• 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
  • 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

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