The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Things you HAVE to do as a Freshman!

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UMass students walking on campus, with leaves in the foreground. Text: "Things you have to do as a freshman"

Freshman year at UMass is one of the most memorable because you are experiencing everything about campus and the school for the first time. I vividly remember numerous moments from freshman year that I consider to be some of the best highlights of college thus far. There are tons of things everyone should experience their freshman year at UMass Amherst, and here are a handful of those things.

Visit Every Dining Location

UMass Amherst is number one in the nation for its dining, so what better way to prove this to yourself than by going to every single place that serves food! There are four major dining commons scattered throughout campus: Worcester, Franklin, Hampshire, and Berkshire; each is named after a Massachusetts county. They all have their own perks and differences, but they all are fantastic. Besides the dining commons, there are still tons of other cafes and places you can go to taste UMass’s highly-rated cuisine! 

Go to a Sporting Event

School pride is strong at UMass, and it shows at the majority of sporting events. Some of the most fun I had during freshman year was going to cheer on the Minutemen with my friends. I highly recommend going to any sporting event, especially one of your favorite sports. Since it's free for all undergraduate students, it is a no-brainer that everyone should go at least once.

Join a Club

Perhaps one of the best ways to meet new people, get involved in the community, or just have fun, joining a club is definitely something all first-year students should do. My freshman year I joined the entrepreneurship club and met some of my friends there. UMass offers a wide variety of clubs, and there is pretty much one for anything you are interested in.

Check out Downtown Amherst or Northampton

The UMass campus is great, and it has tons to do, but so is the surrounding area and community. No matter where you come from, visiting downtown Amherst and Northampton are essential. Freshman year I visited downtown Northampton for the first time ever, and I only live 30 minutes away from it. There's tons of stuff to do, whether you’re looking for dining or leisure. But regardless, everyone should experience what western Massachusetts has to offer.

Freshman year at UMass Amherst is one of the most important years at the school. Getting settled into college life and adjusting to the campus lifestyle takes a bit of time, but with all the opportunities and various experiences, it’ll for sure be one that you will remember for a while.


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