36 Questions I Have For UMass Amherst

36 Questions I Have For UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, we're all behind you.
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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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To The Defeated Nursing Major, You'll Rise

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

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You will have weeks when you are defeated. Some mornings you won't be able to get out of bed and some days you won't be able to stop crying enough to go to class. You'll feel like nobody understands the stress that you are under, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to because they either don't get it or are dealing with their own meltdowns. There will be weeks that you want to change your major and give up on the whole thing. But, you'll rise.

You will miss football games, concerts, and nights out with the girls. There will be stretches of two or more weeks you'll go without seeing your mom, and months where you have to cancel on your best friend 4+ times because you have too much studying to do. There will be times where no amount of "I'm sorry" can make it up to your little brother when you miss his big football game or your grandparents when you haven't seen them in months. But, you'll rise.

You will have patients who tell you how little they respect nurses and that you won't be able to please no matter how hard you try. You will have professors who seem like their goal is to break you, especially on your bad days. You will encounter doctors who make you feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. You will leave class some days, put your head against your steering wheel and cry until it seems like there's nothing left to cry out. But, you'll rise.

You will fail tests that you studied so hard for, and you will wing some tests because you worked too late the night before. You will watch some of the smartest people you've ever known fail out because they simply aren't good test takers. You will watch helplessly as your best friend falls apart because of a bad test grade and know that there is absolutely nothing you can do for her. There will be weeks that you just can't crack a smile no matter how hard you try. But, you'll rise.

You'll rise because you have to — because you've spent entirely too much money and effort to give up that easily. You'll rise because you don't want to let your family down. You'll rise because you're too far in to stop now. You'll rise because the only other option is failing, and we all know that nurses do not give up.

You'll rise because you remember how badly you wanted this, just 3 years ago as you were graduating high school, with your whole world ahead of you. You'll rise because you know there are people that would do anything to be in your position.

You'll rise because you'll have one patient during your darkest week that'll change everything— that'll hug you and remind you exactly why you're doing this, why this is the only thing you can picture yourself doing for the rest of your life.

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You'll rise because you have compassion, you are selfless, and you are strong. You'll rise because even during the darkest weeks, you have the constant reminder that you will be changing the world someday.

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Toughing It

A few words about overcoming a rough patch.

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Nobody's perfect. Things can be going beautifully, and all of a sudden become very messy. Not everything is going to go over smoothly, but that's expected. People get stressed, and they overreact. How you handle these situations is what truly matters.

I've seen it all. I've seen people leave these occurrences behind them and move on with their lives as normal, picking up right where they'd left off. I've seen people bottle their emotions in, and not communicate their feelings. I've seen people communicate their feelings to others, but not reach out to the person they're actually upset with in order to resolve a problem. I've seen people be outright nasty for no reason. I've seen people act quite maturely, but I've also seen people act in ways I thought only occurred in middle school.

I'm the type of person who faces things head-on. If I'm upset about something involving someone, he/she will hear it directly from me. I don't like leaving issues to brew, so I tend to directly confront people. That's not exactly everyone's prerogative, but hey - they're not me. Everyone handles their situations differently... some haven't exactly made the choices I would make, but hey - I'm not them.

Some find success in being more passive. But this has two different outcomes - either it gets dropped completely, or it brews. The first is an easy way for everyone to move on. The latter is a disaster waiting to happen. If you feel like something is only gaining steam, then ignoring the issue may not be the best idea. That balloon will eventually burst, and the result will not be pretty. At all.

In resolving an issue, you may just have to take a second and think about whether or not it's actually worth drawing out. If the issue doesn't actually pertain to you, drop it. I cannot stress that enough. If you were not directly involved in something, you have absolutely no place to judge. The best idea, in this case, would be to just accept the fact that things don't always go the way you want them to.

They don't always go as planned, either. If this involves a friend, think about how important that friendship is to you, and whether or not drawing things out that don't involve you is worth risking that friendship. Honestly, actually drawing it out will not only make you look immature but may also come across as you questioning your friend's character... and believe me - that is not worth it. You choose who you surround yourself with, and you chose these people for a reason. Remember that.

These things are going to happen. There are going to be rough patches. There are going to be things that people do that you don't always like and/or agree with. There are going to be things that happen that you can't wrap your head around. But at the end of the day, it's the way you handle it that people will remember.

If you messed up, own up to it. I know - much easier said than done. But taking responsibility will maintain the respect others have for you and will keep your maturity and integrity intact. If someone takes responsibility, don't draw it out. Trust me - it's not worth it. That will only dig the hole deeper, and then you're in an even rougher patch that will be even more difficult to work through.

Not everyone operates the same way. This is to be taken into account for not only what you're handling, but also the way things are handled. People aren't always going to do things you would necessarily do, and they won't always handle it the way you might've chosen to. It takes a lot of acceptance, open-mindedness, forgiveness, and patience. Much easier said than done, but definitely more worthwhile in the end.

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