Becoming a Global Laurentian | St. Lawrence University

Becoming a Global Laurentian

Emily Reiniger
2016

**Disclaimer** Things are about to get real sentimental, real quick.

College is the first place lots of young adults find themselves completely alone and out of their comfort zone. They have to navigate new social standards, their class work, emotional well-being and a newfound sense of “freedom” without the support network they have know their entire lives. It’s a challenging task to find your place in a totally new world wherever you find yourself.

The other day I was thinking, “Man, I’m a senior. I’ve DONE the hard part. The rest must just be smooth sailing!" Well, I’ve definitely been more wrong in my life before, but I’ve also been more right. I found my place here at St Lawrence. I am comfortable and happy and attached to not only this geographic location, but to my identity as a Laurentian. However, sometimes I get so wrapped up in living the college life that I forget one day my journey here will end. I’ll find myself in strange uncomfortable situations again and again and again for the rest of my life. It is a daunting thought.

There is one thing, however, that makes the thought of becoming a “real adult” forever (if you will…) a little bit less terrifying. It’s the international Laurentian community. I remember so clearly last spring receiving an email from one of the HR workers at the ski resort I planned to work at for the summer referring to my email tagline; she asked if I was a student at St Lawrence and what, if anything, she could do for me. I was about to move all the way to Montana from Massachusetts alone and on a whim and I already had someone willing to do almost anything to make me feel comfortable! Who gets that lucky? My host parents in Kenya, while not Laurentians themselves, had a few family members who studied here and had nothing but admiration and curiosity. That alone made me feel comfortable in my new home with them. And you know, it’s not only those big things. I met two recent graduates in the Chicago O’Hare airport. We chatted before we boarded the plane but were separated until the landing. I turned around to my fellow Laurentian handing me my carry on, “I gotchu, Larry, “ he said.

Perhaps one of my most profound moments was again in Montana. A guest on one of my tours graduated in 1943- 73 full years before I will. St Lawrence hasn’t been his whole life; he’s gone on to do and achieve many more things. He’s a veteran of World War II, an accomplished medical doctor and an all around kind and hilarious man. He gave me perspective: there is so much more than college. He also reminded me just how many Laurentians are floating around the world doing big things and ready to extend a helping hand to any Laurentian who needs one.

When I graduate in May, I’ll be starting a new chapter just like I did when I got here. I want to be my own person and forge my own path. So when people ask me about my post-graduate plans, I won’t be upset or snappy. I’ll be honest. I’m excited. I’m also TERRIFIED because if there’s one thing I’ve learned here, it’s that I don’t know everything. If that’s not exciting and terrifying then I don’t know what is! (Although my mom would tell you she’s been trying to tell me that for years). Lucky for me, I won’t be starting this grand new adventure completely alone. I’ll be joining a new, global support network of Laurentians, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

P.S. A HUGE thank you is in order to all those Laurentians I mentioned. Further, future and present Laurentians you know you’ve always got me, too! Although that might go without saying :)