What brought you to Saint Michael's College, and how did you choose?
I first find out about St. Mike’s when I received the book award, but what really brought me here was how similar it was to my high school. It’s the same kind of size, and the same colors. I also really liked the community, and I felt like I belonged here. I wasn’t so uneasy about being five hours away from home because I knew there were really nice people here, like the people I went on tour with and the people that showed me around the campus.
What kind of music do you play on your radio show through WWPV?
We play a very wide variety of music, actually! Our official title is alternative pop, but we also play regular pop, rock, hip-hop, and other genres. Last week we did an hour of Irish music, because both my friend who I run the show with and I have ancestors from Galway, Ireland. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve always really enjoyed music and making playlists in my spare time, and when my friend brought up the idea of doing the radio show, I thought it was a great opportunity.
Have you had a favorite class so far?
I have to say my favorite class would be my history class, even though I am biology major. I really enjoy history, so that was my class that I took because I was interested in it, and not because it fulfilled a requirement. I love learning about things that happened in the past, and learning about not just the broad spectrum of history, but individual people in history and their lives. Right now we’re learning about the industrial revolution and the mill girls. I find it fascinating how things have changed, but how history also repeats itself.
What about a favorite professor?
Even though history is my favorite class, I would say Professor Chant, who teaches chemistry, would have to be my favorite professor. She’s fantastic, and she’s the funniest teacher I’ve ever had. She’s really passionate about the subject matter and she’ll go on tangents, and then kind of make fun of herself for ‘nerding out’. I like the way she teaches a lot, she’s good at breaking things down and making them simpler. I’m not a big chemistry person, so she makes the class better for me.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play pool a lot in Dion. I never played pool before coming here, and now I play it at least twice a day. Other than that, I just like to hang out with friends and talk. We’re all super busy with academics and making sure we have good grades, so when we don’t have work to do it’s nice to just relax and spend time with each other.
Are you considering studying abroad?
I am! I was just talking to my advisor about that the other day. I am planning to hopefully study abroad in Ireland. My dad studied abroad in Ireland when he was in college, and ever since I was five I’ve wanted to go there. That’s one of the best places to go for science majors because the curriculums are so similar. I’m from Ireland and my grandparents talk about Ireland all the time, so I’m super excited to see it myself.
What made you choose to major in biology?
I love the sciences, and ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be a doctor. I love learning about the body and about medicine, and I’m planning on going into cardiovascular surgery. The heart fascinates me. It’s one of the most important organs in the body, it works so hard and pumps blood everywhere, and yet the slightest thing can completely wreck its entire system. I volunteer at hospitals, which has given me the opportunity to watch a couple heart surgeries, and that made me fall in love with it even more.
Do you feel like St. Mike’s is your home away from home? If so, how did it become that for you?
I do feel like it is. It’s funny, a couple weeks ago I went home and I was trying to get directions back to my house, so I said “go home” to my phone, and it came up with directions back to St. Mike’s. I feel very comfortable here. I had a hard time in high school with friends and all that, and so being able to be myself wherever I am is a big part of feeling like I’m at home. I’ve felt completely myself here with all my friends and across different friend groups. My RA, Cate, is great as well. She’s very open, and she makes me feel very at home.
What’s a unique fact about yourself?
I can’t do the Spock thing from Star Trek. My dad can do it, but I can’t make my fingers stay like that.
Do you have any advice for future college students?
I would tell people who are applying to colleges to take a lot of deep breaths, and use the resources that are available to you. Talk to your guidance counselors, talk to your parents, and make sure to go on the websites and do your own research, especially when it comes to scholarships. Make sure you have everything organized. It’s really stressful, but you make it through. Once you get to college, be open to making new friends in unexpected places. I feel like that’s a stereotypical things to say, but it really affects every aspect of your college experience if you don’t do that.
What’s been your biggest challenge during your time here, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was just being away from home and away from my parents at the beginning of the year. I’m very close to my parents, especially my mom, and I had a lot of social anxiety about being in a new place and making new friends. The hardest part for me was just being away from what I knew – Rhode Island is extremely small, so you know everyone, you know where everything is, and nothing is new. Being in a completely different place was a huge adjustment for me, and not having my parents there to help me with it was really hard. But I got over that, because I confided in my friends, and I wasn’t afraid to tell them ‘I’m really homesick right now, let’s just go watch a movie, I don’t feel like going out’. They were really understanding and helpful to me during that time.
What are some important goals that you have for yourself?
In a career aspect, I really want to do Doctors without Borders. That’s been a big goal throughout my life. But also, to just feel more comfortable in different places, work on my mental health, and put myself first sometimes. Maybe that sounds weird, but I have a tendency to put other people first, so setting aside time for myself would be a personal goal that I have.
What’s one thing that makes you happy?
One thing that makes me happy is just being with my friends, which again, seems like a really stereotypical thing to say but that’s because it’s true. I really enjoy being with my friends, both here and back home. I love talking to people, and I love that everywhere I go, I know someone, and I don’t have to worry about whether or not there will be someone that I can talk to. That’s another thing that makes it feel much more like home here.