Back in September, my roommates and I made a Google Docs list of places we wanted to go, things we wanted to do, and (of course) food we wanted to eat before the end of the semester. With two years at UMass already gone by, we know that the time flies, and with all that's going on, you have to be intentional if you want to make the most of your weekends. We've managed to check a number of things off our bucket list, like going to a fall festival, checking out the Montague Book Mill, hosting a Clue-themed dinner party, and finding a really good burger, but there's still so much left. I guess "try out every restaurant in Amherst" was a little overly ambitious.
Now, with only one full weekend left, I'm trying to get creative to fit everything in before I go home. On January 2, I leave for my study abroad program in France, so it feels especially important to soak up UMass since I won't be back until September. The most important thing to do is spend as much time with my friends as I can, because it will be a while before I see them again! That can be tricky the week before finals when everyone is running around working on projects, studying, and finishing up work for the semester.
When you're busy, I think the best way to make time for friends is to get together for meals. Everyone has to eat! If you have a dining plan, that should be easy. If you cook for yourself, invite some friends over for dinner. Potlucks, though the idea sounds kind of old fashioned, are really fun. You can ask friends to bring certain types of food—an appetizer, an entree, plates and cups, etc.—or wait and see and be surprised. Last weekend I went to a Christmas potluck that was 90% desserts (no complaints here!). If your evenings are busy with review sessions and meetings, catch up before class over coffee at the Procrastination Station or Roots.
What's on your Amherst/UMass bucket list this semester? I've accepted that I probably won't make it to a UMass play, the New England Peace Pagoda, the Emily Dickinson museum, and all the restaurants in Amherst within the next nine days! But I am looking forward to spending some more time with my friends. So far, I have a few plans to attend a spoken word event and check out a coffee shop in South Hadley. And no semester would be complete without one last trip to Sweets 'n More.
I actually haven't been cooking much at all this week, since the end of the semester means using up all the rest of my meal swipes. If you're looking for ways to spend those last swipes and dining dollars, Harvest in the Campus Center has it all! Meanwhile, I've got two sweet potatoes, a half head of cabbage, and a jar of pesto left in my fridge. Time to get creative, I guess!
Photo by Serena Pang