Sophomores on the Commons

Sophomores on the Commons is a sophomore kickoff event to celebrate the return of sophomores, frame the developmental tasks of the sophomore year at Luther, and strengthen relationships between faculty/staff and sophomores.

  • Opening Program: Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 4:15pm - Center for Faith and Life
  • Sophomore and Faculty/Staff Dinner:  Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 5:15pm - Bentdahl Commons

Exploration Menu

The sophomore year is a time for exploration end reflection. Sophomores, this is a "menu" designed to connect you with people and experiences in a way that leads to reflection upon who you are and who you hope to become. Use this menu to help guide you as you make the most of your sophomore year.

To savor the experience:

  • Make it a balanced meal - not "all you can eat"
  • Set goals to pick at least one item from each "course" throughout the year.
  • Do your "courses" in any order, but "dessert" should come last. Experience, then reflect.
  • Share your dessert with us! Those who share their reflection with us will be eligible to win a chance to take a mentor to a Center Stage Dinner Series event on us.

First Course: Exploring Ideas - Connecting with People

  • Attend a public lecture or talk
  • Go on a walk with Pastor Annie, 2:45-3:15 p.m. Wednesdays (meet @ CFL)
  • Participate in a book group at the Center for Ethics & Public Engagement
  • Stop by "Popcorn Thursdays" at the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Student Success (CIES)
  • Visit the 24-hour prayer chapel, an open space for prayer and reflection
  • Attend a monthly sophomore activity (keep an eye out for invitations from members of the Next Steps for Sophomores steering committee with more information)
  • Connect with a FOCUS team
  • Visit during Soffice Hours (sophomore office hours) with sophomore coordinators Rachel Brummel (Wednesdays 1-2:30pm, Valders 372E) and Andrew Bailey (Tuesdays 9-10:30am, Main 119) to talk about whatever is on your mind

Second Course: Broadening Experiences

  • Hear study away stories from juniors and seniors (and get a chance to win a scholarship!) at the Sophomore Scholarship Giveaway, Oct. 30 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Peace Dining Room
  • Make an appointment at the Center for Global Learning to explore study away options
  • Participate in a Sustained Dialogue group on campus this year
  • Run for Student Senate
  • Apply to be an Endeavor Together trip leader
  • Think about work study as a path to developing your skills
  • Check out the J-term Study Away Fair Sept. 12, 9-11am in the Union and the Off-Campus Studies Fair Sept. 27, 10am-1pm in the Union
  • Take a leadership role in a student organization
  • Volunteer with an organization in the Decorah community, or for Luther Serves Day Oct. 12, 9am-noon
  • Join the Ministry Minded Cohort, a group for those exploring theological education, ministry, outdoor ministry, youth ministry, or a religiously affiliated year of service (contact Campus Ministries)

Third Course: Exploring Academics

  • Make an appointment with the program/department head or other faculty member in a major of interest to you
  • Go to one of your professor's office hours...just because
  • Talk with a senior in a major of interest to you; ask them what you need to know or what they would have done differently
  • Talk to a faculty member about opportunities to do research
  • Take a course that interests you but you don't "need"
  • Check out opportunities for academic fellowships and scholarships
  • Look at a paper you wrote in your first semester and reflect upon how you have grown since then
  • Meet with your academic adviser - outside of registration - to have a conversation about your academic path and interests
  • Make a plan for J-term - take advantage of this special time
  • Present at the spring Student Research Symposium

Fourth Course: Exploring Career

  • Attend a career fair (all are held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Union)
    • Graduate and Professional School Fair - Sept. 26
    • Fall Career Fair - Oct. 10
    • Non-Profit Organization Career Fair - Nov. 7
    • Summer Camp Fairs 1 & 2 - Feb. 13 & Feb. 20
    • ICORN Virtual Career Fair - Feb. 27
    • Spring Career Fair - Mar. 5
  • Attend a Resume Workshop - watch for announcements or make an appointment on your own at the Career Center
  • Apply for an internship through the Washington DC semester program, the Rochester Hub semester program, or the J-term Alumni Internship Program
  • Uncover how to tell your story and what makes you unique through a strengths conversation; email [email protected]
  • Discover your interests and their connection to the world of work by meeting with Carol Johnston in the Career Center to complete a Strong Interest Inventory
  • Don't know where to start? - Make an appointment at the Career Center to review your resume, explore careers, connect with alumni, search for internships or other experiential learning opportunities

Dessert: Reflecting on Purpose

Reflection is key to your exploration this year - making time for thinking about how your experiences shape how you see yourself and your possible future adds value to any experience. Choose at least one reflection activity and share it with us. Toward the end of the year, we will give you an outlet for "sharing your dessert" with us.

  • Take some time to reflect upon your path through these four "courses" this year; reflect in the way that works best for you - whether it is writing, art, music, etc. -  and give yourself the space to step back and think about what it all means
  • Decide on a reflective practice - where and how you find time to reflect - and then do it consistently
  • Develop and meet with your own "board of advisors" that can help you reflect and provide advice on life and career choices
  • Select a broad activity or experience - athletics, music ensembles, student organizations, academics, work-study, etc. - and reflect upon how it has influenced your view of yourself, your future, and your place in the world