My first semester here I was in the undeclared science program, and I took all the same classes as a BMS Major. I did not like it, I did not do well, I did really poorly. I didn’t like any of the stuff I was learning, so I was looking at the other colleges to go into. And I was mostly looking into liberal arts and stuff. One of my friends–she told me about SOIS. I was thinking about transferring schools entirely, but she like dragged me into the office and made me talk to an advisor. I realized this is really cool, and I liked this. And since then, I’ve been there. And I really love it. I love my advisor, she’s great. I like the college a lot. It gives me a lot of individuality on my own terms, and like what I want to do.
My major is kind of mixture of political science and criminal justice. I chose it because I really like working with people. I work with kids over the summer. I work with intercity kids. I’m from the intercity–I’m from Boston. I like working with kids; I like working with people. I like talking to people, and I like helping people a lot. So, eventually I hope to go to law school and become a lawyer. I chose it because it just made the most sense for me. I get to work with people but not necessarily working with groups, which is kind of a struggle for me. A lot of my friends complain about group work all the time. And I just really like learning about why people do the things they do, like what’s right and wrong and the laws behind it. Like even if you think something is totally justified, the law will be like no, it’s not, and you have to kind of work your way around it to prove your point. So, I always thought that that was really interesting.
So, I like working at the welcome desk because there’s always interesting people–like even if I’m sitting here and no one’s talking to me, someone will just be nice and come up and get a gumball, and tell me to have a nice night. Like, thanks, they didn’t even have to acknowledge that I was here to be honest, because most of the time people just walk by. Some people will ask me a question and I’ll give them the answer, but then they’ll stay for like ten minutes and just talk. Sometimes people will come up and try to just start conversations with me about random stuff. Which I think is always nice. It’s a way to meet people that I would have never met before, just because we’re in different colleges or we don’t hang out in the same friend groups or do the same things. It’s nice to get to know people that way, because it’s more honest. It’s not forced, so it’s nice to work here.
At the Welcome Desk we open and close the building. We sign out items. We have chargers and microphones. We open the doorways, and we do a lot. We help people get where they need to be–we give directions. It can be difficult sometimes, especially with someone who’s never been on campus before. I say something like, the Gene Polisseni Center is right behind this building, and they’ll think they can just walk out the back door, but no, you have to like go down here, and take this left. So, that’s mostly what we do. We look up reservations for people sometimes, and we also train newbies. If you ever have any questions, just ask. We answer a lot of questions, not only about the campus, but about like what clubs cater to this, or like what’s something that deals with computer science that you think my kid can join. And I’ll say like, oh Computer Science House is a big organization on campus. Or like, what’s something that caters to students of color, and we’re like oh, the ACA, which basically stands for the ALANA Community Association. So anyone who has questions can just come to the desk, and there’s always going to be answers for you.
Paige Belfield, 3rd year Human Rights, Law and Society, and Pre-Law Major in the School of Individualized Study and Worker at the Welcome Desk

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