Samantha Raghu – Staff Writer
Senior Kylie Arvidson, an Elementary Education major and English minor, enrolled at Gustavus after she was captivated by the homely and friendly atmosphere of the campus.
“I knew I wanted a small, private school in Minnesota. My sister went to Gustavus, so I ended up touring the campus with my sister and I saw all the fun she had here and the sense of community that she built. Even though I was against it at first, I knew I wanted to come to Gustavus after that and I fell in love with the campus pretty quickly,” Arvidson said.
Once settled in on campus, Arvidson found her transition into college life to be relatively smooth, filled with lively conversations and communal spaces.
“I lived in Co-ed [my first] year, and that building provided me with a sense of community. Also being able to join clubs easily was a big factor and helped myself meet a lot of new people, and everyone is super friendly. There’s also a lot of common spaces to meet everyone which helped me a lot too,” Arvidson said.
As an Elementary Education Major, Arvidson knew from a young age that educating the youth of tomorrow was her passion.
“I always knew I wanted to be an Elementary Education major. I always loved hanging out with kids, especially when I participated in after school child care and summer camps in high school. I also had a lot of great teachers growing up who made the career look super fun, so those moments convinced me as well,” Arvidson said.
Outside of her major, Arvidson channels her passion for teaching through her involvement with the Gustie Buddies and Study Buddies programs on campus.
“Being an Education Major, both of these opportunities allow me to still be involved with kids and getting to know them on a weekly basis,” Arvidson said.
Outside of her academics, Arvidson participated in the Habitat for Humanity chapter at Gustavus, where she served as Fall and Spring Break Coordinator for two years.
“My sister had gone on a Habitat spring break trip, so I knew that was something I wanted to do within my four years at Gustavus. My roommate and I [our first] year went to Winston-Salem, North Carolina through Habitat. I loved every minute of it and you just get to meet so many fun people on the trip,” Arvidson said.
Arvidson is also a leader of Gustavus’ Run Club.
“My friend Carly and I joined [first] year. It’s been super fun working with the students and encouraging them to participate in running,” Arvidson said.
Although Arvidson plays an active role in these organizations, over-involvement was her greatest challenge once during her first couple weeks at Gustavus.
“Something really easy to do at Gustavus is to become over-involved and become a part of a lot of different clubs and activities. So being able to find that balance between school and social life while ensuring that I’m staying focused in all aspects of life has helped me a lot,” Arvidson said.
More recently, Arvidson’s biggest challenge was adapting to the online nature of COVID-19, especially as her interactions and involvement on campus were limited.
“This fall I was a home student teaching virtually, so that was interesting figuring out a whole new way to navigate teaching and gave me a different perspective. So being able to come back on campus for the spring and interact with some people with limitations was still super fun for me because I was at home before working 100 percent virtually,” Arvidson said.
As graduation soon approaches, Arvidson reflects and shares her most cherished memories throughout her time at Gustavus.
“In the Run Club, we usually do a half marathon every spring. During my first year, my friend and I did it together, and I never ran 13.1 miles before. That was an amazing experience. I’ve also been on two Habitat trips, and those were trips I will never forget,” Arvidson said.
Arvidson also offers her words of wisdom to future Gusties.
“I would definitely recommend finding one club that you’re passionate about and joining. Being able to have a group of friends on campus that you find through that organization, become a family, and spend a lot more time with them is super influential and can really make a difference in your time throughout Gustavus,” Arvidson said.