Orienting back to campus life (or experiencing it for the first time!) can be jarring for many students coming off of a relaxing or work-filled summer vacation. Thankfully, Hope College is filled with people willing to share tips and tricks to living your best life around Hope’s campus!
Phelps Dining Hall is a fine choice for on-campus meals, but why limit yourself to the standard options? Try the panini press for a change! Popular options include panini pressing cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tortillas with chocolate and marshmallows in the middle and any sandwich from the deli. Cook Hall reputably has higher quality food but usually a smaller menu. To expand your options further, the Kletz Market is a great place to get some good eats—even better when they’re free! Head to the Kletz around closing time to get soon-to-expire sandwiches, salads, fruits, unsold pizza and, best of all, some warm cookies.
To the south of campus, on the corner of 17th Street and Columbia, is Mi Favorita, also called Mi Fav, which has authentic Mexican food like tacos, burritos and enchiladas that won’t break the bank. The Minit Mart on 15th Street and Columbia has plenty of cookies, ice cream and other snacks to choose from if you’ve got a sweet tooth! 8th Street, to the north of campus, also features many restaurants that often have student discounts, so choose wisely! If you like to go out at night, HopCat (one of Holland’s newest additions) is a great option, as they serve food until midnight and have great happy hour specials. Make way for cosmik fries!
Any conversation about places to eat around Hope’s campus wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the abundance of coffee shops. Head to Lemonjello’s for a mood latte, the 205 for a beverage in the open air, or to Ferris Coffee on 8th Street for a more modern experience.
Looking for some fresh foods? The Holland Farmer’s Market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the fall semester. Local farmers bring in produce, but there are also vendors selling fresh kombucha, quiche, blueberry muffins and donuts, goat milk soap, homemade hummus, flowers, honey and so much more! There’s no better way to settle into Holland life than visiting the farmer’s market.
Exploring all those food options might strain your bank! Check out the “Hope College Online Garage Sale” Facebook group to buy or sell any used clothes or books, get connected with various jobs or (on the off chance) get some free stuff!
Imagine this: the semester is coming to a close and you’ve finally settled into the college routine, when in the span of one day the temperature drops to below freezing and it’s snowing! Where can you go to warm up? The Dow Center sauna, of course! Located in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are dry saunas where you can go to warm up or sweat out. The Dow also lets students exchange their student ID for a towel, basketball or other sports equipment as needed, so don’t be afraid to go give it a try!
Hope also has many different places for worship on campus. After the Gathering on Sunday nights, if you stick around for a few minutes, the chapel band will continue to play worship songs into the night! If you prefer a more private setting, the Bultman Student Center features a prayer chapel on the main floor, and there is a small chapel in the basement of Graves Hall.
Opportunities to relax with some music don’t end with worship songs. The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts isn’t just a place for music majors. It also holds concerts and is a great place to study. The upper level has practice rooms with pianos that are open for all students to use, including those who are just playing for fun!
While I can provide all sorts of ideas for you to pack in more fun (and studying) to your college experience, RAs are also a great source! Ask your RA about any upcoming dorm events or college-wide events like Waffle House or Pancake House. Grab a friend and check them out. Don’t be afraid to explore and find all the new and different things campus and its surroundings have to offer!
Photo Credit to Holland.Org