Cragg commits to San Diego State for gerontology

Across the country lies San Diego, where almost everything is wildly different from the town of Westford. The beach, palm trees, and the dry, coastal climate are all alien to someone who has lived in Westford their whole life, with the town’s big houses and apple farms. In San Diego, at San Diego State University, senior Erin Cragg has chosen to major in gerontology, something not many people have heard of before.

Gerontology is the study of aging, old age, and the effects of society on elderly individuals. This major eventually leads to jobs in fields such as social work, home health, and personal care. Cragg is excited to go to college for this major because she likes working with elderly people. Although the major can open up some research-based jobs, Cragg is more interested in the hands-on careers.

“They [the elderly] are just fun to talk to,” Cragg said.

She works at the assisted living center Benchmark Senior Living at Robbins Brook as a server, where she interacts with elderly residents which adds to her experience. Cragg started working there in February of 2020.

Cragg hasn’t visited San Diego State University but is looking forward to going there, as she has lived in Massachusetts all her life and loves California and the beach.

“[I’m looking forward to this] because of the things to do nearby and on campus,” Cragg said.

Since she’s looking forward to going to California and her family is just a call away, Cragg won’t miss them as much and also plans to come home during breaks.

“I’ll be surrounded by new things and people and I’ll develop an everyday routine,” she said. “I am just ready for something new […] I want to experience new things and being in new places.”

Additionally, gerontology as a major isn’t available to study at many colleges and San Diego State University has always been on her list of colleges. Therefore it was a win-win, since she could go to the college of her choice and do the major she wanted. However, gerontology wasn’t always her planned major.

“In middle school, I had wanted to become a therapist, so I planned on majoring in psychology,” Cragg said.

The plan then changed to becoming a counselor for an elementary school. However, Cragg started doubting herself. Once she selected gerontology, she was immediately more satisfied with her choice.

Cragg, however, doesn’t have a plan for her life and career after college. She feels that is okay because she’ll be doing something that interests her and makes her happy. In college, Cragg plans to join extracurriculars and clubs that she hasn’t done before, which she is excited for.

“I’m taking things one step at a time and I have a plan for college so I feel pretty good about that,” Cragg said. “I’m just kind of rolling with it.”