Meet Luke Bousema, a freshman Biology major from Escondido, California.
Why did you come to Dordt?
It came down to a lot of things. The academics, I had heard, were pretty good, and the community was good too. I thought it was important to surround myself with people who are a good example. I had some siblings who went here too, and some family out here, so that made the transition a little easier.
How was your Dordt visit?
I visited during spring 2017. I stayed with Trevor De Jong, and it was a good time. I liked seeing the sports facilities. I played a lot of racquetball while I was visiting, and that was fun. I went to the game room, where the bowling alley is--it's pretty cool down there. The science building was nice, the labs were cool to see.
What are you enjoying about Dordt so far?
I'm enjoying starting to get to know a lot more people. The facilities are nice, the labs are exceptional for all the science things we do. It's nice to have a new science building. The food is pretty good--the burgers are good at lunch. (Laughter.) I like that. My science teachers--Dr. Visscher, associate professor of chemistry and planetary sciences, he's super smart. All the biology professors care about you and like to help you out, prepare you for tests, which is nice.
The labs are a lot more open-ended than high school labs. It comes down to what you want to do with it, so it opens it up to creativity. I feel like in future years, when I know more about biology, I'll be able to use the labs to test things. You can always ask someone to open the labs for you, so you can always go in there and do some experiments.
How have your professors engaged you?
My adviser was really helpful. I dropped out of a class, and he was able to work through those schedule changes and he was willing to argue my cause to the other departments. It was nice to have somebody who understood what I wanted, and eventually it happened. I made the switch, and now everything's a lot better. I dropped out of the class because it wasn't right for me, and then I picked up another class that was also required, so I'm glad that happened.
Professors here are really nice. The biology department hosted a dinner and I got to talk to a lot of the professors there. It was nice to see them caring about us out of class, and not just in class.
Is there anything about Dordt that has surprised you?
I was surprised by all the events that happened, and how late things are at night. It was funny--an event started at 10 PM and I thought that was kind of crazy, but it was also fun, being up that late at night with a school event. The block party was a good time.
Also the labs--how nice they are, and how willing they are to use them--that surprised me, how open all the professors are to having a bunch of freshmen use their equipment. Here, they're like "this is for you, go ahead and use it."
What would you say to someone back in Escondido who's looking at Dordt?
I would tell them that the academics here are strong, and the community and friendships that you make are important for the rest of your life. Most people here are willing to talk. It's funny, the other day I was walking and I sneezed. Somebody in the third floor of East Hall just says "bless you" from far away, and I was like--the only place that would ever happen is at Dordt.