College means change, and not just for students. Parents are in for their own challenges right after the kids graduate from high school. Being prepared is the key to an easy transition for both parents and students when the time comes to send your kid off to college.
Let me be the first to tell you that my decision to come play baseball at Westfield State was one of the best decisions I have made. As a senior in high school, I always dreamed ofbeing an athlete in college and playing baseball at a prestigious institution with the hopes of getting looked at to play after college. Oh how small-minded I was at the time! When things fell through at other schools I was looking at, I decided to go to Westfield State in the fall of 2013 to further my education and baseball career. What I did not know at that time was the amount of character I would develop and the long-lasting relationships I would build throughout my tenure here.
When I learned that I needed to take an upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminar in order to graduate as an Honors scholar, I found myself scared. Would the workload be too much? Despite my reluctance, I steeled my nerves and signed up for the course with a Pikachu smiling on the information sheet, Japanese Culture, taught by Professor Brian Chen. I couldn’t be happier that I selected this Honors seminar.
Topics: Civic engagement
Athletics at Westfield State go beyond what you’d find in your typical high school P.E. class. Quidditch, anyone?
At Westfield, sports teams are separated into three different categories: varsity, club and intramural. Together, all three form the Westfield State Athletic Department, which is overseen by Richard (Dick) Lenfest. Let's explore how to improve your college experience through sports.
Imagine a ballroom packed with undergraduate students flanked by their research posters. The room hums as students discuss topics ranging from cellular biology to electoral politics to creative writing. At the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC), held each April at UMass, Amherst, Westfield State students joined more than 1000 of their peers from across the commonwealth for a day-long exchange of research and creative work. Of the 48 Westfield State students who participated, many are members of the Honors Program; quite a few were first-year students.
Two Rivers Burrito Company
Locally Sourced, Locally Served
by Brian Aurelio
Since opening in May of 2013 there has been a restaurant in downtown Westfield that has been gaining more and more attention. Despite being located just a few strides from the downtown green on Elm Street, many people seem to pass by this place without a clue of its existence. One of the most underappreciated restaurants in all of Westfield can be found at 36 Elm Street. Two Rivers Burrito Company provides a unique family inspired dining experience that simply cannot be compared to anything else in Westfield. Nowhere in Westfield will you find a burrito or quesadilla with as fresh and delectable ingredients as Two Rivers. All of these ingredients, from the jalapenos to the guacamole are locally sourced whenever possible to support other local businesses. Owned and operated by family and friends from Westfield, Two Rivers looks to restore downtown and the rest of Westfield to the glory it once held.
As a second semester junior, I have been reflecting quite a bit on my college experience so far. I’ve thought about how truly epic freshman year was. It is sort of like being 5 years old again in an enormous ball pit with a bunch of kids who eventually end up becoming your best friends. If you are like me, and have been mentally checking off a list of things you must do while still in college, you must have considered studying abroad at least once. You may have heard, as I did, that it is an experience of a lifetime, one that you will never forget. What you heard was right.
My “Writing That Matters” group collaborated with the Holyoke Early Literacy Initiative, or HELI, an organization that works with family, community members, the school system, and activists to improve Holyoke’s early literacy for children from birth to third grade. HELI’s work is important because the city of Holyoke has noticeably low literacy rates. In 2013, 13% of Holyoke’s third grade students scored proficient or advanced on the MCAS, compared to a 57% state average.
For our “Writing that Matters” civic engagement project, my group contributed to Westfield State’s first ever Fresh Check Day, an event held on college campuses around the country to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, to encourage students to speak up about mental health concerns, and to bring to light the fact that there are 1,100 college student suicides each year. Despite the somber reason for Fresh Check Day, the event provides a lively and fun environment in which students connect with each other, become allies for the mental health community, and work to prevent suicide. Participants visit activity booths, interact and connect with fellow students, and compete for cool prizes.
In January 2016, I embarked on my second journey to Granada, Nicaragua, with the goal of making a positive impact for the students in the village of Nueva Esperanza. Within two short weeks, my class of sixteen Westfield State students would prove to be the most hard-working and caring individuals I have had the privilege of knowing.
Topics: Study abroad