Was it really three years ago that I moved into my first dorm room? College is funny because it flies by so fast, but at the same time, I think I feel about a hundred years older than the lanyard-carrying freshman from three years ago. My first few days in my dorm in CHC were a blur of excitement and nerves. Was I in the right major? How was I going to find friends, an internship, a job? There's something so fun and scary about that time, when there's so much waiting ahead and you truly don't know what's next.

Sometimes I wish I could start it all again, and sometimes I just want to fast forward to May 11 and see what's in store after graduation. As I start my senior year, I'm hoping I'll find a balance between appreciating my last few months here, and staying focused and excited for the future. (It's worth a try, anyway!)

Moving off campus has been one of those college transitions that brings its own set of pros and cons. I LOVED my first-year room in Oak Hall in the Honors College. I lived a minute away from the gym, the library, the dining hall, and my honors classes. I had really nice neighbors who used to prop their doors open, and hang out in the hallway and the common rooms. There was always an activity or event going on in the lobby. Now that I live off-campus, my days require more planning, and it takes longer to go to and from school each day. I can't run home between classes if I forget something, and there's no free pizza in the lobby on a Monday night. That being said, it felt like it was time to have more independence and more space. And I definitely don't miss mandatory floor meetings, or buying flip-flops for the communal dorm bathrooms.

And the food! In the three weeks that my roommates and I have been in the new apartment, we've made cookies, Oreo brownies, apple cake, gingersnaps, and two batches of banana bread. A bigger apartment means a full kitchen, which means infinitely more homemade food, which is definitely a "pro." Last Saturday, my friend Alicia hosted a big back-to-school dinner for a group of our friends. We caught up after our summers spent apart, played one of those murder mystery board games, and had homemade pasta and chocolate chip cookies. It made me really glad to be exactly where I am. 

Summer Spaghetti Sauce (My friend, Alicia, was nice enough to share her pasta recipe from the dinner party!)

  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. drained capers
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. 
  2. Drizzle the vinegar and olive oil into the herbs, and stir to combine. 
  3. Refrigerate for six hours before serving over pasta. 


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Commonwealth Honors College or University of Massachusetts Amherst.


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