Whether you’re a freshman transitioning from high school to college, or a transfer student like me trying out a different school, these tips can help you find your way here at UMass Amherst!

1. Get involved!

-There are dozens of organizations on campus you can get involved with to spice up your time here at UMass. The Student Activities and Involvement page lists all the different ways you can get involved.

-Joining a campus organization is a great way to meet new people and make friends, because you’ll be able to find people you connect and share interests with. Also, getting more involved in campus life will look great on your resume and help you forge connections for the future after graduation.

2. Make new friends!

-I know that it’s easier said than done, but as seen in the tip above, there are many ways to meet new people and make friends! Having someone or multiple people you are close to can really help you feel more comfortable here at UMass. It’s such a big school, so it’s nice to have someone you can hit up to grab lunch, or go to the library with, or even someone you can eat ice cream and cry with while watching your favorite sappy love movie. Look around you, and be open to meeting different kinds of people, and creating new connections.

3. Take advantage of the school’s resources!

-UMass has so many wonderful resources provided within its gigantic campus, and it’s wise to utilize them! You pay tuition, so you should get your money’s worth.

-The library is a great place to get homework done, and with 23 floors, odds are you’ll usually find a spot to relax. The school also offers tutoring services in nearly every major through the Learning Resource Center.

-There’s a wonderful four-floor recreation center here, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, and some creative group fitness classes such as Zumba, or Cardio Kickboxing.

-If you haven’t already heard, UMass has some of the best campus food in the country. There are four buffet-style dining halls, different cafes all throughout the campus, and even two food trucks for when you want tasty food on the go. Explore the different options, and find those spots that satiate your hunger the best!

4. The administrative/academic buildings and offices are your BEST FRIENDS.

-Don’t be afraid to use your resources, and reach out to people to get the help you need. Financial aid, and the registrar’s office are some examples of places that can help you with any questions or concerns you may have. I know it may seem easier to try and solve all your problems on your own, but these offices and buildings are here for exactly what you need.

-Get to know your department and the people in it! Even if your schedule is perfect, and you’re on the right track, get to know your advisor. They are a great person to have as a contact, especially when you run into issues with enrollment, or just have questions about what you need to do for your degree. Shoot them an email, and don’t be afraid to visit them and get acquainted!

5. Prepare yourself.

-Do whatever it is you need to do to prepare yourself for a successful semester. Get the school supplies you need, and organize your life. Get a planner or a calendar. Get yourself a sturdy backpack or bag so you can walk to all your classes comfortably. Also, get a strong coat or jacket and an umbrella for the New England weather, because the wind tunnels here are huge, and you’ll never know when you’re randomly going to get rain or snow.

-Always take care of your health, mentally and physically. This will help you get through the semester easily, and if your mind and body are in sync, then you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.

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