I’ve gotten to know myself a lot better, which brings me peace. I’m a lot more comfortable going outside of what I know.
Reitsma MpindiOrganizational Communication
If we had to describe Reitsma with one word, we’d pick determined. But he’s way more complex than that, because at Calvin, he’s using his determination to invest in others.
How have you changed since coming to Calvin?
Coming out of high school, my sense of identity was wrapped up in athletic performance and achievement. But I wasn’t pursuing athletics at Calvin, so I wanted to achieve in the classroom, and that’s not the place I excel naturally. I really questioned my abilities and whether I was even worth anything. Then I figured out that it’s not necessarily even about performance; it’s about being truthful and giving an honest effort. Performance is still important, but what’s more important is making sure that I’m obeying the Lord in what I’m doing.
What have you learned about weakness at Calvin?
I’ve learned that we all have weaknesses, and that’s okay. It’s not okay to have them and not address them. There are certain things that I’ll never be strong in, but I can work to improve those things and I can put people around me that will help me. Your flaws are actually a means for you and the Lord to have a relationship because you have to rely on him to help you work through what the weaknesses may expose.
What’s your relationship like with your professors?
I’ve had some excellent professors. I’ve had professors who want to take me out to lunch or stop by their office and talk, not just about my grades, but about my heart.
How has Calvin helped you find your purpose?
I’ve always been deeply invested in other people, but I wasn’t sure how to take that passion beyond my own friendships and late night talks. Now, that same passion for people means that I’m thinking about how policy shifts have an effect on education and youth. I’m thinking about how shaping an office environment affects how employees perform at the office and also who they are at home.
What kinds of things are you involved with outside of class?
I’m a Student Senator, so I spend a lot of time listening to students and working on projects. One of my major projects for Student Senate was working on updating the library lobby. I’m also the Weekend Programming Intern for Student Life, which means I get to plan fun events for students. This spring, I’ve actually joined the track team where I’m competing in long jump for the first time in many years.
What do you want prospective students to know about Calvin?
In my experience at Calvin, I have had to stumble a few times. If you mess something up and you go to your professors humbly, they will work with you. I feel like that would be a very liberating thing to students making their college decision: people are here to walk with you through your struggles.