Wait... How Many Days?

By: 
John C. Balderston
Class of: 
2014

Suddenly, you’re a senior and one question is on everyone’s mind: “What’s next?” We dodge this question tactfully with a subtle topic change, “I’m a senior-let’s not talk about it. So, weekend plans?” As seniors, we grasp at any remaining experiences and opportunities left for us at St. Lawrence while begrudgingly making plans for our future. But at times, we need to reflect for a moment. Pause and rewind.

On February 10th, the senior class gathered to rewind the last four years at St. Lawrence, celebrating the longstanding tradition of 100th Night, marking 100 days before graduation. To my own surprise, I was selected to speak about our freshman year. Two weeks prior, I began to feverishly interrogate fellow seniors, gathering any and all information I could include in a recap of our first year on campus. The result was well-received. Enjoy the Cliff’s Notes version:

“Things I Wish I Knew”

  1. Ordering a “fat bag” at Sergi's could potentially offend the employees. Call it a pizza roll. 
  2. During Orientation, icebreakers will likely cause us to make fools of ourselves. Who came up with these anyway?
  3. Wallets, computers and cell phones are safe when left alone in public places, but not your Pub order. Be swift.
  4. Bring a variety of flannels and sweaters to master layering techniques during the winter.
  5. Java not only has good music, but also free food.
  6. Borrow a canoe from the Canoe Shack and do some course work on the Grasse River instead of in the library on warm days.
  7. Free cough medicine at the Health Center.
  8. Avoid the Fitness Center at 4 p.m. It gets busy… with professors. Let’s avoid the awkward encounter all together.
  9. Bring a wardrobe full of costumes for assorted themed events on campus.
  10. Bring an inflatable mattress or an inflatable equivalent for river floats in the fall.
  11. Label your Bean Boots. This is Bean Boot central, if you hadn’t noticed.
  12. Check the Dana Dining Hall special daily to ensure you don't miss Mac and Cheese lunch.

There are a lot of things I wish I knew my freshman year. But I'm glad that I didn't know them in the end. I'm glad that I have these stories to share. St. Lawrence is described as that inextinguishable flame in the wilderness shedding light upon the unknown. But sometimes, it's better to stay in the dark.

St. Lawrence reminds us that no matter where you are in life; take a moment.

Pause and rewind.