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Samuel Rabideau
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Samuel Rabideau

Graduation year: 2024

High school: Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Hometown: Freeport, Ill.

Majors: Creative writing; history

Campus activities: Dungeons and Dragons Club

Post-grad plans: Attend graduate school to become a professor of creative writing

Why Augustana?

Augustana was one of two final schools that I was looking at for my undergraduate study — the other being University of Omaha Nebraska (UNO). I picked Augustana over UNO for several reasons, but mainly it was the ease that I could double major and the liberal arts education style. I've always been fairly interested in many subjects, rather than focused on just one, so I felt the education at Augustana especially met my needs as a student.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

No, although I attended my freshman year during a very uncertain time — the 2020 COVID pandemic. It was nearly impossible to know what my future might hold back then, and so I barely had the time or energy to think about it. Despite that, I'm in a place where I'm happy, and I'm very proud of the work that I've done while here at Augie.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First and foremost — my friends, especially Cavit Schempp, Vic Zaragoza and Via Montgomery. They're my current roommates, and if it weren't for them, I would've been much, much more lonely here on campus.

Some professors have also stuck with me throughout my college experience, those being Lendol Calder, Brett Biebel and Kelly Daniels, as not only were all three of these brilliant people instrumental in my education, they allowed me to further pursue my educational endeavors by writing letters of recommendation for my grad school applications. I wouldn't have the amazing opportunities I have today without them.

Other professors include Michael Wolf because one day in class he told me I should be a history major, and now I am, and Rebecca Wee, who continues to help me with my writing endeavors.

Finally, Jason Mahn and Pastor Melinda Pupillo helped to guide me intellectually and spiritually during my time at Holden Village, something that has changed my life for the better.

Peak experience?

My J-term trip to Holden Village. It was such an eye-opening experience spiritually, socially and intellectually, that it has definitely affected the rest of my life. I will never see modern life the same because of my time in Holden. Not only that, but I made so many lovely friends and had so many fun experiences because of the atmosphere in the village that again, I can't think of anything else as my peak experience.

What surprised you?

Just how much I began to enjoy learning and talking with my teachers here at Augustana, or just at colleges in general. Participating in work outside of class is so much easier for me now because it feels like I'm actually doing work of worth, something that furthers my intellectual pursuits.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I went to Holden Village! Go to Holden Village! It was amazing!

What will you miss the most?

I'm going to miss my friends, since I know we'll be getting into the 'adult' stage of our lives, and soon will be constantly busy with new friends, new jobs, new schools, etc.

Advice for the Class of 2028?

Get out and make memories! Be the one to organize friend hangouts. It sucks, but they're all waiting on someone else to do it. (Also get out of your comfort zone, like seriously, just do it.)

"I will miss Sam because my courses benefited so much from his outstanding leadership. Sam is smart, well read and interested in questions that matter, but none of this he wears on his sleeve. His 'everyman' persona inspires others to emulate his intellectual drive. He is the classroom equivalent of a performance-enhancing drug, elevating every discussion he is part of."

– Dr. Lendol Calder, professor, history