Student Profile

Michael Silva

What brought you to St. Mike’s? How did you make your decision to come here?

I played hockey growing up, which brought me to Burlington all the time. Playing at Cairns Arena, where the St. Mike’s men and women’s hockey teams play, I would see the Knight logos everywhere, and that’s how I kinds of got introduced to the college. I also had two family members that graduated from St. Mike’s, and they both recommended at least checking it out. June of 2016, before my senior year of high school, I came to visit with my mom and absolutely fell in love with it. The tour couldn’t have been more than two hours long, but it totally changed my perception of the school. St. Mike’s was actually the only other school I applied to besides UVM, and I just applied to UVM because I was in-state and it was free. Basically, I put all my eggs in one basket, and I’m really glad that I made the choice to do that because it saved me a lot of money and I got to go to my first choice school.

What’s one incredible memory or experience that you’ve had here so far?

This might be kind of cliché, but orientation weekend just blew my socks off. It took me for a whirl, but it was so much fun. I only knew two other girls when I first got here, because they were from the same town as me, but it was incredible to meet so many new people. It was such a great feeling to know that the upperclassmen who volunteered to be orientation leaders were caring and kind enough people to bring us around campus, and do all these activities with us just to make us feel more comfortable here. I felt safe, and it was great to know that I would be treated well by the people here. They did a good job of keeping us constantly looking forward to what was to come.

Have you had a favorite class here so far?

Yeah, I do really like my First Year Seminar. We’ve read four book so far, and we’ve really gone in depth into each one. I find it really interesting the way that the books we read examine the authors’ lives really closely. We’ve watched a couple movies that relate to the books we’ve read, as well. We actually just finished a really great movie that Jim Carrey stars in. We’ve also listened to a few songs from the early 1900’s, as well as some more contemporary music. I like the way the class incorporates different types of media to reinforce the material, which makes it easier to understand what’s going on. That class has definitely impressed me.

 Have you had a favorite professor so far?

Jonathan D’Amore for sure. He’s my First Year Seminar Professor, and he’s probably the best guy that I’ve known on campus so far. I’ve been able to build a personal relationship with him outside of class, which has been great. Back in the first month of school, I actually had family affected by both hurricane Harvey in Texas, and hurricane Irma in Florida. I was still adjusting to being at college at the time, and the Tennis season was just starting, so it was a really overwhelming time and I just felt like I needed to breathe. There was one time when all this was happening that I forgot about one of the readings I was supposed to do for his class, and I went to talk to him about it and ended up talking to him about all my personal issues. He definitely helped me settle down and just take a deep breath, because I was so worked up about everything that was going on. He was able to just keep me functioning, and helped me kind of restart on a better note.

Has your experience at St. Mike’s been different at all than what you were expecting?

In some ways, yeah. Coming into things, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing tennis competitively. I thought that I might just play casually with friends here and there. I missed the athletic meeting in Tarrant, but then I got an e-mail the next day that if I wanted to try out for the Tennis team, tryouts were that night at 5:30, and I decided to just go. The coach was awesome and really receptive, and I ended up making the team. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be an athlete, because I wasn’t even sure I wanted to play, and then I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make the team. But I was really happy with the outcome.

What has your experience been like playing on a varsity team?

Luckily for me, we’ve had a pretty reasonable practice schedule. I go to my classes, get most of my work done before 3pm, go to practice, and then finish my homework at night. I always knew what to expect, and when I could get everything done. Once I started getting a pattern down, it was easy to keep everything balanced and not get overwhelmed. The guys on the team are more than accepting, as far as individuals are concerned, and so is the coach. It’s been a really uplifting, positive aspect of my college experience.

Where is your favorite place on campus to hang out?

Definitely Dion, second or third floor. I do a lot of my homework on the third floor, depending on how much I have and who I’m with. It’s nice to be able to take a break from my work and go down to the second floor, listen to some music, and play some pool. I do like going to the library from time to time when I really need to focus.

What made you decide to major in Business?

That’s a good question. Originally, I was thinking I wanted to go into secondary education. But last spring, I participated in a program where I was able to take a business course through St. Mike’s before I got here. I chose a business course because I had never had the opportunity to take one in high school. Professor Tom Van Dzura was great, and it went impeccably well. The course was personal financial planning, and I really enjoyed learning about that topic and doing that kind of work. It was also really helpful to earn the credits. When I got to St. Mike’s, I came in as exploratory, but I’ve recently decided to declare business as a major.

What do you want to say about the community here?

I don’t think I can say enough, to be honest. You can say so much and still not even scrape the surface. I there’s more than just one community here.  Within the larger community there’s different subgroups, like the kids that go to church together, the kids that are in class together, or the kids that like to play guitar out on the quad. There’s so many different places you can find yourself, even where you might not expect to. Everybody here has an incredibly loving sense to accept everybody for who they are, and so all the subgroups get along with each other and create the larger community. Everybody can feel safe here, and do what they want, and not bother anybody else by it. You can definitely find what you want to do, and who you want to do it with, and not be judged for it. It’s really commonly said that we have a great community, but you don’t really understand it until you experience it firsthand. 

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