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Student Voices

From Dartmouth to UMass

UMass Amherst tour guide

Jonathan (JC) Carnes, a current UMass student in his second year, comes from the town of Dartmouth, Mass. JC is currently studying Operations and Information Management  in the Isenberg School of Management and is a part of the Commonwealth Honors College. JC comes from a UMass family: His mother is a professor at UMass Dartmouth, his brother attends UMass Lowell, and his sister is following in his footsteps at UMass Amherst. As a student on the pre-law track, JC was keeping in mind how expensive law school will be, and felt that UMass Amherst offered him the most value as an undergraduate experience with less cost. “Academics are out of the park, along with UMass organizations. Being a tour guide has been the best job ever, I have met the best people and really enjoy carrying the responsibility of selling a $100,000 degree as an Isenberg student. UMass just hits a home run in all of its aspects,” said JC. 

The people he found on his journey helped him adjust to the new environment. JC made a lot of friends through his tour guide job, as well as through his first year living situation. Wheeler Hall, where JC resided his first year at UMass, was the best combination of people, he said, and he met friends that were both boisterous and chill. He described them as the type of people who smile when you walk past. 

UMass Amherst student in front of South College

JC was constantly keeping busy his freshman year, which allowed him to branch his passions in many directions. “As a freshman my classes were easier, so I wanted to take advantage of the time I had... I was also keeping a conscious eye on the UMass’ Instagram, which is the reason why I am a tour guide and a Collegian staff member,” he explained. 

JC found his community through multiple facets of UMass and really loves spending as much time with friends as possible either doing work, hanging out, or going out and doing something new. “A lot of the people I’ve connected with — whether it be from Wheeler Hall, or tour guiding, or the Collegian — they are people similar to me, having charismatic energy, people who desire after this but also are people that stay in the moment,” he said.

Throughout his time at UMass JC has learned that it's never too late to recover and make up for past mistakes. Over the past year JC decided that not only did he want to invest in his education, he knew it was time to invest in himself, especially in his mental health. The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health has been a support system that JC has utilized to improve himself and his mental health. JC said, “ I feel much more grounded in my academics, my internships and my friendships.” JC encourages new students to explore all their options freshman year but to know that, “not everything will happen right away, explore yourself and there will be people who are there to help you.”