Dear Laurentian Class of 2023,
I wish I could address you personally to welcome you into our family and speak to the goals you’ll reach and challenges you’ll face over the next four years. However, I know that I would fail in doing so because each of you will have individual goals and challenges I can’t imagine. One beautiful aspect of pursuing higher education at a liberal arts university is that each and every one of you comes from absolutely unique circumstances and has an extraordinary vision for the future. Here at
St. Lawrence, students come from across the street and across the globe. They are members of the Laurentian family and unequivocally individual.
But individuality isn’t your only asset: you’re ambitious too. According to this year’s acceptance data, one in five of you will be the first in your family to earn a four year college degree. If there’s just one thing you take away from this letter, it should be to capitalize on that ambition. I don’t want to mislead you into undervaluing the importance of self-care, but here is a complimentary message. To get the most out of your time at SLU, I challenge you to make a plan for success and hold yourself accountable to it. What I mean by that is, don’t cut yourself any slack. If you say you’re going to block out four hours to study for that physics final, don’t scroll through memes for three of them then call it quits because you “totally got it”. If you say that this is the summer you get your first internship, don’t wait until all the deadlines are past then tell yourself you’ll get one next year. Every goal is worth attacking now, with full force, until its end. Falling short of your goals because you didn’t put in the work is a lesson that you don’t want to learn from experience.
I know that I’m asking a lot from you and that planning for the future can be scary. There’s no way to know if your decisions will actually achieve the desired results, but the point of making a plan and executing it is less about maximizing success and more about minimizing regret. You don’t want to regret that you didn’t take that drawing class because it seemed hard or missed out on joining First Year council because it seemed like too much of a time commitment. If everything in life turned out the way you wanted it to, you’d be bored to death. Experiencing healthy ratios of success to failure, love to hate and gain to loss is an essential part of personal growth and should be the hallmark of your next four years and beyond.
When you come to St. Lawrence this fall, I invite you to come here ready to take the bull by the horns, to dive in head first—to follow any other cliché you can think of, so long as it pushes you to make the most of this exciting new stage in life.
I can’t wait to see who you become and what you accomplish. Welcome.
St. Lawrence University '21
Thelomathesian Society President