A Warm Freshman Thank You

While returning students celebrate the finish of the first week of classes, the Hope College Class of 2021 is celebrating so much more: the first week of survival on our own. Our first daunting week without a parent holding our hand, a group of friends to make us laugh or the faintest clue of what we’re doing. But we made it, in part thanks to the fantastic and dedicated orientation team, who helped Hope college feel a little bit more like home every day.

To the orientation team,
Thank you for making everything run so smoothly. With such a packed schedule, it would have been so easy for confusion to interfere with the day’s events. However, with such careful planning by dedicated individuals, the orientation process was not troublesome but smooth and easygoing, which I believe made the transition much easier. From the moment we moved in, we were taken care of. Thank you for keeping us busy. Saying goodbye to family is never easy, especially when you know they’ll be gone for months. Both my roommate and I were in tears practically the whole day. I was, however, quickly relieved, partially because of my own self-pride and refusal to cry in front of others, but also because immediately after my last tearful goodbye, I was immediately whisked into more activities, more meetings and more opportunities for involvement. It was a matter of minutes before I was distracted enough to wipe away my tears.

Thank you for breaking us out of our shells. Personally, icebreaker games are my worst nightmare. Activities like Playfair and the first few days of orientation group meetings made me slightly uncomfortable, but that’s exactly what we need. College isn’t going to immediately be comfort- able. It will take time and effort on our part for Hope to really feel like somewhere we belong. Drawing us out of our comfort zones helps us along the road to forming relationships. We now know names, hometowns, majors, “fun facts” and best dance moves of hundreds of people, which is step one to forming a strong community.

Thank you for being so friendly. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised and slightly intimidated by the ferocious kindness that radiates from everyone at Hope. All weekend, everywhere I turned, there was someone there to help. There was a boy who was overly enthusiastic about carrying my fridge to my room, a girl who told me about the hot spots to go downtown and my orientation team leaders, who continuously ensured us that they were always available to talk, give advice or be a shoulder to cry on.

Thank you, most of all, for welcoming us into our new home. I think I can speak for the entire class of 2021 when I say that we are so excited to see what lies ahead in our journey into college, and we cannot wait for the day when we sincerely call Hope home.




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