As I am writing this, it’s 11:38 P.M. on Saturday night, almost two hours after the girls of Odd Year were announced as the winners of this year’s Nykerk Cup Competition. I am bursting with energy and the buzz of victory. I am humming Mamma Mia, which has been stuck in my head since practice began and has yet to grow old. I am still wearing my “nunfit” for Song; I don’t want to take it off because I know that when I do, I won’t get to wear it again until next year.
I am in no way writing this to brag about our win; Even Year did amazing as well and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them perform. I am writing this simply because I want to encourage others to be a part of this Hope college tradition.
I didn’t originally plan on being a part of Nykerk. As someone who hates performing in front of crowds, who focuses too much on homework to have time for nightly practices and whose singing could be used as a torture device, I wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance to sing in front of a packed DeVos Fieldhouse. However, I decided to go to the introductory rally, and somehow that short meeting convinced me to jump miles out of my comfort zone.
I was asked multiple times by family, friends, and Even Year girls if I was excited for Nykerk to be over so I could have my free time back. Every time I told them no, because this has been one of the best experiences of my life.
Nykerk taught me to be a part of something bigger than myself. Together with that group of girls was the first time in my two months at Hope that I’ve truly felt at home. Ultimately, the reason I joined Nykerk Song was because I wanted to make friends, and I understand now how this tradition brings people together. I now recognize girls everywhere I go as fellow 2-1 Song Girls. It was amazing to have a group of girls to be completely myself around, to talk to and dance around with freely. When it was announced that we won, I hugged and high-fived girls that I had never even met before be- cause part of Nykerk is unity.
For all the freshmen girls who chose not to participate in Nykerk this year because of the time commitment or reluctance to perform, I strongly encourage you to join next year. You don’t have to be a Broadway star or an Os- car winning actress to be a part of the Nykerk family; you simply have to show up with a smile and a positive attitude. If you’re looking to find a community of caring and dedicated girls, consider joining the tradition next year to experience unconditional Nykerk love.