Student Profile

Julie Shea '16

How did you hear about Saint Michael’s College?

I knew about St. Mike's in high school, since my guidance counselor had a bunch of pennant flags on her wall with schools that had visited our area. I loved the idea of a small, liberal arts school in Vermont, but believed Colchester was too far away from home to start my college career. However, after spending two years at another institution, I realized that distance shouldn't limit a dream school and my parents are still a phone call away. I restarted my college search in 2014 and fell back in love.

What made you want to finish your education at St. Mike’s?

I realized that my previous College was not the right fit for me - so I decided to take my education back into my own hands and find a school that was. St. Mike's checked off every aspect of my dream school: located in New England, provides a liberal arts foundation, consists of a smaller student body population, has a small student to professor ratio, offers some form of communications major, has a competitive varsity swim team, and has an Honors Program. I also sought out ideal college towns, which Burlington fits wonderfully, and guaranteed housing for my remaining time in school. With all of my criteria met, I knew St. Mike's would be my home for my final two years pursuing a bachelor's degree.


What do you like to do for fun?

Like all college students, I love a relaxing day of napping and watching Netflix in my pajamas. But at some point, that does not feel sufficient anymore - so I also explore downtown Burlington, Church Street, and plan adventures where I can take pictures of the area. We're surrounded by snowy mountains, beautiful fall foliage, covered bridges, and random landmarks like the Whale Tails and the local World's Tallest Filing Cabinet, so it would be a waste not to explore those before I graduate. If I want, I can develop film in our darkroom located on campus, which has been a blessing if I want to expand beyond just digital work. I also love taking trips with the Wilderness Program - especially taking advantage of the Smugg's Pass Program and using that opportunity to learn how to ski again (and take awesome pictures while doing it!).


What activities have you gotten involved in since transferring to St. Mike’s?

The swim team at St. Mike's was one of the primary reasons I picked the College, so I immediately joined the team and found a family there. I have also joined WWPV 92.5 The Mike - the campus radio station, the Photography Club - which I am treasurer and secretary for, the Founders Society - as both a tour guide and a social ambassador, and MOVE, volunteering with All Breeds Rescue as a dog walker and preparing for a Spring Break service trip to the Dominican Republic. I am also a peer tutor, and had the opportunity to intern with a local FOX News Affiliate for a semester (Local 22/44). 


How was the transfer application process for you?

The hardest part about choosing to transfer was taking the leap of faith that the school I was enrolled in was not quite right, and realizing that I might be happier outside my comfort zone, finding somewhere better suited to my needs. Otherwise, it was all very simple. I created a list of ideal schools and narrowed them down based on different factors, like distance from home, offered majors, or if I felt like I would fit in with the swim team. Once narrowed down, my parents and I took trips to all of my final options, since I had learned the importance of "feeling out" a school in person, determined to be on a campus tour before making a final decision. As soon as I finished the St. Mike's tour, I remember walking to the car with my dad with an extra hop in my step. Too happy to contain myself, we turned right back around and went to the bookstore to buy a shirt, bumper stickers, and a mug to make my decision final!


Would you have any advice for a student who is considering transferring to St. Mike’s?

I would highly stress the importance of coming to campus and feeling the area out for yourself. Bullet points of pros and cons cannot help you feel at home the way stepping out of your car and making the school a tangible reality can. My summer visit was the deciding factor for my commitment to transfer, and I haven't looked back once.

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