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Welcome — and welcome back to UMass, everyone! 

How were your first two weeks? It's officially the third week of the semester, and I hope you're all doing well. I'm starting my senior year. Like last year, this year is another very busy one. I'm planning to graduate early, and I'm taking a heavy load of classes to do so. 

In the spring, I said I wanted to postpone my trip to Arches National Park in Utah because I didn't have the funds yet. I mentioned that I might go to some places closer by over the summer and keep saving money. I was lucky, and I did get to travel; I went to Israel, Cleveland, and Acadia National Park. Twice this summer I got to see the sunrise and both times were spectacular. But what about my trip to Utah? Well, readers, although the semester is new, the sentiment remains the same: I need to postpone the trip — again. Why is this? Well, my funds are currently going somewhere else; a family member of mine is getting married ... in Spain. 

This is a joyous occasion, for sure! But, for now, I've shifted my focus from saving money for my trip to Utah. Now my focus is on saving money for my flight to Spain. A much bigger goal, and one that has a definite travel date. Over the course of the semester, I'll be chronicling my attempts to save $3,000 for the flight and for other expenses. I'm starting with $2,500, so I need to save about $500. I'm positive about this goal. Even if there are financial setbacks, I think I'll be able to accomplish this. This week I'm starting with $50, and $450 to go. 

Quite honestly, I think it's pretty daunting to save that much money on a student's budget in six months, let alone three. It's hard. There are things that need to get paid for, bills that need to be paid and, as I mentioned in my previous posts, last-minute unforseen expenses will sometimes empty a bank account. But I'm determined. I have faith in myself that I can do it. And I look forward to sharing my progress with you as I go. 

I hope you all have a happy week as we welcome fall and set our schedules! 

The picture above is one I took of the sunrise at Acadia National Park in Maine in July. 


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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