Some of you came to St. Lawrence to escape the crowded cities, some to take a semester in the Adirondacks, some for the name, some for your parents, many because it was the best choice left. Despite these differences, most of us share a story about coming to campus for the first time and feeling right, sensing that click, or spark, or pleasure in the loins: “This is it. This is the one.”
Now you’re here. You’re taking classes, meeting friends and hopefully exploring a little. It’s been fun these last few weeks, but now, as you look at your syllabus for the first time, you feel the tickle in the back of your throat turn to a burn and you have a strong desire to nap… all day. It’s tough to stay even here, to keep the balance, to get enough sleep, to say no to partying, procrastination, adventures, and bong rips. When you are in this state, time works against you. Stress snatches it away and you are left to scramble, make excuses, and cough… a lot. It’s no fun.
The key here – and I’m not saying it’s easy to do or even possible all the time – is to say yes to the right things, to getting up early, to joining that club, to heading to the library. One yes, used carefully and with wisdom, can change your entire college experience, or even define it. Now you’re here, it’s time to join the active SLU community, and not lay in your room drinking and smoking until you cough up blood. Here are some good examples of students and faculty making a positive push in our community.
Caitlin Cristie ‘11 said yes when she started a Campus Kitchens Project at SLU. Nearly two years later, over 6,000 free, reclaimed meals have been served in Canton with over 300 SLU volunteers helping out.
Amanda Lavigne, assistant professor of environmental studies, said yes to help design and give a presentation to the SLU board of trustees on the SLU Climate Action Plan (CAP). With the help of many students and faculty, the CAP has been passed, which will force SLU to live up to its “green” image.
Libby Nicols ’13 said yes to becoming the Environmental Action Organization president in her sophomore year. Because of this jump start she has already accomplished, with the help of EAO, sending 50+ students to Powershift protests in Washington D.C. and pulling SLU into a collection of college students across New York, The Green Umbrella organization, dedicated to fighting environmental injustices.
You don’t need to be a leader like these three to take advantage of a yes. You could join a club and meet your new best friends. You could go dinner and meet your future husband or wife. You could say yes to a class outside of your major and find a hidden passion. Of course not every yes will be magical and most results will not rock your world, but in the end it’s a chance worth taking. It’s up to you to find your best path and your best self here amongst the September chills and dinner bells. Find a buddy, head to the library, join a club and get busy. Together you will prevail. The golden weeks are over Saints. It’s time to settle in, to get after it, and get past that cold. Bong rips and couch-sitting will only make it worse.
Challenge: Go to a club meeting this week and sign up for something.
From a sick and tired guy, get up and keep going. It’s hammer time.