The University of Massachusetts put on a variety of events for incoming freshman during Move-In Weekend, which is the long weekend before classes. Whether you are into sports, shopping, or just looking for some good food, there is a little bit of something for everyone!
Friday night my roommate and I headed out to the “Big UCarnival.” It was the kickoff to the many events UMass Amherst had planned for freshmen during their first weekend on campus. At the carnival we found ourselves surrounded by music, carnival games, and free food. The food lines were long, but seemed to move quickly; serving out cotton candy and snow cones. My roommate and I played a round of skee ball on a large inflatable skee ball board, and spent at least 30 minutes watching people try to ring the bell on high striker. The overall atmosphere was exciting and uplifting, giving freshmen something to do the first night.
Adventure into Amherst
Saturday afternoon, my roommate and I set out again. This time we headed towards downtown Amherst. Along the way we met a group of girls, some of whom I now hang out with on a regular basis. We chatted while waiting in line at Vivi Bubble Tea, a cute pink Tawaineese Bubble Tea shop located on North Pleasant Street. After conquering the long line, I finally had my first sip of bubble tea. Personally it was not my 'cup of tea', but still a memorable experience. After spending over an hour drinking tea and bonding, our group headed out once again to familiarize ourselves with the downtown area. Amherst has a decent handful of restaurants, coffee shops, and thrift stores. Being only a 15-20 minute walk, and only a mile away, I plan on taking more trips down to visit some of Amherst’s biggest attractions such as Antonio’s Pizza and Insomnia Cookies.
Many Voices One Community
This hour-long event was held at the Mullins Center and showcased diversity and inclusiveness at UMass Amherst. This event consisted of various performances by members of the community embracing equality. Performances ranged from poetry to dancing, and even featured the popular UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band.
Saturday night a group of us headed over to the Haigis Mall bus stop to catch a bus for Mall Madness. Mall Madness was located at the Hampshire Mall, a ten-minute or less drive from UMass Amherst. Buses shuttled students to and from the event at various bus stops around campus. Once at the mall, there were various booths with raffles and free prizes. A group of us went to Pinz Entertainment where we played a variety of arcade games. Some other entertainment sights included the Autobahn Indoor Speedway, All in Adventures, and Cinemark Theater. The mall also has a variety of retail shops such as Target, JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
New2U Tag Sale
I highly recommend going to this event! The New2U Tag Sale is a huge yard sale type of event where you can purchase anything from rugs, to electrical appliances, and even storage for your dorm. Doors open at 8 a.m., and the first hour admission is five dollars for first dibs. After nine admission is free. I went with some friends around 9:45 and while there was still plenty left, many people had already claimed the best of the lot. My advice is to go early if you can and pay the extra five dollars! The items there are really cheap, and I was able to score a plastic water jug, storage stand and tote, all for five dollars.
This is a really great event with LOTS of free stuff! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff? UFest is held on the lawn by the library, and consists of a bunch of tents featuring different services/opportunities on campus. I went around from tent to tent collecting info packets and a bunch of free merch, including a UMass Amherst fanny pack, chapstick, and even a plant. Some organizations I would definitely recommend checking out include Study Abroad and Campus Recreation.
Located at the Mullins practice rink, ice skating was just one of the many activities planned Labor Day weekend. This optional free skate ran both Saturday and Sunday evening. My friends and I took the time Sunday evening to head over and take some laps around the rink. We were provided with free skate rentals, and spent the better part of the evening skating around and chatting. We were by no means skating pros, and saw a wide range of skating abilities from professional skaters to amateurs such as ourselves. It gave us something to do and I’d highly recommend checking out the rink if you ever have some free time!