• 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
  • Studying abroad has definitely challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. After two and a half years at UMass, I know the important things, like what to expect from classes, how to print at the library, and where to find (almost) everything on our huge campus. Now I'm learning how everything works at the French univeristy, and there have definitely been some ups and downs as I adapt. My history class really intimidated me at first, because I'm one of only two Americans in a class full of French students. The professor talks really fast and without using... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: Would you change anything about how you prepared for college, anything from the college application process to orientation to expectations you had in your head? Amberly’s Answer: A lot of tours have been passing through South College lately, as high school juniors (like you, of course…) start to consider colleges and high school seniors start to narrow down to their final college decision, so I figured now was a more appropriate time than ever to answer this question. The short answer to this question is yes, I would. I would change a lot of the things I... Read More
  • For those of you who haven’t quite made it to UMass yet, we just had our Blarney weekend. While the university does not technically recognize the event, the students around here get very … enthusiastic about it. Let’s just say that, because St. Patrick’s day happens during spring break, we have our own (minimum of one) day of debauchery here in lieu of the usual shamrock-filled festivities. It's a campus tradition, I guess. While immensely popular, this sort of event happens during the day, when I tend to get my work done and enjoy some quiet to focus. Therefore, Blarney... Read More

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