Community: What it Really Means

Monday, November 16, 2015

As I was evaluating schools, community was a word that came up quite a bit – both at recruiting events as well as in conversations with current students.  At the time, I took it for granted, not because I thought people were being disingenuous or exaggerating, but because I didn't realize what it meant to be a part of the Carlson Community.  I thought that coming back to school would mean spending some time studying with classmates, but that I would still go home at 5 p.m. and hang out with my old friends.   I didn't understand how close my classmates would become and how much time I'd be spending with them – not because I had to, but because I wanted to!

However, the strength of the Carlson Community became the most apparent when disaster struck and I ended up in the ICU due to a pulmonary embolism.  While in the hospital bed, I started getting calls, messages, and visits from my friends from school.  In addition to my current classmates, I also received messages from alumni.  Most importantly, my classmates reached out to my wife to offer her support. 

After I was discharged I went home and started the recovery process.  I was glad to be home, but it wasn't fun to be stuck in the house – especially when all my friends were getting ready to attend the Carlson Halloween Soiree.  However, to my surprise my doorbell rang and when my wife opened the door, my classmates were standing there with balloons, flowers, and bags of food.  Not only did they come bearing gifts, they also stayed to play Apples to Apples.  The fact my friends spent their Saturday night to keep me company was truly heartwarming.

Upon returning to school, my classmates were and continue to be very supportive.  I even had a classmate skype me into class when I had to stay home.  Every day my classmates ask me how I'm doing and offer their help.  As a result of my situation, I now understand and am humbled to be a part of the Carlson Community.