Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Lyngstad, I am a sophomore majoring in Business and Communication Studies, and I am so excited to begin my journey as an SMU Ambassador!
After completing my first year at SMU, I headed home for the summer. I was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, so it was great to go home and see all of my friends and family in town. I lifeguarded and taught swimming lessons at a local pool, in addition to taking a Biology course at a local college to fulfill a general education requirement. My family has a lake house about an hour away from our home, so I spent a majority of my weekends there, which was extremely relaxing and a great way to get some quality sun time!
The highlight of my summer was visiting one of my fellow SMU Ambassadors, Liz Blumberg, in California for a week. I went over the 4th of July weekend, and it was so much fun. Liz is from Rossmoor, which is about 20 minutes outside of LA, so I got a chance to see where she grew up and also do some quality sight-seeing. Another fun aspect of the trip was that three of our other friends joined us—my friend Sam, who is also from California; Jon, who is from Wisconsin; and Billy, a fellow Ambassador who is from Missouri—all SMU students! It was an absolutely incredible weekend jam-packed with beach time, fireworks, and some great road trips.
This trip made me realize how blessed I am to have met such phenomenal people during my first year at SMU. After arriving home from being in California, it hit me that I knew nothing of the four remarkable people I had just spent a week with this time one year ago, and that we never would have met had we not all chosen SMU. When choosing a university, I wanted something completely different from my high school experience, not a continuation of the same people in the same setting—SMU provides all of its students an atmosphere cohesive to growth. While approximately 50% of the student body come from the great state of Texas, 50% does not, which has enabled me to meet so many different types of people from so many different backgrounds. When looking for the right university for me, I wanted a college that offered learning not only in the classroom, but out of the classroom, and I believe that SMU provides this to its students by promoting one of its core initiatives—every Mustang will be valued. By encouraging its students to value and embrace their own and others beliefs and heritages, SMU provides an atmosphere that inspires students to grow as more well-rounded individuals. From my personal experiences at SMU, I have already grown immensely. By getting involved in different activities around campus and being exposed to different situations and beliefs, I have not only modified my beliefs in certain aspects of my life, but also strengthened my views on convictions I had previously held before attending school here.
I am so thrilled to be beginning my second year on the beautiful Hilltop, and I cannot wait to see what great opportunities lay ahead over the next three years!