Hi everyone! I go by Lizette Sta. Maria!
I’m a second year communication and journalism double major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Like all of yours, my life over the past few months has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, making it anything but ordinary. Now I’m back at home in Acton, Mass, where I’ve spent the last six months. Nonetheless, I’m excited to write for Undergraduate Admissions because social distancing doesn’t have to stop us from staying connected!
Why did you choose your major?
I started seriously thinking about career choices when I was 16. I even used Google slides to outline my career path. At the time, I wanted to become a magazine editor, spend my undergrad years in the Philippines, and go to California for grad school. Though I didn’t exactly go in that direction, I didn’t stray too far. The slideshow included many interests that still resonate with me today, like: writing articles, photography, graphic design, video editing, and social media. The overall theme was content creation. I chose to major in communication precisely because of its broadness. I then connected with Jules Bannister, the UMass Amherst admissions counselor for Middlesex County, after she visited my high school. Having graduated from UMass Amherst as a comm major herself, she was very happy to talk to me about the different doors her degree opened for her (in the software industry, in international travel, in working with students, etc.) I knew I wanted a rich and varied learning experience, and so far, I can say I’ve made the right choice!
By the end of freshman year however, I decided to add journalism as my secondary major with a concentration in public relations. I loved learning theories about media and culture, but I also wanted a more tangible skillset.
My theme for freshman year was exploration. I looked for fun things I’ve always wanted to do and might not get the chance to do in the future once my classes got more involved. So I became a member of the Belly Dance Club, joined the Asian-American Student Association, and modeled for the Sisters on the Runway charity fashion show! Before we were sent home in March, I finally got the chance to bask in 70 degree Amherst weather while doing homework out at the Orchard Hill bowl. Fingers crossed that I’ll get to experience that again soon!
Well, the 10-minute walk it used to take to get food at Frank turned into a two-second walk to the fridge. I’m able to take more classes than usual from home this semester, but I do try to stay mindful of Zoom and screen fatigue. I love my family, but I miss my friends. I love the convenience, but I miss the experience. Ultimately, quarantine life has had its ups and downs, but everyone’s trying their best!
A Little Bit More About Me:
Fun Fact actually really really sad fact: I can’t swim. (That’s a Tiktok reference…. But it’s not a lie. In ninth grade, I had to use an aqua belt to float).
I have two first names (Lizette being the second), a middle name (my mom’s maiden name), and a two-part last name (pronounced the same way as one of Christopher Columbus’s boats).
Finally, for the fact I save for icebreakers: My 13th birthday was on Friday the 13th, 2013.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or even just to say hello at email@example.com!