Signe Johnson on Olin Hill

Signe Johnson ’20, Moorhead

Major/Minor: Communication Studies/Theatre Art

What are you involved in at Concordia?

I have been involved with Orientation as one of the production co-coordinators as well as a show host for KORD Radio, a member of Chapel Choir, and involved with Music Appreciation Club.

What has made you feel at home at Concordia College?

Phew, what hasn’t? Concordia does such a great job at captivating students and making them feel welcome and included. It is difficult to narrow it down to one thing that makes Concordia feel like home. I would say there are a multitude of factors, but one stands out more than the others – the people. Whether it is a faculty or staff member or another student, the people at Concordia have been intentional with their relationship building. It made me and still makes me feel cared about. I’m an individual rather than a number and that feels like a home to me. There have been various faculty and staff members who have been so caring and influential to me – almost like second sets of parents.

Home is a place where you are always welcome, encouraged, loved and challenged. I feel so much of that at Concordia. I look forward to and cherish my days and experiences at Concordia. My time is unique to me, but one central theme remains and that is the idea of a home away from home.

Cobbers in front of stands at Football game

In what ways has Concordia College allowed you to grow?

Holy cats! I’ve grown so much. I always joke that my brain feels so much bigger ever since coming to Concordia. My experience has been nothing but enriching. The environment at Concordia has left room for me to explore and grow in many ways. I have been given unique opportunities that have been central to my growth – and those experiences are unique to Concordia.

Being on the Orientation Committee has allowed me to take my passions and run with them through a leadership position. It has given me knowledge and experience that not many undergraduate students have an opportunity to have. I am lucky for that. I could write millions of pages about how much I have changed since being at Concordia. I attribute that to me being open to growth. I entered into college ready for challenges, new perspectives, and growth. I can firmly say that this gal has grown but has so much more growin’ to do!

Signe Johnson in study group

What has it been like going to college in the same community you grew up in?

From the get-go, I have been intentional about balancing family and college – given the close proximity. I did not bring a car to school with me, which allowed me to create a barrier and reduce the option of going home. I did not want to rely on my home as an option if I didn’t like Concordia. I wanted to immerse myself in the Concordia culture, form new relationships, try new things, and basically start fresh. I wanted to close the yearbook and create an experience as if I were at a school hundreds of miles away. It was a bit difficult to eliminate the aspect of home from Concordia, given my dad is an employee of the college. I am super intentional about when we chat and how often because I don’t want to lean on or benefit from my dad being an employee. I certainly appreciate it, but I wanted to make my experience entirely my own. But, for me, it worked best by creating boundaries that helped me enforce my unique college experience.

3 Concordia students showing Cobber rings

Why did you decide to further branch out and study abroad?

I always think, “why not?” Why not try new things? I have always wanted to study abroad – ever since I knew it was a thing. I feel as if it is a perfect experience to get out, live new experiences, and learn. It is the perfect opportunity to broaden your knowledge and learn more about yourself. If I didn’t study abroad or branch out, what would I be doing? I would be continuing to do things that are comfortable for me and not exposing myself to new places and ideas. I don’t want to be stuck thinking the same things and doing the same things. I want to be challenged and gain experiences that make me think critically. I want my brain and heart to grow many sizes, and I feel like exposing myself to other opportunities and experiences will do that. I am grateful for the opportunity to study abroad and am glad it fits into my plan at Concordia.