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
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
Over break, I met a taxi driver who is licensed to work as a pharmacist. A taxi driver… Licensed as a pharmacist. Does that make sense to anyone? A grown man with a degree was working as an Uber driver in Florida. Why? Because every job he applied to in the state required that he already have at least a year of work experience in a pharmacy. How was he supposed to get that experience? Through an internship program which, like 90 percent of all internships, was not paid or paid less than minimum wage. He was... 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
I love coming back to school, yet here I am, feeling overwhelmed after two days. You wouldn’t think that was possible, right? Well, I am the walking embodiment of biting off more than you can chew. Heck, even my own parents have been begging for two years that I take fewer classes and just enjoy college! You know it’s bad when your folks are telling you to work LESS. And then there’s my girlfriend, who is the epitome of low self-esteem; that she is somehow inadequate. She thinks that she doesn’t have the brains... 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
Hello, everyone! How was your Thanksgiving break? I was happy to get some rest and enjoy time with family. Now we've come back to school, and I am refreshed, and ready to work, work, work.  It's hard to believe that I'm graduating in just a couple of weeks. The next seventeen days will be full of projects, presentations, and papers, but now that we've come to the end of November/beginning of December, I can start to see the finish line approaching, one project completed at a time. It still feels like I only just... Read More
Sorry for the hiatus! It’s that time of the year that swamps everyone — FINALS! My finals journey has been a little different because, as a theater and journalism major, I’ve only been given final papers to write. Yes, a paper for each of my classes! I’m a little stressed because I feel like I’m a better test-taker. But as this is my third year of college and my second semester at UMass Amherst, here are some study tips to help you make it through finals: 1. Stay ahead of everything! It’s super important to stay... Read More
If you’ve been following this blog (in which case, my condolences), then you’ll notice that a recurring theme here is about productivity. That is in part due to my parents’ various bits of advice and in part because of my complete inability to follow it. I have a problem focusing. Not from A.D.D. or any actual excuse. I’m just lazy and easily distracted. In order to remedy this, I’ve stumbled across a little trick that sometimes will help me at least get going. When you were a kid, I bet that your parents or... Read More
School and society as a whole want us to believe that, in order to succeed or get what you want, you must assiduously attend to whatever work is put in front of you and otherwise submit to someone else’s course. That means always doing your homework, putting everything into your job, getting involved in your community however you can . . . the list goes on. This is a mindset that’s pounded into our heads from the moment we start preschool. You want to go play in the sandbox? Well, Jimmy, you have to learn your... Read More

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