By NICK SIRIANNO
Never before have I felt the ease of life roll over the Adirondack earth as smoothly as it has for the past four years. St. Lawrence is like no place on earth, nothing compares, nothing. When I graduate, I’ll become a part of an alumni network that at any given moment will drop whatever they’re doing to grab a beer and talk about the good ol’ days at SLU. Times change, buildings are built, rugby teams famish, and Frisbee team flourish. Who knows what will happen over the next four, eight, or even sixteen years to this campus? The thing that makes St. Lawrence so beautiful is its sacred spaces. We are nestled amongst some of the kindest folk in New York State. The North Country represents more of what New York State is actually like than any other place in the state. Of course the big cities like New York, Buffalo, and Syracuse represent an industrial society with constant economic development, but the North Country represents people who are legitimately happy. People who live here want to be here. It is a simple life, one that lacks economic stability but a life is surrounded by people who are in your likeness. Neighbors share more than just a cup of sugar, they exchange food, work, transportation, art, farm equipment, education services; the list is endless because people in the North Country live together, much farther apart than NYC block housing, yet are able to share, exchange ideas, and help one another as if they are one family living in the same house. It’s not odd that our campus kind of feels the same way. The energy of the North Country seeps into this campus like water does a in a garden. Students create relationships at SLU as if we were locals in the community. We work together, sleep together, drink together, play together, camp together, we literally do everything together…we live together. Back in the early days of SLU, every student male and female lived, slept, ate, and took classes together in the same building—that building was Richardson. It is a stretch to say but I believe the community we have on this campus today is because of how it all began back on April 3rd in 1856!
So, as I leave the tight community of students, I’ll enter the even tighter community of alumni. As wild as it is to hear myself say this, “I’m psyched to graduate!” Finally I’ll be on my own, no Dana meals, no sweet theme house of twenty-five people to hang out with 24’7, no free speakers, artist lectures, library services, concerts, java, outing club trips, everything is going to change. I think what SLU alumni do best is they take their lives at SLU to wherever they go beyond graduation. We honestly know how to do life well. To be cliché, we work hard and we play hard. To be perfectly honest the people I see on the campus partying the hardest are the same people I see in the library almost every time I’m there. In terms of categories of life that I’d like to fit into beyond college, the work hard play hard category is the most enticing. Appropriately, this is most of St. Lawrence too. When I return for alumni events I know we’ll all end up in the same places; the Hoot because it’s the only place to go as alumni but also because we all want to come back to the bar where we celebrated all our hard work.
St. Lawrence is surprising. One minute you’re laughing the night away until four a.m. with friends and the next you’re watching those same people sing with the Laurentians, dance in a dance show, play in the ensembles, present a poster on four years of research, score the winning goal, present their art work in the gallery, student teach in the Canton schools, or get their 46’er. The list is endless, and I can’t wait to come back for my reunions to see where you all are today. We get each other, and that is where are community comes from. As your boot and paddler I can honestly say that unfortunately this won’t be my last boot and fortunately it will definitely not be my last paddle. Fare thee well now. Oh, by the way there is lunar eclipse on June 4th.