Student Profile

Isabella Cigna

What brought you to St. Mike’s? How did you choose?

When I was in high school, I won the St. Mike’s book award, so I decided to come here and check it out. I like the little things, like how it’s a small campus, but you have Burlington just a couple minutes away. Even the fliers I would get from St. Mike’s with the cute little drawings on them made me think, “this place seems so cool; this seems like a place just weird enough for me to fit in”.

What’s one incredible memory or experience that you have had here so far?

I skied for the first time, that was a pretty good memory! I took a lesson, and I would definitely recommend it. I just figured that since I was going to be living in Vermont, I might as well try skiing, and I really liked it.

What clubs or activities are you involved in, or hoping to get involved in?

Last semester being my first, I tried a bunch of clubs just to see if I would like them. I did Active Minds, the Onion River Review, and even joined the Knitting Club briefly. This semester I’m figuring out what I’m more interested in. I got a radio slot, so I’m trying that out. I also just signed up to be a writer for Her Campus.

Have you had a favorite class or professor so far?

I’ve had a lot of really good professors. I took the Afterlife with Professor Trumbower for my First Year Seminar, which was a pilot class this year. He’s very knowledgeable, and great at explaining things. He often brought in guest speakers to talk about things he was less familiar with. For example, he brought in a Professor here who teaches classes on Islam to talk to talk to us about Islam. It gave me a really good impression of the way things work here. We went on a field trip to a cemetery once, and that was awesome. It was a really cool class.

Has your experience at St. Mike’s been different at all from what you were expecting coming in?

Yeah, a little bit. I definitely did not expect the way that the homework changed. The work is different in college. I wouldn’t say it’s unmanageable, it’s just weird that instead of going to school all day, you do your homework all day. A lot of being in college is your own responsibility. I also didn’t expect how the friends you make in college become like your new family. You still take care of yourself, but you also all take care of each other.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My friends and I go into Burlington almost every weekend. Church Street is awesome. Even though I’ve been down it a bunch of times by now, every time I find something new. We’ll go into the most random stores. One time we went into an olive oil shop, just because we were trying to get out of the cold for a minute, but now I go back there every week.

Do you intend to study abroad?

I definitely do. I think this is a good time in your life to go abroad. I’ve considered going somewhere where Spanish is the national language, since I studied Spanish in high school. Really I’ve considered going anywhere outside of Europe, like somewhere out of my comfort zone that would be really different from America.

Where is your favorite place on campus to hang out? 

My friends and I pretty much live in Dion. It’s such a freshman spot, but we’re going to try to keep it going next year. It’s right in the middle of where each of us live, so it really convenient. It’s nice because it’s a common space, so you can put in your headphones and do homework or just hang out and talk to people.

Do you feel like St. Mike’s has become your home away from home, and if so, how did it become that for you? How was the transition into college for you?

The transition was pretty rough for me. I’ve always been really close with my family, and I’ve only every lived in one town. I graduated high school with the same people I went to kindergarten with, so it was really weird coming to college and trying to figure out how to live without my parents and all those people. Once I developed the group of friends that I have and got into the swing of things it got a lot easier. I think doing things off campus helped a lot as well. On the weekends, I went to the farmer’s market and walked around Burlington, which made me more familiar with the area. Now whenever I go home, I miss all the things I’m used to seeing up here.

How is Vermont different from your hometown?

I’m from Massachusetts, so it’s pretty similar in terms of climate. I’d say the people here are definitely different, especially within the St. Mike’s community. The way people act in high school versus in college is so different. It’s definitely more of a community, because people want to be here more, since they chose this school.

What would you say to prospective students about the college process, especially those that are interested in St. Mike’s?

My sister is actually going through the whole college process right now, so I’m giving her advice all the time! I definitely think coming to visit the school is very important, and doing it during the winter would be a good idea, so you know for sure you can handle the climate. You get a grant for a free application when you come visit St. Mike’s, so it’s definitely worth it!

What do you want to say about the community here, or to your fellow St. Mike’s students?

I like living in a small community, where I don’t necessarily know everything about everyone, but I know everyone’s faces, and I’m sure we’ll get to know each other better over the years. I guess I would just say I like how everyone is connected somehow, and how people from different class years just blend together.  

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