• "Make the most of it while you can!" As a senior in college, I've heard this advice so many times. It's a nice idea, but also a little nerve-wracking. How can you possibly make every moment count? For me, "making the most" of college doesn't mean that everything is perfect, but instead, it's trying to notice and enjoy the good things whenever I can. This week marks the end of October, so I'm trying to appreciate this great time of year. Western Massachusetts is a perfect place to enjoy all things fall, and this may be my last chance to take it all in! On campus, there's... 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
  • Midterms. Midterms, midterms, midterms. Sweet midterms! It feels surreal that we are already halfway through the semester. We only have seven weeks of classes left! It’s that time of year where everyone is trying to make it through the halfway mark and push through to the end of the semester. I get easily stressed out during midterm season because it’s hard to keep track of whose test is when and what essay is due. But I have some tips I follow that allow me to survive. First is staying positive. It’s important to keep positive vibes and energy within your life, because... 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • "How's your thesis going?"  After three years of asking questions, thinking about, and planning for my thesis, I'm finally in the middle of it. So far, so good! The Honors thesis can certainly feel a little intimidating at times, but it's also exciting to work on a project of my choice after years of Gen Eds and other required classes. Many of my friends have chosen to do an individually-contracted thesis, which means that they created their own proposal for their research, found a faculty member to be their sponsor, and are now accomplishing it on their own, outside of... 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

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