Sporty Spice: A letter to the people of Hope

The future is terrifying. I’ve mentioned again and again that I’m afraid to leave Hope College. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the reasons why I couldn’t bare with the thought of graduation: my love for Hope, my uncertain future and my egotistical tendencies. Upon much needed reflection, I realized how wrong I was. I’m not dragging my feet because of these reasons, I’m dragging my feet because of the people I’ve met here.

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was bullied and couldn’t find my place. I never would have imagined I would have the opportunity to become so close to so many people in college. These people mean the world to me and to face the reality of suddenly being separated from them is heart breaking.

So, in my Anchor finale, I would like to address some of the amazing people I’ve met at Hope because, let’s face it, this introvert is certainly not going to say these things face-to-face. (I stress that these are in no particular order and there are many more people at Hope that have changed my life, but due to length requirements, I couldn’t include them all.)

Christina Mulder

We’ve bunked together for four years now. That’s crazy. Watching High School Musical, singing Jesse McCartney and chair dancing will honestly be some of my favorite memories of college. You’re the only one who knows what I look like when I go stir crazy at 11 p.m. and the only one who can calm down my panic attacks with songs about all the people who did me wrong.

I’m going to miss living with you outside of college, but I’m sure you won’t miss my messiness. You’re the best, Woombie.

Kassandra Gancedo

Where do I begin? Brandon Flowers, belting the Plain White T’s in Gilmore Hall, butterfly therapy sessions… We’ve clocked in so many hours of insane laughter in our three years of friendship. I will never forgive you for hating me for the first few months of knowing each other. That’s three whole months of memories we missed out on.

When life seems like too much to handle, you’re always there. You feed me brownies and encourage my magnet addiction (maybe you’re not that great of a friend after all).

Please never leave me, Kassand. I promise to refill your marshmallow stash soon.

Duncan MacLean

Duncmaster4000. There is not enough room in this column for you.

Our friendship kind of started out of nowhere and look where we’re at now. We’ve spent so much time together that I’ve started talking like you and picking up your mannerisms. Yikes. I’ve even become Facebook friends/Twitter followers/Instagram followers with the members of your family (shout out to Jodi, the coolest mom who isn’t my own mom).

I want you to know how much you mean to me, which I think you’re already aware of. You’ve gotten me through some pretty tough stuff and made me laugh when I thought I couldn’t. You are the person I go to when I’m feeling nervous, anxious, sad and scared, and surprisingly, you have incredibly sound advice. I will never forget our many Duncan/Nicole conversations and I hope you realize there’s many more of those to come.

Your friendship is invaluable to me and I know that one day you’re going to be on national television and I’m so excited to watch you and think back on our days at Hope Update. I’m unbelievably lucky to be able to call you one of my closest friends and I hope you break your bad communication habit so that we can stay close for many years to come.

Sophie Guetzko

We’ve been friends for less than a year, but boy does it feel like longer. You are honestly the sweetest person I’ve ever met – that is, unless you’ve eaten gluten. You are the positive force in my life that helps me to see everything as a good instead of a bad. I’m so glad we both worked at Public Affairs and Marketing last summer because to have gone through senior year without you would have been a tragedy.

Thank you for you amazingness, your fun stories (cut those bangs, already!) and your love for life. I hope to someday be more like you. Until then, I’ll keep wearing my Reign Outfitter’s shirt (product plug).

Julian Morrison

I wish you knew how much you mean to me. You are one of the few people on this earth who I feel really, truly gets me. I don’t know how exactly we got so close so quickly, but it was obviously meant to happen. I know you’re a social person and you have a list of 47 people who you’d rather see in a day than me, but I feel honored to get to spend the time I do with you (even if it’s being stranded in Vegas).

Thanks for being there when I needed someone to talk to and thanks for always feeling like you could trust me with your own stories. I may be graduating, but I’m staying in Holland. I look forward to tutoring you in history, but I look forward more to getting paid in Trident Layers. Thanks for always making me laugh and for making me feel like I’m not the odd one out.

#BEANAB #bricklivesmatter #oranges #thing

Adam Nottoli

Adam Bernard Nottoli. My son. We have a weird friendship. I remember being in Rob’s creative writing class and thinking, “Wow, this Adam kid is pretty awesome. I wish we were friends.” Flash forward nearly two years and you’ve become my son. Talk about the ultimate friendship.

And now you’re taking over my position as Co-Editor-inChief for next year. I would say I couldn’t be prouder, but let’s be real. Your rise through The Anchor started a little rocky when you both applied and interviewed for the Sports Co-Editor position within the same day – the day I was emailing out staff hiring decisions.

But there’s a reason I asked you to apply to be on staff in the first place. I saw your potential back in Rob’s class and I see your potential today. You are going to be an amazing leader for this organization, an incredible English teacher and an even better friend. I’ll miss your insane sneezes and hilariously descriptive stories.

Professor Moreau

I was incredibly nervous to start college. I was fairly overwhelmed, but when I sat down in your English 113 class, I knew college was going to be just fine. There was never a moment when I doubted that you cared about each and every one of your students. Your kind soul was present at every class meeting and is still there when I see you around campus. Even after all these years, you still keep up with what I’m doing. In fact, I know you’ll see this note because you still read my columns.

Thank you for all of your kind words of wisdom and encouragement. I hope that when I’m a professor someday, I will be able to touch the lives of my students in the same ways you do.

The Anchor

How could I write my goodbye letters without including the people who love me even at my worst? You are my family away from home, and if we’re being honest, you probably know more about me than my actual family. Even though our time as a group is coming to an end and we’ll be traveling to new places and getting real jobs and finally sleeping on Monday nights, there will always be a place in our hearts for our family.

I cannot believe this is the end. I remember my very first article: men’s soccer at the 13th annual Bergsma Memorial Tournament. It took up a whole page! I’ve been the unofficial beat reporter for soccer for three years now and I’ve loved every single minute of it.

Thank you, Anchor, for giving a quiet girl a voice and a space to geek out about sports. I may only be 22 years old, but I know without a doubt, I will never be a part of a more inclusive and amazing group of people as I am now. When I think back on my time at The Anchor, I won’t be thinking of the nights without sleep or the amount of hair I lost from stress, I will be thinking of Swain acting like an ape, Adam sneezing his brains out, Alek and Duncan fighting like middle schoolers, The Chymes and all of the other absolutely hilarious moments that came from this hallowed office.

I have to thank my co-editor Hope Hancock for helping me lead this crazy group of people. We came into this year with the goal of being the best Anchor staff yet, and it’s safe to say we reached that goal. I appreciate you more than you know and I wish I had more room to write about you.

I love you, Anchor family. I cannot wait to see how successful you all become and where you all end up. I will be there for you in times of happiness and times of tribulation. You mean everything to me. Thank you for making my experience at Hope College better than I could have ever imagined.

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