With 11:1 student-faculty ratio, students will easily be able to develop one-on-one relationships with the professors here. The professors are very passionate and knowledgeable in their fields and they challenge and inspire their students. They want you to do well and succeed in everything that you do. The professors do have their office hours, but most of the times the doors open, so if you ever need extra help, you can set up an appointment or just walk in! Academics aren't the only things you can talk about; you can also talk to them for support; many professors also serve as advisors and mentors to students.
Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan and you can find almost anything from clothes to entertainment or whatever it may be, without having a car! There are two shopping malls in walking distance from Calvin, movie theaters, restaurants, grocery stores, parks and fun centers that you can go with a group of friends! You can travel by “The Rapid”, which is a public bus that could take you to various places at a very low cost. You could even plan a road trip for a weekend or during breaks, with your friends to either downtown Chicago or Detroit, which are in within driving distance (approximately 3 hours).
Grand Rapids is also full of churches. After church hopping for several weeks, I decided to attend a church called Hahn-In, where Korean-Americans join together for worship and praise. Here, I am blessed to serve the church through the praise band.
From my experience, I can tell you the best thing about working on campus are that employers here at Calvin are very understanding and supportive of their workers. As students, we are here to study and put our academics as our first priority. Sometimes it’s hard when schoolwork conflicts with your work schedule, but when you give the employer a prior notice, the employers try their best to find a substitute or find other ways to help you out so that you do not have to work. My advice to you is to manage your time wisely, which I still need to work on. Whenever you have free time, work on the things that need to be done. It can save you a lot of time later.
There are two dining halls on campus, the Knollcrest and Commons Dining Hall. The foods are prepared through Creative Dining Services, which are known for its variety of foods. The dining hall is set as a buffet system and the food consist of simple salads to custom sandwiches, vegetarian entrees, gourmet foods, and many flavors of ice cream. If you get hungry during the evening or in between meals, you can always stop by Johnny’s Café for a variety of sweets and grilled foods. Or you could always go to the Fish House for its delicious coffees, teas and breakfast pastries. You will never get hungry on campus!
There are also many restaurants outside of campus, which consists many of diverse foods such as Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Japanese and many more! These oriental stores at located at about each block, and not only will you be amazed by the taste of the foods, but the price is also set at a reasonable price. If you get tired of the dining hall foods, you can go shop for groceries at nearby stores. With those ingredients, you can cook yourself a nice homemade meal!
During the first several weeks of school, try to spend several hours a day and weeks to meet new friends. The friends that you will meet in college will most likely be your lifelong friends. It is important to build relationships in the beginning and throughout your school year. Also, be open to try out new things. There are over 50 clubs and organizations for you to get involved in at Calvin. Step out of your comfort zone and start getting involved in the things that you enjoy or interest you.
Calvin has many academic resources available for the students, at NO COST! There is a tutoring program available if you’re struggling with your assignments or get help preparing for the exams. Need help with editing those final papers? Rhetoric Center is available for you to get a second opinion on your paper and fix the grammatical errors. Although these resources are available, I recommend you to talk to your professor first, to see why you are struggling in the class and know that they are always there to answer any of your questions over the classroom material. Don’t be afraid or feel embarrassed to talk to your professors. They’re there to help you achieve.
When I have free time, I usually try to spend some time outside of my room and spend quality time with my friends, by going to the mall, Reeds lake/Gaslight Village, coffee shops or catch movies at the theaters, just like any other typical girl. When we go out, we either grab coffee or smoothies and sometimes when we crave something other than the cafeteria food, we would grab food at the food court in the mall or at restaurants. Don’t worry about not having a car; they’re all nearby and are within walking distance from campus and buses are also available. However, there are many events that go on on-campus throughout the whole year too; such as buck Fridays, concerts, sporting events and many more!