The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Living on "The Hill"

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Orchard Hill residential area at the University of Massachusetts

Orchard Hill, or O'Hill for short, is a residential area on campus that gained its titled from the fact that the residence halls sit upon a hill, elevating itself above the rest of campus. 

Some residence halls of Central residential area share the hill, including where I live right now. These are referred to as “Upper Central.” When I say I live in Upper Central, almost everyone’s reaction is, “How's the hill?” I, too, was not excited about having to walk up a big hill everyday. Granted, I lived “below” the hill last year in Wheeler Hall, so walking upward to my residence hall was never a full workout, but I also have a fracture in my leg, so no amount of walking is that fun. However, even with my injury, I can vouch that living on a hill is definitely not as bad as everyone thinks.

For starters, I have never had as good of a calf workout in my life. Walking up a fairly steep hill several times a day does wonders for your legs, so I never feel out-of-shape because of where I live. There is even a staircase between O’Hill and Central for rainy or icy days so that I don’t slip. I can guarantee that if you live in Upper Central or O’Hill, you definitely won’t feel out of shape by the end of the semester.

The view of UMass from the hill is stunning. We see every aspect of campus — Du Bois, the Southwest towers, and other buildings all from a slightly higher angle, and it’s picturesque. I live in Central for its beautiful architecture and prime location, so walking up a hill is no big deal. I would take walking up a hill for a nice view from my window any day.

I love living in Central. Sure, there are times when I’m lazy and don’t want to, but it definitely isn’t as big of a nuisance as it initially seems. I guarantee that if you live in Upper Central or O’Hill, you’ll love the results of your built-in leg workout and seeing the University of Massachusetts campus from our view!


Life at UMass
Residential Life

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My First Visit to UMass

Picture of McGuirk Stadium with the caption: “My First Visit to UMass"

The first time I ever set foot on to the University of Massachusetts campus was in the spring of my junior year of high school. Amidst an array of college tours, SAT practice tests, and AP exam studying, I can’t honestly say I took the time to appreciate the little beauties UMass Amherst had to offer-- rather, I worried that my application would not be up to par. Questions ran through my head the entire time I was there, as they would any stressed out high school junior: “What if my extracurriculars aren’t good enough?” “Have I taken enough AP classes?” “What if I’m not accepted?”