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Student Profile: Matt Wixson ’08

For Matt Wixson, the decision to attend Hope was easy. “I came and fell in love with it,” he says. “It just felt right.”

Knowing that he is naturally inclined to become busy, Matt decided to take his first semester easy. “I wasn’t super involved, and that was important for me” he says. Matt thinks that “it was really good for me to get a solid academic ground underneath me so I could understand what college work was like. Then I jumped in feet-first second semester, but I was ready for it, because I had done a few things first semester and gotten my feet wet and I was able to hit the ground running. First semester was important to establish who I was.”

Matt is now involved in Dance Marathon, intramurals, New Student Orientation, WTHS, and the Chapel Worship Team, among others. Through the numerous activities in which he is involved, Matt values his new friendships. “I’ve met a lot of amazing people.”

He encourages new students to “get involved, but know your limitations.” Still in the process of implementing his advice in his own life, Matt says, “There are another five things that I would love to do, and there just comes a point where you have to think, ‘What can I do and still go to school and have a social life and still have time for me.’”

Through his involvement in Worship Team, Matt has found that “it actually focuses me more—just being very conscious and deliberate and making it a priority. In the context of being in a community,” he says, “I can still find that time for myself at chapel and in The Gathering.”

In addition to his on-campus involvement, Matt is pursuing a degree in biology. “It’s hard,” he says, “but it’s what I’m passionate about.”

Like many Hope students, he’s had the opportunity to stay on Hope’s campus during the summer and conduct research. “Hope’s science program just can’t be matched,” he says. “The professors are top-notch, and the research they’re doing is cutting-edge. I was doing graduate-level research as an 18-year-old freshman. That’s just something you won’t find at many other places.”

He emphasizes that it’s important to “be able to keep things in perspective. Those late-night talks standing in the bathroom brushing your teeth—those are the things you’re going to remember.” Matt encourages others to remember that “there’s a lot more to college and life than academics. Know their place, but know that at the end of the day, friends and family are more important.”

This profile was written by Bethany A. Katerberg, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2006-07 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.