Hope College: College Visit #5

Here is the next college visit post promised from yesterday. I made a visit to Hope College in Holland, Michigan several weekends ago. This was my first overnight visit, and I FELL IN LOVE with yet another college.

Despite having to park half a mile away from the admissions office (and making that trek countless times…), sore feet, a dying phone, eating lunch alone, and being low-key sick…it was a successful visit. I was able to talk with faculty in the kinesiology department, take a tour, and then stay overnight with student hosts.

My talk that I had with the kinesiology professor…I found out that at Hope I can no longer major in Athletic Training as a pre-med student (which was my plan). The athletic training gods in the sky have deemed it right to require that students go to grad school in order to become certified athletic trainers. Previously, students could get certified with a bachelors degree in Athletic Training. This rule takes effect in 7 or 8 years, but Hope is implementing it now to make it easier on their students in the long run. So I realized that I would have to major in exercise science in order to get the courses in anatomy and physiology and nutrition and such that I was looking for when I was considering athletic training. After I came to that realization, I had to then decide (or rather start the process of deciding) if an MD was in my future or athletic training instead. Obviously, I still have plenty of time to make that decision…however I am leaning towards majoring in Bio or Chem as a pre-med student and still pursue that medical degree and become a doctor.

Overnight visit…I had an amazing visit with these girls. There were three of them in a triple dorm, all sophomores and all friends from the previous year. They were all science majors too. They were the sweetest girls and took time to talk about school and life and answer my questions. They had a big group of friends that were all in a “science majors dorm” last year so there were a few extra girls that hung out with us for the weekend. They took me to downtown Holland (super cute!! Lots of shops, cobblestone streets…). We went to a volleyball game (I can’t remember who won…) We watched a movie and ate popcorn and made a late night donut run to a kind of sketchy donut shop on the edge of campus (a Hope College must-d0). Oh and we ate cereal for dinner (after eating being responsible and eating real food:)

Okay, on to the college itself…it is a small, Christian, liberal arts college about 10 minutes away from Lake Michigan. I found the people to be welcoming and friendly. The academics are high quality. The campus is beautiful with gorgeous facilities. Students are engaged with each other and their professors. Fun fact: the president of the college and his wife live in a house in the middle of campus. Actually live there! And they have fun events like donuts and cider on their back porch. Or the president will email students and invite them for dinner. Or his wife will invite students to bake cookies with her. How cool is that?!

So Hope is definitely high on my list, and I can see myself as a student there. I have successfully applied, and I should get my decision the week of Thanksgiving!



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Michigan…and Michigan

Hi all! These past two weeks have been very busy for me with not a lot of time at home. First, I traveled up to Ann Arbor to visit a couple of my CILT girls. We worked on a lot of CILT work, and we feel like we got a lot done. We both finished all three of our lesson plans for the activities we are going to be teaching. My activities are outdoor cooking, hiking, and survival skills. It was a lot of work to plan activities, bible verses, rainy day activities, and prep materials for each day, but we made it through–thank goodness we were doing it together!

I spent three days up there, and we were basically working non-stop on CILT. If we weren’t working then we were talking about camp:) Can you tell that we are a bit obsessed? (In a good way!) We also took a shopping trip to Walmart to stock up on “counselor things.” We went a bit crazy with the yummy candles and fun pens.

A trip to Walmart with friends is always fun, but this time I was driving. Which would have been fine, if I had known the roads. Something different in big cities that I am not used to is the fact that lots of driving is done on the highway, just to do basic errands. Has anyone heard of “weave lanes?” They are things of evil! Basically what happened was I exited, but I exited right onto another lane of traffic that was exiting as well from another highway. Instead of just merging together, everyone had to switch lanes with each other. It was kind of crazy, but it worked. These are probably a lot easier than I am making them sound, but even my people who live up in Michigan say that they are really dangerous and hard to do.

Google images “weave lanes”

I also ran into a round about. I have seen them before, but I just think that they are more trouble than they are worth. That’s all:)

I also had my Camp Med up in Michigan this past weekend. I had probably the best time of my life. The camp was focused on Cardiology so we had a lot of hands on labs, including a dissection and practice with EKGs! We had class lectures as well because this was a 1 credit college class, technically. We stayed in the dorms and ate in the dining hall. In between class, we were able to scope out campus. The faculty was amazing and the camp leaders (also faculty) were so kind in showing us around campus and answering our many questions about the college. I fell in love with the college, so it is definitely high on my list, as well as their equestrian competition teams. Currently, I ride Western, but I really want to learn English. They have both teams, but I would love to compete hunt seat. So I talked to my riding instructor, and she agreed to start teaching me some showmanship and start teaching me hunt seat. The horse I ride does almost everything…including cross rails!!!!!! I am just so excited right now:) And I am excited about something other than school, so that feels good 😀

I have just a couple more weeks to complete my CILT work so that I can graduate and become a counselor! I am terrified, but also out of my mind excited. My camp director just sent us our “assignments”. I am going to be counseling the “Pilgrims”–3rd and 4th grade girls. They are the best:)

Now I am off to CILT work and volunteer in the E.R. this afternoon! Have a great day!

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The Past 5 Weeks

A few more than five weeks ago I posted a post with some pictures that perfectly described my state of mind at the time:). Since then, I went and returned from Spring Camp, started volunteering, went to school and studied whenever possible, and…FINISHED SCHOOL.

Let’s get into it shall we?

Spring camp turned out to be more of a soaking wet, freezing cold Winter Camp. However, we did get to have campfires and cook over a fire amid the snow hikes and near-ice fishing so I guess it all balances out. Despite the arctic temperatures, I was able to have a fantastic weekend with my camp friends.

It doesn’t look like it, but there was a lot more snow on the ground!

Then, the next weekend, I actually got to start my volunteering in the Emergency Room! I love it so very much. I volunteer every Friday in the afternoon, and every time I leave to go home, I am just so happy. it has made me want to be a doctor even more than I ever wanted to. I love interacting with the registrars and the patients/visitors.

Oh! I turned 17!! 😀 I  had a wonderful birthday day-day and weekends on either side of it:) The Sunday before, my family and I went out to dinner and then the weekend after we actually did presents and cake/ice cream.


Age of Adeline...my absolute favorite movie:D

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album

Kaitlyn made me this beautiful photo album. I also got a Fitbit from my parents! But I didn’t have a clear picture of that.

Cake was really good...

Cake was really good…


And then came final’s week.

And then I wasted time taking pictures.


My mom showed me this video when she was helping me study for my Bio final. It is perfect for anyone in final’s week.

But I made it through…with all A’s. What a relief!

And then I finished school.


google images 🙂 School’s out, let’s scream and shout!!

google images :)

google images 🙂

I had an appointment with my guidance counselor the week after I finished, and he told me that the only classes I need to graduate would be Modern American History, Economics, and Physics. That is really exciting because now I can fill the extra spots in science!!

My classes for next semester: Anatomy and Physiology 1 (A&P), College Algebra 2, Computer Science, Modern American history, and Latin 3. Then I am hoping to take A&P 2, Econ, Physics, and Sociology in the Spring. I have been waiting to take A&P for several years now, so I am really excited–for all of my Senior Year classes!

I have applied to one college so far, I should get that decision this summer. The rest of my colleges are on the Common App which doesn’t come out until August 1.

I have a busy summer up ahead:

*Studying for my second, and hopefully last round, of the ACT and SAT.

* Camp Med: This is a three day camp in June for Juniors and Seniors. We get to stay on the college’s campus and work in their cadaver and Physiology labs, and work with faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Physics, and Psychology on topics that have to do with Cardiology. We also get to attend sessions about college and medical school admissions to figure out how to better prepare ourselves and our applications. Plus, I get college credit for this!

*Visit from Grandma Rychener!

*Summer Camp: I will graduate CILT and become a camp counselor! Lots of work between now and then to make sure that I will actually graduate, but finally all of this work is paying off.

So anyway…I took this past week to be on Summer vacation for real, and I will start the work for real this week:)







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Horses, horses, horses

Hello!!! happy Tuesday morning to ya’ll:)

Guess what?! My sister and I started horse lessons last night 😀 EEEEE!!! As you can probably tell…I’m rather excited.

We didn’t get a lot of ride time in last night since it was our first night. We learned how to groom them and tack them. Sweet horses:)

My horse's name was Rico.

My horse’s name was Rico.


Stand still!

Stand still!




















Yesterday, I took my history midterm. I can’t believe how fast the semester is going!

Tonight, I start piano lessons with the same student I had last year. They live right down the road from school so I am going to give her lessons at her house every Tuesday. I’m glad:) I missed doing it.

Next Monday (!) is the first Model UN meeting. It is a no commitment info meeting. We’ll get info packets and a ton of answers:) Can’t wait.



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My Meeting with the Career Lady

Like I said in Part 2 of What do I do first?! I said that I had met with my college’s career counselor. We’ll call her Dr. Z. She encouraged me (a lot) and gave me next steps, which I so desperately need:D

First off, she let me know that this appointment wasn’t a one time deal for me. She said that when she meets with medical minded students, she normally meets with them once a semester, including through the summer, to keep up with each other and make sure everything is falling into place.

(A little background info-she actually worked at a medical school that had an MD, DO, and PA program. She really knows what she is talking about!)

There is a medical conference at a local university in October that she said that I should attend. She will be there as well so I will have someone who can help me navigate the event. There will be doctors and med school advisors and faculty and admissions counselors and current/recently graduated med students at the event. I will be able to sit in on panel discussions and things such as that. I am really excited and hope that I will benefit from it.

She led me to the AAMC database. This is a summer internship database that is very useful. Dr. Z asked me a lot of questions about school and my shadowing experiences. She asked me what I liked/disliked about each of my shadowing times. I basically told her everything that you can find on my Shadowing page.

From my answers, she told me that I need something that will challenge me each and every day so that I don’t get bored. That sounds awful, but I agree with that:) She also thinks that research won’t satisfy me long term, but would highly benefit me right now, hence the summer internship suggestion.

Dr. Z also gave me a link to a certain episode from a podcast. Have you every heard of Slate’s Working? I never have before, but there is an episode about a medical resident. Basically the interviewer asks the interviewee about a normal day, challenges in the job, how they chose that job, etc. I really enjoyed listening to it.

That basically sums up what the meeting was about. She wants me to schedule another meeting in November. She will help me with my summer internship applications, college applications, and talk about the medical conference.

I just wanted to update you on where I am right now:)


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Sunday Morning Catch-up

Happy Sunday morning all!

I will be going to church in about an hour, but I thought I would just pop in this morning. I start school tomorrow. My first day of ‘college’! (I love calling it that:) )

Yesterday we shopped for clothes and school supplies. I finally figured out how I am going to organize myself with binders and notebooks etc. I Googled it and Pinterested it, and I used a lot of different ways to create my own way. I will be posting this week about that. I want to make sure that it works for me first! I think that it will though.

I’m getting really nervous about school tomorrow. Yesterday, I walked my class route and picked up my final book from the campus bookstore. I have no idea what to expect and everything is new and that makes me very excited. Yet still nervous:) I’m praying that I will just figure it out and have a lot of fun.


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Ahhh, Fair Days

Hi guys! I had a pretty great day today. I spent most of the day with Jennifer and her in-laws at the country fair. Remember how her husband’s family raises cows and steer and all the kids show them at fair? Well. This is fair week and they are all basically living in the barn.

Mom and I were just going to see a few shows and visit with her for a bit. Yeah, that turned into me staying all day. It was great. I loved it so much!! I like being around all the cousins and the rest of the family.

They got there at 5:30 this morning and are probably just leaving now at 11:00. Those people are crazy! But this is what they worked all year for…so it’s worth it.

I also hung out with a couple of my friends who will be going to school with me this year:) Speaking of school, I will have to run up there tomorrow. I still have to get a book that the bookstore people say I don’t need, but online in the bookstore it says I need it. I hope I don’t have to argue too much with them about it:)

School is four days away. It doesn’t even feel real yet! It probably won’t until my first class.

See you guys!

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Who Doesn’t Love Cows??

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday morning, at 8:15, my mom and I got to visit my chemistry teacher’s husband’s family farm. Her father-in-law raises cattle to sell. His grandchildren are all expected to raise steer and calves each year to take to 4-H to sell. It helps him and the kids because they get to keep the money.

So anyway, we got to visit and see them take care of their cows like they each do every morning. These kids (and sometimes their moms) go over to the farm each morning to  wash and dry and lead their steer and calf and cow. There must have been 10 kids and all of their moms there taking care of cows. Mom and I got to blow dry a cow!! Mom also lead a calf, but…I didn’t want to:)

After the cow adventure, we went over to her house to see her hogs. They just built a new house, and it is gorgeous! They cleared the land themselves and designed the house themselves. Such a pretty place.

Back to the hogs…I went inside their pen, and they started biting my feet! Jennifer’s daughter who is in 3rd grade was just walking in their and climbing around and checking their water and such. Let’s just say that as much as I love the outdoors, I am NOT a farm girl:)

What a great way to start the week:)

The rest of the week will involve studying Latin and getting myself ready (at least a little bit) for the school year which will start on August 24th. I am trying to not stress out over all that I have to get ready for. I have to get my books and set up my online Latin class stuff and ‘walk my schedule’ and study Latin and get school supplies. MMMMM!

BUT, once the school year starts maybe I will finally get into a routine again. We’ll see:p

I have started to do yoga every morning when I wake up. It helps me to get rid of all the ‘after sleep stiffness’ and it feels great! I read a verse from the Bible before and after I do yoga. A wonderful way to start the morning.




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End of School and SUMMER

School, technically, ended last Wednesday. I still have a few things I need to get done: French, Lit, and history.

Overall, this should be a relaxing summer and I am already enjoying it very much! I took a lot of pictures with people for lots of great memories as this is my last year at my school after 11 years. *Sniff* 🙁

As Wednesday was the last day of school, our P.E. teacher, Coach, set up an outstanding field day themed ‘Down on the Farm’. She asked me to man the ‘Pig Out’ table. And of course…once the students were all finished I just had to try it! So I asked one of the teachers, going by the name Genevieve Elizabeth o’Shinseki (just for the blog!) to face me.

unnamed (8)

On your marks…get set…





And the result

And the result
















Don’t mind our hair…in any of these pictures…

Noni came to watch the events. We had a wonderful time! unnamed (24) 

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn











This is our friend, Katy. She is going to public school next year so we won’t see her every day, but we still will see each other at church on Sundays! unnamed (29)






These next two pictures are with Miss Horner and Coach. Miss Horner is another teacher at school (3rd and 4th grade). I had her as my 1st grade teacher. I will miss both of them tremendously.

Miss Horner

Miss Horner














And finally…my beloved Chemistry teacher (she is the RRT that I followed.)









So now you have faces to put with names! As to this summer, I am taking my driving road test on Wednesday! Pray that I pass the first time!!

I have summer camp later this summer, our VA trip with Noni in June, just swimming with friends and reading. OF COURSE, tons of CILT work to do before camp, but that’s fun…right?

Yesterday was the first day of the yoga challenge. Is anyone signed up to do it? I got the first email yesterday. I’ll post about that soon as well. Tell me about your summer plans.

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Shadowing a Podiatrist

Today I was able to shadow a podiatrist! I got there around 12:45 and we were finished by 4:30. He is a private practitioner, which he made clear is really hard to start into nowadays, so he has really nice hours. He takes Wednesday and Friday afternoons off and comes in only in the afternoons the other days. His ‘office ladies’ were really sweet. I am kind of confused on their training…I don’t think they were nurses.

Anyhow…I really enjoyed today. I saw people getting their toe nails trimmed, routine check-ups for broken feet, slipper casting, and other feet problems:) The other feet problems were  people who had pain in their heel who were in for a check-up to get x-rays. He looked at the films right away so I got to see my first films!

A few people had corns that he had to scrape away. It was kind of…gross. He had to scrape away a lot of the skin, and it looked painful!

The office feel really appeals to me. My first two shadowings were in the hospital, and it was nice to shadow a physician in the office. It was laid back and relaxed, mainly because they didn’t have very many patients. I mean, we saw patients with about a 10 minute period in between, but he wasn’t frantically rushing around seeing people.

This was a nice experience because since we had some down time, he talked to me a lot about podiatry school and med school and different scopes of practice. He kind of outlined differences in hospital practice and private practice and clinical practice and group practice, etc. I learned a lot about the business side of things too:)

So what did I learn today? I learned that I really love the idea of working in an office and a hospital. One of the ladies gave me a name of an Ob/Gyn to call about shadowing because I had said that the ones that I have already called said they wouldn’t allow high school students to shadow…which makes sense. But I really want to shadow an Ob/Gyn.

I have several shadowings that I am going to line up soon: an Ob/Gyn, an RRT (my chem teacher!), and an ER nurse (my mom’s friend!).

Pretty fun times:p

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