Thursday, November 14, 2013

Unexpected College Perks

When you are a senior in high school you are making your college choice with almost no data about the potential outcomes of your decision. When I was picking schools I didn't know which would be best out of the hundreds of viable options. It was all guesswork and gut feelings. I'm happier with Simmons every day, though. I would have probably been happy anywhere because the cognitive dissonance would not have allowed me to spend thousands of dollars and hate my existence, but each moment at this school convinces me it was the right choice. It's never the things the school promotes as its features that make me happy, either. It's always the unexpected perks.

For instance, 40% of undergraduate students in this school are going for some health profession. In my first semester I taught my mother to ask Simmons students, "Are you a nursing major?" instead of, "What's your major?" This fact means that everything at my school is clean. There are always trash cans by the bathroom doors so you don't have to touch the handles. The food is safe. The health center is good. The campus is fit. For someone who is conscious of those things it is really nice to notice the abundance of Purell floating around. I'm proud of how healthy we are in and out of the Sports Center.

We do have excellent grad programs too. There are graduate programs in Library and Information Science, Nursing and Health Sciences, Management, Social Work, and others. They are academically rigorous and they are what make the college "famous" I think. Each day I'm happier and happier with our library school because we have a gorgeous library. Students from all around come to our library. It's not Harvard, but it's pretty stellar. That one great convenience can undue so many ills because I am a sucker for a good book. 

Finally, the thing that actually is an incalculable, unexplainable variable I never could have known about when I entered College was the community. Today I was studying in the common area with my laptop and books splayed everywhere. I was focused on finishing an essay. At that moment a young woman I'd never met before walked over to me and said, "Hey. My friend and I have been watching you from over there for a while and you seem really focused. We wanted to give you this cookie we bought from the bake sale to remind you to reward yourself." She handed me a cookie in a plastic bag and walked away. I ate it with a giant smile plastered on my face. It could have happened at any university in the world, but it didn't. It happened at my school because here from First Year Seminar and Freshmen Orientation to Senior Seminar they teach us to work together, accept each other, and become a community. I could never have known, but Simmons has a student body that cares for one another. I'm indoctrinated. I'm a believer. I love my college.

1 comment:

joelle pokrajac said...

Oh Emily,
Wow that is an awesome school you attend. Your fairness blog of course made me cry but I like your definition...."Every person gets what they need." I went back to it today when I was little down. Throwing a small pity party for my daughter. Why do the small things seem unfair...like a little girl being left-handed or needing glasses. Not a big deal at all but just one more thing for someone who struggles so much already. I actually said out loud why couldn't her brother have been left-handed with the glasses, why her, but you are so right it is only fair that I give more to her. It's not putting her ahead of him, and I shouldn't feel guilty. It's simply fair, I'm giving her what she needs, and therefore it is OK to treat them differently and it's only fair.

You don't know me and most likely will never meet me, but I read your blog often. I think about you and your family (mostly your mom because I'm a mom) more than you'd ever think. If I ever get down you are my hope, you are my strength and comfort when I am scared. I love reading what you write, don't stop writing and don't stop sharing your lessons with kids.

You are so bang on that kids are smart, most of the time smarter than we can ever realize. That is especially important for those little ones who may not fit the mold of today's educational system, just last week while at parent-teacher interview being told pretty much she is failing all areas of grade one. I was asked if my grade one daughter could count past 29, apparently she should be counting to close to 100 by now. Is school extremely tough for her on all levels, absolutely!! So for her to count 27,28,29,100 doesn't necessarily mean she can't count, doesn't mean she can either, but it does mean she is smart enough to know that if she says 100 regardless of when it comes, she's done with the exercise. That's smart in my eyes!!

Take care of yourself and keeping sharing!!
Joelle