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
This past week I wrote an article for the Daily Collegian covering an event on the upcoming documentary, Ashes to Ashes, which shows Dr. Shirley Whitaker’s effort to honor and mourn the nearly 4,000 reported African American people who were lynched between 1866 to 1950. This event was both really intense and beautiful. In Springfield in 2017, Dr. Whitaker organized a funeral service for the people killed, and part of the documentary showed that experience, with some individuals' names being called and remembered... Read More
Well, that’s it. I’ve graduated. Fifty-three blog entries later and I’ll now be out of your hair. I have been at UMass for four years now and, now that I am gone, I truly do feel like I deserve the title “senior.” Not because of rank or anything, but because I’m no longer going to be considered a student and the real world is about to slap me in the face with one of the biggest wake-up calls of my life. I love UMass, and I wish with all my heart that it was not time for me to go. However, it is. I’ve had my... Read More
I attended UMass’s Career Blast this week. For those of you unfamiliar, this is where the school brings to campus droves of employers who are looking to snap up eager, intelligent college students for jobs and, occasionally, internships. The result is a mob of stressed, excited, nervous, and/or overwhelmed kids swarming a hundred or so booths and their attendants. What also tends to happen is that there are a lot of people looking for STEM majors and little else. Still, I did my homework the night before and... Read More
I’ve discovered that it takes trying something to determine whether you truly hate it or not. I have a vast array of interests and the myriad of possibilities (especially in career choices) has nearly rendered me paralyzed. There are so many options that I don’t know where to begin and, when I’m about to pursue something, I wonder if I’m making the wrong choice and should chase something else. For example: I have been toying with the idea of getting involved in the government and public policy for a few years... Read More
  Another semester draws to a close, the snows move in, and it’s time for a relaxing winter holiday. And here I am freaking out like it’s the end of the world. I mean, in some ways it is. I’ll be graduating in May (unless I royally screw something up) and that’ll be the end of my UMass and undergraduate world. People keep telling me “You can always go to grad school, though!” and “You don’t need to ever stop learning,” along with similar platitudes. While that may be true, I still get the feeling that things... Read More
So … Class selection … For those of you who have not undergone this before, you will soon discover that this is perhaps the most stressful time of the year, vying for first with finals. On the bright side, you can take a good week to prepare, and then class selection lasts for all of five minutes. On the downside, classes fill up fast, every course you need seems to be scheduled for the same time, SPIRE doesn’t want to process your request, professors aren’t answering your requests for overrides, the one class... 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... 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,... 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... Read More

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