By Sasha Rockwell
When my Junior year at Bridgewater State University started in the Fall of 2019, I knew it was the perfect time to take advantage of learning opportunities on and off-campus. But I didn’t expect it to go the way it did.
At BSU, I’ve been pursuing a degree in English, with a concentration in Writing Studies. This path heavily involves shaping and improving my writing skills. I achieved every goal I set my mind to. I struggled throughout high school and had a poor GPA. I made a promise to myself before coming to BSU as a Freshman that I would bring my GPA up to at least a 3.0. By my Sophomore year, I achieved it. But I wasn’t satisfied. I set my bar very high. I knew what I was capable of. I wanted to make the Dean’s List. In high school, I had never made honor’s or earned any kind of high remarks in my education. By the first semester of my Junior year, I made the Dean’s List. The following semester, I made it again. With this, I was confident that I had the skills and determination to find a hands-on experiential learning opportunity.
My plans quickly fell apart when COVID became more serious in the Spring semester of 2020. BSU required students from study abroad programs to return to the US, and as I was preparing my application for a Writing Studio Consultant on campus, classes were immediately moved online and off-campus. I felt disappointed at first that I could no longer study abroad, and then doubly disappointed not to have the experience of using my hard-earned writing skills for a job. The Writing Studio Consultant was my dream job. I was sad I couldn’t pursue it. I felt that I waited too long and that I should have taken advantage of these opportunities sooner. Realistically though, I had to stop blaming myself for events I had no control over. COVID was taking over everyone else’s lives as it was mine. Before COVID was a concern, I was working two part-time jobs while enrolled as a full-time student. I didn’t have time for other opportunities.
But I persevered and felt hopeful that I could still find something to do at home while taking classes. I left one of my part-time jobs when COVID peaked to keep my family safe and healthy. I was at home, furloughed from my other job, and finishing my classes online. Thankfully I was still financially stable. I was doing okay.
Not too long before, I sent in an application for an internship with Buzz Around. When I was contacted and asked if I could work remotely as a Contributing Writer, I was ecstatic. I finally had the opportunity to do some professional writing, and apply the writing skills that I’ve gained from my classes. Through the duration of the internship, I’ve been able to polish my writing and editing skills by creating stories about various towns or hives. Buzz Around’s motto, “Because we all need good news”, is an integral part of the stories shared, and speaks so much truth to me now, especially after my experiences this year. I wanted to share good news and positivity with other people because it made a difference in my life, and it would in theirs too.
I’ve learned so much. I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and that after the long and grueling search for a program, Buzz Around was able to offer me mentorship and the experience I needed. It was my first experience with an internship, and with a newsletter, but I can say I’m so glad that I decided to go for it. The program has provided me experience and skills necessary for the professional world that I will take with me after I graduate in May 2021.