Kate,   Despite our combined 22 years of dance, neither of us has ever been really good at balance. You like to burrito yourself on the couch for days at a time and I like to think of sleep as a fun side hobby, not a necessity.   While you could argue that any certain point in the semester is the most difficult, for the purpose of this letter I’m going to say it’s now. We are still a ways away from the end (or even just spring break for that matter) and course work has amped up, work hours are increasing, and oh... Read More
Normally I’m a fan of the snow. It’s fun to romp in, you can build snowmen, and you can tackle your best friend to the ground and smother them without causing any real damage. However, as I discovered last year and as I’m sure most of you are observing already, living at UMass Amherst with snow everywhere is kind of, well, hellish.

You’ll find yourself cold all the time, get targeted by passing automobiles as they splash through puddles, and take involuntary skiing and sledding lessons as the ice... Read More
I’m 75% finished with my rough draft – at least, I think I am? It’s hard to tell when you’re in the thick of it. It feels like I’m so close to reaching this goal and I want to power through. And yes, that’s a really good feeling to have at this stage – but it’s also stressful to be spending 4+ hours a day writing in addition to my class and work schedule.   Case in point: I was sitting in the library the other day during my scheduled thesis time, and something was off. I felt exhausted, I couldn’t focus, and I was... Read More
Both of my brothers have always had a talent for sports, while I was more of a coloring, tea party-planning kind of kid. My family still teases me about the time in kindergarten I came home from tee-ball practice on the verge of tears, furious because “all we ever do at that place is play tee-ball!”   Still, my family’s love for sports has always inspired me to try new things. Last November, when my brother Tim announced he was running the Boston Marathon in April, I was ecstatic and really proud. And then,... Read More
I’ve discovered that, to get just about anything done, I need some sort of motivation. That doesn’t necessarily mean the whole carrot or the stick model either. Yeah, reward and punishment are good to get people moving on a conscious level, but, for me at least, I’ve found that I need some emotional investment too.

If I have a particularly tedious task like math homework looming over me, the promise of freedom afterward isn't enough to get me started. More often than not, I have to get excited over... Read More
Kate,   I don’t really know what to tell you this week. Nothing super exciting is happening at the moment (at least in my life – I’m sure somewhere on campus there are very many exciting things going on). But I guess that in itself can be worth talking about. Not every minute of every day is going to be the most amazing time of your life. Honestly, that’s relevant to study abroad too. And an important thing to keep in mind.   Those days I struggled with my choice to come to UMass were those days that I was bored.... Read More
Welcome back to UMass, folks! The last time I wrote you, I was doing the stereotypical exam pep-talk. Now I’m going to suggest that you take some time to chill out. This is the end of the add-drop period, so do some serious thinking about your workload now! Don’t go overboard like I used to.

I have been a workaholic for all of my life. I kid you not. Some of my earliest memories from elementary school were my music teachers telling me to be less hard on myself. Everyone from my parents to my karate... Read More
Welcome back to another episode of Gracing Through Campus! Have you ever wondered what it is like to attend a fitness class on campus? Well, you have come to the right place.    Out of pure curiosity and interest, Grace adventures to the Campus Recreation Center to take a Cardio Kickboxing class. Grace sits down with Rachel Lindskog, a fitness instructor and student at UMass to get an inside look at health and wellness classes on campus.      
Want to make your Tuesday a whole lot better? Put down your homework and drive far, far away from it.   I’m serious. On a cold, rainy, and all-around kind of miserable Tuesday last November, my friends and I dropped everything at 8 p.m. and drove to Northampton in search of coffee, hot chocolate and desserts. We ended up at The Roost, a cozy cafe with a sprawling menu and shelves upon shelves of board games.    Emily ordered a pot of tea, Sarah and Tara ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream, and Alicia ordered... Read More
This video blog post is about The Vocal Suspects, a student run acappella group on campus. Founded in 1999, The Vocal Suspects has become a popular and competitive group of students filled with positive energy and musical talent. They are constantly traveling and performing. During this episiode, Grace ventures into Herter Hall to attend a song practice. Grace interviews Alea Moscone and Sam Laughlin about their experiences as members of The Vocal Suspects.    To learn more about this incredible group of students... Read More

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