Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Sophomoric musings

By Merav Kaufman

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While a tear-jerking, self-reflective column on the University of Massachusetts experience is usually reserved for graduating seniors, I have decided to attempt a similar feat for my last column of the year despite my lowly sophomore status.

It feels like just last week that I was standing in a circle on the Northeast Quad playing “Where the Wind Blows.”  New Student Orientation was my first glimpse of college life, and I made more new friends during those 48 hours than I could keep track of – none of whom I have seen or spoken with since.

Now that I have reached the halfway point of my college career, I marvel at the growth I have undergone over the past two years.  I now part my hair on the right instead of on the left, rarely wake up before 9:45 a.m. and, as a result of my ongoing love affair with Earthfoods Café, consider kale to be a staple food in my diet.

My decision to attend UMass was fairly serendipitous, and my choice of major was even more so; as I hastily completed the last of my college supplements, I declared an intended field of study without much thought, simply selecting the first option on the alphabetically-ordered drop-down menu.

Three months later, upon learning of my acceptance as an accounting major to the Isenberg School of Management, I was moderately surprised. Fortunately, this field proved to be a fine fit – although recently, following a brief mid-college crisis, I impulsively switched my major from accounting to finance. But few people seem to appreciate the difference.

My track to becoming a comfortable, well-adjusted college student was not without its share of hurdles. It took me over a year to discover the convenience of remote printing at the library, by which time I had wasted hours waiting for a computer in the Learning Commons.

It also took me three semesters to find the bathroom on the third floor of the Recreation Center. I always knew there was a reason for the heavy two-way traffic behind the yoga mats.

I still haven’t gained the intuition to predict the best time to claim an empty laundry machine, and still always seem to run late for class – and subsequently sprint down Orchard Hill like a fool in a vain attempt to make it to Herter Hall in less than 10 minutes.

Nevertheless, I have managed to escape the mad scramble for on-campus housing largely unscathed, and my UMail address (see below) makes me feel extremely important. I have also yet to be sentenced to the Facebook Timeline. So life is good.

Much has changed over the past year at the University of Massachusetts. Peer Mentors lost and regained their jobs and the number of ongoing construction projects seems at times to surpass the number of existing buildings on campus. This year also saw the inception of Baby Berk, whose freakishly constant presence in my life has convinced me that there are duplicates of the food truck driving around.

Yet the wonderful constants to campus life continue to provide stability and comfort amid all this change. The ducks never seem to leave the campus pond – even in the dead of winter. Regina unfailingly wishes me a “beautiful evening” as I enter Franklin each night and walking up Orchard Hill never seems to get any easier.

With just four semesters remaining at UMass, I feel my undergraduate clock ticking. There is still much I want to accomplish. I have yet to actually study in the library, have never been to Bueno Y Sano, and really want to find time in my schedule to take Bicycle Frame Design at Hampshire College.

I already dread the day when the bubble of college life will suddenly burst and I will find myself stranded on the streets of the Real World without a meal plan, desperately searching for a job that does not suck my soul dry and wishing I could revisit the days when my biggest daily concerns were the library’s ruthless wind tunnel and my roommate’s messy side of the room.

But alas, I am after all just a lowly sophomore. Good thing I have two more years.

Merav Kaufman is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected].

1 Comment

One Response to “Sophomoric musings”

  1. Ann on April 21st, 2012 9:40 am

    Merav, I really enjoyed your column! Best of luck with your continuing journey at UMass.

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