Flights Aren't the Only Connections Made in Airports | St. Lawrence University

Flights Aren't the Only Connections Made in Airports

Friday, December 4, 2020

Anyone that has gone through airport security will tell you that at best, it’s a minor inconvenience, at worst… well let’s just say I learned my lesson and now I always put my graphing calculator in checked baggage. Anyways, I try to be as prepared as possible before navigating security—all my snacks are in a clear plastic bag, my liquids in an easy-to-access spot, and I wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off (socks underneath…ALWAYS wear socks).  All this prep work goes into helping me try and get through security as quickly and efficiently as possible, but you never know what will happen or who you might end up running into.

Flashback to December 2019. There I was, situated in one of the 12 different security lines at Denver International Airport, standing in disbelief as I looked at the familiar scarlet and brown sticker plastered to the side of the lunch box belonging to the individual in front of me. 

I was on my way back to St. Lawrence after spending Thanksgiving break at home with my family, and out of the 900 people going through security on that early morning, I ended up behind the Head Coach of the St. Lawrence Alpine Ski Team.  I was so shocked that I had run into someone else within SLU community that I completely forgot about the small piece of contraband tucked away in my lunchbox—that’s right, a strawberry banana yogurt. 

It wasn’t until I was discussing my flights with the coaches (while awkwardly putting my shoes on and juggling my snacks) that I realized my mistake; my lunchbox did not come out the other end of the x-ray machine and as they went off to go catch the train to the terminal, I had to make the walk of shame over to the search area so they could confiscate my yogurt. 

Long story short, I ended up spending the rest of the day with the alpine ski team as we traveled the 1800 miles back to campus.  What I expected to be a long journey back to campus turned into a trip full of laughter, new friends, and a newfound appreciation for the SLU community. Of the seven times that I have made this trip so far, I have run into a SLU alumni, fellow student, or professor on six of those occasions—and each time they were eager to provide support. 

One of my biggest fears when I was choosing St. Lawrence was the distance—how would I navigate the airports with all my belongings?  Who would help me figure out the logistics? But despite how stressful and challenging travel can be, I know now that I am never traveling alone. 

The SLU network has helped me so much, but that’s because of the incredible community that has been built by so many generations of students, staff, and faculty, all waiting to welcome you when you step on campus.  I won’t be the first (or last) to tell you that SLU may not be the easiest place to get to, but once you get here, you will see it as I do—home.