What brought you to Saint Michael's College, and how did you make your decision?
Ever since I was really little, I’ve known St. Mike’s because I grew up around here. In seventh grade, I did a soccer camp at St. Mike’s over the summer, and I absolutely loved it. The campus was beautiful, and even though nobody was really there I still felt at home. Then my junior year of high school I did a tour. It was rainy that day, and my tour guide, Chris Hathoway, said something that really stuck out to me. He said “if you love it here in the rain, you know you’ll be happy here”, and I absolutely loved it, so I knew this was where I wanted to go. I applied early action my senior year and I got in. At first, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to afford to go here, but it was the only school I really wanted to go to out of the ones I applied to. So I decided, you know what, I might be paying off debt for the rest of my life, but I’ll at least be happy for the four years that I’m here.
What’s one incredible memory or experience that you’ve had here so far?
Orientation weekend always stick out in my mind when people ask me that question. When I got here, all the O-leaders were so loud and so welcoming. They carried every single one of my belongings up to my room for me, and they were so energetic all weekend even though they must have been so tired. They made it feel like home because they were so welcoming and just wanted to make sure we were all ok. My O-leaders still say hi to me when I see them on campus.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to do a lot of community service. I volunteer for Make a Wish because I’m a Wish Kid myself. When I was nine, I was diagnosed with an Arterial Venous Malformation, AVM for short, which is a group of blood vessels in the middle of my brain. I ended up having a lot of MRIs, and they found that there was nothing they could do about it because it was too far in my brain and it would have been more of a risk to try and get rid of it than leave it in. So when I was ten years old, I was granted a wish by the Make a Wish foundation, and I wished to go on a Disney cruise. All of my family members got to come with me, and it was fantastic. It was the best experience I’ve ever had, and I just forgot about everything else. It was a great chance to get away from everything that was happening in my life. Then that fall was the foundation’s first Walk for Wishes, and my family decided to participate because we wanted to give back, and we’ve done it ever since. It’s been a great experience, and I love giving back to them.
What made you decide to major in education and psychology?
For me, I have always wanted to be a teacher. It’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind ever since I was a little kid. Second grade was my favorite year in school, which was when I think I really started wanting to become a teacher. That’s the year when kids start becoming more independent- they don’t take naps anymore, they don’t need you to tie their shoes, that kinds of thing. So I decided I want to be a second grade teacher. I want to do what my teacher did for me and change kids’ perspectives on the world, which changes their worlds in general, and help children along in their education. Psychology to me just sounded fun. The brain really fascinates me. Besides that, I want to learn how a child’s brain thinks and works, and I figured that would end up helping me with education. Psychology and Education just seemed to go together really well.
Do you have a favorite place to hang out?
My favorite place is the PZ room in the library, just because it’s the children’s’ book room, and I love going in there and feeling like a kid again. It’s so nice and quiet, too.
How have you made St. Mike’s your home away from home?
Actually, I moved to Essex Junction just this past summer before coming to college. I lived in Morrisville before that. I moved at the end of summer and went on vacation three days later, so I didn’t really have time to get adjusted to my new home before leaving. St. Mike’s actually feels more like home to me than my actual home does. I went home for the long weekend a couple weeks ago, and I just wanted to be here.
What a unique, fun fact about yourself?
I have four parents and four siblings. My parents divorced when I was really little, and then both of them remarried and had another child. My stepdad had another son from a previous marriage. My family is definitely a ‘yours, mine and ours’ type situation. Even if we’re not all blood relation, they’re all my parents and they’re all my siblings. Family is definitely a big part of my life.
What’s one thing that makes you happy?
I love school, actually. I’m very weird. I never missed school unless I had to. My parents would tell me when I had to miss school, and I would be like “no, I don’t want to”. I think school is such a great way to meet people, and you learn things that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
What are some important goals that you have for yourself?
I would love to graduate college with a high GPA, hopefully pass the practice exam the first time I take it, and someday get my masters in special education. I’d like to work in a private school someday, and I also think it would be really cool to learn sign language.
What was the transition into college like for you?
Having health issues, the transition was definitely hard. My whole life, I’ve struggled a lot with getting my teachers to understand what to do if something were to go wrong, and so coming to college one of my fears was that if something happened, no one would know what to do. It was hard for my family too, my mom was worried that if something happened she wouldn’t know about it. But I e-mailed Mary Mason from Bergeron Wellness Center and asked her if we could have a conversation with her on move-in day, and when we talked to her all of that went away. She helped me make sure all of my professors knew what they needed to know, which made me a lot for comfortable and I knew that I would be ok if something went wrong.
What would you say about the community here?
Community is such a big part of the atmosphere here. All of the professor in your classes want to know your name and really try to learn them. Having health issues, I haven’t experienced anything bad yet and hopefully I won’t, but I know that if something were to happen here St. Mike’s would be there to back me up and they would help me get through it. I know that for a fact. Everyone here is so welcoming, and I love the fact that when you’re in Alliot you can be sitting at a table and some person you don’t even know can come up to you and ask to sit with you and it doesn’t even feel awkward. Everyone’s open to finding new people to hang out with, and it’s just great. It’s hard to explain the community unless you experience it.