Before I was accepted to UMass Amherst, I had visited many many times. In fact, my first visit was in 8th grade, dragged along on college tours as a younger sibling usually is.
My older brother eventually attended UMass Amherst, so it is safe to say that I was no stranger to campus by the time I was a senior in high school. When I was in the middle of my application process and accepted to UMass, I thought I really knew everything there was to know about this school, but it was not until I visited as an accepted student that I knew this was the school for me!
Coming as an accepted student is completely different. It forces you to truly picture yourself here. It definitely helps that our Open House and YOUMass Days take place during the spring — so picturing yourself here includes laying out on the grass by the campus pond or swinging in a hammock on a quad. But really, it felt extra special visiting with the real possibility of being a student here come the fall.
Everything from eating in the dining hall to walking through academic buildings felt like the beginning of the next four years of my life. Coming to campus during this time completely solidified my desire to be a real student here. It helped that there were countless activities put on by UMass, individual major programs, and the Honors College. But really the most exhilarating part was watching students live their lives. Every student I encountered was making the most of their UMass years and doing it with a smile on their faces. I knew that I had to enroll in this university.