Luther Opportunities I've (Mostly) Taken for Granted

As my time at Luther is wrapping up, I'm feeling slightly nostalgic. While most of me is incredibly ready to go, parts of me are sad to leave. Sometimes when I'm in the dance studio I remember how it will no longer be a regular part of my life in a few short weeks. It scares me to think about my friends scattering across the country when I currently live just minutes from them. I'm sad to leave my cushy downtown job, the Decorah trails, and the co-op hot food bar. I also don't like thinking about repaying my student loans or any other adult-y thing that I'm not currently partaking in. Unsurprisingly, I've realized a newfound appreciation for Luther these past few weeks. While Luther is far from perfect, I can't imagine spending the past four years in any other place.

As I'm currently trying to determine if I'll start graduate school for Occupational Therapy in September (more on that some other time..), I've had the opportunity to visit large collegiate institutions. Reading brochures and hearing their speeches for prospective first-years, I couldn't imagine how lucky and good I have it at Luther. Here are some opportunities I am feeling especially grateful for, as I believe the likelihood of me doing them would be much slimmer had I attended a different institution:

  • Singing in a nationally recognized choir without being a music major. (My high school women's choir would listen to Aurora recordings during rehearsal).
  • Receiving a vocal scholarship.. without being a music major.
  • Guaranteed on-campus housing for all four years (this is kind of a sore subject for Luther students as most students want to live off-campus as they get older, which I totally feel, but that is a very different problem from being forced to find a landlord when you're 19)
  • Undergraduate research. I was totally oblivious to how seldom this seems to happen at colleges that house both undergraduates and graduate students. I've been working in the Psych lab since I was a sophomore, and I think it gives me a huge leg up above other students applying to be a Research Assistant in graduate school. (At least I hope..)
  • Having professors with the terminal degree in their field.
  • Small class sizes
  • Personal relationships with professors
  • Having large roles in Dance pieces
  • Writing grants with professors
  • Having both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on campus
  • Study abroad!!!! It feels like practically everyone at Luther studies abroad, and that is so not the case at other schools. Having January terms allowed me to study abroad twice while still completing two majors in four years. (Plus, I was in Israel for a month and studied Islam in Europe -- how many schools boast that kind of a curriculum?)
  • Having European dance artists hold auditions for summer dance intensives in the studio I visit practically everyday. And then having them give me money so I can dance with them this summer.

I'm sure there are more things that I'm taking for granted, but these are just some of the things that have stood out to me in the last few weeks. Luther's a pretty neat place. (So if I could please take parts of it with me to graduate school or wherever I'm off to (without paying), that would be swell. Thanks).

The Luther bell. Photo by Annika Vande Krol '19

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