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Review of My First Iconic UMass Blarney Experience

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

Blarney: UMass’ most popular holiday. I went to high school in Massachusetts and whenever I thought of UMass, I without a doubt almost always associated the name with Blarney. As bad as that sounds, it’s true. If you don’t know what Blarney is, it is a tradition to dress up in green and celebrate St. Patricks Day the weekend before the actual date of St. Patrick’s day.

What makes Blarney so particularly exciting is that a huge percentage of the UMass student population goes. Of course, there are a ton of different social scenes within UMass, with it being such a big school, but on this day, many of the social scenes all come together. This is what makes Blarney so special, aside from the excitement that comes from planning outfits and celebrating

I am a freshman and was super excited going into Blarney but I didn’t want my expectations to be too high. I tend to live by that mantra so that I am not too disappointed by things. I definitely think I am the type of person that enjoys the lead-up to big events rather than the actual event. Let me explain this. The excitement of planning unique outfits, online shopping (of course one of my favorite hobbies), and conversing with others about their plans for Blarney has so much excitement within itself. Looking through variations of green shirts during my lecture the week before Blarney gave me the serotonin I didn’t think I needed.

Blarney itself was definitely fun and exciting, especially being a freshman. I think it definitely depends on what you define as fun, but I personally enjoy being surrounded by people and Blarney holds space to converse with a whole array of people. Being at the same event, and wearing similar clothes, believe it or not, makes it super easy to approach anyone and start a conversation. I know I was more than happy to talk to random strangers and I ended up meeting so many new people and could click with them on the simplest things. 

I know that this is the type of event that will get better as you transition into a sophomore, junior, and senior. You will learn the parts you enjoy, and the parts you don’t. For example, next year I definitely will not rely on an Uber for my ride after waiting to find a driver for an hour and a half. 

In general, It is nothing glamorous and incredible. If you think about it, it really is just a bunch of college kids wearing green and standing within a courtyard of some townhouses, or submerged in a wave of green on a busy street. Again, I am reiterating my opinion that I definitely think it depends on what you enjoy because Blarney also can consist of huge crowds and let’s be honest, some obnoxious people, which may not be everyone’s idea of fun.

I think there is definitely something fun that everyone can get out of Blarney, whether that is planning an outfit, meeting new people, or using it as something to look forward to.

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Olivia Boyd

U Mass Amherst '26

Olivia is a sophomore at UMass Amherst studying communications and minoring in political science. Some of her passions include traveling, being active, trying new food, and watching sunsets. Growing up in Amsterdam, Olivia has traveled all across Europe and hopes to live there one day.