Meet this week’s Campus Celebrity, Dennis Sullivan! Dennis is a sophomore at Saint Michael’s who is never afraid to say hello and help people out. With his kind spirit and great attitude, Dennis welcomed the incoming class of 2016 as one of SMC orientation leaders. Dennis and I were in the same orientation group freshmen year, so it was great to see Dennis on the other side of things leading the first-years. Luckily, I got the opportunity to talk to Dennis to see what truly inspired him to be an orientation leader, what advice he would give to any incoming freshmen, and how he (maybe) thinks that Nicholas Cage is his role model!
What is your Major? What do you plan to do with your major?
I’m majoring in Psychology and I may potentially double major in Philosophy. I hope to be at the front line of dealing with teens who suffer from mental disorders. Some of the places I'd like to work at would be Rock Point, Howard Center, or going abroad (just for the sake of being abroad) to work at the Residential Treatment Center.
What activities are you involved in on campus?
Last year, I was part of the St. Michael's Rugby Team. At first, I played Lock for the JV team then I moved up to a Substitute Flanker for the Varsity Team. I unfortunately had to step down though because of the number of concussions I have received. I was also the main character of a play last year.At the beginning of this year, I was an Orientation Leader. I am now a part of Common Ground, Celtic Knights, and the Church Ensemble.
Are there any other extracurricular activities around campus that you want to be involved in?
Many. In fact, almost all of them. Some of the one's I'm looking at for next semester are Water Polo, playing in a Band, Mike Check, performing in another play, and Diversity Coalition.
What inspired you to try out to be an orientation leader?
This inspiration comes all the way back from my first day at my boarding school. I remember how nervous I was that first day because I was in an environment that I've never seen before, and I did not know a single person. What was so difficult about this was how at some points it seemed that nobody was around that wanted to talk to me or help guide me when getting settled into the boarding school life. This especially disturbed me since I didn't have any friends before boarding school and that this first day of isolation made me think that I wasn't going to have any friends either at my boarding school.This thought stuck with me when I got to St. Michael's and I saw the orientation leaders. I immediately knew that I wanted to be one of them. Their obnoxious manners consistently reminded all of the freshmen that they weren't just going to be in the college life forced to figure out on their own what to do from there. I decided to become one of those overly energetic, missing-a-screw-in-the-head orientation leaders because of how much easier it made the transition into college. I also saw that it gave me a good opportunity to seek out those who were setting themselves up to become outcasts and help redirect so they were setting themselves up to have friends at St. Michael's.The reasons why I became an orientation leader can go on and on but I'll stick to giving you this reason.
Who is your role model?
Nicholas Cage! Just kidding... I would probably say Jesus, Ghandi, and the Dalai Lama.
What's the greatest memory at SMC that you've had so far?
It's a tie between 3:
1.) Scoring for the first time in College Rugby (against U-Mass Lowell's JV Team)
2.) Being the Main Character in It Snows.
3.) Orientation 2012
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen at SMC?
Oh god, there's so many different pieces of advice I could give to the freshmen. After contemplating for a few minutes, here are a couple of pieces of advice I would give to incoming freshmen.
1.) Treat your school days like a full-time job. Even though you can get away with putting off homework for the first couple of weeks, the work eventually starts piling up and many begin to panic with how much they have to do. This can easily be changed with a change in your study habits: Phase 1: Have all of your classes in the morning. This will be the kick in your butt to get you up at a good hour. This also means that you will mostly likely be done with classes by the time lunch comes around.Phase 2: After lunch, start doing your homework ASAP. If you do this, you will probably have all of your homework done by around 4 o clock, and then you’ll be done for the day. As you get further into the semester and you notice that you're being given a lot more work, you will then already have the habit of getting up early, and you will have all of that extra time in the afternoon to put into that extra homework you've being given.
Phase 3: Do whatever the heck you want until bedtime. No seriously, have fun now. Since most of the school events are set up at night time, you will be able to attend which ever ones you want since you have finished all of your homework already. It's hard for me to give this advice during Orientation week because the freshmen usually don't listen to me because they aren't aware of how heavy the academic load is yet. Now that we're more than half way through the semester, perhaps the freshmen will understand more why I suggest this and might try it out next semester. It's very difficult to start in the middle of the semester so that's why I suggest it for next semester.
2.) Remember, you don't have much time here.If there's an activity or a club you want to do, I suggest you get involved in it freshmen year. Each year, you get significantly more work than you did the year before. This means that you may find yourself sophomore or junior year having too much work for you to be able to find the time to partake in a certain club. Also, if there's a lot of different clubs you'd like to try out, (like me), then you would want to start trying different clubs freshmen year since you'll have enough time throughout the rest of your college life to try out all of the different clubs you've been wanting to try. Also, you probably won't get a leadership position in a certain club or activity if you start attending later on in your college life (even if you're REALLY into the club.)
3.) Don't hesitate with picking your major. There are many precautions if you do...I can tell you from firsthand experience the consequences of not declaring your major ASAP. Each major usually has 3-5 required classes that you have to take along with 4-10 more electives that you have to take for the major. This means that you may have to take as much as two full years of classes that just satisfy your major (this excludes LSC and Minor requirements). If you put off declaring your major, you won't be allowed into certain classes that you need for you major which then leads you to having to cram in those classes later on. Also, it might screw you over for going abroad since you have to stay on campus to take the classes that you could have taken earlier on if you declared your major earlier.
Are you planning on being an orientation leader next year?
Absolutely! I loved the experience of it and meeting the freshmen so much! I look forward to (hopefully) doing it again!