The end of the school year brings with it a frenzy of emotion that range from excited and full of anticipation for the next step to sad and anxious to leave friends, chapel, events, sports teams and familiarity. For seniors about to graduate from Hope College, these emotions are even more extreme. This is one of the only weeks (apart from maybe the first week) when seeing a student crying may not come as a surprise. Transition from the routine of the school year and into the warmth of summer is not always welcomed with open arms.
Senior Kristin Janssen says that when considering graduation, she is “excited for the stress of classes to end but deeply sad that the social connections [she] has made in her sorority, classes and in the community are about to change.” Indeed, life is about to take seniors in many differing directions and this reality is one that is felt with a need to prioritize these relationships.
Senior Kristen Godwin reflects on her experience, saying, “The process of forming a meaningful and intentional community has been the most rewarding aspect of college.” She is looking forward to recreating this atmosphere of friendship and intentionality at the University of Minnesota, where she will be pursuing a Masters of Public Health.
If you are a senior and are hoping to slow down time these next two weeks, take comfort in the chances you will have to end the year with your friends at a few final events taking place on and off campus.
At the Gathering this Sunday, the “Rope of Hope” will be happening during the regular time (8 p.m.-9:15 p.m. in Dimnent Chapel). This event provides an opportunity to stand with fellow seniors and celebrate the connections and experiences you have made during the four years here.
Spring Fling will be happening this Friday, starting at 3:00 p.m. in the Pine Grove. This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the last day of classes, enjoy grilled food and play fun carnival games.
Last but not least, the final event before commencement, “The Last Hurrah!” will be happening at Camp Geneva on the lakeshore. This event is happening from 5 p.m.- sunset on Thursday, May 3. All seniors are welcome to attend. You can look forward to food, outdoor activities, games and prizes, a photo booth, bonfires with s’mores and much more… and best of all, it’s FREE! Transportation will be provided to and from the event, and you are welcome to drive your own vehicle as well. Just head over to the DeWitt flagpole anytime throughout the evening to catch a bus to Camp Geneva.
So for all of you, seniors or non-seniors, who are nervous about leaving Hope, I encourage you to find some comfort in the realization that hesitation to leave is a sign of the growth and good memories you have experienced in your time here. These last few days and events provide time to reflect and be with those who made time here so memorable. Consider taking part in the fun still left to enjoy!