I joined the LPU back in 2007, after years upon years of waiting to do so. I had always wanted to join it; the perks seemed amazing, and I really liked the idea of getting a package in the mail with special things that nobody I knew would get. However, what got me interested in the LPU the most were the people. I had been roaming the LPMB since 2002; lurking at first, and then posting and making friends. I got close with people like Outlawserenade and Octah, who were LPUers and talked about how awesome it was. When the Fort Minor boards came into existence, I met more; people like lpfmfan (Ana A.) who were friendly, funny, and also in the LPU. I knew that once I joined, I too would be part of that special community.
The day I got my email saying that I was registered was one of the best days I had had in a while. At the time, I was dealing with the death of a classmate of mine, and finding things to be happy about was difficult. Linkin Park was one of the things that brightened my mood; so it was no surprise that this news made me jump for joy. As soon as I could, I registered with the boards and began my journey in the LPU. After shaking off some of my nerves, I knew I belonged right away. Knowing Outlaw and a few other "veterans" from the LPMB made my transition to my new home seamless, and I soon began to make friends.
The times I've shared in the LPU are nothing less than memorable. I can remember long nights spent in front of my laptop, laughing hysterically at the conversations I was having with the many members of the ManBearPig thread. I was there the night Robynn (pd2care), eifersucht, and others tried to take down Manson; and the many anxious moments after that when we wondered, "When will he strike next?!?". I remember Drew (ManBearPig)'s elation when Mike and Chester drew on his Canadian flag at his private meet and greet, and how this flag (and its owner) has become part of LPU history. The election of Barack Obama will, in my mind, always be coupled with reporting the election results in High Command the entire evening until he was named president. There's also Ana B. (anaphx)'s semester in New Zealand, Ana A. and Jenny (Blueide06)'s encounter with Chester in Texas, Britt's adventures in the Coast Guard, and Joe and Derek's hilarious ways of closing a thread or censoring board-inappropriate content.
On top of giving me such awesome times, the LPU has also given me a close-knit group of wonderful friends who I've grown to care about very much; a sentiment I know is shared by a lot of people in this community. We have "seen" each other at our best and at our worst, and through it all we support each other with empathy, advice, and lots of humor. When one of us isn't around for a while, we wonder where they have gone and when they'll return. And when our time in the LPU runs out, we give our heartfelt goodbyes with the promise that "They'll be back. They always come back."
I hope future LPUers can see what they have here and not take it for granted; or at least find a way to make their experience worthwhile. As my renewal date comes closer, I am determined to be one of the ones that comes back.
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