Christ-centered Growth | Prepared for the Challenge

February 20, 2023

Those who know me know I love being highly involved on campus through student leadership, programs and events. However, my Houghton journey has been more about my discovery of biology and God’s calling on my life. I began my college studies as a communication and international development major. I had considered studying biology and had worked towards this most of high school, but the summer before my first year, I changed my mind. And that was not the last time – I changed my mind 10 more times!

However, through the impact of participating in Houghton’s first-year Science Honors program, writing my own research reports, and preparing a research study presentation, I realized the STEM fields are where I am called to be.

Committing to become a biology major did not come without its challenges. I received low grades, struggled with assignments and failed to prioritize my time well. There were times I thought I had made the wrong decision and tried to switch courses just to get a break from the extensive work. Looking back, I see the ways in which God helped me through those times. He helped me grow in my study skills, self-confidence and self-discipline.

As I begin my senior year, during which I will take some of Houghton’s most difficult courses, I am now prepared for the challenge. Two or three years ago, if I’d been taking those same courses, I would have felt defeated and extremely overwhelmed. I would never have asked anyone for help. I have learned that, despite my indecision and mistakes, God was still with me, guiding my path. He helped me become more disciplined, confident and patient. I have learned how to balance relationships, work, school, activities, family and more. I have discovered what I don’t like and what I want to spend my life doing. Most importantly, I have renewed my relationship with God. I am more patient with God’s timing, knowing He has a plan for me and has placed me where I need to be at this moment in my life. Coming to Houghton has not just been about the friends I have met, the conversations I have had or courses that I have taken. It will not even be about the degree I receive. My Houghton experience has been about learning to choose God first and allowing Him to align the rest.

Mary Vandenbosch standing outside near creek wearing sage turtle neck.

Mary Vandenbosch ’23 is a senior majoring in biology with minors in business administration and communication. A native of Alexander, New York, Mary is actively involved in organizations across campus. This year, Mary is serving as a Transitions Leader for incoming first-year students, a Welcome Center student employee and Chapel greeter. She has previously served as Class President, Houghton MANRRS Chapter President and Business Manager for the Boulder.