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Back at Luther after a year abroad

Back at Luther after a year abroad

August 30, 2012
By Alex

Three years have come and gone so fast. Now I’m sitting looking over my new textbooks and class schedule and seriously wondering to myself where all the time has gone? Classes resumed yesterday. Students are already studying, and pouring themselves in to their homework. Time seems to have just flown by.

I’m a senior. After this year, I’ll be graduating and leaving my cushy-Luther life to enter the real world. It’s scary, but it’s also exciting. After a year abroad in Nottingham, England, I see myself facing a whole new form of excitement. Recently I was talking to a friend’s parent when she asked me if being back at Luther and back in the U.S. is really hard after having such an exciting year. I could genuinely say that it isn’t. It’s hard for this year to be a disappointment because it’s just as exciting as my past year abroad, it just happens to be so in an entirely new way. Instead of backpacking around Europe and seeing new and interesting places, I’m planning for my future. I’m deciding how it is that I want to make my impact on the world around me. How could this not be of equal excitement? We’re all shaking in our boots with anticipation.

The first day of classes was very strange for me this year. I had a mixed feeling of familiarity and newness that I gathered from my surroundings. I saw many familiar faces, but everything seemed a little foggy. I had a little bit of difficulty finding a few of my classes purely because I couldn’t remember exactly where all the different room numbers in Valders were situated. It turned out just fine though.

After a year abroad, going back to life at Luther is very interesting. I am faced with the complicated task of attempting to incorporate all of my discoveries and the ways I’ve changed during my year abroad into my life at Luther where things haven’t really changed. For the most part, Luther is the same Luther that I’ve always loved. The campus still looks the same, the food still tastes the same, the professors are still helpful and caring individuals, and the students are full of just as much drive as they were before I left. So the problem isn’t that something has changed about this place, because it really hasn’t changed all that much. The problem is that I’ve changed. I’ve seen and done things that just a year ago I never would have been able to imagine. Luckily, my experience isn’t all that unusual for Luther students. Over 75 percent of Luther students study abroad at some point during their time at Luther. This means that I’m in no shortage of people to talk to about my experience readjusting to life in the Luther community.

However, over the past few days I have come to recognize many of the things that I truly missed while I was in Nottingham last year. First, I missed the Luther professors and classes that they lead. It was so nice to be back in a classroom with a professor who genuinely wants their students to do well. Unlike, back in Nottingham I’m not just a number here. I’m an individual that my professors want to engage in conversation and help learn over the next semester.

Secondly, I missed the close proximity of everything in Luther and the Decorah community. I loved the convenience of riding the bus everywhere in Nottingham, but I didn’t enjoy how it took me a half an hour to forty minutes to get to class each day. It’s so nice to now be able to just walk to campus from my apartment in college apartments. It takes me 10 minutes tops. Then if I want to go downtown, I jump on my bike and I’m there in 5 minutes. Everything is so close and easy.

Lastly, although in Nottingham we had a little mini-Luther community, I’m really enjoying having the Luther community back. Yesterday I attended chapel with friends and today opening convocation. It’s always such a welcoming feeling to stand in Luther’s chapel surrounded by other people that are dedicated to their quest for knowledge and insight, while listening to inspirational speakers. Luther’s community really brings these people together and I’m so happy to be able to take advantage of this. This community, “The Luther Bubble,” is so perfectly created in order to cultivate creative ways of thinking and viewing the world. It’s a form of community that I’m sure I’ll continue to seek out long after I’ve left Luther.

It feels great to be back at Luther College for one last 'hoorah.' I’m ready to buckle down this year. I’ll be studying my heart out and soaking in all that Luther has to offer before I’m off in to that big bad world they call real life.

Cheers ladies and gents :)

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