One of the most common questions asked when I tell people I go to St. Lawrence University is regarding the location. I'm often asked, "Isn’t it in the middle of nowhere?" While the location of St. Lawrence may seem like the middle of nowhere for some, it is in the middle of everything for me. The proximity to Canada, Lake Placid, and the Adirondacks are incredible, and having nature as our neighbor is the best.
When I was looking at colleges, the location was an important aspect, and ideally, I knew I wanted to be in a small town, which I know to some may seem unconventional. Most of my friends wanted to go to college in a city setting, but I knew I wanted to be outdoors. I wanted a family and a community setting because I knew it was an important aspect and advantage, one I would only fully receive at a small school in a small North Country town.
Even with my desire to relocate to a small town, coming in as a first-year, I still had some hesitation about Canton. Thoughts ran through my mind, like, "What will I do on the weekends? How close is the nearest Starbucks? What about Chipotle? Where can I go for a day trip?" But I told myself that I knew this is where I was supposed to be. Have no fear! Chipotle is only an hour away in Watertown!
While those thoughts may seem silly, things like Starbucks and Chipotle were norms that I was worried about not being easily accessible. I soon realized that those things do not matter, and there is an ample amount of things to do up here in Canton, N.Y. We are a community that loves to utilize as much time on campus and in the outdoors as possible. I have built and created this community for myself, which I wanted ever since stepping onto campus.
While there are many reasons why the location of St. Lawrence is incredible and many reasons why the location is so special in my mind, I wanted to share what our location has allowed me to do. With the Adirondacks being our backyard, it has allowed me the incredible opportunity to start my journey in becoming a 46er. If you do not know what that is, it is a club you join once you hike all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks. Through my time here at SLU, I have been able to hike 25 of the 46 peaks, and hope to continue.
The location of St. Lawrence has allowed me to explore Canada, a place I had never been before my arrival on campus. I've rented an Airbnb with my friends in Montreal, skated down the Rideau Canal, and indulged in some delicious food. Our location has also allowed me to share the road with an Amish horse and buggy, an experience I genuinely thought I would never have. It has allowed me to be a part of a community greater than myself and one I will value forever.
The opportunities and adventures are endless at St. Lawrence. From biking on the Saddlemire trail around campus to bluebird skiing at Whiteface to exploring our neighbors to the north, one can never be bored. While our location may seem daunting at first, it's perfect. It is in the heart of the outdoors and is a gateway for adventure.
Choosing to go to school in a small town, located as far north as you could get, has been the best decision of my life. It has opened my eyes in ways I couldn't have imagined possible and allowed me to experience things I never would've anticipated.