• Attendance: The Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (Mass URC) is a day set aside for students and professors from 28 different universities across the Commonwealth to share and present their original research and learn from other students. So, basically, one of the largest networking opportunities UMass offers. There will be students from every field of study presenting their research. No, seriously: marketing, journalism, communication, biochemistry, etc. Every major, hundreds of students, all presenting their research and it’s free to attend. Networking:... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: How does it feel to be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi? Amberly’s Answer: It feels kind of weird—but a neat kind of weird—to be perfectly honest. (For those who don’t know what Phi Kappa Phi is, it’s an honor society that you can find out more about here. I was inducted into the society last Sunday, March 31.) I’m not used to a big deal being made of my academic achievements. I do my assignments, I try my best on them, I turn them in, and then I get a grade. Sometimes, a couple of months after the semester is over, I get an email from UMass telling me I... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: Would you say that you ever feel inspired to do random things that you previously had no interest in? If so, has this occurred more once you attended college? Amberly’s Answer: Well, you know me, Ryan. I am not typically inspired to do random things. I am a thoughtful, cautious person. My brain tends to map out all of the possible effects of my decision, even as I’ve just made it. It maps out all of the possible ways it can go wrong, all of the possible ways it can go right. If I’ve chosen to do something “randomly,” it’s likely I quietly did some... Read More
  • In my International Journalism class this past week, we had to choose a story that caught our attention and bring it into class. One angle my professor said we could take was looking for stories that we thought were not getting enough attention. I took this angle, and it brought me to the Sudan protests. As someone who reads the news religiously every morning, it is surprising that I am still shocked that major news from certain parts of the world is so systematically excluded from our media. The protests in Sudan, continuing now as they have been for weeks, are an... Read More
  • Ryan's Question: What do you think the role of technology plays on a college campus? Amberly's Answer: To be frank, I think it would be easier to ask what part of campus and college at large isn't affected by technology. Everywhere you look, you will see a laptop or a phone out, ready to connect with the internet and the world. The lobbies (at least in the Honors College) have a TV screen, ready to play the Superbowl or the latest episode of American Horror Story. In classrooms, we have an increasing number of projectors and smart screens. We use sites like Moodle and... Read More
  • Next year I am planning on studying abroad for a year to work on the languages that I’m studying (Spanish and Arabic). In college, through watching all the volunteer options and talking to my international friends, I have become really aware of how problematic volunteering abroad can be. There is a problem in this country with how Americans in general approach “helping” people in other countries. Often the programs are designed to cater to the volunteers, not the needs of a community that might be better off if the volunteer had just donated the price they spent on the... Read More
  • As it comes time to choose classes, I find myself with the (good) problem of there being too many classes I want to take and not enough time to take them all. This means I have to find a way to sort through and prioritize what will be most important for me to learn. In doing this, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the classes I take now will benefit what I do later in life in so many different ways; in practical ways as well as providing necessary background for each situation that I may find myself trying to help. Recently, I had a conversation with a student activist... Read More
  • Well, that’s it. I’ve graduated. Fifty-three blog entries later and I’ll now be out of your hair. I have been at UMass for four years now and, now that I am gone, I truly do feel like I deserve the title “senior.” Not because of rank or anything, but because I’m no longer going to be considered a student and the real world is about to slap me in the face with one of the biggest wake-up calls of my life. I love UMass, and I wish with all my heart that it was not time for me to go. However, it is. I’ve had my chance to enjoy what this amazing school had to offer me, and... Read More
  • It’s weird to think that we can stay connected with people over thousands of miles.As I’ve mentioned before, my father sends me occasional emails, just chatting and telling me about life back home. Even though I haven’t seen him in months and the two hundred miles between us might as well be two thousand, it still feels like I can be connected with him and my mother just because we can chat like this. Honestly, to me it feels like an even deeper, truer connection than what chatting over the phone or FaceTime grants. Maybe it’s because my father and I are better at... Read More
  • Transitioning to adulthood seems to kind-of-maybe suck. At least at first blush.I happened to mention that I was doing my taxes the other day, and he shared his condolences, saying that there were more to come from here on out.“Well,” I said. “Adulthood sucks.”“There are compensatory advantages.”I cocked an eyebrow. “Such as?”“Autonomy,” he replied. “With that, everything becomes possible. Not free, but possible. Without it, only other people’s wishes and plans come to pass.”I’d like to think that’s true. Not having enough experience in the matter yet, it’s hard for me to... Read More

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