical pain after, but your brain will be clear. Here are some pictures from the race. Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading everyone!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


It Feels Like Fall Semester (Finally)

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

First Week:

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

Second Week:

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

Third Week:

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s Partway into June… way too soon!

Yikes! Am I far behind or what? I’ve been meaning to update you on my summer thus far, and after review I realized that I have plenty of drafts and nothing published.

I apologize for that.

However, I was up to some pretty awesome shenanigans in May. I stayed on Hope’s campus to complete my final 100-level four-credit Communications class, Public Presentations, with professor Deone Quist. I also had Professor Quist for The Communications Process last fall, and I loved having her again for this class.

What were some of the best parts about sticking around for May term? Let me fill you in.

1. Tulip Time. The Tulip Time Festival in Holland took place for the two weeks right after finals week. Although there are very few students around, Holland is filled with tourists and people dressed in Dutch outfits.

Okay, that may not sound very exciting, but believe me, it is. Beyond the tourists, there are tons of rides, two parades, and lots of food stands that look pretty delicious (I unfortunately couldn’t eat at any of them due to my gluten intolerance, but my friends confirm that they were awesome.) Definitely check it out for at least one year while you’re here.

If you don't take a picture of tulips in Holland... were you ever really there at all? ;)
If you don’t take a picture of tulips in Holland… were you ever really there at all? 😉

2. Small Class Sizes. My class had eleven students, while the typical Public Presentations class during the school year can have up to thirty students due to the high demand of the class. Less people, less pressure… and less speeches to sit through, too. 🙂

3. Longboarding. I picked up longboarding, which was an absolute blast! By the end of May, I was pretty good at it, too.

4. Spending time with friends. My two best friends, Delaney and Sarah, came up to visit me during May term! We had an awesome weekend longboarding, shopping, and drinking late-night coffee at JP’s and Lemonjello’s.

Delaney and I had a blast hanging out in the Pine Grove to enjoy the warm weather!
Delaney and I had a blast hanging out in the Pine Grove to enjoy the warm weather! (Sorry about the Instagram filter, we accidentally deleted the wrong picture.)

I can’t believe May term has been over for almost two weeks– this summer is flying by! Soon enough, we’ll all be back on campus again, and I can hardly wait. If you have any questions about May term, or any questions about anything as you prepare for the coming year, please feel free to contact me via twitter @hopesophie17 or shoot me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu.

Hope you’re enjoying summer!

Your Final Dear Abby Post

Hey friends! I know it’s been a while since I posted a “Dear Abby” post. Here is your last one. Many of you sent really interesting questions, and I had to think hard about these answers, but I know it’s enough to give you guidance. It’s unreal how tomorrow is the closing day of the entire semester. One more year of college under my belt. But before I get into Dear Abby, look out for my final post either tonight or tomorrow. It’s good.

Dear Abby, I am looking forward to going to Hope, but I feel as if I am not mature in my faith yet. Any suggestions?

Great great great question. I was once at your place, and many students who go here are still in this position! So first things first, don’t feel uncomfortable, you’re not the only one! For me, I’ve always identified myself as a Christian. I went to church, sang hymns, was in youth group, you name it. It wasn’t until I came to Hope that I realized what faith was, and where I was in it. It helped that I had friends that were already a good distance in their walk with Christ, so they were truly there for me and supported me. Let me tell you, even with their help, my journey was rough.

One of the defining factors that led me to Hope was Chapel and Gathering. But believe it or not, I only went to a few services because I was way too deep in my homework. That’s all I thought there was. I mean, I did well, but all I did was study. I wasn’t always a social butterfly, and my religion had gone down in my priority. But one Sunday, I had an epiphany at the Gathering. I realized that I was at Hope to become a nurse not for myself, but for God. As I continued conversations with my friends and continually attended Chapel and the Gathering, I noticed that I was happier and more productive. It was awesome to say the least. But moral of the story is that no one is at the same spot with their journey with God. Realize that you’re not the only in that position. Hope offers so many great resources to help you with your journey, such as Campus Ministries. Oh man, they do wonders!

Dear Abby, I heard Michigan winters are brutal. Coming from Southern Cali, how should I prepare?

Brutal is an understatement, for non-Michiganders at least! I mean, you’d think Michiganders would be used to the winters, but nope. Sometimes, I swear its like people haven’t seen snow. But you should be prepared to see how beautiful it is. Honestly, the snowfall and especially on this campus is STUNNING and out of this world. So, do that. Then I’d suggest a heavy and comfortable winter coat. Everyone has one, it’s like a requirement unless you want to freeze. This past winter, temperatures were sub-zero, and Holland was colder than Antarctica plenty of times. No joke. With your coat, you should probably have warm gloves if you are going to play in the snow, and thinner gloves for functional purposes (like driving, or going to class). A hat is also recommended. Although I don’t have one, many do. I typically use my hood and it works. Another important thing to something to keep your neck warm, like a scarf. Trust me, you’ll want one. It’s just practical. Lastly, boots boots boots. Do you want to walk in snow with canvas shoes? I think not (unless you want frostbite). If you’re prepared for the winter, you won’t mind it. A lot of students go out to Lake Michigan to walk on the lake frozen. It’s actually really neat! I can’t wait for you to experience it!

Dear Abby, I am really nervous I won’t find friends. Well, not even that, I’m just anxious to meet new people!

Thanks for that. Everyone needs to know that every freshman is going to be anxious. It’s a HUGE transition, no matter where you come from. Being on the finishing up end of my college, it’s actually interesting to reflect on how I met my core group of friends! You will meet so so so many people from your residence halls, classes, and organizations! Hope College does a great life in integrating the social aspect to your college life, because it’s essential! We’re humans, we are social!

My recommendation for you, and any of you who are anxious about meeting others; be open! College is your chance to branch out from your norm. Take advantage of this because it can help you out in life! For example, make connections with your professors and elders. One day, you might be filling out a job or internship appellation, and you can use them as your reference! Another example, if you are used to having that “one friend group” like you did in high school, forget that! Although you may have a group of core buddies, you are going to have so many more bubbles in your social life, which is even better. That way, you won’t get annoyed with your friends!!! My largest piece of advice for you all is to invest your time in this. If no time is invested, nothing will happen! So, 1) invest and 2) be open!

Dear Abby, JP’s or LJ’s?

Classic, haha. JP’s for homework and LJ’s for socializing. Both coffee shops rock. My freshman year, I was always at JP’s. My sophomore year, I was at both, and this past year, I was more at LJ’s. Their pastries (my favorite is the raspberry bran muffin, followed by almond green tea, and then honey bran) are TO DIE FOR. And they also sell my favorite cookie, the snickerdoodle. So, that’s why I’m there a lot. Both places have great student discounts at times and coupons. Being a college student, I’d recommend taking advantage of these deals!

Dear Abby, PC or Mac?

Another interesting question. For myself, I have a Mac, and I love it. I used to use PCs, but I’ve gotten used to Mac and actually accustomed to it. I actually have difficult time using a PC. But hey, it’s all personal preference. Many students have Macs, but many students also have PCs; personal preference! The important thing to remember is that you just need a laptop so you can do homework and type papers. And I guess Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, you name it!


Dear Abby, did you ever get homesick?

Growing up, I was always busy during the summers, whether that’s working or going to summer camps. I’ve been accustomed to being independent and not being home, but it’s totally different for everyone. I think I was homesick twice during my freshman year. The first time I called home was a week into school when college slapped me in the face. And by that, I mean having to do so much homework. It was just different because instead of coming home to my family, I came home to my roommate, which is nice too don’t get me wrong! Just different. Everyone adjusts to college differently. I felt as if I adjusted quickly, but others may take longer and that’s okay. Hope has awesome resources though if you are experiencing homesickness, like CAPS (counseling and psychological services). They do wonders! 100% confidential, supportive, and there for you! Also, your RA and your friends are also great resources. Hope this helps!

Ok Hope 2018. That’s all I have for you! It’s been great answering your questions and I hope they help you with your transition to college! I can’t wait to meet some of you on campus!

Choosing Your Dream College

I’ve been in your position before, class of 2018. It’s the last half of your senior year, and for many of you, you haven’t decided where your next journey will take you. Where will I be for the next four years? For some of you, you’ve had your heart set somewhere, and for many of you, it’s at Hope College! That’s awesome. But I just want to post about choosing a college. It’s a hard choice, and it’s an important one. Hopefully this will help you decide where your next four years will take you. I got some inspiration for this blog post. You know who you are!!

SHORT PERSONAL ANECDOTE: So when I applied to college, I applied to A LOT, because I didn’t know what I wanted. I wanted to explore my options. Let me tell you, your options are infinite – and that just makes the college draft more excruciating and difficult. Another setback for me was that my high school did not prepare my graduating class well in regard to bringing in college admissions reps, applying to school, and exposing us to higher education. So, my trek to find my dream school was all on me, but I am SO incredibly happy the pressure was on me. Look where I am today. After visits and questions, I realized that each school was advertising itself.

Back to the blog post. Each school you visit, tour, and ask questions obviously want you to come there. Each school is diverse and unique. This is what attracts prospective students. Now you can keep asking questions, and “university” will keep answering them. But is this helping you make a choice? Or is it just getting your questions answered?

I mean each school can tell you all about the school they are representing, and Hope is the same. But one thing a college has a hard time answering is “Why should I go here?” And the reason is because that is UP TO YOU. Many students feel at home at many colleges, and many students attend a specific college simply because of its reputation. For some, like myself, attend a specific school because it’s a calling for them. I can ramble on about Hope’s strengths and weaknesses (which do exist, yes), but you know, there is a department that does that at each school, ADMISSIONS! 

Admissions offices all over the nation coordinate visits, tours, panels, and much more to attract prospective students. They also hire student workers to represent their school, like myself. I am here just sharing my thoughts, and my life at Hope College. It can seem so simple at times, but then I realize that it has the potential for an individual to become committed to this school or not, and that’s a power that cannot be abused.

After my rambling above, here comes my point. The question “Why should I go here?” can only be answered by YOU, but you can get help from others. Do your own research, write down what you’re looking for in a school. Make a pro and con list (those help me)! Do whatever it is you need to do to make a choice. Questions – ask them. This will help you answer your main question.

Does this help? I know it’s wordy and lengthy – but it’s important because it’s the next four years of your life. I can’t believe I’m MORE than halfway through my college career. It seems as if I just graduated a week ago. But like many college will state, college is the best thing that has ever happened. I want you, the class of 2018, to be able to say that too.

For those of you who have committed to Hope, or another school, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is a huge first step in the next chapter of your life. For those who are uncertain, I pray that you make a decision in the upcoming months, The Lord has a plan. Just wait and see!!!

Okay, one more thing here. If you are coming to Hope in the fall of 2014, here is a countdown to get you PUMPED! CLICK HERE!!

Well, that’s it for this Sunday morning. By the way, HAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

The First Annual Christmas Tree Lighting!

Before you read this post, you should probably start this video and listen to the gloriousness that is this song. Okay, thanks.

Alright, now that you’ve pressed play, feel free to read!

On Tuesday of this week, President Knapp invited everyone to come over and stand outside of his house while they lit up a big tree in his yard for Christmas.

The Christmas tree before it was lit!
Before the tree was lit…
The Christmas tree after it was lit!
…And after!

Then we sang Christmas carols, and on the last song, “Silent Night”, we all held candles! It was really cool! The Knapps also had snacks for us all and invited students to hang out on the patio behind their house. It was so awesome to be a part of the first tree lighting at Hope. It’s going to be such a cool tradition in years to come! Here are a few more pictures from the event!

President Knapp getting ready to light the tree!
President Knapp getting ready to light the tree!
President Knapp plugging in the tree!
Plugging in the tree!
My candle and the lit Christmas tree.
My candle during Silent Night!
Some friends and I at the tree lighting.
My friends Jess, Kelly, Lauren, Grace, and I!

Thanks for reading! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying a great start to the Christmas season! Make sure to leave a comment, send me an email at kathryn.krieger@hope.edu, or tweet @hopekathryn17! I’d love to hear from you!

The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.

 John 1:4

Anatomy of a Sunday!

Sundays in college are good. And weird. Mostly good. This is the basics of how they usually go!

9:15 a.m.: Wake up and get ready for church.

10:30 a.m.: Attend the second service at Pillar Church. LOVE IT. Yesterday I even got to play guitar and sing for both services! It was so much fun.

Noon: Go to lunch at The Windmill restaurant in downtown Holland. They have $2 cinnamon rolls the size of your head and the cutest cappuccinos I’ve ever seen!

Cappuccino with Halloween sprinkles
I got this one right before Halloween. Look how cute and festive it was!

1 p.m.: Hang out, play guitar, waste time… You know, really productive stuff! Naps also happen around this time of day on Sundays. But naps are NEVER a waste of time. Seriously, they (usually) make me way more productive once I wake up.

2 p.m.: Homework! The best part of the weekend! (Just kidding. It’s really not that bad though.) Also, I try to do some of my homework on Saturday so I don’t have too much left to do on Sunday.


6 p.m.: More homework if necessary or practicing music.

8 p.m.: The Gathering. It’s a worship service every Sunday night at Dimnent Chapel on campus and it’s so good.

9:15 p.m.: Practice piano/voice or go hang out in the cluster (our new favorite thing to do is play euchre!) or do homework if necessary.

Midnight (or so): Go to bed!

This all varies a lot (like yesterday I had to go to work instead of the Gathering), but that’s generally how Sundays go! I know in high school Sundays were usually pretty chill, but in college they’re actually kind of busy! But that’s not always a bad thing. It’s a good busy. I really love Sundays (except the thought of the impending 8:30 class the next morning… But it all works out.)!

What’s your Sunday itinerary? Leave a comment, email me at kathryn.krieger@hope.edu, or tweet @hopekathryn17! Thanks for reading!

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” -1 Peter 1:6.