As a girl growing up in Plymouth and at Peace, this month’s featured member would sometimes become nervous or embarrassed singing or performing in front of the congregation. Now a college student, Annika Peterson has overcome those fears and thrives as a performer and communicator at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Washington. Read on to learn more about how this talented and generous young woman is living her vocation.
Annika is in her fourth five years at PLU, majoring in Communications and Theatre. She feels that she has a vocation to communicate and tell stories and can do this most directly when she is on stage as a performer. “I want to be an avenue for stories to become a place of meaning for others,” she explains. In her friendships, she also values good communication and works as an active and empathic listener. With friends, she prefers to sit in conversation more than to be busy and always focus on “doing.” She says that stories are the basis of friendship, and she likes to invest in the people she cares about on a deeper level rather than just being superficial friends.
As a performer, Annika was very excited to earn her first main stage role at PLU in their production of “Urinetown” in the spring of 2020. And then the world shut down. Alone in her dorm room until she came home to Minnesota in mid-April, it was difficult seeing her friends leave, one by one, to return to their family homes. After returning home herself, Annika initiated a children’s library at Peace, which stressed inclusivity. She and her family also created a jigsaw puzzle lending library at church.
When the students returned to campus in the fall of 2020, they were secluded in their dorm rooms and were limited to distance learning. Other than a friend in the dorm across the hall, Annika was very much alone in a single room. She says that this was a challenging time. Needless to say, there were still no performance outlets for this theatre major! One positive outcome of the lockdown experience was that she acquired her own cat, Toblerone.
With life more or less back to “normal,” Annika is busy on campus as an Admissions Communication Intern and as a campus tour guide. She sings in PLU’s “Choir of the West” and is busy performing in school theatrical performances. When this busy student needs some downtime, she can turn to working on cross-stitch projects and making loop yarn blankets. Something she loves about attending PLU is exploring the different landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves her circle of friends and appreciates that she can now interact with them in person again.
Annika is the daughter of Peace members Matt and Nancy Peterson and has two older siblings, Derek and Liese. “I feel privileged to have a healthy and close relationship with my family,” she shares. Annika, we at Peace feel privileged to have watched you become the lovely and gifted woman you are today. We look forward to seeing what the world has in store for you next!