By Drew Amstutz ‘18
Transitioning from high school to college can be a great endeavor, especially when crossing state lines.
Thanks to the continuity between Concordia Lutheran High School and the Concordia University System, 2016 CLHS graduate Katie Rehmer was able to find peace in the chaos of collegiate life.
Rehmer, now a freshman at Concordia University Chicago, entered the Chicago suburb campus with a sense of ease not felt by other students. Taught to do so during her days at CLHS, the Cadet-turned-Cougar relied on her faith to push her through the stresses of school.
“Finding the time to sit down, take a breath, and talk to God, is important,” Rehmer remarks. “Concordia taught me that Christ isn’t just at the Center of Concordia, but the center of all of life.”
Living on the CUC campus means that Rehmer has the opportunity to go to chapel every day with students of her own age, to learn about her Lord and Savior.
“I have so many opportunities to praise God and to see a community of college students who want to praise God and continue their life in Christ,” she said.
Rehmer remembers hearing that Concordia was one of the “greatest high schools in the country,” but it wasn’t until she reached college that she saw the full effect of a CLHS education.
She felt prepared for the increased workload of a college workload, noting that it was not very different from what she received in high school.
The greatest struggle that Rehmer faces in college is the change in scheduling.
“There is so much to do,” she said. “Classes aren’t Monday through Friday, and professors don’t remind you when homework is due, so I do get stressed.
Rehmer calls these moments, when her school work and social life cause the most stress, “God Sirens” because God is trying to reach her.
“It’s like he’s saying, ‘Hey, I’m here for you. I’m here for you. Let me help you,’” she said. “Sometimes it is a struggle to sit down, and say, ‘God, I need your help.’”
At CLHS, Rehmer was heavily influenced by the fine arts. She participated in marching band throughout all of high school and even in her eighth-grade year.
During her junior year, the Marching Cadets won their first Class C State ISSMA Championship. Rehmer still gets emotional when talking about this monumental moment in CLHS history.
“It was an amazing experience,” she exclaimed. “It wasn't about the title or the trophy. Yes the huge trophy and the title were cool, but it was more amazing hearing the crowd after our show and after it was announced that we won.”
Throughout the event, she felt as though God was with the Cadets, pushing them toward victory, but more importantly, toward sharing His good news of the Gospel.
“The loudness of the crowed showed us that we had fulfilled our mission of performing our show, ‘One Mission,’ and we knew that the Glory was truly given to God that day,” she said.
Rehmer also performed in theater at CLHS, debuting in the musicals “The Music Man,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor” and “Once Upon a Mattress.”
“Being involved in theater at Concordia was amazing. The theater department truly is a family,” she said. “There is always someone who is there to support you in anything and everything. It wasn't just the students, but the adults who pitched in their time and effort and cared about us like their own children.”
Like band, Rehmer remembers learning to perform drama for God, rather than for anyone else.
Outside the realm of fine arts, Rehmer served her school through student council. She served in a variety of roles from class representative her first three years to student body secretary during her senior year. Above all else, she enjoyed the philanthropic duties of being a student council member, specifically the St. Baldrick’s event and the Riley Dance Marathon.
“I am a huge advocate for childhood cancer awareness, and I was so grateful to find a way to get the school to help participate in this fight, so that kids could grow up and live their dreams and succeed,” she said.
At CUC, Rehmer is pursuing a computer science major with a minor in business communication. She believes that God has called her toward the field of computer science from a very young age.
“I always had a niche for computers and thought technology was really cool,” she said, adding that her passion for technology derives mainly from her father, who is an engineer.
Rehmer also attributes her time spent in Scott Storm’s “Intro to Computer Science” class to her love of the field. She remembers the hands-on experience she received while taking the class.
“I really enjoyed what I learned. I thought that it could make a really cool degree,” she said.
Furthering her love for helping others, Rehmer’s plan for the future, though left open to God for specifics, is to eventually develop education software.
“I know there is a huge potential for technology in the classroom and I would love to help with that development,” she said.