Worcester is a city of dreams
When I was a senior in high school, there was not an institution in Worcester on my college search list. My plan was to stay in Connecti- cut closer to my family and much more in my comfort zone. It was not until a friend offered to bring me on her college tours when I first saw Assumption College. I knew imme- diately as I drove through the gate of 500 Salisbury St. that Assumption was where I belonged.
That moment is when my journey began in Worcester, Massachusetts, about 100 miles from my parents’ door. With the exception of my year of service, I have lived in Worcester since the fall of 2005. Over the past 13 years, similar to Worcester, I have grown and developed more than I could have imagined.
When I first arrived on campus as a first year student, I did not go off campus much other than on occa- sional Fridays to get food different from Taylor Dining Hall. During my sophomore and junior years, I start- ed going off campus into Worcester as part of my community service learning classes.
I started to see and learn about the city I moved to and the many differ- ent communities. I learned about low incoming housing in Worcester when volunteering at an after school program for kids living in Autumn Woods. The African Community Education Program taught me about the African community in Worcester and immigration. Junior Achievement Academy allowed me the opportunity to learn from and assist high school juniors through the college process. I helped younger students with their homework and after school games, but they taught me so much more about what I did not know about the world and how I should always keep learning.
Besides learning about the dif- ferent communities throughout Worcester, I have been able to experience the restaurants, shopping and hidden gems in this wonderful city. As a college student, I went to common places I believe Assumption students still visit today like Bagel Time, Blue Jeans, The Boynton and Brew City. The amount of memories created in these places seems endless.
Since I have graduated, Worces- ter has more local stores such as Worcester Wares, Crompton Col- lective and Birch Tree Bread Com- pany. I was able to learn more about Worcester’s unique and fun facts at the Worcester Historical Museum. In the past couple of years I have discovered the breath of local coffee shops here in this beautiful city including Bean Counter, Acoustic Java and Brew on the Grid. In these coffee shops I have had been able to share coffee and have meaningful conversations with many friends, colleagues and students. The break- fast choices are endless at any hour of the day. My go to diner is the Bou- levard Diner on Shrewsbury Street, which is open 24 hours a day. The atmosphere makes me feel welcome and very much like a Worcester na- tive whenever I am there. This city continues to develop new and local places to share with the community.
When people ask me about Worcester I cannot help but share how much I love this city. Most of the time people ask me why I love Worcester so much. There have been people who have told me they cannot wait to move away or they cannot believe someone can love a city like Worcester. Others say I am a transplant because I have only lived here for a little over a decade. Worcester became my home very unexpectedly.
As a first generation college student, I did not know what to expect when moving away from home. This city has wonderful people with great passion striving to create a place for everyone to belong in Worcester. I was able to step out of my comfort zone during my time here. I have had the privilege of learning and growing from mentors, friends and students who continue to encourage my development. Being able to experience the city through various service opportunities and tasting the amazing food, drinking endless cups of local coffee, interacting and learning from incredible people are reasons why I love the heart of the Commonwealth.
Kaitlin Bevins is the Director of Student Activities. She is a special to Le Provocateur.