It's the time of year again when everyone on campus is catching a cold! I don't know if it's the close quarters or the lack of sleep, but it seems almost like a fall tradition here.  My freshman year, I caught the cold and stubbornly avoided going to UHS when it got worse. Two weeks later, I went home for a long weekend and found out I had a sinus infection AND ear infection! (How is that even possible?) After that, I've been trying to make time to slow down and rest when I'm not feeling well, easier said than... Read More
One of my favorite parts of UMass is the Freedom Cafe, a nonprofit, volunteer-run coffee shop with a mission to end human trafficking. It's got the best coffee on campus, and it's also supporting a great cause.  I've been lucky enough to be able to volunteer with the education development team at Freedom Cafe. And now, after two years of working together, our team has finally figured out the perfect meeting time: dinner at Blue Wall. Blue Wall is in the Campus Center, so it's central and an easy place for everyone... Read More
One of the things that my father has drilled into my head is that life is pretty bland without two things: Curiosity and bravery.

Of course, he doesn’t say it that way for fear of sounding corny like me, but that’s the gist of it. However, he always seems to emphasize the curiosity, whether he realizes it or not.

He’s even ended one of his letters with “Be well.  Be interested.  Be open to wonder.  Be wildered.”

Quirkiness aside, he’s made it clear to me that without... Read More
We’ll, we’re back! To those returning, I’m glad to be seeing familiar faces all about and catching up with you. To those just joining us, welcome to UMass!

I hope that you’re enjoying the warmth and getting ready for the cold. Summer ends quick and, in the Stark words, Winter is Coming.

Forget about that though! You’re at college! You’ve spent the first week acquainting (or reacquainting) yourselves with the campus, discovering your new teachers and classmates, and perhaps partaking in... Read More
Yikes. It’s been one of those weeks where nothing seems to go as planned! Just when I thought I was settling into the new semester, this week sent some major curveballs my way. I suddenly realized I’d forgotten to register for a credit I needed, a potential job opportunity fell through, a communication error caused some issues with myself and my friends studying abroad, and a breaking news event kept me on my toes at the Collegian. Here’s how I’ve been managing these unexpected bumps in the road: ... Read More
Remember how in the Harry Potter books, Harry counts down the days until he can go back to Hogwarts? Returning to UMass feels a little like that for me. Maybe driving down the Mass Pike in my family’s Honda is not as cool as the Hogwarts Express, but I still get excited when I see “Amherst” appearing on the road signs again. Although it’s always a little sad to see the summer go, I love being back on campus because you never know what’s around the corner here--a cool club you haven’t heard of, an internship to... Read More
This is always the saddest part of the year for me. I know that most of my peers anticipate the end of classes with bated breath, but the end of school means something different to them. To them it means an end to work and thinking, an end to deadlines and stress for the most part, and an end to social drama and commitments.

To me, it means an end to stimulation, an end to motivation and achievement, and an end to friendships. I love the subjects I study and I enjoy the conversations I have with my... Read More
My father hasn’t really shown up in this blog lately, so here’s one of his recent observations:

As with any relationship, our chats seem to hark back to certain topics time and again, one of which being my generation’s involvement with social media.

This time, he said that he realized the letters which he wrote to me were sort of like having his own blog “with an intended audience of one.” We recognize that people like to be in the public eye. We’re attention hogs. Why else would we be... Read More
Kate, I very much appreciate you driving me to get xrays this week – even if you stole my headphones in the process. Lesson learned: don’t email and walk, kids. It’s not worth it. A good thing did come out of the most embarrassing fall down a single step to ever take place, I got so much work done. With an ankle out of commission, I was stranded in a chair all day. New study tip? If you need to get work done for 8 hours straight, give yourself a bad sprain. Seriously though, this week I want to chat about staying... Read More
One of the first things that just about anyone learns growing up is that friends come and go. Sooner or later, you also learn that romantic relationships are even more evanescent. Your parents will comfort you through breakups, tell you how to help maintain your bonds, or, in my parents’ case, make jokes at the backstabbing SOB’s expense to help you get over it.

However, there is one thing that, if done right, never goes away. It never fades, never betrays you, and is about as constant as a golden... Read More

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