Senior Spotlight: Sarah Landerholm
By Rose Gottschalk (TheLorian)
Sarah is a senior originally from Rockton, IL, and is double-majoring in English: Literature and Creative Writing. She has been involved in things like The Lorian, Literary Society, and is a Peer Transfer Mentor.
- Why did you choose Loras?
What struck me about Loras, and what continues to strike me, is the genuineness of this college, its authentic commitment to being a place that is focused on its students and their success. When I came for a campus visit, I saw that immediately. I was met with staff and faculty who wanted to know my interests and aspirations, and how they could help me achieve those things at Loras, whether through classes, majors, or club organizations. I knew from the outset that as much as I was invested in Loras, Loras was invested in me.
- What has been your favorite class, and why?
There have been so many, but I’d have to say that my favorite was Dr. Auge’s Lit of Oppression/Resistance. I took the class purely because it sounded interesting and I really enjoy Dr. Auge as a professor, but I think of all the classes that I’ve taken, that course expanded my worldview most. Understanding how dominant cultures oppress, and in turn, how the oppressed resist domination, offered me insight into experiences and ways of life that I have never known and will likely never know. The class shaped my outlook on my own life, one that has not experienced the guerrilla warfare and governmental terrorism of the Guatemalan Civil War, the gulags of Russia, or the Nazi occupation of Vichy France. It is only through the literature that recounts the lived experiences of those who endured these horrors that I am able to connect and engage with such events, and Lit of Oppression/Resistance gave me that chance to connect.
- What is your favorite Loras memory?
The one that keeps coming to mind is the musical that the Loras faculty and staff put on. It wasn’t so much the musical itself that I remember, although it was really well done, but the end, when they sang John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” but replaced the lyrics with Loras-themed wording. It was at that moment, sitting among peers as professors and staff belted out John Denver, that Loras really, truly felt like home, like a place that I would one day miss and want to return to.
- Chicken Nugget Monday or Taco Tuesday?
Personally, I’m a Pasta Thursday gal, but if I have to pick, Tacos all the way.
- What is your favorite location on campus?
There’s no exact room or place, but I love the walk down Loras Blvd. from Keane to Hoffman. Something about seeing Loras silhouetted against the backdrop of bluffs and the Mississippi river always catches me in my step.
- If you could sum up your Loras experience in one word, what would it be and why?
Being concise is not my strong suit, but to distill my experience here down to one word, I think it would be “bildungsroman,” a high-flown word for a coming of age story. Here at Loras, I feel that I’ve found my voice, learned to “know thyself,” as the Delphic saying goes, and come to understand my role in the world. My years here have been my formative years, and although I know that my formation is still somewhat incomplete, Loras gave me a foundation that I would not have otherwise. Loras helped me come of age, understand myself, and in turn, the world.
- What is some advice you would give to someone starting their Loras journey?
I would tell them to lean into Loras, lean into both the good and the bad. Embrace Café food (one day you’ll miss Chicken Nugget Monday), get to know your professors (they really want to get to know you), and know that adjustment and struggle and homesickness are part of the experience, but hold out. Please hold out. Because one day, you might find yourself sitting in a class, or at the Café, or at a Loras College musical where they’re singing John Denver, and you’ll feel, finally, completely at home.
- What are your post-graduation plans?
At this point, I’m considering grad school with the ultimate goal being to teach at the college level, but I’m taking a gap year before I plunge back into school. In the meantime, I’m applying for jobs locally with the hope to stay in Dubuque.