Student Snippets


The Life of a SLIS West Student

It's been a while since I've written specifically about the SLIS West student experience, and I've now taken spring, summer, and fall classes so I'm not the "new girl" on the block anymore. I've never been to the Simmons campus in Boston so I can't exactly compare and contrast, but I can give you a good description of what makes a SLIS West student.

1. SLIS West students commute. Based on all the people that I've met and talked to, the SLIS West commute is anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, and most are somewhere right in the middle. My drive, at 2 hours, is one of the farthest I've heard of and to me it really doesn't seem that bad. Traffic is usually pretty good on a Saturday and the views are lovely. Right now, it's dark when I hit the road and I get to watch the sun rise as I drive.

2. SLIS West students have jobs and families. I have yet to meet a SLIS West student who is just going to school. In fact, I'm amazed how many there are working full time (40+ hours) and still taking two or even three classes. When I was thinking about going to grad school, I was afraid that I didn't fit the "mold" - that I was too old or too much of a mom or something. At SLIS West, there is no "mold." We have all followed very different paths to grad school and we're all finding ways to fit school into busy and established lives.

3. The SLIS West community is small and close-knit. I'm beginning to see a lot of familiar faces in my classes, and I love this about SLIS West. It's common to share the same class schedule with several people and to get to know the professors as you continue to bump into them.

4. SLIS West students have great library resources. We find ourselves right in the thick of the Five Colleges network in western Massachusetts and we enjoy borrowing privileges at the Mount Holyoke College library as well as the ability to request things from Boston. The SLIS West program draws strength from the combined talent and experience of all the colleges and libraries in the area and we find ourselves with no shortage of highly qualified professors, guest speakers, events, and job/internship opportunities.

5. SLIS West has a beautiful setting. South Hadley, Mass. and the campus of Mount Holyoke College provide this lovely, small-town New England feel that I adore. There is no traffic to contend with, no mass transportation, and no parking fees. There are ivy-clad buildings and small shops and trees and families going about their business. Just look at this picture I snapped while I was studying in the Mount Holyoke College library one afternoon:


Have I convinced you yet??