Calling. What Is It?

As a college student you have to answer this all too familiar question a lot:
“What are you majoring in?”
Which can be followed up by, “What are you planning to do with that degree?”

As an undecided college student I fend off that “What are you majoring in?” question more often than I like.
“I do not know what I am majoring in.”
“What subject areas are you leaning towards?”
*Pulls out the latest “Top 3 Possible Majors* list that’s been floating through my head the last week and reels them off* “But I really still have an open mind, haven’t settled on anything….”
Then follows the kind but still worrisome response:
“Oh, you have plenty of time. You’re in a good place. You’ll figure it out.”

Do I really have plenty of time? This is a good place compared to what? Will I ever actually figure it out?

What is this “it” I have to figure out anyways? Some days “it” is figuring out how to get all my assignments for the night done while still getting a reasonable amount of sleep. Other days “it” is what should I earn a college degree in? Then on other days still “it” is what am I called to do?

Calling. Vocation. Major. Purpose. Career.

A year ago the question used to be “Where are you going to college?”

I fended that question off for a while too.  At first I didn’t know. Then I thought I knew.
Then God was like, “No, you need to listen to me.”
So I prayed (a lot), and I listened. Finally, I knew. God was calling me to be at Hope.
“Where are you going to college?”
“Hope College.”
“Where is that?” (I’m from Pennsylvania where not many people have heard of Hope)
“Holland, Michigan.”
“Wow, you’re going far. Why?”
“Hope just feels like the place for me. Christian atmosphere, small liberal arts school, vibrant community, has all the options degree-wise I am looking for…”
For my college decision I didn’t question “it”. I knew it was more than just my decision. “It” was God’s will.

I pray a lot about this next stage of life’s calling. I was looking for an answer along the lines of a vocation, a major, a purpose, a career. Then I went to Chapel on Monday.

I didn’t get the answer I was looking for. What I got was, once again, God saying, “No, you need to listen to me.” So I listened as President Knapp spoke on the topic of “Calling.”
The thoughts that resonated with me:

“Calling is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ wherever God places you.”
“Calling: to be a vessel of love wherever you are.”
“God needs disciples everywhere.”
“Figuring that out isn’t just finding a major and a job that God is calling you to, it’s not about finding a place.”
“Calling is to be. To be a disciple of Christ wherever life and your career take you.”

30 short minutes on a wintry Monday morning rocked my perspective on calling. I am still sitting in square one of trying to pick a major, but at least now I fully know that being who God wants me to be is in no way hinged on my college degree or even the career(s) I hold the rest of my life.

“It” is living in a way that shares the love of Christ.

That is where I will find my vocation and my purpose and my calling. Within my career, whether or not the major I choose is in that area. Wherever I end up going. Whatever it is I find myself doing.

I still have to fend off that question. But I know what “it” is that I am looking for.
A major and career are just stepping stones along the way.

~Erin
Twitter & Instagram
Have any thoughts on calling you want to share? Any questions about life at Hope or being undecided on a college or a major? Feel free to message me any time at erin.hoolahan@hope.edu


 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

~2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

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!!