• You know those classes that seem like they’ll be easy? I’m sure you’ve heard of them. In my own studies, I’ve taken a few that people have responded to with envy. They say “That sounds so cool!” or “Why do you get all these fun classes?” or “Dang, that sounds easy. Do you actually do anything?” I’ll tell you right now that, while those first two responses are justified, the third one is NOT. “Robinson Crusoe and Zombies” sounds easy until you’re a week in and have to write a paper relating John Locke’s and Thomas Hobbes’s political theories to Night of the Living Dead,... Read More
  • "How's your thesis going?"  After three years of asking questions, thinking about, and planning for my thesis, I'm finally in the middle of it. So far, so good! The Honors thesis can certainly feel a little intimidating at times, but it's also exciting to work on a project of my choice after years of Gen Eds and other required classes. Many of my friends have chosen to do an individually-contracted thesis, which means that they created their own proposal for their research, found a faculty member to be their sponsor, and are now accomplishing it on their own, outside of... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: How’s the initial adjustment to college? Would you say you are still adjusting? Amberly’s Answer: You sent me this question last year, little brother, because I had just gotten to college and it’s so different from our high school back in Sherborn. Now, I have one year of college under my belt. I not only survived that year, but managed to thrive as well. I joined a slew of extracurricular activities, threw myself into my classes, and landed this job with the Commonwealth Honors College. I did pretty well, and for all intents and purposes, adjusted by the... Read More
  • There are all sorts of ways for you to exorcise your demons. I know it’s early in the semester, but many of us are feeling those classes closing around us, suffocating and crushing, like we’re sinking into a tarry, black pit. Some people manage pressure well. I happen to work optimally when a little stressed. Too much, though, and I’m as liable to break as anyone else. I’ve seen enough of my friends walk around with hollow eyes or those little twitches you can get from sleep deprivation, and I’ve seen one of those people looking out at me from the mirror. Luckily, that... Read More
  • Sorry for the hiatus! It’s that time of the year that swamps everyone — FINALS! My finals journey has been a little different because, as a theater and journalism major, I’ve only been given final papers to write. Yes, a paper for each of my classes! I’m a little stressed because I feel like I’m a better test-taker. But as this is my third year of college and my second semester at UMass Amherst, here are some study tips to help you make it through finals: 1. Stay ahead of everything! It’s super important to stay on top of your assignments, and make sure that you are... Read More
  • If you’ve been following this blog (in which case, my condolences), then you’ll notice that a recurring theme here is about productivity. That is in part due to my parents’ various bits of advice and in part because of my complete inability to follow it. I have a problem focusing. Not from A.D.D. or any actual excuse. I’m just lazy and easily distracted. In order to remedy this, I’ve stumbled across a little trick that sometimes will help me at least get going. When you were a kid, I bet that your parents or someone tried to get you to do a chore by turning it into a... Read More
  • School and society as a whole want us to believe that, in order to succeed or get what you want, you must assiduously attend to whatever work is put in front of you and otherwise submit to someone else’s course. That means always doing your homework, putting everything into your job, getting involved in your community however you can . . . the list goes on. This is a mindset that’s pounded into our heads from the moment we start preschool. You want to go play in the sandbox? Well, Jimmy, you have to learn your ABCs first! It makes sense too. It’s a productive mentality... Read More
  • By “Big Day,” I don’t mean anything as specific as graduation or a wedding or any life changing event like that. What I refer to are those days that you have planned for months and months in advance and have committed to, come Hell or high water. In some people’s case, that’s a trip. In others’, a concert they are attending or performing in. The list goes on. In mine, it was a whole series, from an a cappella competition one week to Anime Boston and surgery the next. The point is that, no matter what it is, if it takes up an entire day or more, then you will need to plan... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: Would you want college to be shorter than four years, or longer than four years? Amberly’s Answer: This question has been on my mind a lot as of late, with registration having just begun. I can’t actually register for anything until April 10, but I’ve been given an ample amount of time to look over the possible courses I could take, at the possible paths my future could take. And as I do, I’m reminded of what Sylvia Plath wrote in her novel, The Bell Jar: “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every... Read More
  • My very first weekend abroad, I attended a dinner party with my host family to celebrate the New Year. It was everything I had imagined a French dinner party to be — multiple courses, an assortment of cheeses, flutes of champagne, and slices of fresh bread. Then, at the end of the meal, the host called out: "Okay, everyone get under the table!" What? I watched as the children came running into the dining room and hid underneath the table. As it turns out, the days after the New Year are when the French celebrate with galette des rois, a special cake with its own set of... Read More

Pages