My Most Important Tour
It’s August 23rd, 85 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and the St. Lawrence campus is already buzzing with energy and excitement for the new year. As my mom’s stuffed Subaru makes the turn onto Romoda Drive, I begin to feel the familiar butterflies that I have felt for the past two years, full of excitement for the new semester and the knowledge that I’m coming back to a place where I feel so safe and accepted. Along with these butterflies, I’m feeling a new emotion as well: nerves. My sister, Iris, has been teaching English in Thailand and Myanmar for the past two years. She only knows St. Lawrence through the millions of stories and billions of pictures I’ve shared with her. That is, until now. Today I get to show her my second home. Will she love it like I do? Will she understand why this place means so much to me? Iris went to a large university in a big city; will she be enchanted with our small campus and tight-knit community?
Before we even get to my dorm building, I make my mom stop the car so I can greet a couple of my friends I haven’t seen since last semester. We giggle and hug through the open car window, and thankfully the line of cars behind us does not seem to mind. We park and I finally get to give Iris the full college tour. As an Admissions Ambassador, I’m no stranger to the SLU tour, in fact when school is in session I give about two tours a week, but this feels different. How do I have time to show everything that makes SLU so special to me in a single walk around campus? We only get a few steps before bumping into one of my professors walking her dog. She greeted my sister with a hug, already aware of her international experiences given our close relationship. I show Iris each part of campus special to me, even my favorite cozy study spots in the library. I showed her what I do on campus, explaining the clubs I’m in and the impact that they make. Each step of the tour were greeted with excitement, hugs and many door holds. At the end of this almost two-hour long walk, Iris shared with me that she couldn’t believe I knew so many people and did so many things. “Look around,” I responded, “It’s not just me, it’s everyone. This is St. Lawrence.”