Plan For College

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Freshman Orientation at UMass Amherst (Guest Post)

This is a guest blog post from Myles, a recent graduate of Hull High School and soon-to-be freshman at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Recently, Myles went out to Amherst for a two day freshman orientation. Here is his take on the experience:

I set out for UMass Amherst a few weeks ago for freshman orientation with my long-time neighbor and friend and his family. We’re both going to UMass and both of his parents went there, as well, so it was kind of an orientation and reunion all wrapped into one. 

Overall, it was a great experience. With mostly positives and a few negatives, I’ll try to give an idea of what it’s like for other students who will be going to freshman orientation this summer or fall.


We had two days on campus. Since all of us were new, it was a pretty good environment to meet other kids. Also, we got to see the campus and learn classes and social life. One cool thing was that some current students helped lead us around and make sure we knew the event details each day. It was better having current students than adults for those things. We had a few social events like an open mic night, dancing, a movie, and unfortunately watched the Celtics lose to the Heat. Also, meals at the dining halls were a good opportunity to taste the food and interact with other freshmen.

One other great thing was the free shirts and laundry bags that we got.


There were a few drawbacks, though. One was all of the awkward ice breakers. It’s kind of a necessary to get people to know each other, but also kind of forced and cheesy sometimes. 

Also, we didn’t have enough free time. I would’ve liked to adventure off without structure to check out the campus, interesting places/buildings, and even some stuff off campus. One other thing that could be a negative for people is the time it takes to get to Amherst if you are out of state or far away. My drive was about 2.5 hours, but traveling from further away from that would be a lot for two quick days.

I recommend being outgoing and embracing the activities. If you resist the ice breakers, it’ll be that much harder to enjoy yourself and meet people. One other thing – ask a lot of questions.

Overall, I was happy with the experience and look forward to my first year at UMass. Have you had orientation yet? What was it like?

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