Goodbye for Now, St. Lawrence
I have been dreading this day. The day when I have to say goodbye to St. Lawrence, my home away from home for the last four years. The place that has shaped me, and the place that is home to so many people and memories I hold close to my heart. As I begin a new chapter soon, I have been reflecting on the special Laurentian community that I know will be with me wherever I go next.
Since the moment I visited campus back in high school, I have always loved the tight-knit community that exists at SLU. This year in particular, the pandemic reminded me that it is the people of St. Lawrence that make it such a special place. After too many months away, my friends and I were so excited to be back at 23 Romoda Drive that you could sense the smiles even from underneath our masks.
Surrounded by upbeat attitudes and welcoming people, there is a contagious energy at SLU that I’m always ecstatic to return to. I see this contagious energy when SLU Funk is performing into the night at Folk Fest (organized by the Greenhouse) while the audience sings and dances along. I see it when I think about my sociology classmates semester after semester, the friends who make sure I’m awake on time for early morning walks on the Saddlemire Trail, and the warm greeting when I walk into Dana Dining Hall. When everyone breaks out in song to sing "Happy Birthday" to someone at brunch or people fill the Old Java Quad the minute the sun comes out, I’m reminded of the unique community I am thankful to have experienced.
This feeling of community does not end with students. It extends to faculty and staff, alumni, and all those with a connection to St. Lawrence. Whether it was my First-Year Program professor supporting me when starting a new club or my advisor encouraging me to follow my passions and conduct research through a Senior Year Experience project, my professors have continuously supported me in both academic and personal endeavors.
They also encourage me and my peers to take action outside of the classroom and truly believe in our ideas. I’ll never forget sitting next to Bailey Sherwin ‘19 when she started talking aloud about how awesome it would be to get a SLU bus to the 2019 Women’s March in D.C. I remember Dr. Jennifer MacGregor reacted in total support and encouragement, and within days we had hit the ground running to plan a bus to bring students (shout out to Carley Sherwin ‘22, Marina Pearce ‘19, Bailey Sherwin ‘19--teamwork makes the dream work!). That’s part of SLU’s magic, too. The professors. They are ready and willing to help and have been a constant source of support for me when I needed it.
Our one-of-a-kind alumni network is another perfect example of the SLU community. When I traveled to Washington, D.C. through SLU Connect (a networking trip run by the Center for Career Excellence), I saw firsthand how committed alumni are in supporting students in their careers and staying connected to our community. In the past year, I have talked to so many alumni who have taken time out of their day just to help me think about my next steps and share their insights. I love running into alumni in random places and feeling an immediate connection to the treasure we both know about in the North Country. Whether it is running into an alum who recognized the SLU sticker on my water bottle or spotting a bumper sticker on the road, a big smile comes across my face whenever someone says the words, “Do you go to St. Lawrence?”
It is all the moments, both small and big, that I look back on and instantly am reminded of how grateful I am for the SLU community. Such as during my first year, when my friend brought me to ring the Chapel bells with her. Or, the kind people at Information Technology who graciously help solve any issues with my computer. It's the fact that I made a friend at a SLU send-off event the summer before my first year who, after meeting again on campus, is now one of my best friends.
It’s the incredibly long Titus ticket line in the student center last year, everyone stoked to participate in the annual tradition. It’s the late nights on the third floor of the Student Center studying with new and old friends, listening to a student play the piano, and talking about our days and what we should order from the Pub downstairs. It’s giggling as everyone sprints outside when there is a beautiful sunset or rainbow, phone in hand, ready to capture a picture that will never do it justice. It’s getting a flat tire on the way to a sunrise hike at Mount Arab that turned into a bonding experience on the side of the road at 5:30 am. It’s sharing our last Bob’s pizza from Sergi’s during finals week with some of my FYP members (Reiff for life!), eating Pub Cookies with friends at hockey games, or screaming “hey, hey, hey, St. Lawrence” cheers during orientation.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a sad senior gearing up to say goodbye to SLU. My heart is full of gratitude for the experiences, friends, and memories that will be with me forever. I know you’re thinking it’s cheesy, but it’s true. If you’ve gotten this far, you rock. Thanks for listening to me go on and on about this community that means so much to me. Goodbye for now, St. Lawrence.