• This past weekend was my last of the semester at UMass! It was a busy one with plenty of homework and final papers to do, but on Sunday, I took a trip up to the Montague Book Mill with a few of my friends. It was a much-needed study break! During the semester, I never seem to have the chance to read as much as I'd like to, so I was hoping to find some good books before winter break. The Book Mill was the perfect place to stop. About twenty minutes or so from campus, it's home to a huge collection of affordable, used books, with plenty of comfy chairs to read in and big... 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Hello, all. We are now finishing our 7th week of the semester. How is it possible that the 6 weeks that have already gone by feel as though they've lasted 3 months?  This week, nothing is going into my savings account. The money I was planning to put towards the fund was used when I bought myself another plane ticket — I hadn't realized we would need to take an additional flight while in Spain, but we do need to and this is exactly what the fund was supposed to be for — unforseen travel expenses. I guess I'm just spending it a little earlier than I thought I would. Maybe... Read More
  • As soon as it's October, I hear "mid-semester" everywhere, and it always sneaks up on me. I feel like I only just adjusted to my classes and schedule. I finally figured out which bus to catch in the mornings, and when I can meet up with friends for lunch. I don't want to think that it's halfway done already!  But mid-semester really is approaching, and so are all the midterm assignments. October gets busy with homework, essays, quizzes, and exam review sessions. I have a pretty full couple of weeks ahead, especially since I fell behind this weekend. I went home to spend... 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Hello, all.  Last week I talked about the weeks flying by at cosmic paces. And now it's a week later, and I'm experiencing what I have come to know as the pre-finals slow-down time period. This period of time, post mid-terms and pre-finals, is one in which I often find myself with a little more free time than usual. This semester, I am using my free time to explore the area around Amherst a bit more. I recently took a trip to Northampton to visit one of my favorite shops, and I happened upon a book store. I love reading, and buying a new book is always a wonderful... Read More

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