What brought you to St. Mike’s and how did you make your decision to come here?
I had mentor that went to St. Mike’s when I was a kid. My first time on campus, I was about eight or nine years old. Like any other kid, I was excited about the unlimited french fries and ice cream. The second time I came to St. Mike’s, I was a sophomore in high school. I met Carlos Vega, and I decided St. Mike’s was worth considering. The end of my junior year, I got an early application offer, so I went for it and got in early. St. Mike’s wasn’t my first choice school, but I ended up here, and I’m glad I did. My first choices were bigger schools, and I don’t think I would have connected with as many people as I have here if I had gone to one of them.
What’s one incredible memory or experience that you’ve had during your time here?
I think one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had here was last year. We were able to gather a bunch of people together on campus in support of Black Lives Matter, and marched all over campus. There were incidents of racial tension on campus after the Trump election, so we decided to show up in support of minority students, and were able to get over 200 students to join. I think that was the most impactful moment of my time here. There was a real sense of community, in the sense that it wasn’t something that we marketed or tried to force. We just gathered together and felt community in a genuine, unspoken way. We were able to protest and show support to each other at the same time. That was hands down the most impactful moment of my time here.
Have you had a favorite professor, or a person that has had an impact on you during your time here?
It’s hard to pinpoint one person, because I’ve connected with so many people. I’ve worked here over the summer, which allows you to connect with faculty and staff in a different way. I would say Lara and Anna, who work in the MOVE office, have been incredibly influential to me. I look to them for so many different things, I trust both of them, and they always give me great advice. They’re also just great, fun people to be around. For professors, I would say John Izzi, who teaches Philosophy. I’ve had him for every single Philosophy class I’ve ever taken.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t really have spare time anymore, and when I do that’s the time I need to sleep. But when I did have spare time, I would often go to a practice room in McCarthy and play piano, sing, and that’s how I would relax. I also love being around people, so I just try to connect with everyone I’m in contact with as much as I can throughout the day.
What was the transition like into college for you your freshman year?
It was hard, I’m not going to lie. I had a hard time with not being able to go home, because I lived in Vermont and home was so close. When I did get to go home, my mom didn’t really get what was going on, because I wasn’t really communicating with her. I was taking new classes in subjects that I wasn’t familiar with, like Music Theory, which one of my friends has described as trying to speak Russian backwards. I also struggled with being my true self. I feel like most of the time, people come to college, and they want to just conform and fit in and make friends as quickly as they can. It’s really important to come in and be who you actually are and find people that have similar passions as you, and I didn’t figure that out until my sophomore year.
Do you have any advice for future students about how to make the most out of their college experience?
I think it’s really important for students to look for what their passionate about. Don’t just major in something because you were told you should, or because your parents want you to. Find something you like to do and just go for it, because it makes your learning experience so much more enjoyable. I used to be a music and education major, and I almost immediately switched it, because there’s so much structure that goes into elementary education and I realized right away that it wasn’t going to be for me. I also think that students shouldn’t try to be involved just for the sake of having a good resume. You should get involved to really get something out of it, and join clubs that you feel are worth your time and that you learn from. Just enjoy the experience while it’s lasting, because even when it’s really stressful and difficult, you’re here for a reason and your time here is short.
What’s one thing that you’ve learned during your time here that surprised you or inspired you?
I’ve learned a lot during my time here, especially in doing service. I think a reoccurring theme that comes up through MOVE is connecting with people on a deeper level, where you really take the time to listen to someone else. Talking to people that way allows you to learn so much about their experiences and helps you to be more open-minded. I think being open is so important in our day to day experiences, and trusting that what’s meant to happen will happen. Being involved in service has also taught me how to stand up against injustices in a more constructive, thoughtful way than I ever would have been able to before.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I low-key have a phobia of hot liquids. I also kind of love superheroes. I have an extensive knowledge about the Marvel universe.
What are some important goals that you have for yourself?
I think the end-goal for me after I’m through school and all that is just to be in a place where I’m content. Career wise, I want to do something that makes me happy, and not something that I just do for money and materialistic purposes. My ultimate goal is to just be happy, in and outside my workplace, and to have time every now and then to take a breath and relax.