At The Doorsteps to My Senior Year | St. Lawrence University

At The Doorsteps to My Senior Year

Nina Melkonyan

The end of high school through the end of college happens in the blink of an eye. It feels like yesterday when I was filling out the Common Application for St. Lawrence, and here I am standing at the doors of my senior year, waiting for the unknown to be revealed.

It might sound surprising, but going into your senior year of college doesn’t feel much different from the senior year in high school. It is the same feeling of worry, anxiety, excitement and the fast heartbeat of the adventures that lay ahead.

Four years ago, I didn’t know that I will be in the United States, not to mention at St. Lawrence University, which I hadn’t heard of until a month before the application deadline. I was born and raised in Armenia until I was 15. This was the year when I took my first plane to a foreign country by myself and spent a year living with a host family and attending a public high school in Iowa. Ever since this experience, my life has taken the most unexpected turns. The next couple years I spent in Wales, UK taking IB (International Baccalaureate) courses and applying to colleges. I applied to schools in Armenia, Russia, the Netherlands and even the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, here I am at SLU in Upstate New York making amazing memories and surrounded by great friends.

Month by month, semester by semester, and year by year I discovered myself. I never thought I would be able to stand on a stage and perform a piece from  the “Vagina Monologues”, just like I never thought I would be involved with the student government representing my fellow international students. I couldn’t even imagine that I would love teaching so much that I would spend over a year working in the elementary schools around the North Country and then go to Thailand for a study abroad semester and teach English to Burmese migrants. Although I still have another year to explore myself, these experiences are and will remain invaluable.

Despite all of these mixed feelings, I am looking forward to my senior year. It is the time to connect with my friends on deeper levels, do things I never had the chance to do and maybe enjoy the earnest work I have put into these last three years. I am taking this year to re-live my St Lawrence experiences and experience everything else I left out. I can’t wait for the Senior Quad Experience, one last hike during the Peak Weekend, the final trip to Titus and Spring Fest, as well as the 100th Night Ceremony and the senior week with the last touch of SLU – graduation.

Now, even though I’m not yet applying to graduate schools, I am still facing the world’s map and wondering where I will end up this time. Thailand, Australia, Germany, UK or maybe back to where it all began – Armenia?! There is uncertainty at every step, yet there is one thing I am sure of – a big change is coming that will hopefully open up new horizons and opportunities. Choosing a liberal arts education armed me with the necessary skills to navigate the “adult” life after SLU. Through unforgettable experiences, I learned how to write papers and conduct research, how to speak in front of an audience, and, most importantly, how to combine all of this into crucial skills of networking and career building. 

Even though my St. Lawrence experiences are coming to an end and there is so much uncertainty of what will come next, I feel prepared and confident in myself. One thing I learned from all of this can be found in a famous Bob Marley quote: “Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.”