Why talk to Luke?
It was a privilege, getting the chance to get to know Luke. I did not know Luke before I met with him at the Fish House over a cup of tea. (I know, it is supposed to be a cup of coffee, but I don't drink coffee.) Before meeting him, all I knew was that he was from Germany and went to Black Forest Academy. Other than those two facts about him, I knew nothing. Most people would feel weird having a conversation with someone they have never met, however, this gave me a chance to know someone and understand why people come to Calvin. I know my story, but everyone's story differs as to why they choose to come to Calvin. Luke's story of coming to Calvin is an important story that needed to be heard. I wanted to talk to Luke about his story and his first half of the semester experience at Calvin.
Luke's story is one of the many stories at Calvin, but he tells a story that fits small pieces of Calvin students and prospective students.
This is Luke.
Luke is a first-year student at Calvin College majoring in art education with a focus in digital communications. He is involved on his floor (2nd Beets) as a SET (social events team) member and is a member of the chess club.
As a SET member, he is able to use his social skills to meet other people on different floors, connect with other students from different floors and organize events for the floor. One of the main parts about living in the dorms deals with living with a roommate and being under the leadership of an RA (Luke's resident assistant: Caleb Gellat).
Luke is an international student from Germany and at Calvin is a member of ISAC (international student association committee) as well. ISAC is an organization that focuses on engaging international students to allow for a community to thrive at Calvin.
Life on 2nd Beets
- Roommate situation: Luke mentioned that he couldn't have a better roommate. His roommate is a military kid from Germany and is very laid back, which is fortunate in his case, since Luke is laid back as well. With both of their personalities, Luke and his roommate get along and enjoy life at Calvin. His roommate is also a photographer and just enjoys being around people. With this, Luke is able to enjoy life at Calvin with his roommate without any complications. Calvin has done a good job with Luke's rooming pair.
- Life as a SET member and with his RA: As a SET member, he gets the chance to connect people on his floor with other floors to grow in community, which can be really fun! During my conversation with Luke he mentioned a good floor date for him so far: 2nd Beets went to Robinette's with 3rd Heyns. It was a first-time experience for him to go apple picking. Along with the first time experience of apple picking, Luke mentioned that the girls from 3rd Heyns were really fun and easy to talk to. Even with successful events, there are events that are not as good, which can be disappointing. Luke mentioned a floor event that did not go as well during ArtPrize. With ArtPrize it can be really hard, because people tend to stick together rather than getting the chance to connect with each other. Luke did say even though it wasn't great as a floor event, it was still fun to see ArtPrize with friends! Lastly, being a SET member deals with working with his RA. Luke works with Caleb, which can be intimidating at times, however, Luke mentions that Caleb makes it really easy for him to be a SET member! In my opinion, it is always fun to work with easy RAs and it makes you want to do your job better! (Side note: SET is a volunteer leadership position that you take on for the year.)
WHY choose Calvin?
As I have mentioned above, Luke is an international student from Germany and went to an international school. Many people wonder how an international student decided to come to Calvin out of the all colleges in America, and even the world. I mean there is no DOUBT that Calvin is the one of the best schools in America. I mean, Calvin is tied number one with Taylor University as the Best College in the Midwest! Calvin is very BEAUTIFUL!
Luke's story of deciding on Calvin is such a God-trusting story. Many people wanted Luke to go to school in the west, which is not a bad idea. However, it was not necessarily what Luke wanted, rather it is people's choice for him.
Even with this, God turned everything around for him. Some current students that were Black Forest Academy alumni mentioned how much they love Calvin, and Luke was convinced to just apply. Luke did not want to go to Calvin in the beginning, but there were so many nudges from God that continually led him to increase interest to consider Calvin as a college for him. God provided the financial means for him to be able to attend Calvin. As for Luke, who never got the chance to visit Calvin and was not going to Calvin, it is evident that God wanted him at Calvin College.
It took A LOT of TRUST for Luke to get to Calvin, and now he believes that he made the right decision. Another good about how Luke ended up to Calvin was the consistency of being personal as the school reached out to him. It made him feel like he had worth and a reason why Calvin was for him. (Thank you TARA, the international admissions counselor, and of course the students who recommended Luke to Calvin).
One last part about Calvin that helped with his decision is the international aspect. He got the chance to go to International Passport to engage with other students who are in the same position as him.
Advice for prospective students
- Calvin has an AMAZING sports facility.
- Calvin has a great international student organization or community.
Luke believes that college is your own experience. He wants to express to the students that it is important to choose a college that fits you and is essentially a place where you can benefit. The college ultimately becomes your second home for the next for years, so pick a college that is FOR YOU, not for other people. Pick a college that will make you happy, like Luke did!