Room to Grow

A picture of Riley Arkema

Riley’s decision to attend Dordt was a safe choice. It was a community very similar to his environment growing up, and he knew that it would feel like home. When he arrived, Riley was set on becoming a mechanical engineer.

During his freshman year at Dordt, Riley decided to switch majors from engineering to psychology and pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon or ER doctor. Switching majors was an uncertain decision, but many professors and staff took the time to sit down with Riley and help him verbalize his goals and interests.

Riley participated in many opportunities at Dordt. He traveled to Ukraine for two weeks as part of Dordt’s REU program, writing psychology and statistics papers that were published. He spent a semester abroad at Oxford University which was an incredible way to meet people and broaden his horizons. On campus, Riley played lacrosse, served on Residence Life, and participated in Student Government.

College is the time to discover yourself, and Riley is grateful for Dordt’s safe and forgiving environment that allowed him to figure out his likes, loves, and dislikes. Riley was able to try new things and get out of his comfort zone, despite Dordt’s familiarity. Through classes, conversations, challenges, and personal experiences at Dordt, Riley learned how to serve in God’s kingdom in his future.

“I feel as if Dordt has more than readied me to go out and make the uncomfortable decisions that take me where God has ultimately called me. Dordt has not only educated me about psychology, biology, and chemistry but about the world as a whole and what it means to live as a Kingdom citizen in that world.”