What do you eat for breakfast?   In high school, when the bus arrived at the end of my street at precisely 6:37 a.m. each day, breakfast was granola on the go and a travel mug with coffee. Since starting at UMass, I've luckily never had to eat breakfast or even wake up for class so early! Mornings are definitely a little more relaxing now, so I was happy to discover that there are plenty of options for breakfast on campus. Whether you like to get up early or prefer to sleep in, there's still time for the most... Read More
Well, we cast our votes last week. The first round is done. Now things are just going to get worse.

As if the campaign ads for the primaries weren’t bad enough, we all know that the actual campaign is going to inundate every TV channel, every magazine, and every website short of, I don’t know, pornhub. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if a political ad showed up there too…

The point is that the ads become ubiquitous, almost omnipresent. They’re flooded into our lives so that favorable... Read More
I discovered a while ago that laughter catches people’s attention. They want to know what the joke is. Even if you’re not actually laughing at anything, people around you will be curious if they hear you.

I was studying with some friends in a random classroom the other night. It was quiet and productive, the silence only punctuated by the occasional joke.

That is, until two girls walked in.

I’d never seen them before in my life, but they came in laughing and I couldn’t keep... Read More
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
When I first arrived on campus, I was told that honors students were lucky to live near the two best dining commons at UMass. I love Hamp and Berk and still eat there often, but recently I’ve been going to Frank. It's a little farther away from CHC, but it's also quieter and has a different variety of food. It’s is a whole new world of waffle makers and grilled cheese sandwiches and to-go cups for coffee available 24/7.   Here are four reasons to try out Frank for your next meal.   To-go cups. ... 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
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
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
As wonderful as the food here is, and it’s ranked second in the nation, most students don’t live on the meal plan alone. Maybe it’s because our dining dollars dwindle quickly, or because the (very short) trek to Roots feels impossible when the temperature drops below freezing, but almost every CHC residence seems to have a microwave, a mini fridge, and a sizable supply of snacks.   Here are the top three foods you might consider keeping in your dorm room, and two things you can do without.   1. ... Read More

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