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tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2
tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2
Life > Experiences

The Residential Areas At UMass Amherst As Movie Genres

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

After being a student at UMass Amherst for two years now, I can safely say that I know most of the ins and out of this campus, and most importantly the residential life. From my time living in Orchard Hill and Southwest, I’ve noticed both areas have very different vibes. In fact, after visiting all of the housing areas I’ve realized they have their own charm, and all of them remind me of different types of movie genres!

Orchard Hill

I had to start with Orchard Hill first, as it was my first housing place at UMass Amherst! Although the big hill going up to the dorms was the key characteristic of this residential area, I feel that O-Hill had that authentic, crispy fall-ish vibe to it. It has a large grassy hill that you can sit on to watch the sunsets, there are a lot trees surrounding the area, it’s not too big compared to other areas. It is secluded, but not too much where it is considered a “dead” housing area. I always see people playing games outside, socializing, watching the sunset together, going to Sweets & More, skiing during the winter, and overall acting like a small town community. The entire area always reminded me of the show “Gilmore Girls” because O-Hill gives an Autumn vibe. I can also see O-Hill being an indie genre because it’s something that doesn’t seem “high quality” but it still has its own homey vibe that feels genuine and relatable.


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I have a lot of mixed feelings about Southwest, and I could not decide on just one movie genre for this residential area. Anyone who has lived in or is currently living in Southwest knows this place has so many things going on. It feels like it could be its own city the way it is always bustling and hustling, especially during the weekend nights, and it is a big residential area. I personally love living here because it is entertaining and chaotic, and personally I like to live in a lively place. That’s why I thought of Southwest being a coming of age genre. Southwest seems like the place where you do crazy things since you’re at the age of transitioning from teenager to adult and you don’t know exactly how to guide yourself because you’re still figuring out your life. I can also see Southwest having a thriller or horror vibe to it because living in a fun, chaotic area can also be scary, since you don’t know what might happen and sometimes the chaos isn’t entertaining anymore.


I visited Northeast a couple of times, and honestly it is similar to Orchard Hill’s vibe, except it is a little bit bigger and the foundation is not exactly on a big hill. However, it does not feel like an indie genre but more of a historical drama. I feel like Northeast gives an old, historic vibe compared to the other residential areas. Personally, when I walk around Northeast it feels nostalgic because the buildings remind me of the typical college dorm you see in the old movies.


Most of my friends live in Central and when I see them, the housing area feels like an adventure genre. This is based on my experience because I feel like there’s always something fun and exciting to do. We sometimes race down the hill, stargaze, or play games in the Van Meter basement. It just feels like a lot of anticipation, and something happening after the next that keeps things interesting.

Commonwealth Honors College

Honestly I’m jealous of the people who live in CHC because the dorms look so new and modern, and they get air conditioning! It just seems like the perfect reality on the outside compared to other residential areas, that is why I thought of CHC being a romance genre, especially an upbeat rom-com. It is like I am looking at CHC through a rose-colored, heart-shaped glasses because it seems so perfect. This reminded me so much of how people fall in love so easily in rom-coms, and how the love story is essentially perfect. I also see a lot of couples in that area and because of that it has that romantic, airy vibe to the dorms.


Fox 2000 Pictures

Since Sylvan is very secluded and almost kind of hidden, I thought of it being a fantasy genre because it is almost like the dorms are far enough to escape reality, and be in their fantasy world. I also thought it was interesting to see the pathway split into three to lead to each dorm because it reminded me the Wizard of Oz and the yellow brick road. I also feel like I can see that area being in a Harry Potter film, it fits the nostalgic and magical aesthetic with its brown, brick color scheme.

I hope you find my takes on the residential areas at UMass Amherst as movie genres interesting! I had so much fun looking into each area and seeing what they categorize in.

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Amanda Chung

U Mass Amherst '26

Hi! I’m a member of UMass Amherst’s HC, and I’m just spreading my ideas and having fun! :)