BY ERICA MILOSH
It’s hard to believe I’m graduating this month. My time at Nichols College has gone by remarkably quickly, and I’ve learned more than I ever could have imagined. I’ve met so many amazing professors and students, and I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had here.
I started attending Nichols while I was a senior at Shepherd Hill Regional High School here in Dudley just so I’d have some college credits under my belt. For my freshman and part of my sophomore year I went to school at Dean College but transferred back to Nichols for the 2013 spring semester. Nichols was always the right school for me, but all my friends were going away to live at school, and I thought I should do the same. Now I realize that there’s really nothing wrong with staying close to home and commuting to college.
I wanted a fresh start when I returned to Nichols. I was determined to make new friends, join clubs, and gain more writing experience. My first day of class was an English course with Professor Deys, and I knew immediately I was going to do well here. I wrote a fairy tale about Little Red Riding Hood in his class, and he encouraged me to submit it to Windfall, the Nichols student literary magazine. It was exciting to see my writing published even though it was just in a college publication.
That semester I made friends with some members of the Poetry Club and became more confident in my writing. The students in this group are some of the most talented I’ve ever heard and read. I also joined the Meditation Club and made Professor Berard’s acquaintance. With help from his classes and meditation, I learned so much about myself and explored other religions and beliefs. Visiting a Buddhist temple in Raynham, Mass., and a Hindu temple in Ashland, Mass., were the most rewarding field trips I have ever experienced.
My junior year at Nichols, I tried a whole new type of writing for me: journalism. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up for Urban Journalism that year, but it changed my life forever. It was so different from creative writing, and it completely threw me out of my comfort zone. I had to dig for facts, find newsworthy stories to write about, and interview people. At first, interviewing people was a nerve-wracking experience, but now it comes easily to me. Professor Schachter taught me everything I know about journalism today; he helped me get published in the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette newspaper.
That is one of my proudest accomplishments.
During spring semester of my junior year, I became Professor Halprin’s teaching assistant for an Introduction to Literature class. I was really nervous at first, but in time I grew more comfortable speaking in front of students, and I had a lot of fun picking out books and poems for the class to read. The most important thing I learned that semester was how many smart students there are at Nichols. Not only the English majors, but all of the students had something intelligent to contribute and gave me ideas I’d never thought of before about the readings.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without my on-campus jobs. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the Nichols Call Center since summer 2014, and I’ve had the best bosses in the world, Rachel Ferreira and Beth Graham. Rachel taught me the most valuable lessons about workplace management, how to handle difficult situations, and delegate tasks. Being promoted to a Call Center supervisor was an exciting achievement, and I love training new callers and teaching them how to answer questions on the phone or input data. I was also hired this semester as a content developer in the Office of Marketing and Communications, which was a huge deal for me. It was like a dream come true that I’d finally be getting paid for writing articles. I love the work atmosphere, and I’ve learned a lot about editing my written works.
My last big project at Nichols College is my senior thesis. I’ve had the privilege to work with Professor Taylor as she helps me turn my creative writing into something publishable. I thought I was a decent writer until I started my thesis, but it was truly a challenge. Professor Taylor showed me how I can improve my stories and make my poetry more impactful. Even though I’ve been writing for years, there’s still so much I need to learn about creative writing.
It really doesn’t feel like it’s over. I’ll never be done learning, and I strive to become a better writer every day. Without my amazing friends and professors, I would have never made it this far or succeeded in various areas of writing. The best decision I ever made was returning to Nichols College. I’m not sure where I’m headed after graduation, but I try not to worry because I’ve learned from the best, and I’m sure there’s more in store for me.