For those of you who haven’t quite made it to UMass yet, we just had our Blarney weekend. While the university does not technically recognize the event, the students around here get very … enthusiastic about it. Let’s just say that, because St. Patrick’s day happens during spring break, we have our own (minimum of one) day of debauchery here in lieu of the usual shamrock-filled festivities. It's a campus tradition, I guess. While immensely popular, this sort of event happens during the day, when I tend to get my... Read More
I spent about five hours playing Dungeons and Dragons on Saturday. Normally, when Saturday hits I’m completely wiped after the week and partying on Friday night. I often sleep until 11 A.M., maybe noon, then try to do some reading for Monday, typically fail, and spend the rest of the day and evening recovering, hitting the gym, and pretty much not thinking. The Dungeons and Dragons session, however, dragged me out of bed at 11 A.M., no dawdling or dozing, and compelled me to be awake. That by itself was a victory... Read More
Ryan’s Question: What’s the atmosphere like in college? Can you feel certain distinct moods in the air — for instance, if it’s the week before finals, is there a lot of stress around? Amberly’s Answer: With midterms taking place over the course of the next two weeks, I figured now would be an excellent time to answer this particular question! I’m honestly not sure if there’s an overall distinct mood. There might be with smaller colleges on campus, but honestly? UMass is so big that it would be inaccurate to... Read More
Ryan’s Question: Would you say people are more passionate in college rather than high school? Amberly’s Answer: Oh, definitely. I think there’s a noticeable difference, for sure. I think a part of it is that in high school, everyone’s so busy trying to get into college, you know? Especially what their parents and general society think of as a “good college.” Sure, there are people who do sports for the fun of it, or choir or theater or newspaper or whatever they so choose, but at least in our high school, college... Read More
I am one of those fortunate souls who does not have class on Fridays and thus has a three day weekend every week. Usually it just means that Fridays are quiet and productive (or at least should be), Saturdays are a wild card, and then Sundays are the usual crunch day. So when we had a snow day on Thursday, I thought I could allow myself a little extra time to goof off. Besides, my parents keep telling me to take it easy on occasion, so why not listen to them for once in my life? Well, “a little extra time”... 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... 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... Read More
You know how 2016 was a royal mess and how some people had hope that 2017 would make up for it? Well, it’s not looking too promising so far. Illness has befallen my family and, now that I’ve noticed it, maladies seem to be spreading throughout the country like a vicious rumor. Everyone in my family has had, or will soon have, surgery and everyone around me seems either to have the flu or be in a cast or sling. The thing is that, just like the flu, three mental states travel as fast as the news can: Fear,... 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... Read More
Is there a better way to wrap up a semester than with lots and lots of dessert? On Friday, my friend Tara and I headed to the UMass Bake Shop for Chocolate 101, a three-hour cooking workshop offered to students free of charge. We'd seen a poster advertising the class in the dining hall way back in October, and decided to give it a try. When we got there, Chef Simon Stevenson led our small group in a discussion about chocolate, explaining where it comes from, how it's made, and its different grades and qualities.... Read More

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