Twigs and Chips: St. Lawrence and Its Legacies
Chips and twigs, twigs and chips? What do these two words mean, and how do they make any sense in context to St. Lawrence University? I asked myself this when I heard the terms: "twigs" is St. Lawrence jargon for siblings of St. Lawrence alumni (“twigs”) or children (“chips”) of St. Lawrence alums. I remember meeting a number of peers during my First-Year experience that revealed to me that their sibling or parent went to SLU, and I was truly amazed at just how many SLU kids had followed in the path of their family members. I never knew I could connect to the term “twig,” until I became one, the fall of my junior year.
That’s right, my younger sister Elizabeth, decided to live the North Country life and attend SLU as a first-year. This year is the largest legacy year, with over 100 siblings and children of SLU alumni. And, let me tell you, it’s the coolest thing to go to St. Lawrence with my little sister. It’s been nice for me to have my own experience for my first-year and sophomore years, navigating through arguably the biggest change in my life, making friends and finding my niche in college, but now it’s time to embrace my sister into the open arms of the Laurentian community. What’s really beautiful about having her at school with me is that now I feel even more at home when I’m at school. Because of the general nature of St. Lawrence -- based on our very Northern location-- SLU already has become a home away from home. I always like to think that the students who go here are all in it together -- for the cold winters, the long nights in the library, and the dinners, lunches, and laughter shared in the Dana Dining Center. Now, I have a physical reminder of home roaming the same halls, singing the same songs, and living a similar life to me. My sister is independent and she is making her own First-Year friends, but her network has expanded to my friends, as mine has to hers.
I think the greatest thing about this unique experience is that someday, when we’re at a family barbecue celebrating someone’s baby, or wedding party, or graduation, we can laugh and joke and reminisce about the wonderful days we spent in Canton, New York. The traditions, the memories, the nights when Dana served pasta sauté -- those will be the things that will bond me to my sister forever.