Over the last few weeks, I have been binge-watching college acceptance reaction videos on YouTube. I saw a few students who were accepted to UMass Amherst, which warmed my heart immensely. Congratulations class of 2024! Although I am heading into my senior year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in a few short months, watching these videos brought back a lot of fond memories of when I was applying to college in 2017.
Deciding which college to attend is not easy, especially when you have a lot of great options. So, how do I decide what university to attend? Here are four of the reasons why I decided to attend UMass Amherst.
If there is one thing that I have learned during my time here at UMass Amherst, it's that you can always make a big school small but you cannot make a small school big. When I was narrowing down my college decision, I knew I wanted to attend a large university. I came from a sizable high school so I could not imagine attending a university that was smaller than that.
UMass is undoubtedly a large university. With undergraduate enrollment of 22,726 as of 2019, UMass has a large student population and an even bigger campus. The expansive UMass Amherst campus has always drawn me to the university, but I completely understand how its size can be intimidating to incoming students who are apprehensive about attending such a large college.
Despite its size, UMass Amherst feels small and homey for myself and many other students because of the clubs I am in, friends I have made, and my various other campus involvements. If you are unsure if you will like a larger school, you can always find your circle to make the school feel more intimate. You cannot make a smaller school larger if you find yourself not liking the size as much as you anticipated. I love how large and welcoming UMass Amherst is -- you just might as well!
The Amount of Majors and Minors
I was accepted into UMass Amherst as an English major, but I knew I wanted to double major in something as well. I spent the second semester of my freshman year exploring the wide variety of major and minor options that the university offered. With more than 90 undergraduate majors residing in 10 schools and colleges and a multitude of minors and certificate programs, UMass Amherst provides students even more pathways to explore their interests and passions. UMass Amherst even gives students the option to design their major through the Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC). With so many options, I knew I would be in a great environment if I decided that English was not for me. Through my exploration, I discovered the communication major, something I never knew existed when I was in high school, and ended up declaring it as my secondary major. If you are like myself and eager to explore a multitude of career paths, UMass Amherst is the right place for you!
UMass Amherst is known for its number one dining. As someone who loves food, this was a huge selling point for me. With four dining commons, more than 20 retail cafes, Kosher and Halal options, two food trucks, the Bakeshop, UMass Catering, concessions, and the University Club, there is so much that UMass Dining has to offer. As a junior at the university, I can say without a doubt that the food here lives up to the hype. During your first year especially, you are going to be eating on campus rather frequently. Why not ensure that your future university is known for its number one dining? Trust me, you and your taste buds will not regret this decision!
UMass Amherst’s pride extends far beyond your time here on campus. I am incredibly thankful to have worked with both recent and older alumni throughout my time here at UMass. Every alum I have met was warm, welcoming, and had such a desire to help UMass Amherst students. The pride and love for UMass Amherst you gain during your time here will stick with you forever. Even now, when I find out someone is going to attend UMass, I instantly beam with happiness and want to help them as much as I can.
That is the heart and pride of UMass. We are a family and we want to help one another whenever possible. When I decided to attend UMass Amherst, I was gaining more than just a great education, I was gaining a lifelong family.
Huge congratulations to the class of 2024! I hope this upcoming year provides you all nothing but growth and positivity. Deciding on what college to attend may be difficult, but in the end, have faith that you will make the right call. As a soon-to-be college senior, please remember to listen to your heart, stay humble and kind, and get ready for some of the most exciting years of your life. College is a wonderful experience; make the most of it. I hope to see many new and exciting faces on campus this fall. Go UMass!