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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

To be honest, I barely even considered the possibility of attending UMass Amherst when I was applying. This wasn’t because of anything being wrong with the school, I just simply couldn’t imagine the insane change in lifestyle that would come with the size difference between my tiny little school (300 people total) and that giant state school out in Amherst (30,000 people total). UMass is literally 100 times bigger than my kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school put together. Anyway, I ended up getting accepted and falling in love with the campus and its vibes when I visited. I knew that the change would be worth it.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

For some background, I attended the same small private school in Boston from the age of 3 to the age of 18. Throughout my MANY years there, my largest grade size was probably around 30 kids, and my graduating class was a whopping 13. Every single time I tell someone that my class size was that small, I get asked the same question: “OMG! How do you even have friends?” First of all, thanks for asking! Just kidding. I’ve been asked questions like this so many times that I don’t even care anymore, but I like to tease people and fake offense.

To be honest, I credit a lot of my social skills to attending a tiny school for my whole life. You might be thinking something like, “Okay but how could that be true?” I get it, and I also feel like the experience was pretty hit-or-miss with my classmates. In my case, having attended the school since I was a toddler, I always knew that I would have to get out and find friends on my own. This environment encouraged me to build confidence and socialize outside of my comfort zone. By the time I was in high school, I knew a chunk of kids from each school in the surrounding area, and since I like to think of the friendship equation as exponential, my group of acquaintances kept growing.

Because of this situation that I had grown up with, I actually found UMass to be an amazing place for me to continue this trend. Before I arrived, all I could think about was how hard it would be to make friends when there were SO MANY PEOPLE. It turned out to be exactly the opposite. My close group of friends here even know me as someone who knows everyone! Almost every single person that I’ve met has been so nice and I’ve never felt as though the change was too overwhelming. Even the friends of mine who were less comfortable socializing before college have found their place in this massive pond of fish. If you’re reading this right now and you are already attending UMass or another college, I’m SURE that you’d agree with what I’m saying. And if you are reading this and you’re worried about the big change of moving to a huge (or any sized) school and leaving the comfort of your home and friends behind, I can guarantee that it will be the best experience of your life. After all, if your dorms, classes, and clubs don’t bring you together with your peers, UMass Dining 1000% will! (don’t get me started on the spring rolls at berk).

Although I went through my usual phases of loving and hating school, overall I do love the place where I was practically raised. As for UMass, it’s like my second home, and I’ve loved it since the day I moved in over a year ago. The size only posed a threat when I was afraid of the unknown. Don’t stress, everyone finds their place :) <3


Kira Tosi

U Mass Amherst '23

Kira Tosi is a sophomore at U Mass Amherst, and an Italian Studies major. She grew up in a Russian family which sparked her passion for language, culture, and traveling. Follow along to hear about her crazy experiences around the world and potentially see pictures of her bunnies!
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst