Ryan's Question: So, you're starting a blog? Amberly's Answer: Yeah, I am! My boss Shonda told me that as a communications assistant, I could start one. I mainly just needed a theme to center my blog posts around. Now that was the part that got to me. A theme. What got to me was the fact that I wasn't really sure what I wanted that theme to be, if I'll be honest, or if could even think of one. After all, it's the beginning of my second semester and I'm still trying to figure out... Read More
The first time I watched the Super Bowl, my parents and I muted the game and then turned the volume back on whenever the funny commercials returned. The next year we got bored with that and switched to Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. Since coming to college, though, I’ve gained an appreciation for sporting events. I still don’t care about the games themselves, really, but these events are a good excuse to meet up with friends and encounter new people. Plus, they provide a great venue for venting pent up energy. I... Read More
You know how 2016 was a royal mess and how some people had hope that 2017 would make up for it? Well, it’s not looking too promising so far. Illness has befallen my family and, now that I’ve noticed it, maladies seem to be spreading throughout the country like a vicious rumor. Everyone in my family has had, or will soon have, surgery and everyone around me seems either to have the flu or be in a cast or sling. The thing is that, just like the flu, three mental states travel as fast as the news can: Fear,... Read More
Hello and welcome back to UMass, folks! Some of you might have returned after reluctant and teary partings with family, some may have sprinted out of their homes to get here. Whatever the circumstances, I hope that you feel relieved and excited to be back. A lot of you will already have found your niches and are eager to return to your friends and activities that make UMass a part of your extended family. For those of you who are taking a bit longer, as I did, never fear! Each semester is like starting all over... Read More
Kate, It’s my last day of undergraduate classes and I’m just as terrified as I was on the first one. I guess that while a whole lot of things have changed, not everything has. A little over four years ago I didn't want to go to UMass at all. It was too big and rural and full of concrete. I look back at high school me and shake my head at the girl who thought she knew exactly what she wanted. Coming to UMass and being a part of CHC has been the best decision I’ve made thus far. I truly believe this school has... Read More
Tis the season to be stressed and contemplating a career in flipping burgers or manning coffee shops. Most of us have at least one class that looms over us like the angel of death. It’s that one class that we’re convinced will destroy our GPAs and thus our future. That class stares at us like a hungry lion that wants nothing more than to drag us back to their den from which we will never see the light of day or a decent paycheck. Or at least that’s what the world is telling us to think. The fact of the matter... Read More
Kate, I went back to the very first Letters to Kate I wrote. It was exactly two years ago Saturday. You, Christine, Beth and I all look like such babies in the picture I included. The dorky tree I added at the bottom? It's all set up in my apartment again, this time off campus. It’s funny I feel ready to write my last letter to you, but not my second to last one. Like I’ve been saying all semester, the end sort of sneaks up on you. With less than 6 days of classes left in my undergraduate career I think it’s... Read More
Memory's a funny thing. It’s entirely subjective, prone to corruption, and infamous for these failings, yet we depend upon it for, well, everything. Everyone’s had that quarrel with their parents or friend where one party says that Doug leaned on the big red button while the other party says that Maxwell clipped the wrong wire. Either way, things went *boom* and all that’s left is the results and finding who to blame. I mean, look at some of the students here on a Saturday morning! I heard someone say that... Read More
When my mom and I first visited UMass in February of my senior year of high school, we were...less than impressed.  It was the last two days of our February break and we were returning from a family trip to New Hampshire. After driving back to Cape Cod from New Hampshire, we got out of the car just long enough to change, turned around and got back in the car, and drove three and a half hours in another direction out to Amherst. It was a miserable, cold night and the roads were slushy. Neither of us were at all... Read More
Kate, There are three weeks left in the semester. Do you realize that? Are you hyperventilating too? I swear I sit down to write this letter every week and every week I’m in shock about how few weeks are left and then I get nervous and, well...you’ve been reading these posts for years now, you know the drill. I can get myself quite worked up in under a minute (more like under 30 seconds). But this week it’s going to be different. I’m not going to panic. I’m going to take my stressors and find the positives.... Read More

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