The Moment I Realized My FYP Became My Best Friends
Imagine walking into the tent of your high school graduation. When I was taking those steps, I had an enormous amount of excitement for completing a goal that I had worked hard for with some of the best friends that I have ever made. That being said, as soon as graduation had commenced, I quickly realized that all these friends would not be following me to St. Lawrence. For the next three months, I had thoughts about what going to school and playing sports without my best friends would be like. Little did I know the relationships that I would develop with the people living in my first-year dorm would be even stronger than the relationships I made in high school.
Coming into St. Lawrence, I quickly realized that all the incoming students had the same questions I had. What would it be like to live away from home? Would I find people that I like? What were classes going to be like? However, one of the things that I discovered during my first couple of weeks on campus was that anyone and everyone was willing to meet each other and get to know each other. Throughout the semester, the people living on my floor seemed to be that much more willing to get to know each other and I think the root of that came from the FYP program.
The First-Year Program (FYP) is designed to help students be successful in college by working on reading, writing, and presenting skills. The school matches your preferences for your FYP class with other students and determines where you will live, and who you will be living with. Nearly every FYP ends up making up a floor in one of our first-year dorms. Overall, the program is designed to build a foundation for first-year students both academically and socially.
Throughout the semester, my FYP worked together, ate together, and spent most of our free time together. The time I spent with my FYP made us become closer, and soon we became a core that would not break and became even closer after our final FYP project. This became the point where I realized how close we were because of how difficult it was to leave my closest friends for the long, cold winter break.
Returning to St. Lawrence after our winter break reassured me that members of my FYP had become my best friends. Every single time someone returned from break, the entire floor would greet them and celebrate. That entire week, the floor had energy that came from our excitement of being back together in the dorm and continued throughout the second semester. It was one of the most comforting weeks of my life because I knew that all those questions that I had worried about for the entire summer were no longer something to be concerned about. I credit the FYP for the reason that my floor became so close. The program brings people together of similar academic and extracurricular interests. All the people that I lived with were outgoing people, who were interested in sports, and willing to try new things.
I never thought that I would be able to make closer friends than I did in high school but the FYP ended up introducing people that were similar to me and adding the St. Lawrence experience created the perfect combination for creating friends for life. I thought one of the hardest things that I would ever do was saying goodbye to those friends I had spent four years with in high school, but leaving for summer after just two semesters with the people I lived with in college was undeniably harder. Helping friends pack up their cars, and head off for the summer, and understanding that we were not going to be able to live on the same floor next year was difficult. But, my sophomore year has been even better with my core group of friends from my FYP and gaining even more friends throughout this year.
To all those new students thinking about applying to and coming to SLU, my advice for you would be to consider who you want to be as a person and as a student when picking your FYP. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because there are going to be people just like you on campus. One of the aspects of a liberal arts school like St. Lawrence is that it attracts people of many different kinds, and the First-Year Program is your tool to find the people that are interested in the same things as you.