My Four-Year Adventure

Liz Hills
Class of: 

A common question I am asked from prospective students and families is, “What made you choose St. Lawrence?” A fair question, especially after learning I grew up in central Ohio and make the full-day drive to campus several times a semester. Each time “the question” comes up, a million answers of what makes St. Lawrence so unique race through my head. The small class sizes, the close student-teacher relationships, Dana dining hall. Each of these responses are true, St. Lawrence does have small, personalized classes, amazing faculty, and great food. However, none of these are the reason I chose this school.

I flash back to being a senior in high school, a few days before the looming May 1st deadline - when I needed to decide where I would spend my next four years. I had narrowed down my college search to two schools, St. Lawrence University and another small, liberal arts school in the Midwest. While all my friends who had committed to their schools of choice were gabbing about roommates and what type of bedding they needed for their dorm room, I was still busy making pros and cons list of each college. St. Lawrence had left a great impression on me, the campus was beautiful, the students were friendly, and they gave you a giant cookie after getting a campus tour. But, I still wasn’t convinced. Is this school worth the drive? Would I enjoy going somewhere so far from home? Was that enough to take me away from the comfort of my small, Midwestern town?

Stressed and tired of informing people that “No, I don’t know where I am going to spend the supposedly best four years of your life”, I relayed my hesitations to a friend who was completing her freshman year of college. After listening while I rattled off my pros and cons lists for each school and only half-jokingly asking her to make the decision for me, she responded:

“Pick the school that is going to give you the biggest adventure.”

I stared at her for a moment before asking her to reiterate what she had just said.

“Go to the school that will be an adventure, take you out of your comfort zone, and give you the most unique opportunities.”

My decision was easy after that. In terms of adventure and unique opportunities, there was no comparison between St. Lawrence and any other university I had considered. I went home, informed my relieved parents that I made my final decision and sent in my deposit.

As I start my final semester at St. Lawrence University and the constant loom of graduation (just over 100 days!) becomes a reality, I often reflect on everything I have done during my time at St. Lawrence. I've had all kinds of adventures from studying in another country, to sunrise hikes in the Adirondacks, to Habitat for Humanity service trips and spontaneous weekends in Montreal, Ottawa and Burlington. Nowhere else could have given me all these experiences while allowing me to simultaneously study a major that I love.

Adventure and opportunity is everywhere at St. Lawrence and although my time at this school is short, I am not leaving feeling unfulfilled. These four years have challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone countless times. However, these are the very experiences that I credit for giving me the confidence to handle any challenges in the frightening, yet exciting post-graduation life. So cheers St. Lawrence, thank you for the friends I have made, the classes I have taken, the opportunities for travel and the memories that I will hold near and dear to me as I prepare for my next big adventure.