Hey guys, I'm Jules Ludema. As an often-insecure high schooler, I never thought I could be brave enough to put my writing out there in the student newspaper or study in England. My Calvin classes and professors, however, gradually helped me gain this confidence. After that, writing for Chimes came naturally to me, and I leapt at the chance to study in York, England – the best four months of my life. So when my friend Lemuel Ong and I had the opportunity to meet Stephanie Vogelzang and William Lowery, alumni who live in London, for tea and scones (because England), we didn't think twice.
JULES: So looking back, what do you think you learned when you were a student at Calvin?
STEPHANIE: I would say that Calvin taught me to be very well-rounded, which I think is needed in a global and fast-changing world.
WILLIAM: I really think that those four years shaped and formed me into a person who would be lovingly battle-tested, a person who's prepared for law school and life as a lawyer afterward. You build your character but you also build relationships that stand the test of time and help you as you grow up.
JULES: What was your most memorable class and professor, and why?
WILLIAM: I really liked interim and the unique courses you got. I think my favorite class was "Zombies and Consciousness" with Professor Corcoran in philosophy. It explored phenomena of the mind and Christian materialism from a philosophical sense – just a really interesting and eye-opening class.
LEMUEL: Spending this semester in York is one of the best because it's so different and engaging. I really like the class because it doesn't feel like a class, and it really expands your mind in a different way. When your physical world opens up, your mind opens up as well – you become more open to receive the new knowledge and become more open to different people and different cultures.
You know, after all my experiences, there was nothing as much fun as Calvin College. I loved every minute of it, even the challenging parts. I don't think there's a better college out there; I don't think there's a better decision a student can make. – Stephanie
JULES: What advice would you give to college students?
WILLIAM: Find people that challenge you in your academics and faith – people who are willing to call you out. I'm very grateful that Calvin taught me I should have people in my life that are smart lawyers and Christians who can tell me, 'You should do that,' or 'No, you shouldn't do that.' You're going to make mistakes, and life is a growing exercise. The best part of Calvin is the range of people who are willing to challenge you in a loving way.
STEPHANIE: Find friends that help you think the best about you, and outside the box. I lived with girlfriends who always encouraged me to think big.
JULES: Why do you think students should choose Calvin over all the other college choices?
STEPANIE: I would say that a big draw of Calvin – now that I'm done with Calvin and Yale – is that the amount of attention you get from your professors is unprecedented. You feel like they're rooting for you; they're not just about their own research or just about their own agenda.
LEMUEL: Yeah, even the advisors – they're not just concerned about academics. They ask about how you're doing and how you're feeling and they want to know you personally. They're concerned about you. I'm very impressed by that.
WILLIAM: I think Calvin isn't going to limit your career options – if you're looking to get into a professional program, Calvin is probably going to be a much greater learning environment than any of those 75-people classrooms.