The Gift of Living in Community
Third-year student and residence advisor Natalie Lantz shares lessons learned and experience gained from living in a first-year dorm for three years.
2 min. read
March 10, 2020

I have lived in a first-year dorm for my entire experience at Redeemer. I became a residence advisor (RA) in my second year after a rocky first-year experience. Living with seven other women, led me to RA again in my third year. Living with first-year students has let me see and experience the beautiful gift of community that the Lord has blessed me with.

Through this gift, I have learned that intentionality creates a space where beautiful things can happen. I am allowed to be who I was created to be—and loved for exactly that. I live amongst seven other women, all of us bringing different backgrounds and stories. There are late-night ice cream runs that lead to pulling all-nighters because of the conversation that flows out of these moments. There is a need for grace when dishes pile up, but there is always laughter echoing off the walls as we learn what it takes to live together. There are impromptu breakfast dates where you sit for hours over bad diner coffee. There is always something beautiful waiting behind the green door as you fit your key into the lock and swing it open. In stepping into the dorm, you realize that these years of living in intentional community are the golden years. The kind of years that you wish would never end, as you gaze around the room full of friendship and microwave popcorn.

“I have learned more about myself, friendship and my relationship with God through community living.”

Living in community means making space at your table. These years are full of raw vulnerability as you navigate university life, friendships and living in small spaces. The gift of community living is so much more than just living with a group of individuals that you may not know well yet, but you will. It’s where you learn how to create space for rest and grace, all while making memories you will cherish for the rest of your life. It’s a gift you need to hold on to, because life won’t always allow for intentional community living.

Residence at Redeemer is unique and one of my favourite parts about being a student here. The professors at Redeemer have done an incredible job teaching me in the classroom, but I have learned more about myself, friendship and my relationship with God through community living. Community living is a gift—one that you only recognize after you live in it.

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