Reflections on two years at UMass

By Ruwan Teodros

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Collegian File Photo

(Collegian File Photo)

As this year comes to a close, I find myself both anxious to return home and anxious to leave the University of Massachusetts. I can’t tell you how many times someone older than me who has lived their glory days at whichever respected university they attended has told me, “These are going to be the best four years of your life. Enjoy every minute.”

As a freshman, I wasn’t quite stressed out by this advice. Now as a rising junior, I find myself wondering where the time has gone. The first half of my college career is over and I would like to take a moment to celebrate some of the aspects of my college experience at UMass that I never thought I would appreciate so much.

In my experience, the showers in both the John Quincy Adams and Kennedy towers in Southwest Residential Area have been temperamental. Sometimes, you are scalded instantly and want to be rushed to the hospital for possible third degree burns. Other times, you bitterly complain to your shower companion (I always drag a friend to shower in the stall next to me – it’s just more fun) about how the water just won’t warm up. As irritating as those poor shower experiences have been, I appreciate them for the memories they have provided. Once, my friends pranked me in the shower by making strange grating sounds—I think I woke up every single person on the floor with my shrill screams. Good times.

For my freshman and sophomore years, I have lived on a floor that only has two elevators. I have thrown many tantrums about the elevator taking so long to get to my floor or not being able to get off at my own floor – if you ever hear a girl loudly groaning about how long the elevator is taking to get to the ground floor in JQA, it’s definitely me. However, as much as I hate waiting for those elevators, I have also enjoyed my elevator rides more than you can imagine. I’ve ran into people that I hoped I would never see again, which always makes for a hilarious, but painfully awkward encounters that will be great to re-tell to friends later. Awkward elevator rides are simultaneously the best and worst part of the college experience.

Looking for a table at the perpetually crowded dining halls – no, I won’t miss that. I have almost broken down in tears several times after walking nearly a mile around the Hampshire Dining Commons.

The unlimited food. When will there be a time in your life after college when you can eat eight lemon bars in one sitting and take a few more for later? My unlimited dining plan has been a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Case in point – the lemon bars. I love lemon bars, but my thighs certainly don’t. I remind myself not to complain about all the food that I can eat when I think about life after college and having to pay for my own groceries. Yikes.

All the senior college students who may be reading this are probably thinking: “Stop being nostalgic for college when you’re still there. You’ve got plenty of time.” I can’t help it – time has already gone by so fast and before I know it, I will be leaving the lemon bars forever and sweating in a graduation gown. I just want to take a moment to appreciate the cold showers, slow elevators and endless amounts of pizza that I can shove down my throat – would it really be college without them?

Ruwan Teodros is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]