Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What-to-Know Wednesday : Why St. Mike's? Highlights From 4 Years at My Dream School

Greetings from the last day of classes this year, and for graduating seniors like me, our last day of classes ever!

Through my last four years as a student ambassador for St. Michael's College, I've learned that most every prospective student and parent want to know the same thing: what made you choose St. Mike's?

It's a really good question. What attracts students to a school is crucial to their decision process. However, I'd argue it be asked a little differently to prompt a much more valuable answer. As a fourth year student ambassador and soon-to-be St. Mike's graduate, I'd revise the question: what made your college experience truly worthwhile beyond your initial choice to go there?

Today, I'll be going over not what made me choose St. Mike's, but rather what made my overall St. Mike's experience. Don't get me wrong, the things that make us initially choose a school are important, and they're a fun story to tell. But as long as we change and grow as individuals, our values change with us. Expectations aren't guaranteed to be met, or to adapt along with us for that matter. No matter our perceptions of the school as we navigate the application and acceptance processes, no matter how many shirts we buy from the campus store on a prospective visit, the experiences a school actually brings us through our time there are the true indications of what make it our dream school. After four years, St. Mike's is still mine. What will you do to make it yours?


For those of you who don't yet know, POW is one of our summer orientation weekend options for incoming First Years. While you aren't by any means required to attend one, I'd highly recommend taking the chance to meet some of your peers in advance, interact with current students (who will be leading the trip), and take a sort of "practice run" before move-in weekend (which can be a lot to handle all at once when it comes to meeting people).

While I can't guarantee you'll have the same experience, my POW would build deep connections that carried through my upcoming St. Mike's career. I met my would-be boyfriend of almost four years (and yes, we're still together!), and the girl who would turn out to be my roommate from sophomore year on and my closest friend at St. Mike's!

Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts

I'm lucky to have had a major that makes this list. It brought an experience I know I wouldn't have had in any other major or at any other school. Read more about my MJD experience here.

Founders Society

The reason you're reading this blog post right now is because I've been a Social Ambassador for the Founders Society, St. Mike's' student ambassador organization, since my first year!

From running my own blog about student life at St. Mike's, to participating in Knight Chats, to helping kick off our student life Instagram and Snapchat accounts, to eventually being promoted to the student leader of the Social Ambassador program as one of four Founders Society coordinators, Founders couldn't have been a better way to get involved on campus over my last four years at St. Mike's.


The summer before my junior year, I spent two weeks on a media-focused study tour to China! Along with a group of my Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts peers and two MJD professors, I leapt outside my comfort zone, explored the media culture of a country so vastly different from ours, and traveled to places most Americans will never see.

FUN FACT: We climbed a section of the Great Wall that was otherwise closed to the public. We were pretty much the only ones out there, until eventually, a group of two or three girls showed up behind us. We'd come upon very few Americans over the course of the trip, if any. Surprised and excited to finally run into some, we eagerly exchanged greetings with the girls. We'd never met before, but to my shock, it didn't take much small talk to discover we were from not only the same state, but the SAME TOWN back in the US! Here I was on the Great Freaking Wall of China, meeting someone for the first time whose home was mere minutes from mine.

On a trip that taught me just how wide this world is, the world got pretty darn small again that particular day at one of its seven wonders.

My Book

Yes, I wrote a book! I've made the executive decision that I've already talked too much about it on this blog, and in general for that matter. Want to know more? Take a scroll through my last couple weeks of posts and you'll find plenty!

What will be the highlights of your St. Mike's experience? Be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 7th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

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