Being from a small town in Illinois, moving all the way to Minneapolis was a big deal. I left behind my family, my friends, and pretty much everything else that was a part of my life for so long, and started a completely new life here at the U. Out of the hundreds of thousands of students across the country who do this, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. I’m able to go home and see my family three times a year, which is still more than some people can say. My parents are also able to fly up to Minneapolis to visit me every couple months, which is an opportunity that not every out-of-state student gets.
And still, despite getting to see my family once every six weeks or so, I find myself missing them as if I haven’t seen them in years. Hearing my in-state friends talk about going home just for the weekend like it’s no big deal, or just casually meeting their parents for lunch one day still hurts a little, because I know that’s something I can’t have. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that I’m not completely without family here; it’s just not my biological family.
LCM has been a place of comfort for me since the moment I stepped on campus. I remember walking past the church on freshman move-in day and being handed a flyer with a spoon on it, advertising free soup on Tuesdays and a Freshman Bible Study on Wednesdays before Pause. When I went to my first Pause, I was immediately welcomed and introduced to everyone. As I navigated the ups and downs of freshman year and began to feel more confident and comfortable on campus and in the city, LCM became less like just a group of friends and more like another family. This community is one that I can turn to when I’m having a rough week, or missing my family back home a little more than usual. Pause is something that I look forward to every week because it’s a chance to ground myself and take a break from studying, as well as an opportunity to spend quality time with people. It’s become something like a second home for me.
To any freshman or new student: especially if you’re finding yourself missing your family a little more than you expected: you will be okay. Moving away was a hard decision, and sometimes it feels like the wrong one, but I promise it wasn’t. I hope you find some comfort in LCM, and that this wonderful community becomes a sort of substitute family for you as well.
Allison Cunningham (Sophomore Servant Leader)