The Spring Creek Sun had an opportunity to speak with Janelle Anderson, a resident of Spring Creek Towers who also happens to be one of last year’s Spring Creek Towers’ Scholarship winners. Anderson also has made the Dean’s list at Simmons College in Boston, not once but twice. This is quite an achievement.
Spring Creek Sun (SCS): How long have you been a Spring Creek Towers resident?
Janelle Anderson (JA): Since I was born. I have always lived in Spring Creek Towers.
SCS: How did you feel when you found out that you won the SCT Scholarship?
JA: I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I heard back from some scholarship offers during finals week, so there was a lot of checking my email and trying to study and stay focused at the same time. I actually found out I won the SCT Scholarship fifteen minutes before a math final in school–it was a good boost of confidence then. Now it’s just a great reminder of how my hard work paid off then to help me to pay for college.
SCS: Why did you select Simmons College?
JA: At first, I confused Simmons College with Smith College, which is a more well-known women’s school. They’re both in Massachusetts and are womeninstitutions, but I found myself more drawn to Simmons mainly because it was in Boston. I felt I would’ve thrived more in an urban environment than somewhere out of the city, because I went to high school in Long Island City, Queens. It’s an environment that I’m conformable in. Simmons also offered programs that were more directly inline towards my journalism aspirations, whereas Smith (and ultimately some of the other schools I applied to) weren’t.
SCS: How do you like living away from home?
JA: I like it because it’s new and different, but in the end I really wanted that experience for myself. Living away from home in a completely different state was a bit uneasy at first. However, being in a city really helped me. Boston is full of college students, who are all in the same boat with each other. We’re all just trying to navigate our way through this new environment and finding ourselves at the same time. I didn’t feel confined to the campus, the city was my campus and I got to explore new things with new people and that’s what I wanted from my college experience.
SCS: What is your minor?
JA: Right now it’s English and cinematic arts. I might add photography, but I’m not sure yet.
SCS: I understand that you made the Dean’s list; can you tell us what your grades are ?
JA: In the fall semester I earned a 3.6 GPA and at the end of the spring term I earned a 3.8
SCS: I know that you must feel proud that you made the Dean’s list twice in your freshman year, tell us what went through your mind when you found out?
JA: First, relief because that meant I passed and I get to keep my scholarship. The thought of losing a scholarship because I can’t keep my grades up is nerve-wracking. I didn’t think I wasn’t going to pass my classes, but there’s always that little bit of me that worries. Second, I was just really proud of myself. It was a reminder that I shouldn’t doubt myself because there’s a reason I’m there–I didn’t get to college by not working hard–and my hard work is continuing to pay off.
SCS: What are your aspirations for the rest of your collegiate years?
JA: Upon graduation I plan to focus on building up my resume. I have less time to intern as an undergrad, so I have to take full advantage of all of the opportunities that Simmons sends my way. I also have to look for opportunities myself. I really want a chance to work in the field I want to be in before I graduate, so hopefully some newspaper/journal or radio internships are on the horizon.
SCS: How do you want to follow your aspirations?
JA: By focusing on my goals and being open to new and exciting opportunities that come my way. I know I have a timeline in my head on how I want things to go, but I can never be completely sure what will happen or how things will unfold. Working at the New York Times would be nice. I plan on applying for their summer internship, so that’s one step in the right direction. I just want to make sure that I am as well-prepared as I can be. I just try to take everything day by day and do my best.
SCS: Do you participate in any activities at Simmons College? Can you tell us which ones if you do?
JA: Yes. I am a part of the college’s internet radio station, Simmons College Radio: The Shark. I have a music show called “Just the Marshmallows”. It’s weird, but likable. I play indie music I like to listen to, talk a bit, and laugh at my own jokes for an hour. It’s fun and I find myself around people who share the same interests as me. At the same time I get to meet different people and it’s great community to be a part of. Joining clubs and groups are always a good way to find your crowd in a new place.
SCS: Do you have an on campus or off campus job? If so what do you do and how do you like it?
JA: I work at a pre-school off campus through Jumpstart. It’s a national early education organization and one of their programs enlists college students to go into classrooms and teach pre-school children language and reading skills. It’s great and I love it. This is something that I plan on doing again this upcoming school year and the kids are amazing. Aside from having a good work-study job, it really helped me get off campus and get out into the Boston community. Not only that, but I felt like I was contributing to the community in a helpful way. I got to work with kids, their teachers and parents three days out of the week. It felt like I was making a difference. It beats working in an office filing papers. I met some of my friends through this job and overall it added to my first year experience.
Photos Courtesy of: Janelle Anderson