• Now that we’re a month into the new academic year, I can feel my course load piling onto my back. I’ve had to stop myself many times from dipping into my savings to hit up Elements Massage down on Main Street (although self-care is important, and if you find yourself stressing, along with the time and resources to indulge, have at it). Have you ever felt like you just can’t get through a day of classes at UMass without feeling run down, sweaty, and tired? And let’s not forget the weather! It’s muggy in the morning, blazing hot in the afternoon, and below freezing at night... 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
  • 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
  • Hello, all!  As you can probably see from the title above, I have already thought of some autumn-related puns. As the leaves start to change color and the weather is rapidly cooling, I'm looking forward to going apple-picking soon. I like the fall season in New England. I like when the weather is mild, and I love the fall flavors of apple and pumpkin. I find that fall can be a very peaceful season for sitting outside and having a day at the park. That mild weather combined with the crisp fall air makes for a very comfortable and refreshing atmosphere, and combined with a... Read More
  • Was it really three years ago that I moved into my first dorm room? College is funny because it flies by so fast, but at the same time, I think I feel about a hundred years older than the lanyard-carrying freshman from three years ago. My first few days in my dorm in CHC were a blur of excitement and nerves. Was I in the right major? How was I going to find friends, an internship, a job? There's something so fun and scary about that time, when there's so much waiting ahead and you truly don't know what's next. Sometimes I wish I could start it all again, and sometimes I... Read More
  • Hello! Now it's officially fall, and, to be honest, I am LOVING this weather. I don't really like when the weather outside is cold and snowy, so I welcome this heat with open arms and sunglasses. It's the 4th week of classes! Woah. 4th week already?  So, more news! I booked my tickets to Spain - I say "tickets" plural because I'll be flying to Madrid with a layover in Dublin, and I'll be flying back from Barcelona with another layover in Dublin. The best news about this is that I was able to purchase these tickets under budget - my budget was $1400 and I purchased 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
  • Welcome — and welcome back to UMass, everyone!  How were your first two weeks? It's officially the third week of the semester, and I hope you're all doing well. I'm starting my senior year. Like last year, this year is another very busy one. I'm planning to graduate early, and I'm taking a heavy load of classes to do so.  In the spring, I said I wanted to postpone my trip to Arches National Park in Utah because I didn't have the funds yet. I mentioned that I might go to some places closer by over the summer and keep saving money. I was lucky, and I did get to travel; I... Read More
  • Every now and then my father emails me with huge information dumps that he calls “brain droppings.” He calls them such because, to him, they’re worth just about as much as the road apples you see trailing our horse-riding campus police. He really doesn’t give himself enough credit, though. In his last email, he told me about his work on the house, how the community choir’s concert went, mused on politics, etc. Perhaps he’s being modest when he says that such tidbits of information are useless, but I wonder if he realizes how valuable they actually are. If you think about... 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

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