I will admit that I was not looking forward to returning to campus this semester. The thought of leaving the warm, lazy days of summer behind and beginning another busy chapter of my education was not very inviting. I could stay home, get a full-time retail or nanny job and spend the rest of my life safe and secure, right? Technically, yes. Realistically, I decided not. So, instead of staying in the comfortable confines of my summer life at home, I drove back to Hope College.
Since returning, I have been reminded each day of all the things about Hope that I love, the things that subconsciously drew me back. When I walked up to my new dorm room for the first time, I was met by the smiling faces of two of my dear est friends. Embracing each of them reminded me that,al though I was leaving my bio logical family for the time being, I was being reunited with my Hope family. My Hope family, those who I had danced, sang, studied, laughed and cried with the year before, welcomed me back with open arms. I was amazed to find that all the relationships I built last year were able to withstand the changes of the past three months and resume with a simple wave, smile or hug.
I was surprised again by the start of classes. Instead of immediately being plunged into an icy pit of homework and exhaustion as I expected, I was pleased to remember how much I enjoy learning. Of course, I will be busy with homework and at times I will be tired. But aside from being slightly scary, school is also thrilling because it’s leading me towards a future that I know will bring me joy.
I missed having thoughtful conversations with my peers and seeking advice from my professors. I had forgotten how beautiful and inspiring Hope’s campus can be. Overall, I had neglected to consider how many things I would be missing if I had taken the safe road and stayed home. College can be scary, but Hope is more than just a college. It’s a place that I consider to be a second home, where I am preparing for my career and where I am continuing to learn more about my self each day.
College can be scary, but Hope is more than just a college. It’s a place that I consider to be a second home, where I am preparing for my career and where I am continuing to learn more about myself each day.
— Julia Kirby
Now we are three and a half weeks into the semester, although I hope I am not alone in feeling like we’ve been here much longer. At this point, I am grappling with the realization that the semester has truly begun. Homework is starting to pile up and the first exams and papers are rolling in. At times, I remember why I stressed about returning to campus, but I am grateful that Hope constantly reminds me why I did.
Congratulations to all my fellow students who have had the courage to return to cam pus and continue learning this year. You are a major reason why Hope has become so dear to me. I wish you all the best in this year’s adventures.