Now I know I’m going to show my age here, but back when I was a freshman, the Commons had a lot less food options than it does know—there were no breakfast omelets, no cheeseburgers for lunch, and no stir fry and taco bar.
You may think that I’m about to say that all these additions to the Commons are why Dordt was recently ranked #1 in student engagement by WSJ for the second year in a row. You’re not entirely wrong. The food options we are blessed with today are certainly what makes Dordt so engaging. But I was thinking of something I little different:
Back to freshman year. The Commons had already started its journey towards creating more food options, but, nonetheless, it was always a treat to be invited elsewhere to dinner (and by dinner, I mean supper) for a homemade meal. Luckily for me, I had a friend who had an older sister who lived in the apartments. She would have us over for a meal every once in a while, and eventually we became friends with her whole room.
The next two years I would keep going over to their apartment—first in Southview, then in Kuyper—for meals and game nights and just to hang out. I didn’t have any older siblings at Dordt, but these girls filled that role, in many ways. From practical advice on how to write papers for a certain prof, to Dordt- culturing us through donut runs, these girls were just a few of the many upperclassmen who took underclassmen under their wings and became real friends for them—friends to get advice from and friends to have fun with.
I didn’t realize then so much, but those times really shaped me and showed me just how important it is to have older students befriending and taking care of younger ones. They showed me that it is possible to take the time to make a full meal even amidst a busy schedule, that partying isn’t a necessity in college, and that it’s possible to get through even the hardest classes.
So, my dear reader, Dordt is engaging because its people are engaging. It’s not the luxurious dorm rooms or the exotic location. It’s the people who make you a meal every once in a while and never fail to make you laugh when you see them.