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
Ryan’s Question: Do you feel at “home” at college? Would you say many people feel this way? Amberly’s Answer: The other day during winter break, when I was talking to a friend, I told her that I was “going home” next week. Noticing her confused look I realized I had referred to UMass, not my small hometown of Sherborn, Massachusetts, as home. So I guess, really, that that answers your first question. It took a while before I reached this point, though. As I wrote in my previous blog post, reality hit me this... 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
So … Class selection … For those of you who have not undergone this before, you will soon discover that this is perhaps the most stressful time of the year, vying for first with finals. On the bright side, you can take a good week to prepare, and then class selection lasts for all of five minutes. On the downside, classes fill up fast, every course you need seems to be scheduled for the same time, SPIRE doesn’t want to process your request, professors aren’t answering your requests for overrides, the one class... Read More
I think that we’ve all suffered loss. It might have been a favorite uncle, your grandparents, the dog; any number of things. It happens to almost all of us and almost all of us say that we feel the same thing. When loss hits, there’s a hollowness in your chest. Everything is muted for a while. Colors, touch, music, everything. It all seems less vibrant and that, in itself, can make the feeling worse. For some people, the best way of dealing with this is by taking time to themselves, maybe to reflect, maybe to... Read More
As you may have noticed, climate change has decided to drop by for a visit and screw with everyone. Last week, we were waking to temperatures in the 50s, gliding mists vanishing like ghosts in the morning light. By lunch time, we were looking at 72 degrees and folks taking out their frisbees and crop-tops. This week decided that it’s going to stick with a theme and that is “Mid September,” a.k.a. “Unpleasant.” Personally, I rather enjoy the rain, especially when it’s this warm. It feels … cleansing.... Read More
One of the big advantages of living in the dorms is that you are surrounded by potentially interesting people and perhaps new friends. Thing is, a lot of people are too shy to take advantage of this. They’re too worried that going to a stranger’s door, even if it’s standing open, and saying “Hi” will make them sound desperate for socialization, or too peppy, or that the encounter will be awkward for lack of common interests, or any number of other things. Well, I hate to say it, but that’s all possible. However,... Read More
You know those classes that seem like they’ll be easy? I’m sure you’ve heard of them. In my own studies, I’ve taken a few that people have responded to with envy. They say “That sounds so cool!” or “Why do you get all these fun classes?” or “Dang, that sounds easy. Do you actually do anything?” I’ll tell you right now that, while those first two responses are justified, the third one is NOT. “Robinson Crusoe and Zombies” sounds easy until you’re a week in and have to write a paper relating John Locke’s and... Read More
Ryan’s Question: How’s the initial adjustment to college? Would you say you are still adjusting? Amberly’s Answer: You sent me this question last year, little brother, because I had just gotten to college and it’s so different from our high school back in Sherborn. Now, I have one year of college under my belt. I not only survived that year, but managed to thrive as well. I joined a slew of extracurricular activities, threw myself into my classes, and landed this job with the Commonwealth Honors College. I did... Read More

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