Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass through the eyes of a transfer

By Taylor Gilmore

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Daily Collegian Staff

Have you ever had Déjà vu? That strange feeling where you think that something you’re experiencing has already happened? Well that’s how Ifeel everyday. I just transferred to UMass from a school about 1/8 the size, and despite the 30 credits I accumulated last year, I feel like I’m a freshman all over again.

All the stereotypical things that happen to freshmen on every college campus in movies and books have happened to me…twice. But here at UMass, everything has been on a much greater scale.

Getting lost is so easy. I walked around on my first day with plenty of extra time before my classes, trying to figure out where all the buildings on my schedule were. As I walked with my campus map all afternoon, groups of people would yell directions at me telling me I was going the wrong way. Honestly though, can these buildings get some big, clear signs on them?

Once I found my building, and my room number, I had to find a seat in class. It was 12:25 when I decide to go in, the teacher was already lecturing, and all the seats were taken! I wasn’t even late. I hate being the one person to make an entire row stand up and move all of their things so I can grab the empty seat in the middle, so I sat down really uncomfortably on the back steps. Then I realized that I wasn’t even in the right class. I was just early for my 1 o’clock in the same room. Let’s just say that 300 person lectures will never stop intimidating me, and I will never be early to class again.

Speaking of intimidation, the dining hall and rec center aren’t the most welcoming of places. The entire student body of the school I transferred from could fit into Berk itself. Finding a seat was a piece of cake, but here, I can barely find the utensils I need or where the drinks are, never mind a place to sit.  I haven’t been applauded for dropping a plate yet, but all in good time. All I have to say about the rec center, is that I have never seen so many people working out in one place.

One of the most intimidating things I’ve experienced here thus far, moreso than the dining hall and lectures, is all the people I’ve met and still have  yet to meet. Making friends is something you have to work at, but we are literally surrounded at all times by thousands of kids our age. Thousands! That is a lot of kids. I’ve met so many new people every day I’ve been here, but think about how many people we will never meet before we graduate. It’s a strange concept to wrap your head around.

The culture of UMass is something I’m still trying to get the hang of. Taking taxis and buses on the weekends is a very new concept, but so is the thought of students living off campus. Good dining hall food was a myth until I got here, and so was school spirit, and online classes. The lingo, the music, the good places to eat, and everything the school and surrounding areas have to offer is a lot to take in, but soon enough I’ll get the hang of it. I am a third semester freshman, after all.

Taylor Gimore can be reached  at [email protected]

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