Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Resources for Transitioning to Boston

Recently, I had a person who was close to me decide to leave the Simmons-Boston campus. This was a shock and a surprise to me, as she had only been on campus for five weeks when she announced this decision. The astronomical cost of living, the distance from family and friends, the frustrations she faced with her landlord, roommates, and other people in her life all contributed to this choice. Conversely, I’ve been in Boston since January, working at various internships and integrating myself into the life I’ve built for myself.

Coming to Simmons this September was a relief after months of doing virtual classes and
feeling a tangible lack of community with other students. It was a joy to see my classmates in
person, and I felt everything click into place after I came on campus. I made the decision to
transfer from my university in my hometown to prolong my stay in Boston for an unknown
amount of time as I progress through my program and decide whether to stay or leave after

I can’t imagine moving back to my hometown and changing everything after moving across the
country. My move from the Midwest to Boston was arduous enough, and I would never want to
move by flying. I already hate moving, and long-haul trips with all of my stuff are not fun to me.
But now that I’m here in Boston, I can’t imagine leaving a place that has so many opportunities
for growth and happiness. 

In addition to being absolutely heartbreaking, my friend’s departure made me think about a lot of
things: about my program, about where I live, about how I make ends meet, and how being here
is a privilege. As much as I love being where I am right now and I can’t picture feeling otherwise,
moving and starting over from scratch is not for everyone. I wish she had known about the
opportunities for potential students to meet with current students to help them get a better sense
of what grad school life in Boston is really like.

I created a list of resources and tips that I think would be helpful to any new student
moving to Boston.


  1. Accessibility services: If you’re having issues in your classes or classrooms for a
    variety of reasons, this office can help you figure out a plan of action to go forward. 
  2. Counseling Center: If you need someone to talk to but want the privacy and
    confidentiality of a professional counselor, this is the place to go. Instructions to start the
    process are here:
    There are also a variety of other counseling centers
    throughout the Greater Boston Area that have a variety of price points. Explore your
  3. The Writing Center: This place isn’t just for undergraduates in Writing 101. This place
    can help graduate students as well as those who haven’t written a paper in a while and
    need a refresher.
  4. BIPOC Zoom Support Group: These are held virtually on Thursday nights at 5 PM.
    Email [email protected] for the Zoom link. There are many other support
    groups out there, so keep an eye out for flyers and look at the digital signs on TVs
    around campus. 

Note: Many support offices are located within the Student Success Center in Lefavour
Hall. Also, these are just the places that I think could be helpful and are not a
comprehensive list of all of the resources Simmons has to offer. This website has more
places to explore:


  1. Tell people how you’re doing and be honest with it. No one knows how to help you or
    even that you need help if you don’t tell them. Your friends, family, and other support
    people are there to help you, but unfortunately, they can’t read your mind. They can only
    help you if you tell them that you need it. 
  2. Don’t spend all of your time studying or worrying about how you need to study more.
    Grad school is an intense time of studying, working, eating, and sleeping, but it can
    include more than these four things. Go touch grass. Call your grandparents. Go to a
    concert, because Boston has a great music scene. Go somewhere that you’ve always
    been meaning to check out — some examples could be Haymarket, the Institute of
    Contemporary Art (ICA), Seaport, Revere/Winthrop Beach, or the New England
    Aquarium. Don’t make your graduate school experience comprise of only the bare
    minimum things because you think that’s what is expected of you. 
  3. Take time to rest. Whether that’s a 10 minute meditation, an hour of reading your
    favorite book, an afternoon of going to get coffee with a friend or a whole day of taking a
    break, do what you need to do. Your mind and body will thank you later by being
    refreshed and ready to work when you come back to it. 
  4. Strike a balance between doing things with other people, doing things by yourself,
    and not doing things at all. This is easier said than done. 
  5. Call your mom, but don’t expect her to make decisions for you. In the book “The
    Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now”
    by Meg Jay, she describes the phenomenon of “borrowing an ego.” This is described as
    “reaching out in a moment of need and letting someone else’s frontal lobe do the work…we don’t learn to handle bad days on our own….We don’t learn how to calm ourselves down, and this in and of itself undermines confidence.”  (121). So call your mom as much as you want, but don’t let her make your major life choices for you. Explain the situation, get her advice, and then get advice from
    more people. Ultimately, you can determine your life path, or you can let other people
    do it.