Tips from Students

Admissions ambassadors in front of Luther College valley.

We asked current students what they wish they had known before coming to Luther and what surprised them about college life. Here are some of their responses.

What to bring? Or not to bring?

  • Bring your bike! There are so many beautiful places to explore in Decorah.
  • Bring any type of medicine you might need!
  • Bring a picture of your family.
  • I wish I had known to bring garbage bags, Ziploc bags, surface-level desk storage (like a mini storage unit), and my absolute favorite comfort food.
  • Bring a fan! It is crucial for the first month!
  • Bring headphones, comfy pajamas, a bathrobe, food, and games.
  • Bring a doorstop! It's helpful for move-in and everyday use.
  • Don't bring too many clothes! You can swap them out with your parents when the seasons change.
  • Bring an open mindset to meet new people off the bat. Don't bring printer, microwave, negative attitude.
  • Be sure to discuss early on with your roommate which big items you will need to bring or which ones you'll even want. I brought a TV last year but we barely used it so we chose not to have one this year.
  • If you don't use it weekly, don't bring it!

How to succeed at Luther?

  • Take advantage of the many events happening right on campus.
  • Get involved! I had never sung before but when I got to Luther it seemed like everybody was going to try out for choir. I started practicing the audition material, and I got in.
  • Don't get too involved. Find what you love and stick to that. You don't need to do everything!
  • Getting involved in things that allow you to recharge and pursue your passions is the best way to make friends and get involved.
  • Whatever you choose to be involved in, throw yourself into it! Push yourself to see just how great you can be.
  • Go to office hours, because the professors really want to make a connection and want you to succeed. Find a study spot (or a couple) and use it consistently to help you focus when you really need to get work done.
  • Definitely attend the Activities Fair on the first Saturday of the school year—and talk to people at the tables!
  • Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Be yourself.
  • Be nice to everyone! Do your best to smile and be friendly and greet people whenever you have the chance.
  • Know that getting a B is not the worst thing.
  • Class structure will be different. Learn to set aside generous amounts of time to study. Even if you don't have a test that week, use the time to review material covered in class.
  • Study, study, study!

What Surprised You?

  • I was surprised that there were actually fun things to do on campus and in Decorah.
  • Professors really get to know you as a person, not just a student.
  • You get to know so many people on campus!
  • How cool all of the professors and staff are.
  • Dorm life is SO FUN!
  • I was surprised at how accepting Luther students are of new faces.
  • All the different possibilities to get involved with extracurricular activities at Luther.
  • How helpful Paideia ultimately is/was. It really set the tone and standard for my writing in college.
  • There are a lot of support staff members dedicated to helping you succeed along with your professors.
  • Desserts in Decorah and the connections formed through this orientation activity.
  • How easy it is to run out of dining dollars!
  • It gets cold fast—plan accordingly.
  • How fast it goes (cliche, but whatever).
  • I never would have imagined how much I would learn about myself in college. Luther gives students much more than a college education.