36 Questions I Have For UMass Amherst

36 Questions I Have For UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, we're all behind you.

With it being early days of a new year, it is a good time to do some reflection. Thinking about my life, where I go to school -- the University Of Massachusetts, Amherst -- popped into my head quite a bit, and well, I have a lot of questions that I would like answered, just like students at other universities do.

Don't get me wrong, UMass. I love our campus and all, but I am afraid there are still a few unanswered questions I've had since becoming a student here.

Such as...

1. Was the floor plan of Morrill Science Center created by Satan himself?

2. Why is the food in Southwest significantly better than the food in Central and Northeast? Don't get me wrong, dining overall is truly #1 in the nation, but why the disparity between cafeteria locations?

3. How does Eduroam always manage to crash at the exact moment I'm doing my online math homework?

4. Has anyone ever considered installing a built-in slide on Orchard Hill?

5. Did W.E.B. du Bois personally approve of the exterior design of the library? It could be a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

6. Why is our winter break longer than other schools'? I've been ready to go back for two weeks now.

7. What is the point of having overly specific course registration periods?

8. What's up with the random wind tunnels everywhere?

9. Why isn't Blue Wall open for Late Night?

10. Who thought of the idea of placing Newman Catholic Center directly next to Theta Chi? I've always wondered about that as I walk past a church, then a frat.

11. Considering the fact that half the UMass population claims to be from Boston (which I actually am, by the way), why isn't there an on-campus Dunkies?

12. Why doesn't my "smart" TV work in the dorms? I'd just like to stream Netflix on a bigger screen than my MacBook.

13. Who thought of the idea of adding 'a tobacco-free campus' to the welcome signs? For whatever reason, a lot of people get a kick out of that.

14. Why aren't there duck food dispensers next to the pond so we can feed the duckies?

15. Why aren't "maroon Mondays" enforced better?

16. What is the hourly rate for someone who dresses up as Sam the Minuteman on a hot summer's day?

17. Why can't there be air conditioning in every dorm?

18. Why isn't there a playground of some sort on Haigis Mall?

19. Why aren't there elevators in every dorm for move-in day purposes?

20. Why is the Rec Center such a hike from some dorms? Shouldn't that be made more accessible for the cold winter mornings or rainy nights?

21. Who thought to build the underground tunnel between the Student Union and Campus Center? Why wasn't the library included in that plan?

22. How do large tour groups always manage to block access to the library elevators during the afternoon, one of the busiest times to study?

23. Why can't students ice skate on the pond?

24. Why is the footbridge near the pond built for one-way traffic?

25. Why can't the Conservatory be open 24/7?

26. Why can't the other academic buildings become even remotely as nice as Isenberg, the ILC, and Life Sciences building?

27. Why are the radiators overly aggressive during the winter? Why can't students adjust the heat in their rooms to their likings?

28. Why is University Health Services not in a more central location?

29. Has anyone ever wondered as to why the fire alarms go off multiple times a week in certain dorms? Just a thought.

30. Why are therapy dogs only available to play with during midterms and finals weeks? This needs to be year-round.

31. Why does campus always seem to flood a little bit during a rain storm?

32. Why aren't there more than five washers and dryers in some dorms?

33. Why aren't there sleds available to rent for snow days? Treys only go so fast.

34. Why are the sunsets always so picture-perfect?

35. Why am I so eager to go back to school during a relaxing break? It wasn't but a month ago I would give anything to leave you. I can't quit you, UMass.

And finally...

36. How did we all end up with such an amazing school to be proud of?

If anyone-- admin, the student body, random bystander-- can answer any or all of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: UMass

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18 things all college kids think during their first week home of summer break

Because it's so nice to be home, I think?


1. Ahhh, it's so nice to be home

Buckingham Palace ain't got nothing on this place

2. OMG my pups!! I missed you doggos so much

Just accept my love. Pls. Love me back, I've been gone for 8 months. I'm begging.

3. Wow this queen bed is so big

*cue sleeping in a starfish position*

4. Finally a bedroom to myself

Headphones? I don't know her.

5. But wait, it's kinda scary sleeping in a dark room alone again

"Hello? Are there any ghosts in here?"

6. Sooooooo, no more meal plan?

Are you sure the local Chick-Fil-A doesn't accept meal swipes?

7. Who am I supposed to annoy at 2am if my friends don't live down the hall anymore?

2:30 AM: "Mom? Dad? Wanna go get french fries with me? Maybe watch a movie?"


"Okay maybe tomorrow...Sorry for bothering you. Okay good talk!"

8. "Mom you're going to do my laundry now, right?"

I mean it's kinda your job isn't it?

No? Okay yes ma'am I will do my own laundry no problemo, aye aye captain!

9. Me and my friends are going to spend every day together

*Me talking to myself through the camera on Snapchat*:

"So we're approaching day four with zero human interaction. Pretty good work, but we could do better!"

10. Yes, final grades are in! Can't wait to see what I got this semester!

*Slowly closes computer screen*

11. Do I really have to ask my parents to leave the house?

*Doesn't Ask*:



Mom: "Oh honey you're an adult now, you don't have to ask! Come and go as you please!"

12. Chores? Yea no thank you.

They've been doing them without me for months. They're all set.

13. Wait, so forreal though.. do restaurants in town take my meal plan?

Bank Account: $5.93

*Whispers to worker* "I won't tell if you don't. Just swipe my school ID, see if it works."

14. Will my Juul set off the fire alarm in my bedroom?


*Rips Juul*

15. I kinda underestimated how weird it would be to hang out with people from my high school again.

"Oh no you haven't changed a bit Janice! Your baby is so cute lol."

*Awkwardly laughs*

16. Why do my old friends have new friends?

I don't like this, not one bit.

17. Can they tell that I'm not really listening to their stories about school?

"Yeah haha Delta Sigma Mu sounds sooooo dope Chad, that's ~wild~ that you had late nights three times a week lol!"

"Oh you snuck into the football stadium when the gates were unlocked?? That's crazy, you're crazy, school sounds... crazy!"

18. I'm bored. How long until I can go back to school?

Is it too late for a summer intersession?

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I Never Learned Any Practical Life Skills At School, So I'm Teaching Myself On The Fly

Frankly, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Some days, I’m pretty sure I never learned a single practical skill as a child. Or at least, my brain never retained a single bit of that information. Because I have no idea what I’m doing.

In this life, you’re either a kid or an adult. Somewhere along the line, people suddenly stopped treating me like a child and immediately expected me to act like an adult. I can’t pinpoint exactly when this occurred, but this change was abrupt. I had no responsibilities and no worries. But I also was not allowed to have any opinion or say, else I was being rude. Now, I’ve been thrown out to the wolves. They said, “You have to do everything yourself now, good luck!” And I have approximately zero life skills to get me through.

Why do they teach us the things they do in school? I have learned about the American Revolution no less than three times in my schooling, but not once did they teach us how to deal with a customer yelling at you about company policy that isn’t your fault, or how to deal with anxiety that’s crippling your ability to function.

They’ll punch you in the gut with useless algebra until you collapse, but god forbid you learn the proper way to tip at a restaurant. Do they teach you which important paperwork to keep around, how to deal with a landlord, the proper way to meet someone and take them out on a date, or how to fix a car? No, but I bet that everyone knows that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

Yeah, some of these things might be useful if you’re going to grow up to be a historian or an engineer or a biologist or a mathematician. But in a lot of cases, you’re probably not going to be one of those things, and at some point in your life you’re going to have a minimum-wage job which makes you hate your life. You’re going to be living on your own, and you need all these practical life skills to get by. And have you learned any of them? Probably not.

My parents have taught me a good amount of things, or at least have given me a quick crash course, but school was absolutely useless. The amount of information I retained from middle and high school is surprisingly little, and it’s really enlightening to not only how arbitrary everything they teach you is, but also how the system doesn’t work. That information could potentially be useful or at least interesting, but the grading system based on results rather than learning turns off any useful outlet.

After leaving the comfort of my home for the first time and shipping myself off to college, I realized exactly how little I knew about anything. I was an AP student and always considered myself to be smart, but now I realize how absolutely useless that is in the real world. You know how you BS a paper, and how you did that all through high school and college? I’m currently doing that with every aspect of my life. If no one knows I’m faking, perhaps they’ll think I’m a real adult. And maybe one day, I’ll learn all these life skills on the fly.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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