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As we all return to campus this fall, many of us are experiencing UMass for the very first time. Navigating a new campus can be one of the most challenging aspects of college life. During my time at UMass, I have discovered some ways to make the most of my experience. In this article, I will share some simple tips that helped improve my life on campus.

Welcome to my Declassified UMass Survival Guide! 

JOIN CLUBS

My biggest piece of advice to UMass students is to join clubs. No matter what year you are, freshman or senior, joining clubs is a guaranteed way to meet new people and expand your involvement on campus outside of academics. Whether it’s a club that continues an interest you had in high school or you’re discovering a new hobby, UMass clubs are inclusive environments eager for new participants. 

SPEND AS MUCH TIME ON CAMPUS AS POSSIBLE

My second piece of advice is to spend as much time on campus as possible. For some people, living on-campus is the best way for them to emerge into UMass life. It’s easy to get to classes, attend on-campus events, and engage with other students in your building. Others, like myself, who choose to live off-campus may end up feeling a bit more isolated. In order to break that isolation, I find it’s best to stay on campus even once my classes are done for the day. Finding a study spot within campus helps me stay motivated, and seeing friendly faces pass by makes me feel like I am a part of the community. Two of my favorite spots to hang out are Roots Cafe and the new Student Union. 

DOWNLOAD HELPFUL APPS

Finally, there are a plethora of apps to download that will make your life easier.

The bus system has its challenges, but thankfully there is BusTrack to get around that. BusTrack allows you to select your bus stop and track the scheduled times; you can even add a widget to further simplify it.

The GETMobile app will help you keep track of your meal plan by telling you how many meal swipes, dining dollars, and debit you have left for the semester.

Continuing on the dining trend, the UMass Dining App gives you the ability to track which dining halls/cafes are open and how busy they are. The dining app will also give you the menus of each location, though beware because sometimes the app isn’t the most accurate.

The MyUMass app is a great place to have easy access to the health hub, campus map, Spire, and so on.

Finally, I like to use Pocket Schedule Planner to organize my schedule and have easy access to the location of my next class. 

These are some simple tips for improving your UMass experience and making campus a little less overwhelming. Each of us has the opportunity to make the most of our time at UMass, and I hope that this guide will help you along the way. 

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Hannah Whalen

U Mass Amherst '23

Hannah is a sophomore at UMass Amherst majoring in History and Psychology in hopes of eventually starting a career in education. Most of her article topics will include lifestyle and fashion, but she will also incorporate a little bit of everything. Some hobbies that she enjoys outside of Her Campus include: hiking with her dog Mac, reading, finding new music, and yoga!
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