Adjusting to Life at St. Lawrence

By: 
Meca-Gaye Francis
Class of: 
2020

St. Lawrence University is home to some of the most unique college conditions. Our liberal arts campus offers an unparalleled serenity with modern infrastructure juxtaposed against the beauties of nature. Being removed from the hustle-bustle of New York City certainly gives way to a growing appreciation for the natural environment - an appreciation that is accompanied by new bonds and new beginnings.

SLU is known for its rigorous liberal arts curriculum that pushes the bounds of a Laurentian’s mind. A facet of this is our distribution requirements. These are mandatory credits that must be obtained from a stipulated variety of departments. Initially, I was disgruntled by the thought of pursuing courses that are unrelated to my main academic interest. However, in completing courses that would satisfy the distribution requirements, I came to the realization that I was no longer interested in my main area of study. I discovered new passions with an expanding fondness for departments in which I had never envisioned myself studying. An inextricable element of growth is change. Adjusting to life as a college student is being on a path to self-discovery. You are, therefore, quite likely to unearth hidden talents and idiosyncrasies as you explore SLU.

In finding myself, I have also found new friendships and bonds. SLU’s atmosphere is permeated by sincerity and generosity. On this campus, people hold the door open not only literally, but also figuratively to meaningful conversations and connections. Especially helpful is St. Lawrence’s unique First-Year Program. The program entails sharing a living space with people with whom you learn. You consequently have a medium through which you may immediately form friendships and a supportive residential environment. Regardless of the individual challenges that I have faced, having meaningful conversations with the people I encounter has played a vital role in my adjustment. 

SLU also boasts a diverse international student population, with Laurentians from more than 50 countries. Diversity is embodied through Laurentians who identify with different religious, political, and social groups. Members of the SLU community are therefore open-minded and respectful of each other’s differences. From Admissions to Dining Services, SLU faculty and staff do an excellent job at ensuring inclusivity for different groups and finding ways to highlight the beauty of diversity. While there are a plethora of events hosted by student organizations such as the Black Student Union, there are also acknowledgements of diversity woven into the fabric of daily life. These include theme dinners at eateries on campus and need-based resources such as religious counselors. At SLU, it is important for everybody to be included and to feel included as we make our North Country campus home.

At the end of only one full semester, I can confidently say that St. Lawrence University is a place of growth and change. So cheers to new bonds, new beginnings, the scarlet, and the brown.