How to master your “college experience”

A guide for Umass Amherst students on creating a fulfilling college career

The “college experience,” a phrase that we are all too familiar with, usually pertains to having a vibrant social life, while often dismissing the less glamorous side of college. The feeling of wasting away the college years tends to haunt many students, and the pressure can become too much. When feeling overwhelmed by college, it can be easy to stay in a comfortable routine. The day-to-day routine becomes waking up, going to class, doing homework and eating with friends.  However, I challenge you to get everything you can out of your UMass experience, and hopefully, this guide can help you master your college career! 


Stay in the loop


It can be challenging when you want to get involved, but have no idea where to start.

 First, I recommend checking your UMass email at least once a day; the University will frequently send updates about upcoming events and opportunities. Don’t get too caught up with all the emails – because there will be a lot. An important reminder is to understand that you won’t be able to attend every event or join every organization. If you end up missing an opportunity, there will be plenty more right around the corner. 

Other sources of information can come from any bulletin board in your dorm hall, common room or any of the academic buildings. Keep an eye on the countless, colorful flyers hanging around, because opportunities are around every corner – literally!


Befriend the UMass Amherst website 


The UMass website is full of hidden gems that unlock a variety of opportunities. I recommend going to the Campus Pulse where hundreds of clubs and organizations are listed. First, write down a list of emails from all the clubs that interest you. Then, email each individual club and ask to join their email list; by getting on the email list, you will be informed about upcoming club meetings or events. 

The Umass Amherst website can feel like falling down a rabbit hole with the number of hidden opportunities. Some other sections under the student activities umbrella to check out are getting involved with the student government, student-run businesses, or the many sororities and fraternities that make up the “Greek life” here on campus. It’s never too late to venture outside of your comfort zone to explore new interests. Many organizations welcome inexperienced, new members all the time. From the Film Production club to the Ski and Board club, there is something on UMass campus for everyone. 


Get excited with experience 


At the end of the day, college is here to prepare you for your future career path. I recommend getting as many experiences as possible to help narrow down your major and career pursuits. The app “Handshake” can help with the search for internships and jobs in your preferred field. It’s also important to reach out and build familiar relationships with your professors; it’s never too early to start networking. Working with professors can help give insight into your desired field, as they have both the experience and knowledge. Building these relationships and gaining new experiences will not only be fulfilling throughout college, but it can also help with your future by bulking up your resume, showing future employers that you are a qualified contender. 


There are endless ways to get involved and find fulfillment in college and these tips can help get you started in the right direction. College is a journey, so remember to trust the process and get out and explore your passions!


Email Lily at [email protected]

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