Picture of the outside of South College with students walking
Student Voices

From Hingham to UMass

UMass student standing outside posing in a long blue formal dress

When I asked Ella Ross what it was like growing up in Hingham, Massachusetts, she described her hometown of many years as a “close, tight knit community.” Later on, I asked her what it was like being a student at UMass Amherst. Her response didn’t change.

Although Ella wasn’t planning to stay on the East Coast for college, she quickly rethought her decision when she visited the UMass campus for the first time. The “beautiful and unique” buildings and cheerful atmosphere she encountered on her tour encouraged her to keep an open mind. 

“I wanted to go to school in the South until I toured UMass,” she shared. “Also, my tour guide had a similar story to me, and she made me realize how happy I could be here.” 

Group of UMass sorority girls in jeans and casual tops posing in front of a house entryway

Another factor that drew Ella to choosing UMass was the Isenberg School of Management. Not only does the program rank highly in business academics, but it also offers “so many opportunities for networking.” Now a sophomore management major, Ella couldn’t see herself anywhere else.

In her first year, Ella met “some of [her] closest friends to this day” through joining the Isenberg Fellows Residential Academic Program. UMass RAPs enable first-year students, as well as transfer students, to live together and enroll in the same class. “I think it can be very overwhelming to start college and live with people you don’t know,” Ella said. “Being in a RAP allowed me to socialize with people both in and out of the classroom. It really helped me deal with my homesickness.” 

Group of UMass sorority girls in pink formal dresses posing in front of an entryway

Most notably, Ella found her community by joining Kappa Kappa Gamma, one of many Greek life organizations offered at UMass Amherst. “Rushing freshman year was the best decision I made. It made a big university feel so much smaller,” she shared. Since joining her sorority, Ella has formed so many close connections with other students involved in Greek life. Similar to living in a RAP community, Ella loves that living in her sorority house feels like “having 24/7 sleepovers with all of [her] best friends.” Although she recognizes that being in a sorority is not for everyone, she encourages anyone who is interested to consider rushing. “I have built so many strong relationships with the girls I’ve met here.”

When Ella has free time, you can find her at a workout class at the Recreation Center. UMass offers several free fitness classes, including pilates, spin, and core workouts. “The instructors are amazing, and it's a great way to stay active,” she shared.