Kate shows up
Senior’s empathetic heart allows her to support those who need it.
By Mackenzie Novak | Reporter
Kate Holstein, wide-eyed, stared at the French toast platter, steam rising, Aug. 23, 2016.
Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up.
Eating the last supper with her family was finally sinking in. She was prepared, she had everything set, yet she still couldn’t eat. She thought back to meeting her roommate, Elena Glynn, for the first time. The question booklet she brought to their first meeting, with questions such as “what is your pet peeve?” helped her get to know her living partner for the next 9 months. She smiled, and took a breath.
I can do this.
This moment would be so much more than she imagined.
On the same date a year later, emotions swirled,but this time she was surrounded by familiar faces, helping unload the cars and inviting hundreds of freshmen into their new home. Welcome Week 2017 at Bethel University is just beginning. Holstein’s palms are sweaty and her stomach churns, but this time it is a positive and exciting feeling.
“One of the things I love about Kate is how she meets new people,” Holstein’s freshman year R.A. Corinne Dennis said. “She looks them right in the eye with a genuine smile and is so excited to meet them.”
Holstein stood there with outstretched arms, and invites the wide-eyed freshman to their new home.
I can’t believe it had been one whole year since she I was in this position, shaking Jay Barns hand over my giant bin of nicely stacked underwear.
The new students’ eyes tell their story. Holstein could see right through it, because she was there. She wanted to make one student feel welcome.
“I want to help just one student who felt like me getting out of the car. It was a legitimate thought going through my head…. don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry,” Holstein said. “If I could release one student from their fear, then I’ll have done a good job.”
Dennis admires Holstein’s willingness to help others. “Her wisdom is far and beyond her years,” Dennis said. “She shares her heart and listens to others.”
Dennis received a surprising call one day, something she needed to tell Holstein right away. She picked Holstein up, just minutes after the phone call, and went and sat in the parking lot right next to the Scandia Church. Dennis and Holstein talked through all the possibilities and Holstein was able to help clear Corinne’s head. Holstein showed up.
In -20-degree weather, Holstein cheered for friends at the broomball rink past the West Lot, just as she carried freshmen TVs into dorms as part of Welcome Week. Holstein will be there, regardless the circumstances.
“The relationships I built have surpassed more than I could expect,” Kate said. “I think this is due to our level of intimacy in Christ.” When Elena fell out of her bed freshman year, Holstein’s gasp and laughter could be heard down the hall, followed of course by asking to make sure she was okay.
“Kate is so thoughtful in the way she uses her words,” Kalli Dunn, Holstein’s junior year roommate said. “She always knows exactly what to say at just the right time.”