Everything I’ve Lost < Everything I’ve Gained

I came across this senior picture recently. We never actually ordered these pictures, because my parent’s divorce had thrown my mother into abject poverty and homelessness. By choosing to stay with her, I was homeless and living in poverty as well. My dad would have financially supported me if I would have lived with him, but it would have meant I could have no contact with my mom. I missed competing at the state track meet my senior year (after being runner up in the 2 mile my junior year) and I was delinquent from school (after being an honors student) to live with my mom. The story is long and complicated, but in general, the ineffectual family court system tore my family apart.
People who know my story have a tendency to feel sorry for me. But the reality is, I am lucky to have been through this.
Everything I lost and every opportunity I missed did not matter. I now live with such a deep trust that whatever is meant for me will never miss me, because everything I gained from this experience is more than I could have known to hope for. ❤️

Another Open Letter to Augsburg University

Dear President Paul Pribbenow, Members of the Augsburg Leadership Board and Augsburg Athletic Directors,

Augsburg University has financially exploited thousands of students. I do not condone this. I ask that you immediately take down any honors, awards and/or publications including my name at Augsburg University. This includes my athlete biography online, any stories regarding my performance online or in print, any plaques or images, and any displayed school records. 

I expect written confirmation within ten days that you have ceased using my name and awards in any publications or on any displays or promotions at Augsburg University.

I am pursuing legal action to rectify the trauma you have caused and continue to cause for your financial gain. Not only have you misled and indebted young Americans and their families, you have taken advantage of some of the most vulnerable and desperate populations by creating programs for addicts and immigrants. And now, according to the Star Tribune, you are accepting grants for prisoners. 

I have personally spoken to teammates of mine from Augsburg University and other fellow graduates who have ended up homeless, addicted, re-addicted and/or underemployed. It is a misuse of taxpayer money to take grants and government funding while decreasing the standard of living for the people you purport to help.


Lauren Rice

An Open Letter to Augsburg University

Dear President Paul Pribbenow,

Augsburg University has a hold on my transcript and degree. And all I can say now is, you can keep it.

You can keep my degree and hold my transcripts forever. I am not asking you to help me anymore, because you have not. I am asking you to change. Please do better for the innocent and unknowing students who attend your university.

I gave Augsburg University everything I had and you took it. And you continue to take from me. I can’t afford it. And it’s disturbing. Not only do I have an inordinate amount of student loan debt, the student account balance I owe you cannot be consolidated. As a result, it is now negatively affecting my credit and employability. An expensive education has left me with crippling debt, and meanwhile the university has not helped me secure a career that would allow me to begin to pay it back.

Look at your school track and field record board. I rewrote it. My name is on the mile through the 10k. I earned the Elite 89 award, which is granted to the athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA tournament. I earned All-American honors multiple times and received your female athlete of the year award. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I earned Departmental Honors in Communication Studies. I’m not sharing any of my honors to brag, I’m sharing them to demonstrate the dichotomy. If this happened to me, it is happening to anyone at your university. While I was earning Augsburg positive attention through academic and athletic achievements, I was going hungry. I didn’t know whether I would be able to finish my degree, because there was no funding for my books and other necessities. Not only was I training and competing, but I was working a work-study job for near-minimum wage. After I graduated, I could not find a job no matter what I tried. I asked you for help with job connections or internships, but you offered none. I finally entered a retail position in desperation. Pure hunger and fear. I spent time homeless, because I couldn’t secure employment.
I’m done asking you for help. I’m asking you to change.

I’m sharing my story with whomever will listen with the hope that no one else will have to endure the needless pain I suffered during school and after graduating. If people ask me what I think of Augsburg University, I tell them what I am stating in this letter. This is a problem and I cannot remain quiet while I watch innocent others get set up for the same suffering.
I know I am not alone. My fellow graduates tell me they went into debt rather than gaining opportunities.

Augsburg University has a serious problem if their highest achieving and most well respected students are underemployed.

This is my sincere plea that you stop misleading innocent people into believing their financial investment at your university will secure them a better financial future. I ask that you acknowledge what you can do personally to help these young, vulnerable students. And I ask that you do it.


Lauren Rice


Hi, I’m Lauren Rice. I’m a runner, a comedian, and a writer.
This website covers what I have learned and what I am currently learning about what makes life fulfilling. I share how these concepts impact my personal life and how I have learned some of these concepts through my life’s difficulties and joys.
I hope that through my personal journey and my research, you are inspired to live your best life.
I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Inquiries: contact me via my Instagram @itslaurenrice or itslaurenrice@gmail.com