Student Profile: Paige Freeman ’24

Mar 27, 2024
Paige Freeman, a senior at the University. She is outside, near the Ely building. She has long, brown hair and a gray sweatshirt which says "Westfield State" in blue lettering. Blurred out trees, grass, and the sidewalk are in the background.

Paige Freeman '24.

Paige Freeman ’24 is a senior and a history major at Westfield State. Originally from Springfield, Freeman’s concentration is in secondary education, but she is also active on campus, helping with student orientation, involved with the student conduct board, and volunteering with the Campus Activities Board for the Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) office.

As a part of her secondary education studies, Freeman is a student teacher at Gateway Regional High School in Huntington. Last year, she observed at West Springfield Middle School, which she “loved". “I got to work with some really good teachers and get involved in the district,” Freeman said. “This year, I get along with my teacher well, and the students are great.”

Teaching so early in the curriculum is “unique to Westfield State,” Freeman added, and helps students learn how to commit to the realities of being an educator. Student teachers from the University are expected to teach earlier in their undergraduate experience, adhere to the professional dress code, and follow the curriculum’s code of conduct.

After a friend encouraged Freeman to get involved in SAIL events, she quickly responded to the engaging comradarie. “I love the atmosphere. I love the people. I’ve made so many connections on campus. I know so many people, and I have deep roots. I also know all of the resources we have, and people know they can come to me for help. I appreciate that we go so deep into our training as student leaders that you know so much about your university’s campus.”

After graduating high school, Freeman was drawn to Westfield State due to the reputation of its education program, as well as its robust financial aid opportunities. “It’s the best education you can get in the state with how little you pay for it,” she said. While always wanting to be a teacher, it wasn’t until Westfield State that she was able to find clarity on which path was right for her.

The attention and support derived from a smaller environment was also a factor in her decision. “I love the one-on-one atmosphere because it gives me opportunities to build bonds with my professors. I’m very close to them, and when I need something, they help me.”

Teaching history in particular is also a decision which resonates with Freeman’s personal interests. As a child, she would read encyclopedia books. “They were always fascinating to me, and when I was bored, I would read them.” Freeman finds the history of Latin America fascinating, but all forms of history piques her interest.

“I wish more people knew what the opportunities were as far as being a history major,” Freeman said of the experience. “I think a lot of people like history but don’t see a future in it because they think they’ll end up teaching. You can go into law, or politics, or curating museums, and even being a historian.”

To get the full experience of being a student at the University, Freeman emphasizes the importance of community and living on campus. “I think it’s such a huge part of going here. Living on campus is what’s given me the ability to do all the things I do. Also, getting involved can make you have a sense of identity and connection in attending Westfield State.”