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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.

From saying I would *never* attend UMass to dreading graduation in May, I am happy to report that I have found love in a hopeless place and would like to formally start my love letter to UMass Amherst. In my little hometown, the norm is attending this school. “It would be just like going to high school, but in college,” is all I would ever hear throughout my application process, and even though deep down I knew I would attend, I did everything in my power to avoid admitting it to myself and others. UMass was seen as a place you “end up”, not strive for, and I did not want to settle. After leaving my tour early and complaining about how ugly the campus was on that rainy, cold, February day, I put UMass in the back of my mind. Realistically, I knew nothing about the school besides that an estimated hundred people from my high school attended, and I did not want to take the same road as them. After reluctant decision to attend, I enjoyed my last high school summer with my friends, and yes, three of them were also attending UMass.

Flash forward four years later, I could not have made a better decision.

This school, this place, these people have opened my eyes up to a world of friendship and laughter that I did not know I could be so privileged to enjoy so much of. Every single year here has been completely different from the previous, as I experienced living alone freshman year, benefiting from the honors dorms sophomore year, surviving in the frat-esque townhouses junior year, and now, in a well-established house for my senior year.

This school has brought me close to people I could not picture my life without, including my current three roommates, who I was friends with in fourth grade and vaguely reconnected with at a party. They are now my best friends and the best roommates I could ask for.

I have never cherished so dearly such simple and mundane activities such as a morning debrief, rotting on the couch for hours, getting Harvest at ungodly hours, or going on long car rides to the nearest farm shop, blaring the same four Zach Bryan and Olivia Rodrigo songs.

This school has made me feel excited about academics— a feeling unbeknownst to me in high school— and I wish I could take every single possible psychology course offered. When I first knew I got into the Honors College, imposter syndrome set in immediately. While I still do not know how I am going to write a 50 page thesis (check back in on that in a few months), I have worked the hardest I ever have in my life and I hope it will pay off (also check back in on my grad school applications in a few months).

The memories I have made here have been unmatched, and I could not picture myself anywhere else. While I still have a lot of time left before I graduate, I hope this serves as a bit of a time capsule for me to look back on and update in May.

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Anais Clinch

U Mass Amherst '24

Anais is a senior honors psychology major and sociology minor at UMass.