Reflections on Another Semester Past

The semester isn’t entirely over – I still have three more finals to take (Curse you, finals schedule, for making me have two finals on Friday). Yet it pretty much is done, and with the minimal time that I have not spent studying, I’ve been sitting around and thinking about how much has changed since I was an itty-bitty freshman, and even how different I am than when I arrived earlier this year in August.

[I’ve added a ton of links to this post. Most of them are links to my own prior blog posts in which I discussed something I mention here, others are links to Hope pages for more information on an organization or program!]

My semester began very positively. I was an Orientation leader, and saw it as a great opportunity to try to make our group of freshmen feel welcome and at home. I’d say that it helped me kickstart a pretty good year.

I went into classes, and have done pretty well in them. I’ve strengthened relationships with people I knew before, and have made new ones as well. I went to, most likely, every SAC event held, reunited with the beautiful women in my bible study, and went apple AND pumpkin picking, among other things.

I came into this year thinking I wanted to continue with the education program, but toward the end of the semester I decided that it wasn’t for me. I wrote a novel in November, got accepted to the Vienna study-abroad program for this May, got offered to do research in June, got a new job, and now I’m just ready to go home.

But if I were to reflect on one major change in my life, despite everything that has happened semester, it would be the change in my faith. All of my life I have gone to church and been a Christian, but I was never challenged or pushed forward in my faith. Freshman year, I attended Chapel occasionally and only went to the Gathering a couple of times the entire year. This year, I decided to be intentional with my faith, and that choice has caused me to grow a massive amount in this area of my life. I’ve kept a journal to take notes in during Chapel and the Gathering, which has really helped.

I’m not done growing in my faith, not nearly to that point (And I wonder, do we ever reach that point?), but I’m much more satisfied with my relationship with God this semester than I have been all of my life. I owe that to Hope’s lovely Campus Ministries, and the freedom to have the choice in my religious practices here at Hope. Without the ability to decide for myself that my faith was something I wanted to pursue more deeply, I don’t think I would have come as far.

A lot has happened this semester. I’m sure a lot will happen next semester as well. All I know is that we keep on keeping on here at Hope; That train, blaring it’s horn outside your window, is still going, even in the dead of the night, at two in the morning when all you want is a little bit of decent shut-eye. Next semester, and the four more semesters after that, will be the same way.

Here’s a slideshow of some photos from my semester:

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I’m hoping to write more blog posts over break while I’m at home, but if things get busy or I forget, then I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and/or Happy Holidays.

Thanks for reading,

Brooke

Back To School, Snowpocalypse, Africa Oh My!

Well, the first week of the spring semester is finished. To top it off, it finished on a great note because we have a SNOWDAY TODAY! For those of you who don’t remember, the weather was like this exactly one year ago. It was so bad that people coined the term, “Snowpocalypse 2014.” I definitely think it’s safe to say that it can be carried over to this year. But in comparison to last year, my gut tells me that its worse this time around. In less than 24 hours, Holland accumulated 1 foot of snow, and more is expected. The wind gusts are so strong that it shifts the snow making it very deep in some places. This snowday is for a good reason,

The text message that brought the best news of the week.
The text message that brought one of the best news of this week.

Despite all of this cold weather, the winter and Mother Nature make Hope look very pretty, making this week back to school that much better. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the winter except that I can go skiing. Other than that, snow is only pretty from the inside. My plan for today’s snowday is to stay in my sweats, eat food, watch Netflix, and stay in bed. Oh, and maybe do some of that thing called homework.

Okay, enough about the weather. Classes are going swell. I just can’t believe this is my last undergraduate semester, so everyday counts. Before I know it, May 3rd will be around the corner. It feels great to be back and go on a routine. Seeing all of my friends is also a plus! Back to the weather one more time, even though today’s snowday is a highlight, I have better new for you. In October, I applied to the Peace Corps in hopes to serve our country abroad in the health field. This past week, I have been notified that I am being considered to serve in Cameroon for the Child and Maternal Health Volunteer Program. To top it off, I RECEIVED AN INVITATION FOR AN INTERVIEW NEXT WEEK! To be considered for a program and to have an interview is such an honor in itself. I am looking forward to my joinery with the Peace Corps. I will keep you all updated!

Well, that’s it for now my fellow readers! Enjoy these two beautiful pictures of Hope I took this week, and make sure to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and follow me on Instagram at Marvsolberg to get a feel for what life is like at Hope! Stay warm!

My Last Fall Semester as an Undergraduate Student

That title really encompasses something we don’t have a lot of time. This semester has been really good to me, despite the challenges that I faced with my life, workload, and stress. Each semester brings something different, but this semester has been one of my most memorable. The experiences I had with my friends are going to be hard ones to forget and the opportunities I’ve had will make life hard because I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. So many great things happened this seamster, and I can’t wait to share some of these experiences with you.

Ann Arbor Trips!

For the fist five weeks of school, I was only at Hope for one weekend because I was at Ann Arbor watching Michigan Football games. Looking at it now, maybe it was a waste of my time because they played horribly this season. Don’t worry, Hope is still my favorite, though. One aspect that being at the University of Michigan I realized was that I am SO happy I did not go to a big school. Ultimately, it made me appreciate Hope more and to not take the Hope Community for granted.

SAC 2014

I have the honor and privilege to be a co-director of SAC (Student Activities Committee), one of Hope’s largest student organizations. One of my most memorable moments with SAC was our First Annual Retreat where we had the opportunity to learn about each other in less that 24 hours. This really made our team stronger, and it has been evident throughout the semester. I am forever thankful for the friendships I have with my team and the family community it harbors. Other fun memories with my team include working big events like the Homecoming Hoedown!

Vienna Reunion Dinner

Yeah, something as simple as a dinner can have a great impact on your semester. It was so fun to be at one location with those who went to Vienna this past summer. Telling our funny stories and reflecting on those experiences was just a blast. Plus, free food is always great, right?

Vienna Fam!
Vienna Fam!

Park2Park Half Marathon!

This past September, I did something that I thought I would never be able to do, run 13.11 miles. After much training and dedication, I successfully completed my first half marathon with my friends. Once I completed it, you bet I put my medal and bib number on display. How can you not? It’s such a great achievement. What this taught me: you can make an idea a reality by dedicating time to it. I am looking forward to running another one in the future!

MSU Nursing Graduate School Visit

Something that I really considered this semester was the option to pursue my doctoral studies. As a senior in college, it’s time to think about continuing graduation and life plans. I still think it’s crazy how I know what I want to do; I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to this situation. Visiting MSU showed me how feasible graduate school is, but you have to work hard for it! Now, I am currently in the process of applying, and it’s nerve-wracking. I just have to remember that it WILL be ok!

MSU Nursing Graduate School visit!
MSU Nursing Graduate School visit!

SACsgiving & Thanksgiving

This year, Thanksgiving was a special one. It’s always good to be thankful, but it was important this year for my sake. To celebrate, I had dinner with my SAC team and my family. It was great to be in each other’s presence and share great conversation. I mean the pictures below really speak for themselves.

SAC Christmas Party

Another SAC memory. Doesn’t it show how much I care and love the people and organization!? Again, it was great to be around my team to laugh and share the holiday spirit. We had a “white elephant” gift exchanged, which proved to be very very interesting. There were an array of gifts that were distributed, and that’s what made it really interesting. It’s going to be a different Spring Semester because some of my team members will be abroad and have internships. You will be missed friends!

SAC during our Christmas Party!
SAC during our Christmas Party!

SPRING BREAK PLANS

Yes, this was a highlight. Why? BECAUSE I’M GOING BACK TO EUROPE! My friend Dimitrie and I are going to POLAND! I’m so excited. As of today, there are 92 days left. While in Poland we are going to Gdansk, Warsaw, and Krakow. And we are also making a pit stop in Copenhagen! I mean, look how excited we are!

These are the places I am visiting! The top is Gdansk, on the left is Warsaw, and the right is Krakow!
These are the places I am visiting! The top is Gdansk, on the left is Warsaw, and the right is Krakow!

Research!

This is going to sound nerdy of me, but yes. This semester, I had the opportunity to be involved in nursing research. It was one of my most memorable experiences this semester. I actually made a proposal to be turned into IRB! I also had the opportunity to present my research to others at a symposium-like environment. Next semester, I will be participating in another research project with a professor which I am very excited about. I mean, this is what I want to do with my life so I am happy I am starting now!

Research presentation!
Research presentation!

NUTCRACKER (or MARVCRACKER)

Last but not least, I performed in my last Hope College production of the Nutcracker this weekend. It’s hard to believe that it was my fourth year. Time really does fly. To finish with a bang, I was reunited my partner from sophomore year, Liz! It was so great to work again together. I also had the opportunity of working with Hannah who was my partner last year and Erica, who was a new partner this year! I had a blast working with the cast. It was bittersweet to perform in my last Nutcracker, but I’m glad its over!

Thank you all for reading about some one the highlights of my semester. Hope College is truly the best. The community it harbors with friends and professors have really shaped who I am today. You can’t get that anywhere else! Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts this week!

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!

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Spring Semester Highlights

Okay, friends. This is my last post for the semester 🙁 It’s crazy to think that at this time tomorrow, I will be unpacking my stuff at home and I’ll be getting ready for Vienna. My junior year just flew by, and in less than 24 hours, I’ll be officially a senior. Life, STOP! Well, to end my blogging “reign,” I want to close with some of my semester highlights!

1) SNOWPOCALYPSE

This was just awesome. And by awesome, I mean having so many days of class canceled because that is very rare for Hope College! This past winter, Holland had more than 100 inches of snow. Lake Michigan was completely frozen, we had crazy arctic winds, and temperatures were LITERALLY below zero. But in the midst of all the winter storms, here is one picture that captures God’s awesome creation.

Here's a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.
Here’s a snapshot of the beauty of winter at Hope College.

2) FINALIZATION OF VIENNA

Yes. This semester, everything for Vienna was taken care of. Tuition, flights, and even my little vacation to Rome for one weekend. I remember when going to Vienna was just a thought. Now, it’s a reality and I’m leaving in 5 days! I can’t emphasize enough how fast time flies. Not even kidding! I’ll be here in no time!

Just a short 5 more days!
Just a short 5 more days!

3) SOCHI 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS

Olympics are seriously the best time. The world gathers as one (doesn’t matter whether countries have bad relations with other countries) and competes in several disciplines. Being that the olympics were in Russia, they were quite controversial. But regardless, it was so much fun to watch. I wish I could do what olympians do, but I’m happy at Hope too!

The Olympic Rings
The Olympic Rings

4) UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN BASKETBALL GAME

Yeah yeah yeah, I know I go to Hope. But the University of Michigan is cool, too. My family is an avid fan. Last semester, I went to a football game there, so I thought I’d give basketball a try as well. When Joey and I were there, we did the typical Ann Arbor stuff, eat, walk around, look at how huge campus is, and obviously watched the game. It was so cool through because I tweeted, and my tweet showed up on their jumbotron. It was just so cool! Don’t remember? Here’s a pic!

Look! It's Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!
Look! It’s Joey and me on the JUMBOTRON!

5) JESS VISITS HOPE COLLEGE

So last year, I had the opportunity to lead an immersion trip with my good friend Jess. But here’s the problem, I was just a sophomore and she was a senior, so she graduated! She had the awesome opportunity to intern at Sojourners in Washington D.C., where our immersion trip was. Naturally, she moved there to take this awesome opportunity. But this past March, she also had the opportunity to go back to her beloved school where she could see her beloved friends! Although it was a short time, it was just so awesome to have her in our presence!

Jess visits Hope!
Jess visits Hope!

6) GIRLFRIEND

Yep, the title says it all. I’m not usually public about these things, but this will be okay. Well yeah, meet my girlfriend Brooke. She is a bunch of fun and I enjoy being around her because I always smile! Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. This is definitely a HUGE highlight of my semester. Here’s a picture of us at the Bowl!

Here we are!
Here we are!

7) LASTLY, SPRING FLING

Being on SAC this year, I had the opportunity to plan several events for our campus. Last semester, my largest project was Chicago. This semester, it was Spring Fling, a celebration of the last day of classes! Another thing I am excited about it my director position for SAC next year. I am so incredibly blessed and excited to be working with some amazing individuals to make our campus a better place. Speaking of directors, here is my co-director and myself at Spring Fling!

Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!
Here are your new SAC directors for the 2014-2015 School Year!

Third Year: CHECK. I am basically 3/4 done with my college career. I still can’t wrap my mind around that. Thank you so so so so so so much friends for reading my blogs this past year. It means so much. I am happy that I can serve you all. I’ll probably be blogging while in Europe, so look forward to those. But as this school year comes to a close for me, I just want to say your time at Hope is coming class of 2018! Cherish every moment you have here. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior. Take the opportunities to face challenges and try new things. Your college experience and value will increase without a doubt. If you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and follow me on Instagram at MarvSolberg. Thanks again, and I can’t wait to see the class of 2018 on Hope’s campus shortly!

A Four Day Week

Hey folks! I know that Hope students are particularly happy that today is our last day of the week because tomorrow is Good Friday! I just have one more class, then it’s time for home. I am thankful that it warmed back up again, because there was snow on the ground Monday and Tuesday. Mother Nature, excuse me? Although it was only a four-day week, it was LONG. Why? Probably because I had so much going on. Anyway, I just want to give you all a recap of what happened this week!

MONDAY: Well last Monday was supposed to be our last Monday of clinical, but my professor wanted us to go back to the hospital to gain more hours and do more skills. At first, I thought it was pointless, but I’m so thankful that I was there! Being around patients and helping others is just awesome. After clinical, it was back to campus to do homework, and a lot of it. As the semester winds down, I want to finish as much as I can so I have all the time in the world to study. After a long night of homework, there was at least one inch of snow on the ground. That made me particularly angry. Here’s a picture.

Why?
Why?

After seeing the snow, I knew it was time for bed. I could not look at it one more second!

TUESDAY: We also had clinical Tuesday, and this was my best day at clinical yet. It was also our last, so it was really convenient! On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to start an IV, and I got it in the vein on my first try, EVER! So I got bragging rights. That’s all I could think about! I mean, I took care of my patients, and I kept busy, so time flew. But again, all I could think about is how I got that IV stick in the first try. I can’t wait to be a nurse!!!

WEDNESDAY: Wednesdays are usually the worst, in that I start at 8:30 in the morning and go until 5:00 pm. So my Wednesdays go like this: wake up, shower, eat, class, chapel, lunch, class, and class. Looks so eventful, doesn’t it! I wish I could say more about  my Wednesdays, but I can’t. Haha!

I have chosen more questions for my last “Dear Abby” post of the semester, so keep out on the lookout for that post! If you haven’t already, make sure you follow me on twitter at @HopeMarvin15 and check out my Instagram at MarvSolberg. I like to post pictures of the campus buildings 🙂 Have a great Thursday everyone!

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