Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five things new students should know about UMass

From UHS to Durfee, there’s always things to know

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By Gretchen Keller, Assistant News Editor

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As the color of the leaves change alongside the switching of schedules, windstorms by the DuBois Library and packs of freshmen swinging their lanyards around, many new students have trouble adjusting. The University of Massachusetts is a large school with people of a variety of ethnicities, economic statuses, genders and backgrounds. However, if there’s anything new students should know, it’s these five things.

New students and freshmen have a tendency to get sick on campus because they are exposed to many new germs, according to NBC News. One important aspect of UMass that new students should know is where University Health Services is. UHS is located on 150 Infirmary Way on campus, very close to Franklin Dining Commons.

UHS offers an abundance of services that span far beyond simple cuts and bruises. UHS provides vaccines including meningitis, assists in eye care and performs radiology. New to campus this fall, UHS is providing human papillomavirus tests, in addition to tests for other sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

New students should definitely learn how to take advantage of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses. The buses are free with the use of a student ID and run in loops every day of the week. The app UMass BusTrack identifies the routes of all buses and times.

“The buses are great because then you don’t have to walk to class in the snow and rain when it gets cold,” said junior communications and resource economics major Julia Ross.

One unforgettable aspect of UMass that all new students should be aware of is the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl eight times since 2001, most recently falling short this past February to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The loss created nationwide attention for UMass after the Southwest Residential Area riots.  The night ended with six arrests, 12 medical transportations and the deployment of “PepperBall” gas by the Amherst police in riot gear.

To some students, February is the craziest time of the year at UMass.

“There were people climbing poles, chanting, it was absolute chaos,” said Jack DiConza, a sophomore communications major.

Super Bowls aside, all new students should take academics seriously. The fourth aspect of UMass that all new students should know is their professor or teaching assistant’s office hours.

Office hours and review sessions serve as tools to help you. Professors want to see you succeed and are mostly flexible upon request if you are unavailable during office hours. Academic advisors within your college will help you stay organized and will explain what classes you need to take in order to fulfill your major(s).

Finally, new students should take the time to venture into the Durfee Conservatory. Located in the Central Residential Area, this greenhouse sanctuary remains warm even in the winter and is home to dozens of plant species. It is a place of serene relaxation, which is useful around the times of busy exams.

Grace Bremner, a sophomore Isenberg student, called the conservatory the “hidden gem of UMass.”

Gretchen Keller can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @gretchenkellerr.

1 Comment

One Response to “Five things new students should know about UMass”

  1. Amy on September 10th, 2018 10:07 am

    Wow, Thanks for the common sense tips,.. like umass is a large school(I had no idea).. go to UHS if your sick( really I should see a doctor?).. and it would be helpful to know the office hours of professors/teacher assistants (Really??)

    Does the author/daily collegian think students at Umass are stupid children?

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