• 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
  • One of the big advantages of living in the dorms is that you are surrounded by potentially interesting people and perhaps new friends. Thing is, a lot of people are too shy to take advantage of this. They’re too worried that going to a stranger’s door, even if it’s standing open, and saying “Hi” will make them sound desperate for socialization, or too peppy, or that the encounter will be awkward for lack of common interests, or any number of other things. Well, I hate to say it, but that’s all possible. However, you’re not going to discover all the wonderful people around... 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
  • Ryan’s Question: What are the pros and cons of dorm life? Amberly’s Answer: Hi Ryan! So, I’m going to tackle this question for my blog post, simply because I know that while a lot of people have figured out housing already next year, there are still quite a few people leftover who are debating what to do. I fall into the former category. This year, I’ve been living in Sycamore (an Honors freshmen dorm), but next semester I’ll be moving to Southwest – specifically Crampton, which is home to the Nuance DRC. You might be wondering, what is a DRC? Well, a DRC stands not for... Read More
  • Ryan’s Question: Would you say people are more passionate in college rather than high school? Amberly’s Answer: Oh, definitely. I think there’s a noticeable difference, for sure. I think a part of it is that in high school, everyone’s so busy trying to get into college, you know? Especially what their parents and general society think of as a “good college.” Sure, there are people who do sports for the fun of it, or choir or theater or newspaper or whatever they so choose, but at least in our high school, college always seemed to be in mind. Plus, there were all those... Read More
  • Happy almost Halloween! We've gotten into the holiday spirit at my apartment, with pumpkins, twinkling ghost lights, and plans to make ghost and bat-shaped cookies this weekend. Although I'm practically counting down the days until the annual steak and lobster dinner, I've also been trying to make some of my favorite fall recipes while I still have the chance. How is it already the end of October?  The semester is flying by and I'm getting closer and closer to leaving for study abroad in Montpellier, France! This week, I've been trying to dedicate time to checking off all... Read More
  • Kate, I’m going to be honest. Senior year of college - not as cool as senior year of high school. Way scarier and way higher stakes. But it's fine, I'm fine. One week down and things have yet to crash and burn (well, my apartment did lose WiFi day two of the semester and I've had strep for three weeks now, so...). I’ve officially started my honors thesis endeavor. For what it's worth, as overwhelmed as I am by this project I am excited for it too. Original research is new territory for me and I’ve certainly never written anything on such a large scale. I’ll definitely be... Read More
  • What do you eat for breakfast?   In high school, when the bus arrived at the end of my street at precisely 6:37 a.m. each day, breakfast was granola on the go and a travel mug with coffee. Since starting at UMass, I've luckily never had to eat breakfast or even wake up for class so early! Mornings are definitely a little more relaxing now, so I was happy to discover that there are plenty of options for breakfast on campus. Whether you like to get up early or prefer to sleep in, there's still time for the most important meal of the day: If you're an early riser: go to... Read More
  • Kate, So you got into the Honors College – remember when you said you wanted to walk down an entirely different path than me? Just kidding, nursing is an entire world apart from political science and legal studies. Besides, I can’t blame you for wanting a chance at the beautiful honors dorms and to write a thesis. In all honesty, I’m very excited for you and very proud. Once again, you’ve done good kid.   What’s next? You’ve already texted me this morning asking where the CHC Events Hall is, so I’m guessing you have an information/orientation meeting of sorts coming up?... Read More
  • Most of you know that there aren’t enough honors dorms for all of the honors students on campus. (Okay, I’m channeling Robin Williams for this next bit) It’s all part and parcel of the honors gig. PHENOMENAL [intellectual] POWER, itty-bitty living space.   Sure, the rooms are great, but there aren’t enough so lots of us get “relegated” to other sections of campus and miss out on the honors community. Or at least, that’s what a lot of people are worried about.   Trust me, living away from the honors dorms can be amazing!   I lived in the honors dorms last year as a freshman... Read More

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