The First Snow Has Arrived!

The first snow always brings two sentiments to the students. The first one is comforting, because snow makes campus even more beautiful and it creates the true Christmas atmosphere. Especially with all the Christmas lights around campus starting to shine. The second feeling is negative. The first snow is a clear sign of a beginning of a long and cold winter. In the theme of cold and long winter here are three important tips to keep on mind, which makes long and cold winter in Michigan more livable.

1. Wear a winter a heat or beanie.

Believe or not, wearing a winter hat is one of the most important things to wear while being outside during extremely low temperatures, and still a lot of people do not do it. More than 50% of the whole body heat leaves through the head, if one does not wear a hat or a beanie. It makes a major difference in keeping body warm.

Picture is clear. Wear a winter hat!
Picture is clear. Wear a winter hat!

2. Dress in layers.

Dressing in multiple layers is the best way to keep as much heat as possible. Firstly, it creates multiple “zones” or “barriers” which the heat needs to beat to leave the body. It is better to have three or four different layers than one heavy sweater under the jacket. Secondly, due to quick weather changes in Michigan, the temperatures are changing all the time, which causes students  to dress warmly for their first class, but after the class they feel hot because the sun came out. If a student is wearing a multiple layers, one can just put one or two layers in the school bag and feel comfortable.

This is what dressing in layers means graphically.
This is what dressing in layers means graphically.

3. Drink a lot of water!

Yes, during winter people do not sweat, but the body is made up from more than 70% of water. Because of this, people lose a lot of water by simply breathing and from the steam that comes from their mouth. Many people do not realize these facts, which results in dehydration without even knowing it. So drinking plenty of water in winter is as important as doing it during the summer time.

Drinking a lot of water in winter is extremely important, despite the fact that people do not sweat.
Drinking a lot of water in winter is extremely important, despite the fact that people do not sweat.

Pretty as a Picture

My parents came to visit me this past weekend and we spent Saturday walking around Holland, eating good food, and enjoying each others company. As the day wore on and the weather reports kept updating, my dad became increasingly concerned about leaving as late as they had originally planned on with the impending snow storm. So, they adjusted their departure time and I pulled myself out of bed at 5:45 on Sunday morning to go see them off. As I walked over to the Haworth Inn where they had stayed I marveled at the beauty of our campus. I was the only one out with about 3 inches of fresh, sparkling snow covering the campus. Since I was already awake I figured I might as well take a stroll around campus with my camera after saying goodbye to my parents.

These are a few of my favorites pictures from Sunday morning.

I love taking pictures of campus because it never ceases to surprise me with just how beautiful the place I go to college is.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and have a happy Hump day!
~Erin

If you happen to want more insights to life at Hope through my eyes you can follow me on Twitter (@HopeErin18) and Instagram (@e_delaney333).

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!

Rushing through the Storm

In the first days of classes, I have been walking from class to class with my head down, battling the bitter cold and icy wind. I walk briskly as I try to get away from the never-ending snowfall and consuming gusts of wind tangled with snow.

blizzard walk
The common walk that happens during this time of year by college students.

As I take on that mannerism, I seem to be doing the same with my freshly started classes. Already, I find myself wishing for them to end faster and dreading the work that accompanies them.

As a friend and I were talking about this, we came to the conclusion, that too often we wish things away and that we forget to find and look for the beauty in the situation. Looking at this winter, we could choose to focus on the cold, the wind, or the way our hair gets messed up every time we go outside, but you know what, I am going to try take a moment and breath in the beauty of what is happening around me. Sure, if I breath deeply enough, my nose boogies are guaranteed to freeze, but that won’t stop me from seeing the unmistakable beauty that is swirling around me.

The same can be said for my classes. Sure I could focus on the stress that will accompany them, but I would like to try to focus on the enlightenment, knowledge, and skills that I will be gaining after I put in the work necessary.

All in all, I need to focus on not worrying about the present and thus trying to rush out of it and wish it away. To put it concisely, instead of worrying about the present, I should live in.


For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. Until next time!

A Snowy Midnight Stroll with Friends

Winter has arrived at Hope College!

The snow is falling; our room has been decorated for Christmas for a whole week awaiting it’s arrival.

Naturally, on this snowy Saturday night, we watched a few Christmas movies (Deck the Halls and The Santa Clause 3 🙂 ). Afterwards, spotting the falling snow, we shoved on boots, pulled on our coats, grabbed gloves, an ID, and ran out the door.

Pushing through the wooden door of Van Vleck led us to the winter wonderland of Hope’s campus. Snow covered sidewalks, puffy white flakes floating from the sky, and the light from the lamp posts making the freshly fallen snow glitter.

The winter wonderland that greeted us.
The winter wonderland that greeted us.

The scene before us asked just one thing: Do you wanna build a snowman?
Yes.
Yes, we did want to build a snowman and here is our creation: Vince the Snowman of Van Vleck

Vince the Snowman of Van Vleck
Vince the Snowman of Van Vleck

After Vince’s creation we set off on our stroll around campus.
We gazed in awe at the beauty of the falling snow, we felt the thrill of running and sliding along the sidewalk, we spotted snowball fights in the pine grove and snowmen on the roof of Nykerk, and we took so many pictures trying to capture the beauty of the campus surrounding us.

It’s nights like these that I realize anew how blessed I am to be in such a beautiful place with such beautiful people. Especially people who are as ecstatic as I am to run outside at any time to build a snowman 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite images from our wintry adventure

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I hope you have a warm, snow-loving week!

~Erin
Twitter & Instagram

The First Snowfall of the Year!

Whether we like it or not, Mother Nature made an appearance to Holland and the greater West Michigan area. The snow is here folks, and it’s here to stay until the spring. People have and will continue to complain about, and some people will obsess over it, but as for myself, I’m in the middle. If snow could be here for a month, I would be totally fine with that, but anything more, it’s just redundant. But let’s be real, the first snowfall of the year is so beautiful and is ALWAYS exciting. Just think of the snowflakes as little blessings falling from the sky!

Here’s a weird phenomenon: many areas in the state don’t even have snow. Lucky them, or lucky us?

Anyways, yes, the first snowfall is pretty, but it can unfortunately have consequences. It’s a recurring pattern every first snowfall that many cars end up in ditches or accidents simply because people are not ready for the conditions winter brings, seeing that the last time snow was on the ground was in March/April. That’s almost half a year! Even though such bad things happen, we can count on two things with snow on the ground: 1) THANKSGIVING and 2) CHRISTMAS! These two holidays are my favorites because they encompass the thing that matters to me most, FAM BAM!

Back to Holland though, when the snow was falling from the sky yesterday night, it produced some pretty gnarly conditions. ALL roads were slick and icy. The road was my personal ice rink and I didn’t even need ice skates! In all honesty, I am excited that the snow is here. It’s part of the reason I love Michigan, we get all 4 seasons! Check out my slideshow below of some awesome pictures of the snow! Until next time!

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It Held Off, But Now It’s Here! Welcome, Snow!

Well, Hope College, it held off for as long as possible, but it’s finally here!

The first snow!

Waking up this morning, I was like a little kid on Christmas. The snow put me in a great mood, and as I was walking to class this morning, the white puffy flakes brought me back to my childhood…

I can remember the first snow of second grade. Where I’m from, it isn’t the beautiful white curtain that covers the ground, it is a spotty mess that looks like mud puddles on the roads. But the first snow of second grade was magical! There were so many possibilities that came with it and it the many thoughts of the happy times of Christmas. After the first snow, many snows came after that, and being in second grade, I got to experience all the fun things winter brings along with it.

Sledding down (what seemed like) huge hills, snowball fights with my dog, snowman building, hot chocolate drinking, reading Junie B. Jones by the fire in the fireplace, and best of all, snow days. Here at Hope, I know snow days might seem like a foreign concept, but in grade school, they snow days happened all the time it seemed like.

I can remember one snow day that made all the rest pale in comparison. It had just snowed the best packing snow of the season; at least one and a half feet! Being a second grader, I was just happy to stay home and play in the snow with my family all day! But just because school is cancelled, doesn’t mean parent’s jobs are. My mom and dad both had to go to work…but they couldn’t leave me alone by myself, so my mom chose to bring my sister and I to work with her. She worked at a golf course at the time, and worked in the office. So sitting there cooped up wasn’t the most appealing thing in the world for a kid on a snow day, so we packed up the car with sleds, snow pants, and whatever else we would need to see if we could make the most of this snow day. On the way there, there were cars in ditches everywhere and the roads were a mess, but in my mind, this was the perfect sledding weather; nice and slippery to get the farthest distance with my sled! When we arrived, my sister and I headed straight to the back patio of the golf course and, since the lawn furniture from the summer had been put away, we had the most perfect place to play all day. We adventured, built snow forts, and pulled each other on our sleds for hours, and before we knew it, it was time to go home and play even more in the snow! It truly was the best snow day ever and every time there is snow on the ground, I can’t help but think about that day.

Even though today wasn’t a snow day, or even a winter day, snow brings back great memories for me, and I hope it does for you too. There’s just something about the way it glints in the sunlight and makes the world seem so peaceful at night that makes it a great trait of winter.

To close out this post, here is a picture of what the street looked like tonight with a bit of snow on it:

This was right in between Gilmore and Phelps! And yes I was standing in the middle of the road.
This was right in between Gilmore and Phelps! And yes I was standing in the middle of the road.

Until next time, readers!

#Snowpocalypse Part 2

Happy Wednesday to all! I made it to the halfway point of this week. I never thought this would happen assuming how cold it’s been. This week, West Michigan experienced a Polar Vortex thing. As I mentioned in my first #Snowpocalypse blog, Hope College cancelled class at noon last Friday because of deteriorating weather. From Friday until TODAYWEDNESDAY, the weather is still awful. And let me clarify about this crazy weather. Not only did it happen in West Michigan, but it happened everywhere. Here is a NASA photo that The Grand Rapids Press posted on their website.

Snowpocalypse. I wasn't exaggerating.
Snowpocalypse. I wasn’t exaggerating.

See? Saying snowpocalypse was an understatement. It should be more like, ICE AGE. Anyways, that weekend was fun because I got to spend a lot of time with Hannah and Divya. Let me update you on this week now. Surprisingly, Hope did not close school this past Monday and Tuesday. I mean, we’ve already had 2.5 snow days. BUT, all public schools, colleges, and universities around us closed down due to deteriorating weather. So, it was frustrating at times, yes, but I’m glad we had school – no make up work.

Transitioning to my classes: although Hope did not cancel school, my clinical on BOTH Monday and Tuesday were canceled because of the inclement weather. Taking a trek to Grand Rapids in THIS weather is merely not worth it, especially if it means risking your life. This week has been interesting to say the least. I had no clinical Monday and Tuesday, so I did SO much homework and studied for my exam tomorrow. I feel pretty good about it! Here is a random picture of me frozen due to Mother Nature.

I'm frozen and can't feel my face.
I’m frozen and can’t feel my face.

I am happy I didn’t have to risk my life going to Grand Rapids, but this makes it so that we are not gaining our experience at our clinical site. But as always, safety first! So instead of the trek to Grand Rapids, I trekked to the library to study. We LITERALLY have 3 feet of snow on the ground. It is practically up to my waist. Want proof?

Look at the snow. P.S., 2 thumbs up for not having clinical!
Look at the snow. P.S., 2 thumbs up for not having clinical!

Long story short, so much wind, so much snow, so much ice, and it won’t stop. I just can’t get a break, and this weather was fun at first. Now it’s just irritating. I feel bad for the people that live north of Grand Rapids. If you think we were hit hard, imagine that X 1,000,000,000 (1 billion)! My little brother has his 4th snow day today. I don’t think has ever happened! Anyway, there is my update on Mother Nature.

Random side note: This week, I’m going vegetarian just to see what it’s like. I already miss bacon, but this will be fun. Yesterday, I made tofu stir fry and fried rice. Let me tell you, it was one of the best things I’ve ever cooked. Here’s a pic!

I'm going veg!
I’m going veg!

If you all have any awesome suggestions for vegetarian meals, let me know! Today, I’ll be having salad for lunch, and spicy black bean burger for with fried rice for dinner! Ok folks, stay warm and safe out there! If you have suggestions for veggie meals, or just want to chat, you should probably follow me on twitter at @HopeMarvin15.

#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!

Hodgepodge of Things/SNOW DAY!

We are closing up on the third of week of this semester, and this semester finally slapped me in the face. My homework levels have skyrocketed, my extra-curriculars are finally up and running, and my clinical is in full swing. But before I say more, I NEED you to watch this YouTube clip. You’ll hate me for it, but it’s about time and it’s appropriate.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, this week has been a rough one in terms of academia. My classes are demanding, and I’m always busy. I do enjoy being busy, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, I just need a break! My break is this weekend. I’m so RELIEVED it’s practically here. Anyways, on Monday and Tuesday, I had clinical. These two days are one of my busiest by far. But, I’m so glad they’re at the beginning of the week! On Wednesday, I also have a pretty long day. I go from 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. What can I say? Life of a college student.

On Wednesday, the Holland area literally got dumped on with snow. And so much of it. It was so pretty though. It really makes you appreciate this campus for sure. Here is a picture I took of Dimnent Chapel.

How can you not love this school?
How can you not love this school?

But seriously, how can you not love this school? It’s just so majestic. Anyways, so we had a winter storm Wednesday. Thursday was a recovery day for the town. Our campus was (and still is) blanketed in this beautiful white sparkly stuff. Walking to class on Thursday was just so pleasant! BUT, now, we are under another winter storm warning until tomorrow. Honestly, I think this has been one of the worst winters ever. SO MUCH SNOW!

AND I JUST RECEIVED BREAKING NEWS. HOPE COLLEGE IS CLOSING DOWN AT NOON! That means no class for me today! Seriously though, Hope College is making history by canceling classes. And I think my point about this being the worst winter ever is true. I just want to share this photo.

SNOW DAY!
SNOW DAY!

This is surreal. Like, what am I going to do with myself!? Probably stay inside, because if you’re outside for more than 30 minutes, you’ll probably get frostbite. NO JOKE.  And by the way, it feels like -20 degrees outside. So, I guess that’s all I have for now. My week was pretty standard, but now here comes #SNOWPOCALYPSE. I’ll have so much to write about! If you haven’t already, make sure you follow me on DA TWITTER at @HopeMarvin15!