On To The Real World, But First...
One last time. One final semester at SLU.
It’s hard to imagine that four undergraduate years here have gone by so quickly. It seems like so much has happened, so much has changed, yet the constant has been coming back to SLU. With that changing in a few months, I find that I reflect more and more on my time here, remembering all of what has brought me to where I am now in this last semester.
Freshman year. What a time, right? The transition to college is unique for everyone. On a campus that is new to you, how do you find your place? What is there to do?
The answer is up to you – but it involves similar concepts. Get out and get involved, explore campus and its surroundings, acquaint yourself with professors, and start conversations with peers from across campus. Most importantly, you should begin to explore what your personal interests are, and how you can find your niche based on what SLU offers. Is theme house living for you? Make a point to meet people from the houses you're interested in. Have an interest in research a faculty member is doing? Schedule a meeting with them and find out more!
One of my favorite first-year activities was always to go out and explore the surrounding waterways that weave their way around our campus, the Grasse and Little River. A few fellow First-Year Program friends and I would spend hours cutting through the woods, wading through the river, or paddling around in a canoe to find the best fishing spots, and those memories from my first fall are some that have stuck with me closest. Freshman year goes fast; it is a period of adjustment, a time of learning, and a time for exploring who you are. Take advantage of it, because it is over before you know it.
Upon returning for sophomore year, the excitement to be back on campus is high. The first time returning to see all your freshman year classmates after a long summer, a new living situation, and the new opportunities that await. Whether it is deciding a major, joining a theme house, expanding your involvement into new clubs and campus jobs, or deciding to apply to study abroad, sophomore year impacts the rest of your St. Lawrence experience, more than one may realize.
Junior year comes around, and - again - can be over faster than you know it. Many students spend one of their two junior semesters abroad, which means you may only have one semester on campus while traveling around and exploring the likes of London, Vienna, New Zealand, Kenya, and many other abroad opportunities.
Finally, as you pack up your belongings from your final summer of being an undergraduate and return to SLU for the last go-round, some feel elated, but also nervous, and bittersweet knowing it is the last year we will all be together. Instead of talking about it, here are some thoughts to consider as you progress through senior year:
- Be proactive in fulfilling your post-graduate goals. Utilize Career Services and our alumni connections, but do not stress out about them; we all fulfill these goals at our own pace, and things have a way of working out.
- Get the most out of each event on campus, with the attitude of making the most out of the final one.
- Appreciate all those things unique to St. Lawrence a little extra.
- Make a point of having conversations with those who have helped you along your way, whether fellow students or faculty.
- You only get one St. Lawrence senior spring, and although most of it isn’t “spring,” there is no reason not to make the most of it. Take care of your own goals, enjoy those little moments with friends you’ll carry with you forever, and appreciate St. Lawrence for what it has taught us as people and students alike.
Keep your eyes open, fellow and future Saints. You don’t get four years here again, so don’t miss out on opportunities of any kind. We all have St. Lawrence experiences that will shape our futures and have made us in part who we are. Even though many of us are ready to leave campus at this point, these last few months will be emotional, enjoyable, and even sad at times, and by the time May 19 rolls around, we will certainly have a hard time saying goodbye to a place we called a second home for so long.