A Year of Firsts and Lasts | St. Lawrence University

A Year of Firsts and Lasts

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

When I thought about what my senior year would look like, I had many high expectations. I wanted to have made new friends, tried new activities, traveled to different countries, and feel prepared to take on the world. I soon realized that those goals weren’t as unattainable as they seemed. The first step in preparing for my last semester at St. Lawrence was acting on the limitlessness of potential.

The second step was being willing to “risk difficulty and discomfort”. I sought out groups and spaces with which I was unfamiliar and made a genuine effort to connect. The result was that I participated in St. Lawrence traditions I wish I hadn’t been missing all these years. I hiked Azure Mountain with a vibrant and incredibly personable group led by the Outing Club. I was almost certain that I would return to my room miserable, but it was quite the opposite. It was a new opportunity to challenge myself and grow through stepping outside of my comfort zone.

The third step was reading more about financial health. For many students, especially those on financial aid, college can be a financially insulated experience. The bills and numerous expenses of the real world complicate that. As a soon-to-be-graduate, I set and held myself accountable to different saving goals and keeping track of tax documents and credit history. By senior year I was accustomed to showing up to work on time and doing the things that needed to be done.

The last step was learning to say no to fear. I did exactly that when I studied abroad in Spain for my junior year. These days, I challenge the fear of inadequacy as I complete my SYE programs. I am pursuing two honors projects about memes. At the end of junior spring, I wondered if two SYEs would be a ‘good idea’. Could I handle it? It’s still a bit early to tell (haha) but I’m still here. And I’m still doing very well.

Senior year is a year of firsts and lasts. It will be an amazing year when you celebrate your successes and victories, big and small. It will be the year when you look back and realize how much you’ve grown. And, when you realize that you’ve made the last long trek from wherever you were back to Canton in the spring, it will be bittersweet.