Ryan’s Question: How does it feel to be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi? Amberly’s Answer: It feels kind of weird—but a neat kind of weird—to be perfectly honest. (For those who don’t know what Phi Kappa Phi is, it’s an honor society that you can find out more about here. I was inducted into the society last Sunday, March 31.) I’m not used to a big deal being made of my academic achievements. I do my assignments, I try my best on them, I turn them in, and then I get a grade. Sometimes, a couple of months after the... Read More
Ryan’s Question: Would you say that you ever feel inspired to do random things that you previously had no interest in? If so, has this occurred more once you attended college? Amberly’s Answer: Well, you know me, Ryan. I am not typically inspired to do random things. I am a thoughtful, cautious person. My brain tends to map out all of the possible effects of my decision, even as I’ve just made it. It maps out all of the possible ways it can go wrong, all of the possible ways it can go right. If I’ve chosen to do... Read More
Ryan's Question: What do you think the role of technology plays on a college campus? Amberly's Answer: To be frank, I think it would be easier to ask what part of campus and college at large isn't affected by technology. Everywhere you look, you will see a laptop or a phone out, ready to connect with the internet and the world. The lobbies (at least in the Honors College) have a TV screen, ready to play the Superbowl or the latest episode of American Horror Story. In classrooms,... Read More
Ryan’s Question: What’s the role politics play on campus? Are there ever situations where it becomes a taboo topic, or is it always something that people are expressive about? Amberly’s Answer: Colleges do appear to be the most political sphere in our society, don’t they? With protests scattered throughout the week and speakers frequently coming to campus to give lectures on all sorts of topics, college provides numerous attitudes for one to “get political.” That being said, I... Read More
Ryan’s Question: Has college changed the way you look at your future? If so, in what ways? Amberly’s Answer: -cue nervous laughter- Oh boy. The short answer is this: yes. The long answer, though, is this: When I first came to UMass, I had a pretty strong sense of self. I knew who I, Amberly Lerner, was, and I knew exactly who I was going to be in life. I was an English major and I was going to go into creative writing. And then while I was at it, I was going... Read More
Ryan’s Question: Do you ever get tired of people on such a populated campus like UMass? Amberly’s Answer: My initial answer to this was no, I don’t. A big reason I came to UMass, after all, instead of a small liberal arts college such as Amherst College or Smith, was because it was so populated. Not to say that there’s anything bad about Amherst College or Smith — both are great schools! But after growing up in a small town, I wanted something different. As I followed the tour guide around the UMass campus, it... Read More
Ryan’s Question: Do you feel at “home” at college? Would you say many people feel this way? Amberly’s Answer: The other day during winter break, when I was talking to a friend, I told her that I was “going home” next week. Noticing her confused look I realized I had referred to UMass, not my small hometown of Sherborn, Massachusetts, as home. So I guess, really, that that answers your first question. It took a while before I reached this point, though. As I wrote in my previous blog post, reality hit me this... 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... Read More
Ryan’s Question: What are the pros and cons of dorm life? Amberly’s Answer: Hi Ryan! So, I’m going to tackle this question for my blog post, simply because I know that while a lot of people have figured out housing already next year, there are still quite a few people leftover who are debating what to do. I fall into the former category. This year, I’ve been living in Sycamore (an Honors freshmen dorm), but next semester I’ll be moving to Southwest – specifically Crampton, which is home to the Nuance DRC. You... 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... Read More

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