Caleb Hoereth

Caleb’s Journey


Caleb Hoereth


Flossmoor, Illinois



Why Grinnell?

Coming from a public suburban high school almost exactly the same size as Grinnell (~1,700) helped with my transition to college. This was just right for me.

Nearing the end of my college search, my top schools were Grinnell (small liberal arts college) and a large public research institution. I initially chose the larger school because I knew people there and it would also offer a great education. But the day after I made that decision, I woke up and just realized that I wanted to go to Grinnell. I had visited 3–4 times already, I knew what I was getting into with Grinnell, and it would likely offer an even better education.

First Year in the Pandemic

Coming into Grinnell, I knew I wanted to continue playing soccer and the cello. On the pitch, I wanted to become captain one day and for us to become all-conference players and also have fun. And academically, I was looking forward to receiving a great education and succeeding in my activities.

My first year was mostly online during the pandemic; first-year students were on campus for only seven weeks that year. Those seven weeks felt like a mini Grinnell camp, but I made a lot of memories and friends in that short time.

I flex my muscles in front of the camera while my teammate crouches down low and poses
My teammates and I all wear masks during the pandemic and pose for a selfie
I put my shoulders around my friends and smile for a nighttime picture

During those seven weeks, I still had in-person practices with my coach and some other athletes. We trained with masks and face shields on, but it was nice to meet other first-year students. It was definitely a fun experience that introduced me to the Grinnell community, helping me look forward to my post-pandemic college life.

I put my shoulders around my friends and smile for a nighttime picture

It was nice to meet other first-year students. It was definitely a fun experience that introduced me to the Grinnell community, helping me look forward to my post-pandemic college life.

Soccer and Diversity

Speed Bump, Second Year

I'd call my second year my trial and error year. Given that my first year was remote, classes were normally easier than it was in person. And in my first non-remote year… whoa. Things were very different in my second year.

I reached out to Grinnell’s Academic Advising department and a couple of my professors for some help while I was struggling. Together, they were able to help me get back on track and delay some deadlines enough for me to catch up.

Now as a senior interviewer in the admission office, I am fully aware of the Academic Support resources available. I connect prospective students with them and also use all of them fully to my advantage. I go to Math Lab (stats tutors), I see professors about assignments during their office hours, and I study with friends who can help me with the course material.

Career Shifts + Internships

Coming to Grinnell, I was set on the pre-med path and wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. Now, I’m a sociology major who wants to do sports psychology! Even looking at my summers and internships alone, I had three internships in different fields. My time here at Grinnell has definitely showed me that:

  1. It’s okay to not know what you want to do
  2. It’s okay to explore different fields

And looking back now as a senior, I think things have still gone according to plan for me. Even if I came to Grinnell with pre-med in mind, college is all about finding yourself and discovering what you like. I wanted that for myself. And thanks to the flexibility that Grinnell has provided for me and that I’ve allowed for myself, I’ve done just that. Nothing is set in stone. It’s important to keep an open mind while you figure yourself out.

I stand confidently and look proudly ahead at the neverending sea.

My time here at Grinnell has definitely showed me that: 1) It’s okay to not know what you want to do, and 2) It’s okay to explore different fields.

I always used Grinnell’s career center’s website to find positions, get advice, and check out recommended internships.

In my last internship, I was involved in police and crime prevention programs in the city of Chicago. My bosses were hoping to come up with a curriculum that focuses on situational decision-making so that their officers could perform better in real-life situations and be less stressed in the field. The team strived to produce results that we could bring to the city council, mayor, and a well-established economic journal. 

Coming from Illinois, I had heard about so many similar programs that were being developed but never ones that were successful in their execution. But physically talking about how to solve these issues, witnessing those discussions, and seeing positive results in a tangible way really impacted me.

Off-Campus Study: Grinnell-in-London (GIL)

Finding a Club

Outside of athletics, I am an active member of Black Student Union (BSU) on campus and a proud co-leader of MCEE (Men of Color, Empowered and Engaged). We founded the MCEE group this year and kicked off our first meeting in mid-October!

I brought up the idea last spring semester to Jordan, a current student who runs the Black Cultural Center (BCC)’s events and their social media account. We met with Grinnell’s chief diversity officer (CDO) and the assistant CDO about it. We told them that we wanted this to be a long-lasting thing here at Grinnell.

With their help, we used funding from the BCC to order pizza and Chinese food in town for our first two meetings. We’ re trying to now make the club strong so that current students feel compelled to keep it going.


Hopes and Plans for the Future

Hero Image with Text

As a senior, I want to finish the year strong. A part of that means I can get my applications secured for grad school by December. I’m mostly open-minded about where I’ll go for grad school, since I know I can still get a job in the sports psychology profession with multiple ways, whether I get an advanced degree in sports psychology or social work.

My career path has changed throughout my time here. While I have had a lot of twists and turns in my academic journey, I wanted to go to college to find myself and discover what I like. I did just that here at Grinnell, and I am looking forward to doing the same throughout my experiences in the future.


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