Student Profile: John Milligan ’17

'I grew leaps and bounds over the course of the year and that’s why I think Montserrat is so valuable for incoming students.'

HOMETOWN Sandwich, Mass.

ACADEMICS History major

ACTIVITIES Resident assistant for first-year students, program coordinator for Summer Gateways Orientation, Student Government Association senate, mock trial team

Why did you become an Orientation Leader?

"Beginning college can be scary and it was challenging for me, but I had Orientation Leaders (OLs) who made the process easier. They assured me that I was going to find my own little place at Holy Cross. There’s this saying that I keep in mind a lot: 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' I found people at Holy Cross to go far with and that’s part of the reason I wanted to be an OL. You are there to go far, and not for yourself but for the incoming class. You grow in many different ways yourself, but at the end of the day you are there for someone else, which I think is really cool."

Is there a class or professor that has particularly influenced you?

"I’d have to say my Montserrat course, Bridging the Gaps Between Us with Carolyn Richardson in the philosophy department. I’ll never forget when I wrote my first college essay for this class, and I didn’t do as great as I wanted. I remember thinking, 'I’m done. I’m cooked. It’s over.' Today, that sort of feedback is something I’d take in stride, but back then it was a big deal! I later wrote a paper for the class that Professor Richardson ended up using as an example of an 'A' grade paper. I grew by leaps and bounds over the course of my first year and that’s why I think Montserrat is so valuable for incoming students. It’s an intro to college. I learned how to have a discussion, how to write a paper, how to do a presentation, all while being immersed in a subject I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen on my own, but ended up really enjoying."

If your friends were asked, "Where can you always find John on campus?" what would they say?

"Cool Beans! If I have a free hour in my day, I want to spend it there because I always run into friends. Everyone — students, professors, professional staff — tends to move at a more leisurely pace around the campus center coffee shop. They have the time to stop and chat while they get a coffee or pick up their mail. And you can have a million types of conversations there — from how your weekend was to U.S. relations with Cuba — which I love."