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Everything I Wish I Knew 4 Years Ago: Advice From A Graduating Senior

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Before I move my tassel from right to left, I want to complete my ultimate senior bucket list, consisting of walking down memory lane, visiting some of my favorite freshman year spots, and doing activities that I wish I had done earlier. Before you reach the moment of regret as a college senior, or say, “I will do it next semester,” try to find the time to try new things and indulge in the full college experience. As a graduating senior, I have also experienced the ups and downs of college: the complicated class enrollment periods, the difficult housing situations, the stress of finals, internships, and career paths, the core memory outings, the fun spring break trips, and the navigation of exciting friendships. With my opinionated and experience-based guidelines, I hope to help you through your college journey and help you create long-lasting memories for yourself at UMass Amherst. 

In the blink of an eye, you will be writing down how to pronounce your name at graduation. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic adjusting our time on campus, the semesters seem to fly by faster and faster every year. Try to take advantage of the short-term warm weather by sitting on the Campus Center steps, sunbathing on the rooftop garden at the Design Building, watching the sunset at Orchard Hill, or taking a hike at the Holyoke Range. One spot that I recommend trying is the Durfee Conservatory. It is located adjacent to Franklin Dining Commons. It is an oversized greenhouse filled with an abundance of beautiful plants, benches to sit on, and a wooden bridge over a small pond with fish. It is the perfect location to relax, reflect, or do homework with a view. Another must-see scene is the crystal room, formally known as the Mineral Gallery, resting in the Morrill Science Center South. I personally have never been, but I have seen pictures and videos of the gorgeous gallery of stones like Amethyst, Rose Quarts, and Malachite. This spot is next up on my bucket list. By the way, it is okay to do activities on your own.

Breanna Coon / Her Campus

A glorious fall or spring Friday afternoon is a day well spent at the campus farmers market. Situated on the Goodell lawn, student vendors prepare their creations and second-hand goods to be purchased by other students to indulge in. Every semester, I make sure to stop by and purchase hand-made jewelry or crocheted clothing from my fellow classmates to support their businesses. This year, I decided to become a vendor, and I sold clothes from my closet that I did not plan on wearing after college when I relocate to Boston. The farmers market is a great way to support other students, engage in a welcoming environment, and meet new people. Especially on a warm, sunny day, leaving the farmers market makes you feel happy and have a sense of belonging

Flowers Florist
Alex Frank / Spoon

Now to get serious. If you are looking for a place to live off-campus, start searching a year before you plan on moving in, because it may take months before you find the perfect place. I want to heavily emphasize this point because most students are unaware of how difficult it is to find a house or apartment to rent in the Amherst area during the school year. When I found my house in North Amherst, my roommates and I sealed the deal in October of sophomore year for my junior-year living situation. That way, you will not be stressed out and feeling behind in the process. It is never too early to plan your future living arrangements.

One of the best decisions I have ever made was to commit to UMass Amherst. The friendships that you make here are lifelong, and they will bring you an immense amount of joy and entertainment. In Amherst, you will never run out of activities to do. Not only is there the campus farmers market but there is also the downtown Amherst farmers market filled with local vendors in the surrounding area. You will also never get bored of the views of the farms and mountains in the area, or the local restaurants and hidden gems, like Puffers Pond. Regarding your professional career, do not stress; not every senior has it all together with a job or internship lined up before the semester ends. But, it is never too early to look for options. Have the time of your life at UMass and make those core memories. 

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Brook Masse

U Mass Amherst '23

Brook Masse is a Senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is majoring in Digital Marketing, Media, and Society and minoring in Psychology. She enjoys taking Communication, Marketing, Sociology, Legal Studies, and Psychology classes. You can find her thrifting, taking a walk, drinking coffee or boba, socializing with friends, or painting when she is not writing.