On Almost Skipping SLU

By: 
Meghan O'Brien
Class of: 
2015

About 25 schools that fit my college search criteria popped up on the computer screen, and among them was St. Lawrence and one of the other three universities in the North Country (of course, I was naïve of the rivalries back then). I planned the trip—two college tours and an interview in one day—and set out at sunrise for the first of many voyages through the Adirondacks. I first arrived at the other university for a tour of campus. Everyone had told me, “You will just know when you step onto your perfect campus.” When I didn’t get that feeling on the first tour, I climbed back into the car and I proposed that we head back home; I didn’t feel like another college trip that day and offered to just skip SLU.

Crazy, right? Like I said: naïve.

Of course, parents know best, and next thing I knew I was gallivanting around St. Lawrence, this place I now consider a second home. I made two more trips back to Canton before the big decision day. I’m not sure if my subsequent trips were due to my procrastination in making a life-changing decision and my chronic indecisiveness, or just because I subconsciously knew I loved this place and didn’t want to wait another year before I could actually be on campus again. I think my parents got a kick out of the fact that the one place I visited most before paying my deposit was the place I was ready to skip over on the first round.

Now that I'm here, and have been a few years, there are days when I realize just how thankful I am that I didn’t play hooky for my first tour of SLU. The people I’ve met, the transformations I have experienced on a personal and academic level and the opportunities I have been afforded are all aspects of being a Laurentian that I could not have expected to find elsewhere. On this picturesque and dynamic campus, I constantly find myself taking a second to stop amid the energetic lifestyle of our tight-knit community to realize that there is no place I would rather be. Be it fall, the long winter, or short spring, the beauty of the place and people that fill this campus with so much character, vitality and possibility always amazes me.

Whether I’m crammed into the student section at a SLU vs. Clarkson game, meeting prospective students, climbing the Adirondacks on Peak Weekend, biting into a fresh Pub cookie (which I try to make a special rather than regular occasion), sitting in class alongside diverse students and learning from inspiring professors, running into alumni when I least expect it, walking through campus late at night after hours of studying, or just strapping up a hammock outside, I realize that this is my kind of perfection, my kind of college paradise, my kind of home.