Importance of Visiting Campus
I toured 10 schools before I knew which one was the best fit for me. St. Lawrence was my last tour when it would’ve just been easier if it were my first.
Like many prospective students, I was overwhelmed when choosing which universities I wanted to apply to, let alone which ones I’d visit. I toured a few schools nearby and some out of state, but didn’t see myself attending any of them for four years. After talking with recent SLU graduate Lexi Beckwith ‘14, who only had great things to say about the Laurentian community, I added it to my list of potential schools. My parents were hesitant to make the six-hour drive but eventually agreed (and they were happy they did).
When my family and I arrived on campus, I was instantly drawn to the campus and setting. Right off the bat, I got a strong sense of friendliness. Members of Commons College waved as we walked by their house, and when we got closer to the Java House we could see students blasting folk music. Learning about the theme houses on campus and their role in the SLU and Canton community was exciting for me. The concept of living with a group of people based on similar motives and personalities was just as unique as it was exciting. This was when I began to realize there were aspects of campus that I would’ve never otherwise learned from a brochure or website.
When first entering the Sullivan Student Center, I was shocked at how much was going on; the long line at the Mail Center, student presentations in the Winston Room, a mob of people in the Pub waiting for their food. I could tell this was probably the busiest spot on campus, where one could go and grab food with friends or find a nice spot by the fireplace to study. I was also struck by the Adirondack lodge design of the building. Taking surrounding elements of the North Country and incorporating them into the architecture of the school was a distinctive feature that, again, I had not seen at other universities. This was also the part of my tour where I learned about my tour guide’s experience with the alumni network and studying abroad. Hearing first-hand about the strength of the SLU alumni, study abroad opportunities, and other unique opportunities allowed me to not only further understand the benefits of a small liberal arts college, but also allowed me to ask my own questions pertaining to SLU.
Throughout the rest of my tour, I realized the small town and community within Canton provided a number of benefits for SLU students. Whether it be volunteering in clubs such as Campus Kitchens, which donates and delivers nourishing meals to the greater community, or taking a Community-Based Learning (CBL) class, I knew I wanted to be a part of this community that valued close-knit relationships. At the end of my tour I, along with my parents, were grateful that we had visited SLU. My parents couldn’t get over how unique they thought SLU was, and were astounded at how much they learned about the school in just one day. Anyone even considering St. Lawrence should tour; you will be intrigued by the friendly community and get to see for yourself how much SLU has to offer based on your individual interests and goals.
In Gunnison Memorial Chapel, there is a stained-glass window that reads, “We have lit a candle in the wilderness that will never be extinguished.” This saying may be hard to fully comprehend for those who’ve never been to St. Lawrence, but I assure you after a visit to SLU you will get to experience what this phrase embodies.