By Courtney Nelson

There are some things that I’ve really done right in college. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of screw-ups, but there are also some moments that are just “yeehaw” fantastic.

One of those moments was the time I looked out my window in Neihardt Residence Center (Piper One forever!) and decided to cross the street and open up those old light blue doors to The Lutheran Center.

Being in charge of the Giving Tuesday posts this past week, I read student after student’s story of why they keep coming back to this community. I started to reflect on how I came to be at this place and how grateful I am for the journey. Instead of making a post out of it, you are all lucky enough to read it here.

I tell people all the time:

“It’s my home away from home.”

“I’ve met some of my dearest friends here.”

“The energy and life in this space is like none other.”

Not only do I mean it, but it is 100% true. I fact-checked it.

If you would have told me during high school that I was going to work for a ministry someday, I wouldn’t have believed you. Here I am a few years later working with Jenna on campaign activities/development (I really don’t even know what my title is) getting to share my story with alumni and donors every week. It’s incredible.

This community has taken me to Germany, introduced me to cilantro, and prevented me from being an “East Campus hermit” as my roommate says. It wasn’t until I didn’t have classes on city campus anymore that I realized how important the lounge and you people are to me.

I know you guys still have to deal with me for two more years, but I just want to use this mid-point check-in to say thank you. You guys hold a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait for more crazy lounge conversations, more Avalon, and more opportunities to ask questions and be curious as we mosey through this wonderful thing called life.

Connecting people to Christ, so they may discover their own calling as disciples.