Image of Worcester Commons taken by John Solem, University Photographer
Student Voices

From Lexington to UMass

UMass Amherst student in a white dress standing next to a stone wall

Sujin Lee comes from Lexington, Mass., but both her parents come from Korea. Sujin is currently studying psychology at UMass, and is also a part of the Commonwealth Honors College. Being from Lexington, Sujin explained, she knew everyone she grew up with and was excited for a new set of faces. In Lexington most of her friends were white or Asian, and coming to UMass she has met people from all over the world. Sujin has also been exposed to new cultures and foods through the various events hosted on campus. 

Sujin was originally considering attending Boston University but ended up deciding on UMass for multiple reasons. “At the end of the day UMass had so many different programs in case psychology didn't work out, and the psychology program was really strong,” Sujin said. She also explained that the amount of clubs and organizations on campus (over 400!) was really enticing because there was so much she could do. Sujin laughed when saying that good food was also a really big factor as she didn’t want any added stressors. 

UMass women's running club

When she first got to UMass, Sujin was involved in a RAP program, which really helped her adjust and meet kids on her floor with similar interests. Sujin said that along with her RAP, “joining clubs and going to events really helped me meet new faces. I feel like it's all so connected. You meet a friend through a club and then you meet a friend of theirs and you all become friends.” She ended up joining the Running Club as well as the Korean Students Association, specifically to feel more connected to her culture. After her first event she applied for the e-board and became the club's treasurer. Now she is the club’s vice president. 

Sujin likes to think of UMass as one large community within which you can find your own smaller communities. Not only did she find community in the KSA, but also through being a teaching assistant for the Intro to Psychology class, and joining the UMass Fashion Organization. Sujin made it a point to put effort into meeting others with similar interests that easily connected them. However, she also realized it was necessary to say no and create boundaries for herself. Sujin said, “I just kept saying yes and it reached a point where I didn’t eat dinner three days out of the week because I just couldn’t fit everything in.” She had to learn how to manage her time better and prioritize her needs. 

Sujin’s parting advice to incoming students is, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. As a new student everything is terrifying but everyone is in the same boat.”