The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Things I Wish I’d Known When I was Applying to College

Collage of images with text: Tips for Applying to College

College application season is upon us! Whether you are a first year student or transfer, applying to college can be a difficult process. There is a lot to handle — especially in terms of making choices. With this, the process will be a different experience for everyone. 

Here are some helpful tips I wish I knew when I was applying to college: 

Going to Office Hours!

A professor at the University of Massachusetts sits at a desk in an office

One of the best things about going to the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the fact that even though the campus is so big, it’s very easy to make it feel small when you need to. The size of the university gives students a wide array of events, activities, and more, but sometimes there are moments when you want it to feel more personal. I know for me, this was apparent during the classes that were in lecture halls with over 200 students! The best tool that some underclass students don’t utilize enough are office hours. Here are some tips and information all about going!

We Translate: A Look Into the Daily Collegian Translations Department

"We translate" in various languages graphic for the MA Daily Collegian at the University of Massachusetts

The Translations Department at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian was started two years ago, and it is the first one at a college daily. The department has since expanded into nine languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The beauty of the translations department is that as long as a there is an editor and at least one translator, any language can be included.

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.