What are you doing now?
I recently graduated as part of the class of 2016 with a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Religious Studies and Creative Writing. Right now, I am living in Ohio, of all places! I attend Vermont Law School (remotely) and am earning a Master’s degree in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. You might say I am a lawyer by night, because by day I work for AmeriCorps as a college completion coach at a local community institution.
Are you where you imagined you would be in your career at this point in your life prior to graduating, or did things work out differently than you planned?
What a question—I’ve surprised myself in many ways with the answer! When I was interviewed as a student in my first year, and asked what I wanted to do with my life, I said “I want to go to grad school for Environmental Studies. I want to get married and have kids and live in a house with them and have lots of animals, primarily cats. I want to be an old cat lady; that's what I want to do.”
So, you tell me! I am studying what I thought I might, which is unexpectedly cool, and the other thing is that I live with my girlfriend—who I met on accepted student’s day the summer before starting at Saint Michael’s College. The only problem with all of this is that the apartment complex does not allow pets, so I’m not on track with the cat agenda. I also never thought I’d live in Ohio, but what’s life without its twists and turns?
What made you choose St. Mike's?
I loved the area, I loved the people and their attitudes, and yes: I loved the community. Anyone who knows a thing about this school knows that the go to answer is the community—it’s maddening to some—how often the phrase is wielded. But, at the time, I was deeply attracted to the feel of the place. There was just something about it.
What was your most memorable experience at St. Mike's?
I have no idea. There are thousands and thousands. In this moment, what comes to mind is having the opportunity to speak my heart to my class at the senior awards brunch (as the class President), in the closing remarks. But there are many others, just as powerful.
Who was your favorite professor, or a professor that influenced you in a significant way?
I loved many of my Professors. I remember baking cookies for Lair, Sultze, and DeCarlo, because they wrote my Grad school letters of recommendation. Jalalzai was awesome. For the sheer volume of time spent with one of the most passionate people I have ever met, I’d pick Professor DeCarlo. But there were many others as well!
How did you come to be where you are now?
I followed a girl out here, and it’s safe to say St. Mike’s had a great deal to do with that one.
What was it like adjusting to the 'real world' after graduating?
Challenging, but I felt prepared. Tearing yourself away from people and place is a truly hard thing to do, and I left a lot of my heart on Cape and in Vermont. Still, I know that when I go back, these connections will be waiting—and that’s a real comfort.
Where do you think you would be right not if you had not gone to Saint Michael's College? How would your life be different?
I can’t say. The more I think about it, the harder it becomes to imagine life without Saint Micheal’s. It’s eerie and unsettling, and moreover it seems to be impossible to determine, but I am sure that even with the faults, mistakes, and bad days, it is no question to me that I am better off thanks to this place.
What would you say to current seniors who will be graduating soon?
Many of them are my close friends. I would wish them the very best, of course, and I think that’s about all I would note. I think I’d rather just give them a hug. It has been a difficult year for so many reasons, but I believe them to be stronger for it. It’s all about the community, again. Strength in numbers, stronger together, and knowing they aren’t ever alone. On my worst days I confide in one of the “famdamily” from St. Mike’s—over the phone, on Facebook, or (because I am lucky) in person when I see Victoria between work and law school. We don’t get to pick what happens to us, but we can always be loving, supportive, and optimistic. St. Mike’s, sometimes in the way you’d least expect it, always prepares you for the world outside. It’s a funny thing.