Embracing Your Story
“We carry with us the love of one thousand generations,” said Christian Huble, as he addressed his fellow Minneapolis College class of 2021 graduates during this year’s virtual commencement ceremony. Huble, who graduated from Minneapolis College in May with an Associates Degree in Philosophy, understands that his story is built upon the love, struggles and grace of the many who have come before him.
From his upbringing in the exurbs of New York City, to the years he spent traveling the country working the Renaissance Fair circuit, to his journey of using his college experience to unpack and understand trauma, Huble is on a constant journey to embrace his own story. “Chaos is familiar to me,” says Huble, “I come from a lot of disfunction, so I’ve always had a pattern of running away,” he continued. This urge to be on the move led directly to his enrollment in college.
His Minneapolis College story began in the middle of the Arizona desert, in the parking lot of a McDonald’s where he could access a free Wi-Fi signal. “While I was working that Renaissance Festival in Arizona I was in the mindset of running away again, until I found myself reading this book in the dessert on my day off. It was called Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. It was about academia and trauma, and making sense of it all,” said Huble. “I read that book and just decided I want to go to school.”
Having spent some time in the Twin Cities before, he knew that is where he wanted to be. “Minneapolis and the Twin Cities in general have everything New York City does, just on a smaller, more digestible scale. In New York, I was just another number. Here, I was part of a community.”
Beginning as a Biology major, Huble quickly realized his interests were far reaching. A Biology major quickly morphed into a Community Development major, then a Communications major, then a Business and Entrepreneurship major, before finally deciding upon a Philosophy major.
“The core for me has always been a deep hunger for learning – asking the big why questions,” said Huble, “Life is short, it’s better to do what I want and what I’m passionate about,” he continued.
Community Healing Collaborative and Student Voices
Huble’s passions moved far beyond the classroom during his time at Minneapolis College. His involvement with the student club Students Against Hunger and Homelessness (SAHH) led to a position on the Student Senate, where he helped advocate for the needs of his fellow students, which eventually led Huble to a student worker position in the Executive Offices of the College.
While working in the Executive Offices, Huble had the chance to help lay the foundation of the Community Healing Collaborative (CHC), an initiative meant to build community-based ecosystems that support diverse needs for the mental and overall health of students, faculty, staff and the communities that Minneapolis College serves. “We are really working to become a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive institution,” said Huble. “We’re focused on how we elevate the student voice and not operate with performative gestures.”
Through the CHC, Huble helped to launch a project called Student Voices to do just that.
“[Students] don’t just show up to school, it’s not that cut and dry. Each of us is a diverse human being. We all have a story and sometimes when we look at demographics and numbers, we leave out that story.”
For Huble, the work is personal. It’s important to him that he embrace all aspects of his story. “My experience in college has not been all good,” said Huble. “As much as I had support and amazing communities, I still had struggles. I still had frustration.”
There was a point in Huble’s journey at Minneapolis College where it all became too much to handle, and he wanted to revert to his old pattern of running away. “I was doing way too much. I burnt out and had to withdraw for a semester. Everything was lining up to be like you can’t finish school.” Huble continued, “But it was a lot of staff and other students reaching out to me that made it okay for me to come back. There are people at Minneapolis College who really care. They want to make our College, and our city, a better place.”
Leaving a Legacy
Huble is continuing to ask the big why questions. He has already begun classes at Metropolitan State University, where he will be pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in the Individualized Studies Program. Along with this, Huble is working for the City of Crystal’s Recreation department. He is overseeing the city Farmer’s Market along with planning for Crystal Frolics, a 60-year-old event that will be held at the end of July. “Crystal, like a lot of cities across the country, is changing. This event is rooted in an old Americana,” said Huble, “we want to take this time-honored traditional event and shift some of the services and offerings.”
The impact Huble has had on Minneapolis College by helping to create a platform for students to share their stories will continue far into the future. This summer he has been contracted by Minneapolis College to continue his work on the Student Voices project. The goal is for the project to continue to be student-run in the future.
“What we’re really focusing on now is answering the question of how we pass the torch and build-in legacy. We need to keep getting students in the rooms where bigger decisions and policies are made. It will help us build a better College for everyone.”