• 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
  • I think that we’ve all suffered loss. It might have been a favorite uncle, your grandparents, the dog; any number of things. It happens to almost all of us and almost all of us say that we feel the same thing. When loss hits, there’s a hollowness in your chest. Everything is muted for a while. Colors, touch, music, everything. It all seems less vibrant and that, in itself, can make the feeling worse. For some people, the best way of dealing with this is by taking time to themselves, maybe to reflect, maybe to distract themselves, maybe to hold themselves together. My... Read More
  • As you may have noticed, climate change has decided to drop by for a visit and screw with everyone. Last week, we were waking to temperatures in the 50s, gliding mists vanishing like ghosts in the morning light. By lunch time, we were looking at 72 degrees and folks taking out their frisbees and crop-tops. This week decided that it’s going to stick with a theme and that is “Mid September,” a.k.a. “Unpleasant.” Personally, I rather enjoy the rain, especially when it’s this warm. It feels … cleansing. Invigorating, even. What neither I nor anyone else I know likes,... 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
  • 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
  • What’s that I hear? The sweet sound of snow falling ever so lightly. It seems like we’re finally starting to get some heavy snow! Some students really appreciate this kind of weather, because they get to have campus wide snowball fights and relax with a day of cancelled classes. But if you’re like me, odds are you’re bed-ridden, watching Netflix, jealous of everyone around you who doesn’t have the flu (except for my roommates, who I got sick). Whatever you’re feeling, make sure you’re prepared! Because if you don’t know by now, New England weather is so unpredictable.  ... Read More
  • The first time I watched the Super Bowl, my parents and I muted the game and then turned the volume back on whenever the funny commercials returned. The next year we got bored with that and switched to Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. Since coming to college, though, I’ve gained an appreciation for sporting events. I still don’t care about the games themselves, really, but these events are a good excuse to meet up with friends and encounter new people. Plus, they provide a great venue for venting pent up energy. I don’t know the rules to hockey nor am I curious. However,... Read More
  • Hello and welcome back to UMass, folks! Some of you might have returned after reluctant and teary partings with family, some may have sprinted out of their homes to get here. Whatever the circumstances, I hope that you feel relieved and excited to be back. A lot of you will already have found your niches and are eager to return to your friends and activities that make UMass a part of your extended family. For those of you who are taking a bit longer, as I did, never fear! Each semester is like starting all over again. Yeah, you’ve got the same people in your dorm, but... Read More
  • Back in September, my roommates and I made a Google Docs list of places we wanted to go, things we wanted to do, and (of course) food we wanted to eat before the end of the semester. With two years at UMass already gone by, we know that the time flies, and with all that's going on, you have to be intentional if you want to make the most of your weekends. We've managed to check a number of things off our bucket list, like going to a fall festival, checking out the Montague Book Mill, hosting a Clue-themed dinner party, and finding a really good burger, but there's still so... Read More
  • When my mom and I first visited UMass in February of my senior year of high school, we were...less than impressed.  It was the last two days of our February break and we were returning from a family trip to New Hampshire. After driving back to Cape Cod from New Hampshire, we got out of the car just long enough to change, turned around and got back in the car, and drove three and a half hours in another direction out to Amherst. It was a miserable, cold night and the roads were slushy. Neither of us were at all familiar with the Western part of the state, so we were pretty... Read More

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