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Friday, April 03

Brookdale Newsroom

Student Voices: View From Behind the Counter

As odd as it sounds, coffee kind of opened my eyes to how connected we all are here at Brookdale.

For about a year now, I’ve manned the counter at the Paddock Convenience Store on the Lincroft campus. You’ve probably seen me there; maybe even ordered one of my famous caramel macchiatos.

A lot has changed in my life since I walked into the store last year and saw Lauren, the manager, moving some boxes. I offered to help. Afterwards she said she was looking for a student worker to hire and that I should apply. I had been looking for work everywhere else and couldn’t seemed to get hired. Needless to say I was happy.

My job is nothing fancy; I make coffee and stock shelves. At least that’s how I used to see it.  But the Paddock is one of those places on campus where you can see the sense of community we have.

I’ve seen people pay for someone who was short cash; not as a class assignment, but simply out of the goodness of their own hearts. I’ve heard friends encourage each other, and even random strangers, about their classes or daily struggles.

I’ve been able to meet war veterans, and students who’ve overcome all odds to graduate. I’ve seen the social side of professors outside of the classroom. Customers and I have seen protests, engaged in world-class debates, and, more often than you might think, we’ve learned from one another.

My Paddock family is one reason I am going to be sad to leave Brookdale when I graduate. Then again, even when I go, my experiences here and the lessons I’ve learned while brewing coffee behind that little counter will never leave me.

– article by Steven Beach

Student Voices is a regular Newsroom column written exclusively by Brookdale students. If you would like to contribute a column about college life, campus events or any Brookdale-related topic, email the office of College Relations.