How did you hear about St. Mike's?
I think I first heard about St. Mike’s through a counselor regarding the College’s Book Award program after I was nominated for it my junior year of high school. I researched every school out there – I had a list of 200 schools and went from there. I applied to 18, but eventually I knew St. Mike's was the one.
Why did you choose Saint Michael's College?
When I visited colleges I looked at a lot of similar schools. I wanted a small school but I was really all over the map in terms of location. As the process continued, I visited two or three times and it was really the sense of community that was the driving force for my decision. I loved the social justice aspect of St. Mike's, the environmental awareness, the location; it was smaller than most other schools I looked at, but really highlighted the strength of the community and the tightness of the student-teacher relationships, which is fantastic. It was really a combination of all those things that made me choose St. Mike's.
How have you made it your 'Home Away From Home'?
Immediately I got involved. I'm in the Peace and Justice Club, I'm on the Honors Committee as a Class of 2018 representative, I was recently hired as a Tour Guide, and I'm in DREAM, which is through the MOVE program (Mobilization of Volunteer Services, part of Edmundite Campus Ministry), so I do service on Fridays. It was through those opportunities and my ability to jump right into them that I quickly became involved in the community. I got to know a lot of students and faculty members right away and created close connections with them. Being willing to get involved and speak with faculty members outside of the classroom, especially, is what really gets you to learn more about the school and its community and really appreciate it for what it is.
Do you have any plans to study abroad?
My plan is to visit two countries a year. If I can do that while I'm in college, I figure it's the best time to do so. Right now, because there's so much I want to do on campus, I really want to do two month-long study abroad trips next summer. I'm looking at one in Israel already and maybe another one in North Africa .So yes, I definitely want to do some type of academic study abroad trip or trips in addition to the shorter one I'm preparing to do in Wales this coming summer. That's my goal.
Do you have anything you want to add?
It's so hard to sum up St. Mike's for me; if anything, it's just the happiness here. Everyone talks about St. Mike's as a happy school. It's rated as one of those schools where the students are the happiest; I read that before visiting and when I was here I definitely got that vibe from the school. Since being here I think it's definitely just a positive school in general that focuses on improving the world in many different ways, whether it be through social justice or environmental efforts, and it's really important that the school touches on all aspects of life and promotes awareness and a drive within you to want to create change and create a better world.
Looking back a year is there any advice or something you'd tell someone sitting in your shoes a year ago?
The biggest thing is don't overlook the importance of community in college. I didn't know if I wanted to go to a school so small, but I'm so happy that I did. Just being able to see your friends around school all the time and just the fact that St. Mike's is such a happy place, not even friends that you really know but just seeing happy faces all the time, people who are willing to say hi to you all the time, open the door for you all the time, those small things are going to make such a big difference throughout your college experience; don't overestimate that or overlook it at all.