The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Club Culture: UMass Dance Company

UMass Dance Company Performing at UFest

UMass Dance Company

The UMass Dance Company is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) on campus dedicated to bringing together experienced dancers who are looking for something fun and easygoing, but also willing to put in time and commitment to work hard on their dances. The UMass Dance Company is completely student run, showcasing all student-made choreography. We spoke to Olivia, a sophomore member of the company, about why she's so happy to be a part of such an amazing group of dancers and people.

My College Decision Journey: Gap Year and Beyond

University of Massachusetts blogger Xenia stands along the windows of the Integrative Learning Center

After graduating high school, I was flooded with a million questions about what I wanted to do with my life. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was one huge question mark where my face was supposed to be, much like high school seniors everywhere.   

The first decision I made had to do with timing. I wasn’t ready start a new life right away, so after multiple conversations with my parents, friends, and school counselor, I decided to take a gap year between high school and college.

Why I Chose UMass Amherst

A University of Massachusetts tour guide walks on campus with a group on a beautiful, sunny, fall day.

If you’d asked me a year ago where I would end up for college, I probably would’ve shrugged my shoulders and told you I was “still figuring it out.” I have a habit of putting off things I don’t want to deal with till the last minute. This includes large life-changing decisions like choosing a college.

How I Wrote my College Essay

Blurred image of spiral notebook with header saying How to: Write a college essay

I come from a long family line of people who are educated. My grandmother, an NYU graduate, was among the first in her family to go to college. My mother graduated from Boston College, and my sister just recently earned her master's at Brandeis University. I had high expectations to be met, and — to be 100 percent transparent — going to college was part of my life plan as something I always looked forward to, rather than an aspiration. As schools were beginning to use a more holistically based grading system, I knew that my essay would impact the decision of my acceptance. So, whatever topic I chose to write about, I knew it had to be a good one.

My Experience as a First-Generation College Student

Aaliyah sits on a bench with her mom and smiles on the campus of the University of Massachusetts

I am a first-generation college student. As defined by the Common Application Systems, this means that neither of my parents completed a baccalaureate degree. Nearly a third of undergraduate students in the United States are first-generation and here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, about 25 percent of the population of each entering class is first-generation, revealing that a majority of college students are not first-generation. This means that many college students likely have a parent or relative that understands the collegiate process firsthand and can provide mentorship throughout the student’s journey — a huge resource that many first-generation students lack. It is hard to navigate college and the difficulties that come with it on your own, especially when your own parents do not understand what it is like in your shoes. Being first-generation comes with many challenges and benefits. Here is what my experience has been like as a first-generation college student at UMass Amherst. 

Meet the Major: Fashion Marketing & Merchandising

Fashion Marketing student sitting on steps outside of UMass Campus Center on sunny September day.

Anneliese Vogt, a third year student here on campus, knew she always had an affinity for all things fashion. Never did she think, however, she’d be able to attend school for essentially every aspect of the field. To her surprise through UMass’s Bachelors Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) she has been able to do exactly that.

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