This week, I thought I'd share a bit of the story of how I ended up at Luther for college!
I first came across Luther all the way back in 2009, when my sister, Megan, attended Dorian Summer Music Camp here. The new orchestra teacher at our school was a counselor there in the summer.
I had recently started orchestra, but was already very fond of Ms. Stone. :) I came up to Luther to drop Megan off for the week that summer, and oh how I wished I could've stayed, too! But alas, I was still a year too young.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010! I was off to my first week of Dorian at Luther. And boy, was I excited! Definitely a little shy that first year, but I was still quite excited, nonetheless. I had a great roommate for the week, Monique (that I'm still friends with on Facebook to this day)! And of course, I was on Ms. Stone's floor that first year. :)
As the years went by, I entered and exited middle school and then high school. Throughout that time, many things in my life obviously changed! I always made the 3+ hour drive back up to Luther for Dorian, though. Every summer, from 2010-2016—that was THE highlight of my summer.
Whether it was playing saxophone in the band (under the direction of Dr. deAlbuquerque in my later years!), or making creations out of clay in the CFA's pottery studio, every moment of Dorian was AMAZING.
Every summer, we walked from campus right over the same bridge that I cross now to walk into downtown Decorah to do some shopping at the Oneota Co-Op. Back then, it was to go to the Whippy Dip to get an oreo tornado. I'm not quite sure why, but it was ALWAYS an oreo tornado—that became a kind of "Dorian ritual" for me. ;)
I made so many new friends and met so many people I would've never had the pleasure of meeting otherwise, at Dorian. I learned from some pretty amazing counselors, who guided and shaped my life immensely. Little did I know that I would eventually share the honor of being a Luther student, just like they were (or had been). :)
As I went through the different stages of life, from entering my teenage years to getting ready to graduate high school, Dorian—and Luther—became my home. I went on my first official college visit to Luther during the fall of my junior year, and by that point I could've given the traditional campus tour myself. ;)
I actually went on eight college visits during my junior and senior years of high school, that took me to three different states across the country. I wanted to be confident in my choice of college, despite my strong desire to go to Luther. Nobody was too surprised when I made my final choice, though. ;)
When I arrived at Luther to begin my first year of college, I relived many of the similar feelings that I had during my first year of Dorian. I was so thrilled to FINALLY be here, though. I felt like I was finally realizing a dream that had been quite a long time coming—and that's a very cool feeling.
Luther challenges me in so many ways. Academically, I've never worked harder in my life. Sometimes that yields great results, and sometimes it definitely doesn't. It's during those bad days though, that I remind myself how lucky I am to even be here at Luther in the first place. I know that not everyone gets a college education, and I am quite grateful to be able to get the one that I do at Luther.
I remember how I never thought I'd be able to keep up with the academic rigor of Luther, when I was applying to colleges. Now, I've written research papers on hydrocephalus in children in developing countries, whether prison inmates should be granted access to electronic devices while incarcerated, and Incan mythology—just to name a few. I've learned so much about such a wide variety of topics during only about a year and a half here. So much learning takes place in any given day at Luther, and I love to soak up as much of that knowledge as possible.
The other day, I was reminiscing about my Dorian days while walking around campus. I was taking the same paths as a 12 year old Dorian camper—to the caf, to the Center for Faith and Life, to Jenson—that I take now. I'll be 21 in October. 12 to almost 21—that's so surreal to me! It's been amazing to go from being a seven-time Dorian camper to a sophomore in college at Luther. I cannot even begin to think of a better place to call "home."