Alexa Schmidt: Doing It and Loving It All

by, Gabriella DePinho, Editor-in-Chief

If there’s anyone on Manhattan College’s campus who has done it all, it’s Alexa Schmidt.  

A four-year member of The Quadrangle; a three-year member of the women’s rowing team; a tour guide; a student worker in the archives; a study abroad participant; an editor for Manhattan Magazine and Lotus; a L.O.V.E. trip participant; a W.I.S.E. participant; the president of Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society; a two-year Resident Assistant in Horan Hall and Student Government’s Vice President for Club Administration, she has kept herself busy with all that and a double major in communication and art history and a minor in environmental studies.

While Alexa might always be busy, sometimes logging into two Google meets at once, she wouldn’t change a thing about her Manhattan College experience. 

“If I had to do it all over again, I totally would,” Alexa said. “College passed by so fast. I thought high school was fast, college is insane.”

Though Alexa has loved her time at Manhattan College, when she was in high school, the college wasn’t initially on her list. Knowing she wanted a small liberal arts college, and at the recommendation of her town’s mayor at the time and school superintendent, who were both alumni, the Emerson, New Jersey native decided to take a look at the school. Taking a leap of faith, Alexa decided to come here and in doing so, has found that she really does love the people she’s met at the college.

“Manhattan’s offered me a chance to meet some of the best people I’ve ever known,” Alexa said. “I’ve met great professors, great friends that have all been my biggest supporters and obviously sometimes they have to be my biggest critics too. But I think a lot about if I went to a different college, I wouldn’t have met the same people and I think I would have missed out on a lot.” 

Alexa Schmidt has done it all: studied abroad in Italy, been a D1 athlete, a resident assistant, a tour guide, a true friend and so much more, while balancing a heavy course load.

One person Alexa has met as a result of her involvement is one of her biggest heroes: soccer-star-turned-equality-activist Abby Wambach. As a member of student government, Alexa was able to co-host the virtual event in which Wambach spoke to Manhattan College students. 

“She’s one of my idols since I was a kid and finally getting to meet her even over a laptop screen, I was just freaking out, I was so excited,” she said. “I couldn’t even believe that I was talking to someone so influential and so outspoken and someone who truly believed in what she’s fighting for and that’s something that’s incredibly admirable especially in a world where instant gratification and agreeing with other people for the sake of agreeing with others is so prevalent.” 

Spending time as The Quadrangle’s assistant arts and entertainment editor, features editor, arts and entertainment editor and managing editor, Alexa has dabbled in different roles that have helped her “strengthen [her] writing skills, strengthen [her] people skills.” She joined the club her freshman year as a Quadrangle Scholarship recipient, after her mom suggested she applied. 

“My mom saw The Quadrangle scholarship and thought that would be a really good opportunity for me,” Alexa said. “I liked writing a lot. The scholarship is great. I mean any scholarship is great, but this one in particular would allow me to meet new people, practice my writing skills, build up a portfolio of my own writing and see it get published in print, which is super exciting especially because I’ve never had that opportunity before.” 

Alexa came to find that her favorite thing to report on was the things others might not think to cover.

“I don’t do hard news,” she said. “Journalism doesn’t always have to be hard hitting news, but it can be some of the good in the world as well, and for me that’s doing features on people that are overlooked or deserve credit for something that goes unnoticed. A lot of it is highlighting the talent that we have around campus.” 

One of her favorite stories she’s ever written has been just that: highlighting talent on campus. This fall she covered Brother Ralph Bucci’s art exhibition in the library that is coming to a close over the Thanksgiving holiday and her interview and writing process for the story was one of the best experiences she’s had for an article.

“It was almost like a privilege to hear him talk about his art and why he creates it and how he does it and just his stance on the arts in general,” Alexa said. “The brothers I feel like  are sometimes are these untouchable people but if you really take the time to sit down with them, you realize that they’re the same as the rest of us and they have stories to tell.” 

Another favorite part of her role in The Quadrangle is helping the new writers become leaders.

“I also think part of The Quad isn’t just leading but it’s also handing the reins to the next generation and watching them grow as well, just watching them grow as writers, as editors, seeing  them fill the boots that you’re going to leave behind when you graduate,” she said. 

Out of all her activities on campus, Alexa has particularly enjoyed her experience with The Quad.

“I think The Quadrangle certainly changed my life,” she said. “I mean to sum up three years worth of interviews and events and editing and late nights, and learning how to use InDesign, it certainly has been a wild ride. I mean, it wasn’t perfect but no one wanted it to be and it holds a very special place in my heart.”

She has also cherished her time with the rowing team, which she joined after walking on sophomore year..

“I found that I missed the team aspect of my life,” she said. “I mean I’ve always been an athlete and that’s something that’s defined me and it’s really special that I can do that here. That’s also been one of the best decisions in my life. I cannot imagine my college career without it, just the teammates, just going to practice in the morning seeing the sunrise.”

Though she’s fully enjoyed everything she’s done at Manhattan College, Alexa is preparing herself for life post-graduation, but don’t ask her what she’s doing next just yet; she’s just taking the time to enjoy the moment. 

“Honestly, I’m just trying to cherish every moment now, because it’s really getting down to crunch time,” she said. “I just want to reflect a little bit and just be thankful for all the experiences and opportunities that I’ve been given. It would not have been the same anywhere else.”