When Josie came to Calvin, she only knew a few people. But now, she has deep relationships with friends, professors and mentors. How? She met a lot of people, got involved in some campus activities and spent time being intentional about her friendships.
Her first semester wasn’t always easy. Even surrounded by college students, Josie struggled with feeling lonely and disconnected. “I met a lot of people in the first month and went from friend group to friend group to meet more people,” she said. “It took a lot of time for me to figure out who I meshed with and who I could grow alongside in faith. I think interim [in January] was when it started to click for me.
Finding a balance
As a Spanish and nursing double major who also runs track, Josie thinks carefully about how she spends time between academics, athletics and her friends.
“I went to bed at 10 or 11 most nights [in the dorms], and I did do a lot of studying—but I was really intentional about friendships, too. Sometimes if I couldn’t [reach] friends, I’d write them letters or go to LOFT (a Sunday night worship service at Calvin) or meals with them. It was a little hard and stressful, but it’s doable.”
When she’s not practicing or studying, Josie loves spending her free time reading for fun, swing dancing on Wednesday nights and going to LOFT. She also loves seeing bands that Calvin brings to campus—Switchfoot and Ingrid Michaelson are her favorite shows so far.
Friends in new places
What really drew Josie to Calvin, though, were the various study abroad programs. Josie chose to study in Peru for an advanced Spanish language program. “Studying abroad was a priority for me, so that was one of the reasons I came to Calvin,” she said. “It’s hard to really comprehend our culture until you experience an other one completely. It’s important to share your heart with someone in another language, culture and context.”
Nursing: a call to serve
Josie hopes to become a nurse with a servant’s heart. “It’s special to learn about how we can take care of our bodies and how that is connected to who we are as people.
“I want to go to graduate school and possibly become a professor or do research, because there’s a lot to know about health that we still don’t know yet with the resources we now have.”
With great friends, teammates and professors, Josie looks forward to growing more with people who love Jesus.