Five Spring Must-Dos at Hope College

The pine grove in the sun
The Pine Grove in the sun

Never mind the fact that the ground on Hope’s campus is lightly dusted with snow right now, we’re going to talk about spring at Hope College.

There’s so much you can do when the weather starts heating up a bit. I don’t mean summer heat, I mean that nice spring warmth where the sun is shying out of its winter position and warming the earth while a light breeze brushes up against your ankles as you walk to classes.

Here are five “must-do’s” at Hope in the Spring:

  1. Studying in the Pine Grove. There’s nothing better than laying on a blanket,
    Reading in the Pine Grove
    Reading in the Pine Grove

    feeling the sun up against your back, and looking over your ten-page study guide for psychology. Just kidding about the study guide part, but being in the Pine Grove makes it a little better.

  2. Frolf. Frisbee Golf. Lots of students like to go around campus and play this fun game when it starts to get warmer out.
  3. Tulips popping up in the spring time at Hope!
    Tulips popping up in the spring time at Hope!

    Runs and walks to Windmill Island. It’s always fun to take a friend and take advantage of the nice weather by exercising. Instead of going to workout on a machine, it’s nice to breathe fresh air while getting exercise.

  4. Do an intramural. There are lots of spring intramurals going on at Hope. Some of them are soccer, softball, flag football, racquetball and ultimate frisbee.
  5. Spring Fling. I saved the best for last. This is an event put on by Hope’s Student Activities Committee every spring the weekend before finals. There’s a picnic in the pine grove, inflatables, a band with some dancing, a zip-line, a Photo Booth, laser tag, and much more.

Spring is pretty sweet at Hope. It’s a shame that we don’t get to enjoy it for long, seeing as we get out in almost a month (and it’s still snowing…).

Thanks for reading!

Brooke

Last-Minute Adventures

As the year comes to a close and we are soaking up as much of each other’s presence as possible before we scatter for the summer, we have found that there is always time for some last-minute adventures.

On Friday SAC hosted Spring Fling. The Pine Grove was filled with inflatable-everything-imaginable, music, a photo booth, food and more food, but most of all it was filled with joyful energy. Hope College came out of their dorms, out of the library, out of the muted life of winter, and filled the Pine Grove. People were laughing, dancing, racing through an inflatable obstacle course, zip lining, trying to hold heir own against a mechanical bull, hammocking, and just being present with each other. It was a lovely time to be a part of.

Saturday night Van Vleck took a trip to Tunnel Park to catch the sunset and take a step back to relax with each other before finals week. Though a bit chilly, it was a beautiful sunset with some beautiful people. It was also my first time watching a Lake Michigan sunset and I was very happy to experience such a wonderful sight as one of these last minute adventures before going back to Pennsylvania for the summer.

Finally, on Monday, I biked over to the Windmill Island Gardens with my friend Ashley and my camera. We walked around the island, took lots a pictures, and marveled at the tulips beginning to bloom and the fact that spring has sprung and summer is already practically here. It’s crazy to think that just over eight months ago I didn’t know Ashley existed, but now we are best friends and thinking how weird it is going to be to not see each other everyday for the next four months.

College is funny like that. The caliber of the relationships you form are like none other and the time you get to spend with those amazing people seems like forever while, at the same time, it feels like it’s just flying by. Makes me conscious of being thankful for these last-minute adventures.

Thanks for reading!
~Erin

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@HopeErin18) or Instagram (@e_delaney333) for some pictures and thoughts on my last few days at Hope for the year.

Hope in Spring

*beepbeep* *beepbeep*…

Emerging from dreamland you reach out to shut off your alarm. The room is already flooded with the promising, warm rays of sunshine hinting at a beautiful day ahead.

Walking to class is no longer a battle with the bitter cold but a welcome stroll with old friends – sunshine and blue skies have returned. The new battle is finding the mental strength to focus in class while the Pine Grove fills with happy students in soaring spirits basking in the presence of the sun they have  been deprived of for too long. Long boards are once again rolling through campus, clicking along the sidewalk alerting pedestrians to hang to one side as they roll on by.

As classes end for the day the lawn can be seen covered with people on blankets, homework spread out before them, and friends by their sides. Groups cluster around intense games of spike ball, taunting each other and laughing freely. Hammocks are strung between trees, one, two, sometimes three levels high. Friends chat as they relax and leave all the cares of the day on the ground below them for a little while.

Darkness falls around 8:30 at night as the sun is hanging out longer. Even then, sitting in your room, you can hear the *ding* of frisbees hitting the pole by DeWitt ringing through the open window time and again as Frolf games carry on despite the darkness.

As new life is springing from the ground and flowers are blooming, splashing their bright colors onto the landscape, a revitalized energy is rising on campus and a joyful spirit is recoloring this beautiful community after a long winter – spring has come to Hope College.

Thanks for reading & enjoy the lovely weather this weekend!

~Erin
You can follow me on Twitter (@HopeErin18) and Instagram (@e_delaney333) for some more thoughts and pictures about life at Hope through my eyes.

Rushing A Sorority At Hope

The last few weeks I’ve had the chance to participate in sorority rush here at Hope! It’s a lot different than at big schools, where rush only lasts about a week. Here, it’s a long process, only in the spring semester, full of getting to know the girls in the sorority and finding your best fit. The Sororities here are all local, so there aren’t any other chapters at other colleges or universities: Kappa Beta Phi, Sigma Sigma, Sigma Iota Beta, Delta Phi, Kappa Delta Chi, Alpha Gamma Phi, and Theta Gamma Pi.

I decided to Rush at the end of the fall semester, and that was really surprising to me. Greek life never seemed like my thing. I’m a bit of an introvert, but I really want to make life-long friendships here, and it looked like an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.

Rush started off with Round Robin, where we got to meet all of the sororities. It was really nice to get a first look at them. From there, I was able to narrow a few down, but I still had four in mind that I thought I would like to visit.

After Round Robin comes a series of open and closed events. At open events we did things like scavenger hunts, crafts, cookie making, speed friending, and all sorts of other fun activities. Closed events are similar, but you have to get invited, and they’re longer so you can actually go places. For example we went sledding and to a petting zoo for two of the closed that I attended!

I went to four of the first open events, and decided that two of them weren’t for me. After that I went to more open events for the other two. I believe I went to both of those closed events before I finally decided to stop rushing one of them and only continue with one. It was the only place I could see myself. This was risky, because I could have ended up not getting to join one in the end, but I wasn’t just rushing to join any sorority; I wanted to be in one that I like.

The final closed event is called Final Tea. I got invited to the closed event of the sorority that I wanted to be apart of, and I was soooo excited! After Final Tea, we submitted our preferences (you get to put down three sororities in order of first to third).

At the end of the night, I ended up with a bid (basically the sororities invitation to their group) from the Kappa Beta Phi (Dorian) sorority. I’m so excited because this is the one that I had wanted 🙂

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

Thanks for reading!

Bountiful Blessings

Hey friends! It has totally been such a long time since I’ve posted. I guess that reflects how busy the last week of class and exam week is…? Anyways, what matters is that I’m posting now! I just want to share how my last week of class as a junior was, and how my exam week is going. It’s crazy for me to believe that I am leaving Hope in 3 days, and I am flying to Europe in less than a week. Seriously, time flies when you’re having fun and are busy. I’m going to be senior in a short 3 days. THAT’S CRAZY. I’m going to start with my Easter weekend, so you can get the whole picture.

EASTER: Easter break was the “calm” before the storm. In the sense that the last week of class was going to be so very hectic. But Easter was wonderful. I spent time with my family, and family time is always a good time. I’m so glad that I saw my cousins, and most of them too! We’re all busy, and just coming together for a short couple of hours was perfect. Here is a picture of my crazy cousins!

Here are some of my cousins!
Here are some of my cousins!

After Easter dinner, I drove back to Holland to face one of my craziest weeks out of my entire semester. Why, you might ask? Well, I had two finals for two of my nursing classes. I came back a little early so I could get a head-start on studying. But before I studied, I went out to dinner with some of my best friends. It was awesome because 1) it was very warm that Sunday, and 2) we took my friends car and the top goes down. So essentially,i it was a convertible thingy. All that matters is that I started looking forward to summer even more!

MONDAY: Last Monday, I had my last Adult Nursing lecture. YES. The only thing that was frustrating was that we still had so much material to cover for our exam that same week. Typical nursing though. After our 4-ish hours of lecture, it was time to grab a bite to eat, then study all night. And by all night, until 2:00 a.m. I know, sounds pretty fun right!?

TUESDAY: Tuesday morning, I had my practicum evaluation with my nursing professor. The purpose of the evaluations was to identify my strengths and areas for growth, and for me to know how well I did in the clinical setting. And let me tell you, I can’t complain! Evaluations, no matter from which clinical and professor is affirming for me. I know every time that I go into an evaluation that I want to be a nurse, regardless how stressful our days are! After, I just studied, for the rest of the day until late in the morning. Another pretty eventful day (sarcasm).

WEDNESDAY: Wednesdays are always busy. In the morning, I had my Advanced Adult exam, and I was just happy to get that out of the way. Following that exam, I studied more and prepared for my classes that day. In our nursing research class, we had presentations (I did mine last week) and we just listened peer proposals for research. Let me tell you, a lot of students do not like this class, but as the nerd I am, I really enjoyed it. This is something I want to do with my life, research!! After my long day of class, it was time to study again, for the third day in a row. WOO. But before I could do that, I had my first SAC meeting for the 2014-2015 school year as a director. I’m SO EXCITED for SAC next year!

THURSDAY: I studied all week, so Thursday was the day to prove to myself, as well as my professor, that I know my material. And I did. All of my hard work paid off. I got an excellent grade on a nursing exam. And it’s a nursing exam, so that’s saying something! After my exam, it was straight to bed because I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before. When I woke up from my extended nap, I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group regarding nursing central stations. It was a great experience! In the end, those who participated received a gift cards to Lemonjello’s. SCORE, coffee for DAYS. After the focus group, I watched Parks and Rec to help me wind my week down.

FRIDAY: So much to talk about! On the last Friday of class, Hope College SAC has an event called Spring Fling. And oh my goodness, what a perfect way to celebrate after one school year! Spring Fling had a special value for me this year because I, along with 3 other SAC members planned the event. And it was just so rewarding to see everyone having fun and celebrating. You can’t beat smiles!! Here is a slideshow of pictures of some of my fellow SAC members and friends at Spring Fling!

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Okay friends, that’s all for now. I still have so much to tell you all before the year comes to a close! Be on the look out! Thanks again!

The Crazy Weeks Are Upon Us

You betcha. Crazy weeks are upon us here at Hope, but I’m sure they’re at your high schools, too. For some, it may be your spring break, and for others, this is the homestretch. If you’re on spring break, be sure to take advantage of your relaxing time. After spring break, everything is going to happen FAST.

This week has been hectic to say the least, and unfortunately, the remaining weeks look the same. But it’s okay, the days may seem like they drag on, but the weeks will fly by. That’s usually what happens (I sure hope that happens!) For me, the next few weeks might be stressful and hectic, but I have something to look forward to afterwards that make it so worth it, EUROPE! That’s all I can think about, EUROPE EUROPE EUROPE. Only 39 more days. I merely cannot wait.

In the present moment, this week has been packed. Monday and Tuesday were clinical days. Tuesday afternoon, I conducted interviews with my fellow directors for SAC next year! It was so exciting to get interviews rolling! Wednesday, I had class from 8:30 a.m. until around 4:00 p.m. I had some time to relax before TAing for a nursing lab. From Monday-Wednesday, I also studied for my first Adult Nursing Theory exam. Thursday, I woke up early to conduct more interviews, followed by an exam, lecture, and more interviews. And today, my day was packed with interviews from 10a-5:30p. I know that it may not seem a lot in words, but living that life was just stressful. But now, I am so glad I can chill for a little bit. This weekend is going to be a precursor to my next week, which is as intense. If not, MORE CRAZY!

Here is a prelude to next week: 2 exams, 2 nursing process worksheets and nursing care plans (you have no idea, these take a solid 8 hours for quality), 1 research critique, study guide questions, meetings on meetings, and I have to fit in sleep somewhere. To prevent stress and being overwhelmed, I am mapping out my weekly plan. Yes, I do use my planner, but this next week, my planner simply cannot handle my workload.

Before I finish, a couple of exciting things happened that ended my week well; SAC interviews are complete, and my leadership team will be making decisions soon! AND My flights to Rome and Prague have been booked for this summer so I AM PUMPED! Alright, that’s all for now, but look forward to “Dear Abby #3!”

Spring Break Happenings

Nothing.

Haha, I’m just kidding. I thought I was funny there for a second. Anyways, yes, Hope College is on spring break! Very very very exciting for all students around. Why? A break from all of the school work! Although I may not be in sunny paradise enjoying the beach or sand, I am in Holland getting ahead on my school work and preparing for the rest of the semester. Because when we do come back, there are only 26 days of class left. Holy cow, that is not that much at all. OOOOOOO I am getting so pumped as I type this!! Ok, kept it together Marv. So another countdown reminder for myself here. I only have 48 days until Europe! Eeeeeek, I cannot contain my excitement.

This spring break hasn’t been really “spring,” but it has been break for sure. When we got out last Thursday, I stayed in my apartment because I had some last minute work to do. I left for home Friday afternoon, after the Michigan v. Illinois basketball game of course. Let me tell you, that was one close game. Good thing Michigan won! So, I drove home, and as I continued to climb north, the temperature kept going down, and the amount of snow I saw kept increasing. Go figure. By the time I arrived at my house, it was literally 39 degrees, and when I left Holland 2.5 hours ago, it was 55. #notimpressed.

Well, I decided to only stay home for the weekend because I had a lot of work I wanted to tackle, and it is so hard for me to focus on my work at home. I end up doing nothing. But Hope’s library is open from 9a-6p, so it is absolutely perfect. Anyways, at home, I merely relaxed and did nothing because I deserved it. My weekend was full of basketball. I could not complain at all. I returned to Hope Sunday evening, just in time to watch my favorite TV show, Revenge. After, I headed to sleep.

Since Monday, I’ve been doing school related work. Doing homework due the week we get back from break, and work due throughout various times in the semester. People may call me insane, but it’s for my benefit!! I will have a smooth rest of my semester, and can look forward to Europe! My spring break hasn’t been really eventful compared to my friend’s, but I’m okay with that.

But, there are some exciting things that did happen during my week of break! Yesterday, it was warm enough to run outside. YES! So of course, I took advantage of this weather, because it can literally change at any minute.

I ran throughout downtown Holland and to Kollen Park!
I ran throughout downtown Holland and to Kollen Park!

I thought it would be a good idea to start running to get back into that groove. I can tell you for sure that compared to this past fall, my running stamina has decreased a little bit. Time to incorporate running back to my life! Another exciting thing is that Foster The People came out with a new album! I was super stoked because their last album, “Torches,” came out in 2011, so they were due. It’s on Spotify and iTunes. I already bought it. It’s super good, and highly recommend you listen and download it! Last but not least, I figured out my schedule for my fall semester of my senior year. CRAZY! But what’s more crazy is that for the first half of the semester, I only have class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! How is that even possible!? I definitely got lucky, because that does NOT happen to nursing majors! I am super excited to say the least!!

There you have it! That is what is happening so far. If you don’t already, make sure you follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15! Otherwise, have a great night and rest of your week!

It’s a Little Late, But…

It’s Thursday, and today marked freedom from higher education. In “normal” terms, it’s officially spring break for Hope College! #SB2K14! It’s quite an exciting time because all students deserve a nice long break, whether that is down south, or home, a break is a break. The weather may not be spring-like, but at least there is break! Alright, anyways, my break will consist of the following:

  • Sleeping
  • Hygiene
  • Eating
  • Homework
  • Work
  • Eating
  • Sleeping

Then you repeat that more for an extended period of time. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw in something spontaneous! Anyways, as many people will be relaxing and enjoying the sun and beach, I’ll be getting some serious work done. My motivation for so much work? The rest of my semester would be a smooth ride with little stress. Who doesn’t want a semester with little stress? So, that’s my prelude to spring break.

Here is more about what I did this past weekend and week!

WEEKEND: Dance Marathon was on Friday. I wasn’t there, but I was definitely supporting my friends who were there! Friday night was nice because I had time to myself, something that rarely happens. I truly enjoyed it. Then on Saturday, one of my best friends Joey and I went to Ann Arbor to watch the University of Michigan Wolverines play the Indiana Hoosiers in Michigan’s last regular season basketball game. Road trips are a blast, especially with awesome friends. This made the drive to Ann Arbor fun and fast. When Joey and I arrived, we ate at Noodles and Company, one of our favorite food joints. Then we walked to the Crisler Arena for the game. Want to know something cool? Joey and I tweeted a picture about the game, and it got on the jumbotron! I was SO excited. Here’s a picture of it!

Here we are on the jumbotron. What an honor it was!
Here we are on the jumbotron. What an honor it was!

That was just such a cool experience. The game had so much energy, and it was very close. But in the end, Michigan won! Go Blue! But again, don’t worry, I am an avid Michigan fan, but I am so glad that I go to Hope! My experiences here make me who I am today. If I went to Michigan, who knows where I would be in life! But Michigan is DEFINITELY my #1 option for grad school.

Go Blue!
Go Blue!

We drove back that night following the game, but before doing so, we hit up another great place to eat; Chipotle. Honestly, I do not understand why Holland does not have a Chipotle. Can we please get a petitioned signed to get one established? Sunday was a sleep-in, catch day on homework. Oh oh oh! And my favorite TV show, Revenge, returned. It was such a great day. To make things even better, my co-leader, Jess, from the immersion trip we lead to Washington D.C. last year visited Holland for the weekend. Obviously, she graduated last year, and now interns for Sojourners in Washington D.C. So cool! What a treat it was to be with her. Although it was super short, it was great to see her and catch up with her for a little bit!

Reunited with Jess! (and Erica and Joey of course)
Reunited with Jess! (and Erica and Joey of course).

To sum up my weekend, it was awesome, A+. Now this past week has been HECTIC. I felt as if everyday lasted one week. Both Monday and Tuesday, I had clinicals and was at Grand Rapids for them. I worked Tuesday night, then I had a large assignment due Thursday. All I did Tuesday and Wednesday night was homework, and by homework, I mean this assignment. Having so much work before any break is annoying, but it feels so good to have it done. It makes the smooth transition to Spring Break much easier!

Anyways, thats all on this post. I am in the works of posting another blog that I think you will all like. Stay tuned!!!

Springing into Springtime

Things I like about Spring in Holland:

  • Tulips and flowers are budding
  • I sleep with the window open
  • Frozen/iced coffee drinks from JP’s, Lemonjello’s, and Starbucks 
  • Visiting the beach 
  • Laying in the pinegrove looking at stars
  • Everyone is in high spirits because the cold weather is gone
  • Pulling my bike out of the storage room
  • Snow? What is that?
  • All winter jackets and boots are stored away in my closet
  • Going to get ice cream from Captain Sundae or walking to ColdStone
  • Classes are starting to wind down
  • Wearing shorts, skirts, and flip-flops
  • Spring cleaning (our room needs to be dusted)

These are just some of the things I could think of off the top of my head. School is going very well. My classes are starting to wind down and papers are starting to come. However, I enjoy working on my papers outside and spending time with people in the Pine Grove. Last night several students slept out in the Pine Grove for a homeless sleep-out to raise awareness for homelessness. The event was put on by Habitat for Humanity, and several students participated in the event.

I have been enjoying the nice weather and sunshine. However, I need to do some major work this weekend so I can finish up the school year strong. I hope you all have wonderful weekend!

Spring Package from my mom!