Many Laurentians may refer to home as two distinct places: where they’re from and St. Lawrence University. For all SLU students, St. Lawrence is considered a home, along with their original hometowns, schools, cities, and countries. However, these two homes often have linkages and can be shared by multiple students. Simply in my own experience, I have been greatly exposed to St. Lawrence’s presence, as a total of five different St. Lawrence students and alumni currently reside just on my street in Cazenovia, New York. The large number of connections that exist between St. Lawrence students and alumni highlights the immensity and depth of the St. Lawrence network, illustrating the tight-knit, friendly community here in Canton.
Connections with hometown communities are developed in large part by the sharing of experiences unique to it with fellow residents. These connections with hometowns and schools drive personal progression, growth, and maturity throughout our young lives. Nevertheless, as the August prior to first year arrives and the inaugural trip to the North Country draws near, it’s quite common to worry this connection may dwindle. The excitement of a new school in an unfamiliar setting can be overwhelming and casting memories back to your roots can provide comfort, easing the transition. However, for many lucky students the large community they leave has its presence felt at St. Lawrence. Whether it be high schools, prep schools, cities, or countries, SLU is diversified in its student body but also consistent in attracting attention from areas all over the world. As a result, ties to small communities within the greater St. Lawrence community persist, strengthening student relationships and bringing the student body even closer together. The mutual connections prior to St. Lawrence provide students an opportunity to bond and reflect on their shared experiences. Even without being close during previous years, there is a sense of contentment felt when previous connections are preserved through a mutual bond of finding a second home in St. Lawrence.
Despite similar pasts, it’s always striking seeing the diversity of trajectory that takes place at St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence provides a wide variety of opportunities and channels for students to discover who they are through theme houses, Greek life, clubs, student government, sports teams, and countless other organizations. Many students realize their passions through previously unavailable outlets as they become immersed in the community. While there are great commonalities and differences between student experiences, St. Lawrence continually bringing out the best in people, no matter who they know or where they’re from, endures.