Summertime fun in Decorah
Luther is often a little town of its own to many of its students. With homework, classes, food, friends and entertainment all on campus, one doesn’t always have the time to explore Decorah.
Living in Decorah for the summer gives Luther students the chance to integrate themselves into the Decorah community and to find out more about what Decorah has to offer outside of Luther College.
“Its cool to become part of the Decorah community rather than just the college community,” Rose Weselmann (‘13) said. “Experiencing Decorah on its own is really neat. It’s a whole different experience here in the summer than it is in the school year.”
This summer will be Weselmann’s second summer in Decorah working for the grounds crew at Luther.
“I had never really lived on my own before, so it was cool to have that independence rather than in a dorm setting,” Weselmann said.
In addition to working grounds, this summer Weselmann has the opportunity to work at Decorah ArtHaus, helping out for some events.
“There is a lot going on in Decorah over the summer, and a lot of different activities you can get involved in,” Weselmann said.
Emma Benson (‘13), a two-year Decorah summer veteran, will be here again this summer, working on grounds crew and for Kindernature, a Luther environmental education program for young children.
Benson and Weselmann will be living off campus together for the second summer.
“We got to know a lot of new people. The neighborhood we lived in was pretty much all Luther students renting houses,” Benson said. “We got to know our neighbors and ended up being really good friends with them.”
Logan Langley (‘13) stayed in town for two summers, doing custodial work for Luther for his first year and working on grounds crew the second year.
“Living in Decorah for the summer is a really good way to feel out living on your own,” Langley said. “It was my first experience working full time while making all my own food and paying rent.”
From going to the local farmer’s market to tubing down the Upper Iowa River to hanging out at different shops downtown, the free time of summer living in Decorah opens up many unique opportunities.
“People always talk about getting stuck in the Luther bubble and getting bored of it here, but I have never experienced that,” Benson said. “I think it’s because spending time in the summer off-campus, you get to know more people and learn about more activities in Decorah.”
Ian Carstens (‘14), a Decorah summer first-timer, is looking forward to the chance to collect himself and take a break from schoolwork while working for custodial services.
“I worked at a boy scout camp last summer, but I visited here a few times and thought ‘Wow, this is perfect,’” Carstens said. It was just so relaxed and just what I wanted. The other job was so demanding, and school was so demanding, so this summer will be a great chance to recouperate.”
For a Luther student, a summer in Decorah is a rare opportunity to live with friends and, for many, offers a rare chance to be independent.
“It’s a good experience, for at least one summer,” Weselmann said. “You get used to campus life during the school year, but there are so many cool things to do around Decorah during the summer. There is a lot to do outside that you don’t always think to do during the school year because of homework.”