We Always Said We’d Never Go Here

Bailey Phelps and Lizzie Bastien
Class of: 

We invite you to bask in the glory of our 2001 selves as we walked in the Canton Memorial Day Parade representing our Girl Scout Troop. Back then, we never would have guessed that we’d be here now - second semester seniors at St. Lawrence University. 

I suppose we’d better introduce ourselves before we get too caught up in our glory days. The girl on the left is Lizzie, and the one on the right is Bailey! We’ve known each other since Bailey’s first day of second grade, when she moved into the Canton school district. We spent the greater majority of our early childhood on a campus that seemed, at the time, just to be the world’s biggest and best playground. While Lizzie was making a home for herself in Appleton Arena as a member of the St. Lawrence Figure Skating Club, Bailey found herself in the top seat at the 50-yard line of Leckonby Stadium each weekend cheering for the football team for which her father Chris, Class of ’91, coached.

Our love affair with St. Lawrence blossomed as we gained independence and were suddenly permitted to attend hockey games solo, which was quite the accomplishment. What you have to understand is that the community of Canton is intertwined most thoroughly with the University when it comes to the Skating Saints. For example, Lizzie’s brother learned to read merely for the purpose of reading the scores of away games in the local paper, and insisted on dressing as Joe Marsh, the former head coach, for Halloween. We must admit, for us these games provided the opportunity to feast on poutine, “pub cookies,” and hot cocoa. Despite your level of commitment or the purpose of your attendance, no self-respecting Cantonite dons green and yellow (the colors of our most fierce rival, Clarkson).

Because of the proximity, it was our parents' dream to send us to St. Lawrence… which is exactly why we had no interest in attending. As juniors in high school we were looking for everything that St. Lawrence had to offer: academic prowess, a welcoming campus community, great local businesses, etc. There was just one problem…what if our parents just decided to stop by whenever they wanted, or even worse…they see you out on a date?!

While Bailey was off interviewing and touring at other small liberal arts colleges, Lizzie was applying to ten other schools. We were determined to find a school just like St. Lawrence, but we both reached the same conclusion. With each school that we looked at, we couldn’t help but compare it to SLU, and, quite frankly, nowhere else could even compete.

The fact of the matter is it’s too easy to fall in love with this place. While it’s true that Sergi’s employees like to keep our parents updated if we order the occasional late night pizza, and that hockey games have evolved into a hometown reunion rather than a night out with friends, we both can’t imagine it any other way. St. Lawrence is a community within a community, and we constantly find ourselves so tied into our campus activities that we forget that we’re five blocks from our childhood homes. That’s not to say that when we need a break from finals week, or that when our roommate is just a little too loud, that there’s not a warm meal and clean sheets waiting for us at home – sorry, Mom.

As we ready ourselves for graduation in May, we have begun to recognize that this campus holds more than just our college memories. The student center where we share Dr. Feel Goods with our friends from FYP is the same place where we ordered smoothies after school with swim team friends, and the “tree houses” in Owen D. Young library are more than just study spaces, but ideal hide-and-go-seek spots. Oh, and we’ll never be able to look at the Augsbury pool as more than the best birthday party location in the whole town.

Thank you St. Lawrence for providing us a home not only in Canton, but more specifically at 23 Romoda Drive.