by Eileen Cooney ’23
There is no denying that finding one’s place in college can be incredibly daunting. Deciding what you want to study and what clubs, activities, sports teams, and organizations you want to be involved with can be overwhelming. Yet, Joey Silva ’23 has navigated these difficult paths and has found himself taking full advantage of all that Providence College has to offer.
Getting involved and developing a strong sense of pride in one’s school is not new to Silva, a biology major from Pelham, NY. He attended Pelham High School, where he was class president during his senior year. “I loved being class president,” he said. “It provided me with a lot of cool opportunities to interact with classmates, teachers, and administrators. It was a great experience that allowed me to be super involved in my community and make a difference.”
Silva decided to go to PC after visiting his older sister, who is a junior, and recognizing the strong sense of community that exists here. He said that this strong sense of community is his favorite part about PC, which he didn’t feel at any other college. “I loved how welcoming everyone is with each other and it made it so much easier to adjust to college life.” Once he got to campus, Silva knew that he wanted to continue the strong involvement he had in high school.
As an incoming freshman, Silva did the Urban Action pre-orientation program. “I would definitely recommend the program to any incoming freshman,” he says. “It’s a great way to make friends, get adjusted to campus early, and make some lifelong memories.” Once at school, Silva joined Providence College’s Gaelic Society and became a member of the College’s Board of Programmers. “My favorite thing about being on BOP is the community,” he said. “Everyone is so welcoming, and it is amazing to be a part of a club with so many unique individuals who have so much love and pride in their school. Everyone on the board is truly passionate about planning events that make the school a better place for all.”
Academically, Silva came into his freshman year undeclared. He explored the various academic programs PC offers by taking different classes to see what he would be most interested in. After some consideration, Silva decided at the end of his freshman year that he wanted to take the leap and declare a biology major. “Going in undeclared helped me to figure out what I wanted to do before committing to something,” Silva says. “I am grateful that Providence allows you that flexibility and that they allow you to until the end of your sophomore year to declare your major.”
Silva says that the hardest part about adjusting to life on campus was going from classes being from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in high school to having classes scattered throughout the entire day with a lot of free time to fill. He said that the breaks were hard to adjust to, and he had to figure out a way to remain organized and on top of his work. If he could give any advice to a freshman still adjusting to college life, he would tell them to remain patient because the adjustment comes naturally.
While the fall and spring semesters have obviously been clouded by the COVID-19 pandemic, Silva says that he is incredibly grateful that the College made the commitment to giving the PC community the opportunity to return in-person this year. “It’s really a testament to the school’s dedication and the strong spirit of the Friar community,” Silva said. He added that going to college during this time has taught him that nothing is promised and that it is incredibly important to take everything one day at a time.
As is the case for many Providence College students, Silva said he is going to miss his friends and campus life the most when the semester is over. “Being home and away from everyone that you normally see every day sometimes makes it feel like you have been a lifetime away from them,” he says.