•   Another semester draws to a close, the snows move in, and it’s time for a relaxing winter holiday. And here I am freaking out like it’s the end of the world. I mean, in some ways it is. I’ll be graduating in May (unless I royally screw something up) and that’ll be the end of my UMass and undergraduate world. People keep telling me “You can always go to grad school, though!” and “You don’t need to ever stop learning,” along with similar platitudes. While that may be true, I still get the feeling that things will never be the same. Even if I go straight to graduate... Read More
  • Hello, everyone! How was your Thanksgiving break? I was happy to get some rest and enjoy time with family. Now we've come back to school, and I am refreshed, and ready to work, work, work.  It's hard to believe that I'm graduating in just a couple of weeks. The next seventeen days will be full of projects, presentations, and papers, but now that we've come to the end of November/beginning of December, I can start to see the finish line approaching, one project completed at a time. It still feels like I only just started college. When I graduated from high school, I spent... Read More
  • 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
  • Co-authored by Jessica Gindelsky and Matthew Hlady. If you read last year's post, you might remember some of the spookiest phrases students can hear. This year, we thought of 10 more, to really get us into the Halloween spirit.  1. "Eduroam is down." (This one was so spooky we had to include it again.)  2. "Applications for this job are no longer being accepted."  3. "Your Netflix account is currently unavailable."  4. "Your bank account is overdrawn. Credit card declined."   5. While in line at Blue Wall: "Sorry, but you actually don't have any dining dollars... 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
  • 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
  • Last year there was a major scare that drove people away from the humanities in, well, droves. We’re still seeing the aftermath and are recovering from that bit of absurdity. I’m sure you’ve heard the rhetoric that fueled it: “English is an easy major.” “You’ll never get a job with a degree in history.” “The sciences and business are where it’s at if you want three square meals a day.” Yeah, that’s all worth about as much as what you’ll find in a horse pen once the horse has left. Aside from the statistics indicating that, no, humanities don’t earn less than the... Read More
  • Kate, It’s my last day of undergraduate classes and I’m just as terrified as I was on the first one. I guess that while a whole lot of things have changed, not everything has. A little over four years ago I didn't want to go to UMass at all. It was too big and rural and full of concrete. I look back at high school me and shake my head at the girl who thought she knew exactly what she wanted. Coming to UMass and being a part of CHC has been the best decision I’ve made thus far. I truly believe this school has helped me to become a better person. I think UMass has that... 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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