• 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
  • 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
  • Whether you’re a freshman transitioning from high school to college, or a transfer student like me trying out a different school, these tips can help you find your way here at UMass Amherst! 1. Get involved! -There are dozens of organizations on campus you can get involved with to spice up your time here at UMass. The Student Activities and Involvement page lists all the different ways you can get involved. -Joining a campus organization is a great way to meet new people and make friends, because you’ll be able to find people you connect and share interests with. Also,... 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
  • 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
  • One of my favorite parts of UMass is the Freedom Cafe, a nonprofit, volunteer-run coffee shop with a mission to end human trafficking. It's got the best coffee on campus, and it's also supporting a great cause.  I've been lucky enough to be able to volunteer with the education development team at Freedom Cafe. And now, after two years of working together, our team has finally figured out the perfect meeting time: dinner at Blue Wall. Blue Wall is in the Campus Center, so it's central and an easy place for everyone to meet up. There are also plenty of choices for food, like... Read More
  • One of the things that my father has drilled into my head is that life is pretty bland without two things: Curiosity and bravery. Of course, he doesn’t say it that way for fear of sounding corny like me, but that’s the gist of it. However, he always seems to emphasize the curiosity, whether he realizes it or not. He’s even ended one of his letters with “Be well.  Be interested.  Be open to wonder.  Be wildered.” Quirkiness aside, he’s made it clear to me that without curiosity and the willingness to be confused and work through it, a person cannot learn. They cannot... Read More
  • This is always the saddest part of the year for me. I know that most of my peers anticipate the end of classes with bated breath, but the end of school means something different to them. To them it means an end to work and thinking, an end to deadlines and stress for the most part, and an end to social drama and commitments. To me, it means an end to stimulation, an end to motivation and achievement, and an end to friendships. I love the subjects I study and I enjoy the conversations I have with my professors. Yeah, the stress of deadlines can be exhausting and... Read More
  • The cost of education is ridiculous. It’s not just the tuition itself though. It’s everything associated with it and a lot of those “required” materials come from dubious sources. The College Board has a monopoly on costly, ineffectual standardized tests which, thank the gods, are seemingly on their way out the door. Certain online programs that professors require cost a hefty fee, sometimes charging for a year’s subscription even though you only need their services for one semester. Textbooks cost a mint and are often dominated by Texan education boards. Need I say more... Read More

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