Four years ago, I reflected about my experiences during my first year on campus. I was reminiscing on the experiences I had with my First-Year Program and the benefits of going to a small liberal arts school in Canton, N.Y. These feelings still hold true. Now, with a week until Commencement, I am sharing the thoughts that go through the minds of many college seniors preparing for graduation.
Scared; I'm sure we can all admit that the few days before moving into our perspective living options on campus one last time that we all had a slight feeling of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the realization that this would be the last time we all moved our belongings into St. Lawrence University housing. We are scared for this journey as a St. Lawrence student to end.
Excited; As we all gathered that first night on campus, there was a high energy and excitement that overtook the campus atmosphere. In high school, we lived for summer vacation, a time where we could take a break from school and be worry free with friends. At SLU, we have those same feelings, but the urge to get back to campus falls upon us around July. We live for that first day of the semester in August where we can reconnect with friends and this place that we have grown to call home.
Nostalgic; I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I definitely have felt a sense of nostalgia this year. As our days are dwindling down, this feeling has grown more prominent. St. Lawrence has given us lifelong friendships, connections with faculty and staff, and incredible stories to tell. It's bittersweet to think that soon that's what all of this will become, a very fond memory. Just four short years ago, we were starting out on this new journey that has brought us all so many great memories.
Indebted; St. Lawrence provides a range of opportunities that stem from study abroad, internships, research opportunities, etc. So, as graduating seniors, we would like to say thank you to SLU. Thank you for the opportunities to see the world, make connections, and find our niche.
Optimistic; That lingering question of, "What are your plans after graduation?" is there. While not all of us may have a concrete answer, we are optimistic. We are hopeful in the skills and connections we have acquired at St. Lawrence will guide us where we need to be whether that be in a graduate program, medical school, the workforce, or serving others. We will get there.
Ready; I would like to add my own little twist to St. Lawrence's unofficial motto: a candle has been lit in every one of us that will never be extinguished. We have spent four years preparing for this day. Through high standards of academia, an enormous alumni network, career/internship opportunities, and guidance, we are prepared for this next step. We are ready to go out and find our place in the world all while knowing that we all have a place to come home to. That place is SLU.
As we prepare to walk across the grand stage on Creasy Commencement Commons, the same place we began our St. Lawrence journey during Matriculation four years ago, we will feel a combination of all of these emotions. However, we must remember, that we are ready for that next step and we will always have St. Lawrence University to call home.