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Freshman: College Exceeds Expectations


Jake DaigneaultWhen Jake Daigneault ’21 of Adams, Mass., arrived on campus this fall to begin his MCLA career, he expected to major in business. And, as a commuter student, he did not expect to be particularly engaged in the day-to-day happenings on campus. Both expectations quickly changed: in addition to being active in college life, he decided to study psychology.

Now, Daigneault plans to attend graduate school after he completes his undergraduate degree, as he aims for a career in clinical psychology. “What fascinates me the most about psychology is the complexities the human mind is capable of,” he explained, “and also the effects that various stimuli have on both humans and other species.”

When he looked into schools during his junior and senior years of high school, Daigneault initially considered attending several big universities and private colleges. “I always had this notion that these schools, simply due to their name, made all the difference when applying for jobs. It wasn’t until I spoke with students and faculty at MCLA that I knew this was a school where I would fit right in,” he said. “The small classes, dedicated professors, and friendly social atmosphere are what led me here. … When you’re studying something you love with people who love teaching it to you, well, I guess you could say college has been amazing.”

Daigneault never thought he would end up at a small liberal arts school. Attending MCLA “has opened my eyes to the level of preparedness the school instills in its students. I have my four-year plan mostly worked out, and have pondered how I’m going to prepare for graduate school.”

MCLA, he added, also provides great opportunities in internships and research for psychology majors, including getting to know professionals in the field, and conducting research and experiments with faculty and as an individual – all of which will build the skills necessary for a career in psychology.

Daigneault said professors at MCLA truly care about the growth of their students. “I have yet to miss a class, and I have found the work to be challenging, yet rewarding. The teachers in all of my core subjects have been consistent in their advice: the amount effort dedicated to each class directly results in the experience the course will provide.”

Although many high school students look forward to leaving home and being out on their own, Daigneault said he found it more convenient to commute to campus. As a new student, he joined others who are new to MCLA in a variety of First Year Experience (FYE) activities designed to immerse them in college and help them to discover what life and learning here are all about. In the process, he’s become well acquainted with many members of our campus community.

“Everyone in our FYE group has unique personalities and big aspirations. We always go in planning to have a good talk and listen to each other’s insight. It’s incredible how quick the transition was – from a confused high school grad to a confident college student.”