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Looking Back to Look Ahead: October 2019 at UMass Amherst

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The pink family from the Asian American Student Association, posing with photo booth props in October 2019

Snapchat Memories

The Snapchat memories are rolling in, reminding me that at this time last year I was discovering campus as a first-year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. October 2019 was a very fun and festive month: On the third, I met my assigned family group from the Asian American Student Association. This would be my group for the rest of the year; we would hang out whenever we could outside of general body meetings to grab dinner or Argo Tea or make TikToks. That night, we made friendship bracelets. On the fifth, I visited Amherst Books for the first time with a classmate from my communication seminar. We had a late afternoon photoshoot near Boltwood Walk. 

Long Weekend

October 12 was the first long weekend of the semester. While most Massachusetts students went back to their hometowns, my friends and I decided to stay on campus to pull our first non-academic all-nighter. My roommate and I challenged the boys to do our makeup looks—an activity that teeters in between a terrible idea and a great story to laugh about. Then, the four of us ordered cheese bread, took a midnight walk to downtown Amherst for some cookies, and stayed up to watch the sunrise by the Campus Pond

The first thing I did when I was back in my dorm room—after a prolonged nap to catch up on my sleep—was text my sister: “Guess what I did this weekend!”  She was a high school senior at the time, considering UMass Amherst as one of her options. Though she was already working on her application for the Early Application deadline on Nov. 5, I knew that hearing about my adventures would make her want to choose UMass even more. Now she is a student at UMass Amherst, studying remotely from home, and I'm excited for her to finally be able to experience campus life when we're back in person. 

All Treats, No Tricks

Now we're reaching the Halloween part of the story—a chapter that entails fairy wings, cat ears, ram horns, and of course, lobster tails. One of the most notable offerings of UMass Dining is the “All Treats, No Tricks” annual tradition of steak and lobster dinner. On the eve of Halloween, I met up with friends at Worcester Dining Hall, which had been revamped in decor appropriate for a spooky night. We were handed red tickets that allowed each person to pick up their own individual lobster. It was my first time ever eating lobster, and I can’t think of a better way to experience such a momentous occasion. 

For dessert, we headed up to Sweets & More, a one-stop shop for milkshakes, sundaes, and pancakes in Orchard Hill. I took a video of everyone showing off their shakes and ice cream, and one of my friends took a video of me rapping along to a Black Eyed Peas song that was playing in the background (Sweets & More always has fun music). Though we were a little sparse on costumes, my roommate and I wore ram horns and fairy wings that night. As we walked back to our dorms, huge gusts of wind continuously slapped against my wings. I let out a big laugh while yelling “It tickles! It tickles! The wind! It tickles!” I’m glad we got that on video too—truly one of the best in the archives. 

A New Tradition

That night began a new tradition for my group of friends as Sweets & More is also where we would celebrate Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. It was one of the last places we hung out altogether before the campus shutdown in March, and one of the first places I want to go when we come back. As I look back on these memories, I’m looking forward to when we all together on campus again, and all the wonderful moments  yet to come.

Topic: 

Amherst Area
Dining
Life at UMass
Why UMass

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October is LGBTQ+ History Month, and to celebrate, I thought I would look into the history of LGBTQ+ people at the University of Massachusetts! In recent history, UMass Amherst was recognized in October 2020 as one of the top 40 LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the country. While this is our 10th consecutive year with such a distinction, efforts towards progress and inclusivity actually began at the university in the 1980s. Let’s take a look at how it all started and the dynamic work that continues to this day.