I always knew I wanted to help people find their voice. So naturally, I entered college as a Communication Disorders major so I could eventually become a speech therapist, and literally help people find their voice. It seemed like the only logical option at the time.   I remember taking classes in departments like education, kinesiology, psychology, writing, theatre, social justice and gender studies and I loved them! Two years passed, and I realized that my personal goal to help people find their... Read More
In my first year, I came into UMass as an undeclared student, but I did have some notion that I wanted to help people in some way in my future. This was a lofty goal and I was pretty much clueless in how I wanted to achieve it.   I joined the Social Justice and Activism RAP without really knowing what this whole ‘social justice thing’ was about. RAP's are residential academic programs that are located in first year halls. When you sign up for a RAP you are agreeing to take a specific academic course, usually... Read More
You never appreciate what you have until it is almost gone, CHC, and this week - my last week at UMass - I have been appreciating this place like crazy. It’s so lovely here in the spring - it’s almost like it’s actually paradise.  If you’re a freshman, soak it in.  By the time you’re where I am, almost graduating, you’ll wish you had three more springs at UMass to enjoy.    I haven’t had as much time to enjoy the outside as I might have wished this spring, because, you guessed it: thesis.  But don’t worry, I... Read More
BDIC is why I came to UMass.    I am surprised that most students do not know about BDIC, which stands for Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration. It is a program which allows you to make your own major. I knew before I even came to UMass that this was exactly what I needed.   In high school, I became interested in the field of Demography. Simply out of curiosity, I would read articles about the changing family structure and dating culture in America. I noticed that all of these articles... Read More
When writing about a class I feel like I should talk about the content of the syllabus, the material we cover, the students enrolled in the course, and the instructor objectively and not let my own bias influence what I say.   In the case of Modern Arabic Literature with Annette Lienau, I can't.  As a Middle Eastern Studies major I'd studied the politics, history, religions, languages, and culture of the region, but this class gave me the opportunity to study literature again (something I really loved and missed)... Read More
How did you choose your major?   I think this experience is different for everyone.  There are some people who come to college with a strong sense of what they will major in (some people even know what they want to do for their career? What? Excuse me?), others come in with one idea and end up changing their mind once or several times, and others come undeclared and do a little exploration before settling in.   For me it was some combination of all of these things, and in my final semester here at UMass I can... Read More
I don’t know how this happened, but somehow I managed to take out twelve different library books at once.  Maybe it’s just me, but twelve different library books seems kind of excessive.  When did I think I was going to read all these books?  Why couldn’t I have taken them out one at a time?   I really don’t know.  Maybe it was a sense of rising panic that if I waited, someone would take out the books I needed and never bring them back (you know, like I’m doing right now).  Maybe it was a feeling that my tiny... Read More
Guys, don’t be like me.   Be organized and on top of things.  Write your Capstone proposal in the spring before your senior year.  You know what, write it in the fall.  Write it when you’re a freshman.  Whatever you do, don’t write it on the Thursday the weekend before the last day of add/drop.     Wow, that’s an embarrassing thing to admit to the whole internet.     Please don’t judge me, Commonwealth Honors College Community of Really Awesome and Organized and Prepared Scholars (that’s our long-form name,... Read More
My sister and I were coming back from spring break, and on the drive to Amherst, rolling through the pastures on winding back roads, we started talking about finding community. My sister is a first-year student at UMass and I am a graduating senior, so together we encompass the spectrum of identity formation in college. While I am trying to brand my identity into something job-marketable, my sister is reflecting on how her identity is being shaped and formed. Community, we realized, is a major component of... Read More
Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot believe that it is almost time to register for classes.  Maybe it’s because we only had one real snow storm, or because I’ve been so busy, but it seems like this semester has just flown on by without me noticing. Unbelievably, we only have five more weeks of classes before finals, spring has arrived, and it’s already time to start thinking about the fall.   If you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to check your enrollment appointment on SPIRE (it’ll be in the right hand... Read More

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