• I’ve discovered that it takes trying something to determine whether you truly hate it or not. I have a vast array of interests and the myriad of possibilities (especially in career choices) has nearly rendered me paralyzed. There are so many options that I don’t know where to begin and, when I’m about to pursue something, I wonder if I’m making the wrong choice and should chase something else. For example: I have been toying with the idea of getting involved in the government and public policy for a few years now, and Trump’s election brought the issue to the fore. As... Read More
  • I love coming back to school, yet here I am, feeling overwhelmed after two days. You wouldn’t think that was possible, right? Well, I am the walking embodiment of biting off more than you can chew. Heck, even my own parents have been begging for two years that I take fewer classes and just enjoy college! You know it’s bad when your folks are telling you to work LESS. And then there’s my girlfriend, who is the epitome of low self-esteem; that she is somehow inadequate. She thinks that she doesn’t have the brains to pass a class. She doesn’t feel worthy of compliments. She... Read More
  •   Another semester draws to a close, the snows move in, and it’s time for a relaxing winter holiday. And here I am freaking out like it’s the end of the world. I mean, in some ways it is. I’ll be graduating in May (unless I royally screw something up) and that’ll be the end of my UMass and undergraduate world. People keep telling me “You can always go to grad school, though!” and “You don’t need to ever stop learning,” along with similar platitudes. While that may be true, I still get the feeling that things will never be the same. Even if I go straight to graduate... Read More
  • So … Class selection … For those of you who have not undergone this before, you will soon discover that this is perhaps the most stressful time of the year, vying for first with finals. On the bright side, you can take a good week to prepare, and then class selection lasts for all of five minutes. On the downside, classes fill up fast, every course you need seems to be scheduled for the same time, SPIRE doesn’t want to process your request, professors aren’t answering your requests for overrides, the one class you need to graduate got cancelled ... Okay. Take a breath... Read More
  • Midterms. Midterms, midterms, midterms. Sweet midterms! It feels surreal that we are already halfway through the semester. We only have seven weeks of classes left! It’s that time of year where everyone is trying to make it through the halfway mark and push through to the end of the semester. I get easily stressed out during midterm season because it’s hard to keep track of whose test is when and what essay is due. But I have some tips I follow that allow me to survive. First is staying positive. It’s important to keep positive vibes and energy within your life, because... Read More
  • 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

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