White Brick Walls to New Residence Halls

bill lindhout

Jordan George, Editor in Chief

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“Sorry, I forgot that you had a class right now.”

Our lives are based on perspective, and sometimes a change in perspective can be really weird. I missed school one day last week and ventured out to Hope College, a school that I am considering for next year. I left around 8, and as I hit the highway, I immediately felt a change in my outlook. Most FHC students were sitting in a plastic chair with a wooden desk, in a windowless room, listening to a presentation about the quadratic formula, or chloroplasts, or the Spanish-American War. Not saying that it isn’t important to learn those things, but I am just presenting the situation. I arrived at Hope, and I met the person who was showing me around for the day. It was 9:15, and she had just left breakfast with a group of friends and was headed back to her dorm. She had one class that day, at 10 o’clock, and it lasted for an hour and a half. After the class, we talked with a few friends of hers that didn’t have any classes for the day and were planning on going downtown to eat, doing some homework, or just heading to the student center to hang out for a while. At around noon we headed to the cafeteria for lunch, where we ate at a leisurely pace for about an hour. To wrap up our day, we hung out in her dorm and talked for a while, and then hopped in the car and toured downtown Holland. I said goodbye, and took a nice drive back to Grand Rapids, where I was home by three.

During the entirety of my visit, I kept asking myself “what are the kids at FHC doing right now?” As I roamed the Quad after the final class of the day, my friends were in third hour, with 3 more hours of sitting in desks left on their schedule. As I was eating a delicious lunch in one of the booths in Phelps Dining Hall, my friends were crammed into those cafeteria tables with plastic seats, rushing to get through the lunch line and attempting to eat in the 25 allotted minutes before hurrying back to class. As I was sitting in a dorm room, discussing that night’s big girls soccer match, my friends were in class, completing a worksheet about cells and mitochondria.

Now try to explain why a senior wouldn’t have “senioritis” after experiencing this college atmosphere.

In no way is this a knock against FHC, but it seems like this system just might not work as well for seniors in comparison to freshmen. The constant structure, schedules, and security is highly effective for freshmen, who need that structure, but for seniors, who have visited college campuses, experienced the freedom, and are hungry for more? I am not quite sure.

“Sorry, I forgot you have class right now.” That is what I said to my dad after I called him, without realizing that he was teaching his third hour English 10 class.

“Forgot about real life in Grand Rapids, didn’t you?” was his response, and to that question, I have to say that I did, and that it was nice to forget about those white walls, carpeted hallways, and 51 minute classes for just a little while.