• 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • I am one of those fortunate souls who does not have class on Fridays and thus has a three day weekend every week. Usually it just means that Fridays are quiet and productive (or at least should be), Saturdays are a wild card, and then Sundays are the usual crunch day. So when we had a snow day on Thursday, I thought I could allow myself a little extra time to goof off. Besides, my parents keep telling me to take it easy on occasion, so why not listen to them for once in my life? Well, “a little extra time” turned out to be the whole day and night. I think I read all of... 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
  • You know how 2016 was a royal mess and how some people had hope that 2017 would make up for it? Well, it’s not looking too promising so far. Illness has befallen my family and, now that I’ve noticed it, maladies seem to be spreading throughout the country like a vicious rumor. Everyone in my family has had, or will soon have, surgery and everyone around me seems either to have the flu or be in a cast or sling. The thing is that, just like the flu, three mental states travel as fast as the news can: Fear, ignorance, and hatred. Observe how quickly these things spread and... 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
  • Tis the season to be stressed and contemplating a career in flipping burgers or manning coffee shops. Most of us have at least one class that looms over us like the angel of death. It’s that one class that we’re convinced will destroy our GPAs and thus our future. That class stares at us like a hungry lion that wants nothing more than to drag us back to their den from which we will never see the light of day or a decent paycheck. Or at least that’s what the world is telling us to think. The fact of the matter is that, while grades are important, especially if you’re... Read More

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