I hope your Mondays are going well and aren’t as stressful as mine is (Three exams in one week?! Crazy talk. But it’s happening.) I can’t complain much though, because instead of locking myself in my room this weekend and studying like I should have, I went to a lot of events.
On Friday was Women’s Night Out – an event sponsored by Campus Ministries. We went to Tunnel Park, ate pizza, and had a huge game of capture the flag. While my team lost, it was still really fun and I met a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise. After playing capture the flag we walked to the beach and found an area where we could all sit down. Here, our new chaplain Lauren Taylor led us in a small worship, discussing how we are the women of Hope College and we need to be here for each other. We sang and began a cool new tradition where the upperclassmen wash the feet of the underclassmen as done in the Bible. It was a much needed night after a week of exams and papers.
Come Saturday, come the Pull. If you don’t know what the Pull is, you should read this blog post from my fellow blogger, Jakub Myska. You can’t exactly call it “just a big game of tug-of-war”, because it’s a lot more than that. It’s a full physical, mental, and emotional experience for those who participate. This year I got to watch four of my sorority sisters, moralers and coaches, participate on the even year side. Here are some pictures from my time at the pull!
In the end of a super eventful weekend, my hall went apple picking together at Crane’s! We picked out our apples, which are great to have in the dorm and personally one of my favorite fruits. I wasn’t able to stay long because I had to get back to campus for a meeting, but it was still a cool way to spend time with some good friends.
It was a busy and fun weekend, but now it’s back to the books. I’m full of experiences and memories that will last for years to come with people who mean a lot to me.
This past Saturday, September 27, was The Pull. If you are a current or former Hope College student you exactly know what I mean. But for those of you who do not know about The Pull tradition, here is what is it from the international student perspective.
The Pull is an unbelievable tradition that started in 1898. This 115 years old tradition is made up of two teams. The ODD year team and the EVEN year team. For this year, the ODD year team are the freshmen and juniors because their year of graduation is odd (2019 and 2017). The EVEN team it is the sophomores and seniors (2018 and 2016). This is the difference between two teams, but the structure of the teams is the same. The younger students (freshmen and sophomores) are the pullers, and the upperclassmen are the coaches. Both teams train Monday through Friday for a tiring three hours and on Saturday the practice is for eight, yes eight, hours. The training process is about 3-4 weeks long. Anyway, now that you know what The Pull is, you will understand more what I am talking about.
I came there with a no idea of what should I expect from it, but I left The Pull with a great impression about the students at Hope College and its spirit. The pull itself was breathtaking. I have not seen a people in general who would went through so much pain and struggle by their own choice. For those who have not seen it, The Pull is not life dangerous event. It just the students push themselves to their absolute limit, so they are very exhausted and in a lot of pain. Just wanted make sure that you do not think that the Pull is something that is life dangerous to the student body! It is not.
The Pull illustrates a great image about the Hope College´s spirit. The spirit of pushing your classmate, friend or teammate shows that students are not selfish and students want Hope College to succeed. Also, it shows the willingness of Hope College be part of the school, traditions and campus life overall. I mean, I can not just from top of my head name people who would voluntarily would be pulling for three hours in a pain and dirt.
This year´s Pull, the winners were the EVEN team, so class of 2018 and 2016. Personally, I am extremely competitive and I hate losing, so I truly dislike to use the sentence; “Everyone is a winner”, but after what I saw this past Saturday, I gotta say: everyone who participated in the Pull is a winner.
Well, readers, the title says it all. Even Year won the Pull yesterday, and it was intense. As an Odd Year student standing on the odd side of the Black River, the Odd Year Pull team gave it their best, but was outdone by even year.
For those of you that don’t know what The Pull is, it is basically a huge tug of war that goes from one shore of the Black River in Holland to the other. Crazy right? The team that wins doesn’t win anything, just pride. Apparently the tradition was started in 1898, and this year was the 118th year of the tradition, one of the oldest college traditions in the United States! Here are some more neat tidbits about this Hope College tradition. They have all the stats and history and it’s a great site for quick facts!
Like I said before, I’m Odd Year (because I graduate in 2017). Last year was a proud time because Odd Year won the Pull and set a record for how much rope was pulled ever! It was amazing watching them get to run in the Black River and celebrate their win. This year though, the Odd Year team had to watch as even year took that swim in the river. Saying that though, Odd Year truly gave it their best effort and made their 1-9 Pull family proud.
Here are a couple of pictures that were taken from my vantage point at pit #7!
Congrats even year! It was awesome seeing you win and get to swim in the river!
Until next time, Readers!
Questions about what I wrote, or about life in general? Check the bio and shoot me an email!
Readers, I’m so sorry. I feel like I’ve been living for the weekend lately in my posts, which I generally try not to do because each day is a wonderful gift from God, but sometimes there is just so much good stuff to look forward to on the weekends!
So here I go again. Talking about the weekend. I’ve decided I have no shame because this weekend is about to be awesome!
First up on Friday, we have Women’s and Men’s Night Out through the Keppel House! I’m not quite positive what the men are doing, but the women are playing Capture the Flag at the beach and eating some pizza. So who wouldn’t want to do that, am I right? I mean that’s right up my alley, so you’ll know where to find me Friday. To sign up, go to the Keppel House website – there’s still time to get your name on the list!
Saturday is just as good, because two really big events are happening on this day! First up is The Pull at 3 p.m. at the Black River (don’t ask me for directions to that location because I honestly have no idea. Go ask a Puller/Moraler aka the people in camo pants and either a red or maroon t-shirt.) The Pull is SO much fun! It’s a huge tug of war (more info to come on that in my next blog post) and has been a Hope tradition since basically forever. Head over there Saturday to check it out! *Subtle plug for Odd Year – ooh rah.*
Then after The Pull, the Student Activities Committee is putting on a new event called Fall Into Fun. This is a sort of after-party after The Pull for students. It has yard games, and a dance party after the sun sets. HOLLER AT THAT. I love to dance like no other.
That’s all I’ll be doing this weekend, although there are endless possibilities for you! Enjoy the beginning of this fall season, readers!
Until next time.
Questions about what I wrote? Check the bio and shoot me an email!
This weekend I had the unique Hope College experience of attending The Pull. It’s one of those things where everyone tells you, “You don’t understand it until you’ve seen it.” I thought I got it; I thought I knew what awaited me as I grabbed my water bottle and took off for the bus with a few of my friends. After all, it’s tug-of-war, what’s not to get?
Just like they told me, there’s little way to put into words exactly what goes on at The Pull, so I took quite a few photos to share with you and guide you as I write.
A feeling of anxiety overcame me as we walked down a forest path, marked with red arrows on the ground and banners sporting words like “kill”, “psycho”, and of course “Even Year”. As we continued, a horn blew and the shouting commenced.
The first banner into the entrance of The Pull
A tree on the walk!
As we reached the river, the full scene was finally brought into view.
“18 Annihilate” Banner in front of the river
A panoramic of a section of the pull!
The view from across the river!
A full line of boys and their moralers were before me, along with an audience watching them. Their faces were tormented and my mind twisted as I closed my eyes, trying not to imagine the pain they were going through.
A girl from my sister-cluster, Rebecca, and her puller, Nick!
A large view of the pull!
I’m a bit of a wuss, and I couldn’t stay to watch the whole thing…it honestly made my stomach turn. However, there’s a lot you can take away from seeing something like the pull. The moralers and the pullers, their team as a whole, experience a bonding that I can never describe or experience. All I can say is that watching them support each other gives me so much hope and reassurance. Our strength to persevere in times of hardship, our ability to bounce back, recover, and care for those around us is outstandingly evident in The Pull. While Even Year might not have come out on top, they went out there and they did it, which is something not a lot of people can say.
Have you ever been to the pull? What did you think?
Odd (noun): every sign pointing closer to the Black River.
Have you seen them?
ODD (verb): lifestyle.
It’s more than ending with ’17. It’s more than the three hour strife of the pull in the pits. It’s Odd Year Pride.
Today, Hope College celebrated their 117th annual tradition known as The Pull. Alumni, students, and faculty gathered near the Black River to support their beloved side: Even or Odd. (You’re considered “Even” if your graduation year ends with an even number, and “Odd” if your graduation year ends with an odd number.)
And I’m proud to be Odd.
Keep up with me @hopesophie17 or feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.