Chelsea Paulsen '13
After living in Tumwater, Washington all of my life, I was apprehensive about leaving home. Yet, I was eager for change and adventure. The road that led me to PLU was comprised of careful thought and the desire to find my passion in life. I was intrigued by the Wild Hope Project, which helps students ask the “big enough questions” and realize what they will do with their one wild and precious life.
While considering a major, I came across Communication with an emphasis on Conflict Resolution and Global Peace-building. I never knew that someone could major in that and was immediately intrigued. I deeply desire to help people understand one another, and this emphasis enabled me to take the first steps in deciding my major. My classes have helped me see the world through new eyes and each day I am learning more and more about the world I live in. I have taken classes in human behavior, classes that dissect conflict and its causes, and religion courses, that have made me ask the big questions of faith and helped me better understand not only my own beliefs, but the beliefs of others. PLU has equipped me with the skills needed to see the world through various lenses.
PLU has also provided me with opportunities that I never imagined. I knew I wanted to study away, but when I received a position as a Resident Assistant, someone who monitors the residence halls and helps build community, I did not know if that would be possible. I was encouraged by the Residential Life staff to take advantage of my opportunities: to gain leadership and career experience as an RA and to see the world and learn about another culture away from PLU.
Last semester I was able to study in Trinidad and Tobago, changing my life in ways I cannot even express. Studying away introduced me to new cultures, allowed me to gain a tremendous amount of independence, and become a global citizen.
Coming back from Trinidad and Tobago I was able to find new employment opportunities that have helped me gain career experience and learn valuable networking skills. I have worked at the Campus Concierge desk, in the office of Division of Humanities and as the Executive Director of the Student Alumni Association. These jobs are all very different from one another, but have allowed me to meet PLU students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Through the Student Alumni Association I have participated and helped plan events like: The homecoming bonfire, Bunko Night for Family Weekend, faceface painting at sporting events, and other alumni student oriented events. These activities create a wonderful community of current and past lutes. All of these involvements are not only fun and exciting, but through these experiences I am learning many skills that I will be able to take with me into the professional world once I leave PLU.
I am now entering my junior year with hope and excitement for the year ahead. I have come back from being abroad to the welcoming arms of my PLU family. I look forward to holding my new position as the Executive Director of the Student Alumni Association. I will help connect future, current, and past students of the university. PLU has allowed me to explore, ask the big questions, realize my vocation, understand my passions, and continually learn about myself. Pacific Lutheran has made me a Lute for Life.