What brought you to Saint Michael’s College, and how did you make your decision?
What brought me here was definitely Hockey. I was recruited last year, which led me to check out the school. I had a few other offers, but what attracted me most about St. Mike’s was the small size. I liked the idea of having a class of 15 kids, rather than fifty or a hundred. I also really wanted to go to school in a college town. I really liked the area of Burlington, and knowing that I could go off campus and there would be things to do.
What’s one incredible memory or experience that you’ve had here so far?
I’d have to say the last program of Orientation weekend. There was a big assembly in Tarrant, and all the Orientation leaders stood in front of the entire freshman class and shared really personal things that they had gone through in their lives, just to let us know that no matter what we were going through, we were not alone. Before it started, everyone was kind of laughing and giggling, but when it got real all the joking stopped. It was crazy that they were so willing to share those things just to makes us feel more comfortable, and I thought it was a really powerful thing to witness. I think it was really important for everyone to sit there and see that, and know that whatever we face at St. Mike’s, there are people to talk to.
Have you had a favorite class so far?
My favorite class would definitely be my first year seminar. It’s actually a double seminar, so it takes care of my science requirement and the seminar requirement. It’s like a four hour class, but even though it’s long, it’s definitely been the most interesting to me. It’s a class that I enjoy going to everyday. I love the open discussions that we have, and how the Professor lets us learn from each other rather than just lecturing.
What about a favorite professor, or a person here that has had an impact on you?
Someone that’s been influential to me would definitely be Antonia Messuri. She works in the library, in the office of accessibility services. She’s been really helpful for me- I’m dyslexic, so I was told when I came in that she would be the person to work with to get extra time on tests and things like that. She really helped me settle into college, and has been a great person to have on my side looking out for me. I’ve really connected well with her. Other than her, Professor Bozzone and Professor Doyle have also been great teachers. They’re both really open, and kind of throw questions back at you so that you can think for yourself. They really push you to be the best student you can be, without letting anyone fall behind.
Has your experience at St. Mike’s been different than what you were expecting coming in?
Yeah, I definitely wasn’t expecting the school to be so small. It’s very similar to a high school feel. I think I always had an image of college in my head as a really big, open place. Not that I don’t like the small size, I just didn’t expect it to feel as small as it does. You don’t really get the feel of how small it is until you’re here. There are a lot of benefits here, though, that you wouldn’t get a larger school.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m definitely more of a social person, and I spend a lot of time with my friends around campus. I’m just enjoying being a true freshman right now. It’s easy to get caught up in “I have to get this internship, I have to get this done, I have to do that”, but as a freshman you can kind of step back and enjoy college while you find what you want to do.
What would you say to prospective students about getting through the college process?
My most important piece of advice would be to visit the schools. Get on campus, look around, and see what you like and how you feel. The more you feel out a school ahead of time, the more comfortable you’ll be when you get there. Knowing what you want from the school is really important, too. Don’t apply to schools just to apply, do extra research and apply to schools that you’re really interested in, so that once the process is over you can know that you made the best decision. I would also say it’s not about the prestige or going to the ‘best’ school by reputation, but about going to the school that fits you the best, and the place where you’ll be able to make an impact.
How would you describe the community at St. Mike’s?
It’s very friendly. I don’t think I’ve met anyone that would ever disregard you, or throw you aside. Everyone here treats you like they care about you. People don’t just pass you by, they engage in conversations with you, and not just to be polite. The community in the area around the school is definitely really strong as well, and it connects to the St. Mike’s community. Our community doesn’t start or end with just the students here, it goes out into the town in what we do through MOVE for the people in the area.
What’s one fun fact about yourself?
I guess a fun fact about me would be that I took two gap years before coming to St. Mike’s. It was a great opportunity to play for the Juniors for two years and pursue Hockey, which is something that I’m passionate about and I love. People can joke about it, I’m a 21 year old freshman, but I did come into school way more ready to pursue what I wanted to do in a career and dedicate myself to academics. I wasn’t really nervous or shy about coming to school.
What was the transition in college like for you?
I came in pretty ready. I did a PG year, so I was familiar with the whole dorm atmosphere. The hardest part was definitely getting back into academics after two years. There wasn’t really a syllabus week, or a slow ease into it. We jumped right in, and started with the material by the second class. At first I felt really overwhelmed, because it was the first week and I already had so much on my plate, and I definitely questioned if I was going to be able to do it. But once you get past that first week and you realize you have a lot more time to get things done in college, because you have a more flexible schedule, you’re able to settle in and get into a rhythm.
What is it like being a varsity athlete here? How do you balance academics and athletics?
We practice in the morning, which is nice because it’s out of the way by 9 am, and I don’t ever have to stay up too late doing homework. It leaves time at night to unwind from the day. One thing about being a varsity athlete is you definitely have a schedule that you need to follow, which I like. It’s definitely academics first, and our coach would say the same thing. Then when you’re playing you’re sport, you’re completely focused on that, and it’s your time away from school. That’s how I see it, anyway, as a kind of getaway. While I’m playing hockey, I can just focus on something that I love and not think about classes.
What’s one thing that makes you happy?
I guess one thing that always makes me smile would be working with the Boys and Girls club in Burlington. We work with them for one of my classes, and it’s a lot of fun. I also really enjoy spending time and joking around with my friends and the guys on the team.
What are some important goals that you have for yourself?
My number one goal would be coming out of college with a job. Since I came to school late, a lot of my friends from home are graduating this year. I’ve seen them go through the process, and have been able to look at who has a job, who doesn’t have a job, and how they went about the process differently. I’d like to hopefully do some research in the summer, and get a nice internship. On the athletic side of things, I’d really like to win an NE-10 championship. I think leaving my mark as both an athlete and a student is really important, which is something you can do at a small school. My most important goal would be to make an impact on this campus, and I think by doing that other things will follow.