Student Perspective on Boston in the City Program

Adulting in Boston

I always thought I wouldn’t enjoy city life that much. Bustling neighborhoods with tireless people walking with purpose to start off their day, the busy public transportations, crowded local places at lunch hours, and young professionals with their business casual fit, looking all motivated and driven. All these seemed a little too intimidating to me at first until I came to Boston this semester! With the Semester In The City (SITC) program, I intern at a non-profit organization called Centre to Support Immigrant Organising for thirty hours a week and attend two in-person professional development classes a week. It has been an amazing yet challenging experience so far. It’s been amazing because I get to live in this vibrant city, experience a professional life, and see a glimpse of what life might look like after graduation or when I get a job. It was challenging because, besides Boston’s harsh winter, everything is quite different from what I was used to at college. I sit in meetings with leaders of different immigrant organizations to work on the issue of health equity. I work and collaborate with other coalition organizations and graduate school interns to provide different workshops for high school-aged youths. Unlike traditional college classes or courses, I go to class and participate in different professional skill-building workshops and content. However, those challenges make the experience more fulfilling.

When I am not working, I spend some alone time in my room, hang out in the living room or at the dining table with my bubble mates (roommates) as we like to call ourselves, cook meals, go grocery shopping or go for a little walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes, when I am working remotely, I go to the Boston Public library or a café nearby. During the weekends, I catch up on some sleep, go thrifting with my friends, explore the city and eat out at times.

I wouldn’t have gained these invaluable experiential learning opportunities if it weren’t for this unique program. I am grateful for the endless support I receive from my internship site, my mentor who not only supports and guides me but also inspires me in so many ways, and the SITC community who always make sure that we are getting the best out of the program. I am so used to the tight-knit community of Earlham that I thought it would be hard for me to find something that would match my expectation but SITC has reached that high expectation of mine. My cohort is diverse with students having different majors and professional aspirations. So I would definitely recommend this program to everyone, especially to those who see themselves working in social sectors in the future, I would recommend this program to them more!

So after almost 3 months of living in Boston and working as an intern this semester, now I have also become part of that bustling neighborhood with tireless and purpose-driven people. I enjoy using the busy public transportation to go to work and return to the apartment after a long day of work and class. Now, during the days when I get a little lazy to bring lunch to work, you can find me in the long lines of people waiting for their lunch bags at  Al’s South street café right outside our office building during lunch break. My internship site doesn’t require a formal dress code but sometimes I would go with a business casual fit if I feel like it. Adulting is hard but it shouldn’t be that bad right? I don’t know if it’s the youthful energy or the young adult excitement that’s talking but I am looking forward to my future working life.

By Sonam Tsomo
Sonam Tsomo