Seize the Tight-Knit Community that Defines SLU | St. Lawrence University

Seize the Tight-Knit Community that Defines SLU

Ian Clough
2021

A community is a place where we feel comfortable being ourselves; a place where we are encouraged and supported by our peers. When I was looking at colleges, I knew the type of community that I wanted, but how was I supposed to find it? Although a daunting task at first, I succeeded at finding SLU: a special place that I truly love. 

The community at SLU is a unique one. It is filled with students and professors who hold doors for each other, who smile at strangers, and who will help with just about anything. I can remember when I came to SLU, I was set on pursuing the field of health sciences. But after my first semester, I wasn't so sure that this was what I wanted to do anymore. I panicked because I thought my future was falling apart. So I turned to my first-year adviser, Serge Onyper, in hopes that he would tell me what to do. Instead, he told me how to do it. Professor Onyper encouraged me to explore different fields of study to find something else that might interest me. He reassured me that I was going to be fine, that I would find something I liked, and that my future was still in tact (but maybe not in the health sciences).

During the spring of my first year, I took courses that were totally opposite of those in the health sciences field and I really enjoyed myself. This led me to declare a major in International Economics with a Multi-language combination. I have now found a field of study that I love and that is all thanks to the guidance that I received from Professor Onyper. He really cared about helping me find something that I would like studying.

This type of relationship is not a rarity here at SLU as everyone really does care about everyone. St. Lawrence has a community that fosters growth and has a strong support system that welcomes all types of individuals. If I had one piece of advice for my first-year self, it would be to take advantage of the opportunity to form strong and meaningful relationships that are central to being part of the SLU commuinty.