There are many times in my life where I look back and recall feeling unwanted or like I didn’t belong. Honestly, there are still some days where I feel like that. Except on game days! I started working for New England College Athletics when I was a freshman. It’s actually how I met my best friend, Hannah. I will admit that I may not have liked every job, but I enjoyed a majority of them. Due to COVID-19, I wasn’t on campus my sophomore year but when I came back my junior year it was like I had never left. I no longer had the ability for work study but Hannah still worked for athletics and I tagged along for every game she worked. I started helping out around in the office before and after games. Hannah and I began to bake treats for everyone in the office on a weekly basis. I loved baking, the time with Hannah, and I loved even more how much it made everyone smile no matter the outcome of a game.
Spring of my junior year was really hard for a multitude of reasons, and I really started to feel unwanted on campus. But anytime I walked into the mezzanine it felt like I belonged. Everyone always made sure to say hi or ask me a question about my classes and how I was doing. On tough days I would walk straight to Ken’s office to vent and when he wasn’t there I would walk straight into Jedd’s office and wait for him Pat and Will to make me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. Hannah and I eventually would go to class and then spend the rest of the day in the mezzanine, it became our favorite place to hang out.
At the beginning of my senior year, I started to feel alone. Hannah had graduated and I didn’t have work study, so I didn’t really have a reason to be in athletics. Until I got an email asking me to help out at a game since I knew how to work the clock. I agreed and after that game, I offered to volunteer my time with all games for the rest of the year. I even got the ability to take charge in a couple of games and soon enough I felt wanted again. The more games I worked, the more responsibility I was given, and the more wanted I felt. Even when days got hard, I always knew there was an open office door. Inside the office I could find a tedious task or Will, Pat, and Jedd telling a random lacrosse story which always seems to make me feel better. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone besides the staff recognized what I was doing until one day at an event someone stopped me to thank me for all I did for their sport. I don’t think I have ever felt that amount of pride in my work as I did when he thanked me.
In May of 2023, I will graduate New England College with my bachelor’s degree. I don’t know where life will take me, but I know I wouldn’t be crossing the stage or be the person I am today without the people in New England College Athletics.
I genuinely think I’m going to miss the athletics staff the most, I hope no matter where I end up I find people who make me feel as wanted as they did.
I honestly can’t thank them enough; I don’t think any of them know how much those compliments about baked goods or the simple thank you’s made me feel. I may not have been a NEC athlete, but I sure did have the best team.