Dana John Quigley '11

Malden, Mass.

I cannot remember a time when I did not know that I would attend college. My parents have always supported my passion for learning, but their advice was limited as I started to think about college. In the early stages of my college search I haphazardly wandered around Boston taking tours at various colleges (I live right outside of Boston) trying to find a school that interested me enough to fill out an application. This random selection best sums up my college application process, since I ended up going to school 280 miles from Boston. My high school vice-principal nominated me to compete for a POSSE Leadership Scholarship to Hamilton; after three interviews, I was accepted to Hamilton. I did not visit the campus until five months after my acceptance.

After arriving at Hamilton, I soon learned how much faculty members actually cared about the success of their students. My best piece of advice is to get to know your professors and never feel intimidated by them. I've grown close to some of my professors and I feel perfectly comfortable asking them about their own college experiences. In this way, some professors have become the advice-givers that I've needed. It is because of these professors that I took the initiative to become a writing tutor at the Writing Center and a Resident Advisor for the 08/09 school year. My involvement on campus has also been recognized by other students; I was inducted into the Doers and Thinkers honor society at the end of my freshman year.

To combat my uneasiness about college, I joined five different clubs my freshman year. I soon found out that some of the clubs were not right for me, but I still participate in three out of the original clubs. I currently co-lead Writer's Bloc, our creative writing club, with a fellow junior who joined during our freshman year.

I've always been a dedicated and determined student, but dedication and determination mean little without the support of others. My past two years at Hamilton would not have gone by so smoothly without the help of countless faculty members, advisors, and friends. Being a first-generation college student is more of an advantage than a handicap-first-generation students are forced to become more independent and outgoing than their fellow classmates.

— August 2009

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