Without a doubt, the Endeavor Together trip was the highlight of my first month as a freshman at Luther College. The program offered a camping trip for international students to get to know domestic students. This opportunity allowed me to connect with the people quite easily. Some of the closest friends I have right now I met through the program. One thing I always tell people about the trip was how selfless the classmates I met were. Being thousands of miles away from home didn't feel so bad when I was with them. This was one of my most memorable experiences at Luther so far.
This trip gave me a head start to making friends and becoming comfortable with the next chapter of my life. Camping with total strangers in the boundary waters for a week is a guaranteed way to make lifelong friends. The Boundary Waters have always held a special place in my heart, so I was delighted to hear that Luther offers a trip were I could share this special place with new people. I found out about the trip through my sister, who embarked on the college journey a few years before me. Through this experience, I formed unbreakable bonds with outstanding people who I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life.
Having the courage to embark on this trip was by the far the best decision I have made. Through the program, I learned how to work outside of my comfort zone and how to rely on a team of people for support. I also gained a better respect for the natural world around me. This program gave me a support system of friends entering my first year of college, making my transition to life at Luther that much smoother. The people I met on my trip have ended up being my best friends. I would recommend that anyone and everyone step outside their comfort zone and sign up for a trip.
This program introduced me to a part of myself I wasn’t aware I was missing. I grew up in cities and never had the chance to explore nature and all that it encompasses. It was my first ‘real’ outdoor experience.
It might sound dramatic to say that the trip was life-changing but it truly was for me. It set up a foundation for me as I transitioned into college. It made me more willing to engage myself in things that scared me, or uninterested me. I made friends that I talk to everyday and met upperclassmen who helped guide me into my new life. I encourage every incoming first year student to participate in one of the trips.
When I was first introduced to the Endeavor Together program, I was reluctant to participate. I was uneasy and had second thoughts all the way up until my group left for the Boundary Waters. Thanks to encouragement from our trip leaders and my peers, I was able to go through with the trip and had one of the best experiences of my life. Interacting with everyone on the trip helped me make friends and understand group cooperation on a whole new level. The trip shaped me into a better leader and allowed me to connect with friends on a deeper level than if I had met them in a different setting.
Now, as a trip leader, I use my experience as an incoming Luther student to connect with new students. This program helps me understand who these students are and to see what their needs may be. Participating in the Endeavor Together program has improved my social skills and my ability to work in an outdoor learning environment.