Corey O'Callaghan '25 - Introduction

Hi there! My name is Corey, and I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am a rising sophomore, and I’m really excited to share some of my experiences as an Amherst College student with you this summer! I’m a prospective math major, but I’m also interested in music theory, dance, making earrings, learning fun facts about the ocean, collecting various teas, and Dungeons and Dragons. Outside of classes, I like to have movie nights with my friends, explore the Pioneer Valley area, read inside Frost Library, or go for hikes in the woods.

Some of my favorite places on campus are the Queer Resource Center, the dance studios inside Webster Hall, C level of Frost Library, and the Beneski Museum of Natural History! I enjoy helping out with tech for the theater and dance department when I have time. I’m also involved in Amherst College’s Arting Club and Hillel, the Jewish affinity group on campus. Also during the school year, I work as a tour guide for the visitor relations team in the Office of Admissions, and next semester, I will be starting as a program organizer at the Class and Access Resource Center.

If you have any questions about anything at all or want to reach out my email is

Geology Field Trips

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Welcome back to my blog! I know it has been a while since I posted, but I’m excited to be back here writing! Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite parts of being a geology student at Amherst: the field trips! During GEOL-111, Introduction to Geology, we went on numerous field trips, practically every other week during our lab section, and for GEOL-112, Surficial Earth Dynamics, we got to go on a few trips as well! 

When I was taking Introduction to Geology last semester, almost half of our labs ended up being field trips! The geology department has a number of vans that they take students out in and we get to explore the Pioneer Valley area in a way that we couldn’t through only using the bus system. Often these field trips had a packet of questions to go along with them that related what we were looking at back to things we discussed in class. I always really enjoyed these trips because they helped me better visualize the topics that we were covering and helped me increase my depth of understanding. 

One of my favorite Introduction to Geology trips was when we went to the Connecticut River! We got to see a ton of sedimentary rocks that were deposited by the river, as well as, instances of uplift and erosion. We talked about taking strike and dip measurements, as well as, making geologic maps. Walking out through the woods towards the river was such a great time because we got to chat with other people and be outdoors. The view of the river with the autumn leaves in the background was absolutely gorgeous, and we got to see ripple marks that had been preserved within the rocks. After we finished at the river, we went back toward the vans and on the way saw a bunch of dinosaur footprints that had been preserved in the rock along the river. It was such a magical experience, and it made Introduction to Geology one of my favorite classes!  


For Surficial Earth Dynamics, we got to go on a weekend field trip to Plum Island this April! We saw different coastal processes along the Atlantic Ocean, as well as, different sediment deposits. One of the best parts of the trip was seeing a beach filled with glacial till sediment that had been deposited by a glacier thousands of years ago. The beach was covered with rocks of all sizes and types and we took some to time to look for especially cool and colorful rocks. We also spent some time playing near the waves, as well as discussing why the beach looked the way it did and going over different vocabulary that described the island. It was overall a great experience, and I’m so grateful that I got to explore this little island. 


I highly recommend taking Introduction to Geology to everyone because of these field trips. It’s so cool being able to explore the valley and learn more about why the Earth is the way that it is. You end up making so many friends in these classes, as well as, seeing things that you never had before. I’m especially looking forward to taking Structural Geology in the future because we are able to go on so many cool field trips since the lab section for that class is four hours instead of two hours!

What I Like to do Off-campus

Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! I’ve recently been reflecting on what I like to do for fun, as I’ve become pretty overwhelmed with work lately, so I’ve been trying to take some more time to take care of myself. Through this, I started to think about what my favorite things to do off-campus are. Hopefully, this will inspire you to get outside and enjoy the spring weather and all of the fun things that your community has to offer! 


1. Scoops at the Silo Icecream 

Hadley Scoops at the Silo is my favorite ice cream place in the area! You can find the link to their website here! They have a wide variety of flavors of ice cream and they’re within walking distance from campus, or you can take a bus to save some time. They often have live music, and you are able to go up and see the cows that produced the milk for the ice cream! They also have a lovely little store with a variety of foods and baked goods. The first time I went there was at the beginning of October during my freshman year right before they closed for the season. My friends and I were invited to see the baby calves in the barn, and it was such a magical experience! 


2. Exploring Northampton 

Northampton is a nearby city that is about 45 minutes to an hour-long bus ride away depending on traffic. It has a ton of fantastic restaurants, such as Mulino’s, Noodles, and India House. There are also a lot of cute bookstores, antique shops, and thrift stores to look through! Smith College is also located in Northampton, and it has a beautiful campus that’s super fun to walk through! There’s also the Smith College botanical gardens, which are absolutely breathtaking and a good way to spend a cold winter day, as they’re entirely located in a series of connected indoor greenhouses! I’m sure there’s a lot that I’ve left out since Northampton has a lot of stuff to do, but these are just some of my favorites! 


3. Getting boba tea 

There are a lot of different places to get boba tea in the town of Amherst, such as Moge, Lime Red, and Vivi’s bubble tea. Everyone has their own personal favorite (mine being Lime Red), but they’re all fun places to explore! If you’re looking for a chill way to spend an afternoon, getting bubble tea is a great thing to do! I personally love to go with my friends after completing a big exam or project as a way to reward myself for the hard work that I’ve done. 


4. Central Rock Gym 

Central Rock Gym (CRG) is a rock climbing gym located in Hadley, Massachusetts, about a 10-15 minute drive away from campus, or a 30-40 minute bus ride away. I’m a part of Amherst College’s club rock climbing team, and I like to try to go climbing once or twice a week, but they hold practices three times a week. Everyone carpools to get to the gym, and it’s a really friendly place! Everyone is super encouraging of people at all levels and it’s a great way to meet people who attend the other colleges in the area. Rock climbing brings me so much joy, as it’s a great way to get off campus, exercise, and use my brain in a way that I don’t typically get to otherwise!


5. Exploring New York City 

Now, this one is kind of a stretch, but it is technically off-campus! The Peter Pan bus company offers bus rides from Amherst Center all the way to New York City. I have a lot of friends who ended up going to college in New York, so I love being able to meet with them and catch up! Personally, I am a big fan of larger cities, so I really appreciate any time that I’m able to go off-campus and be in a city atmosphere. I love being able to catch up with old friends from high school, try new restaurants, go to museums, and just experience a place that’s so entirely different from Amherst! Overall, I’m very grateful that the city is only a three-hour drive away and that I’m able to go there from time to time on weekend trips!

Amherst’s Hidden Gems (On-Campus Edition)

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today we are going to be talking about some of my favorite lesser-known places on Amherst College’s campus! These places are great for hanging out with friends, doing homework, or just relaxing by yourself.


1. The Center for Russian Culture 

This room is located on the second floor of Webster Hall and has one of the best views of campus! There are a bunch of tables for doing work, hundreds of books, and a ton of art! It’s a great place to study or feel like you’re away from campus without actually leaving. You can find a link to their website here.


2. The Fifth Floor of Seelye Mudd 

Seelye Mudd is home to Amherst College’s math department, so I spend a lot of my time taking classes and doing homework there. Seelye Mudd actually has five floors with 3 of the floors being located in a tower that contains the offices of various professors. My favorite floor is the fifth one since it has a fantastic view of the campus and is overall a great place to work as well as get to know your professors! 


3. Pemberton Lounge 

Pemberton Lounge is located within Chapin Hall and is a perfect place to study or relax with friends! The room is filled with books, various plants, fairy lights, and the comfiest couches on the entire campus! My friends and I like to reserve this room to play Dungeons and Dragons together on the weekend, and it’s honestly just one of my favorite spots to exist in! Here’s a link to a page with some great photos of the space! 


4. The Bike Path 

Amherst College has a really gorgeous bike path running through it, which is great for bike riding, taking long walks with your friends, or bird watching. As it has gotten warmer, I’ve found myself going for more and more walks and this is always one of my favorite places to go! The view is gorgeous during any time of the year, and it’s a fantastic way to take a break from academics! 


5. Book & Plow Farm 

Book and Plow Farm is a great spot on campus to spend some time in nature, especially at the start of the fall semester! Book and Plow is a farm on campus that helps supply some of the food that the dining hall serves! If you want to learn more about them, you can use this link. There’s always a flower garden, in addition to a vegetable garden, which students are able to pick flowers from and create their own bouquets! It’s a great place to relax, have a picnic, spend time with friends, and really enjoy how pretty Western Massachusetts is! 


Spring Break Recap

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! For today’s blog post, I’ll be discussing what I did during Spring break! During the end of freshman year, one of my close friends randomly looked up how much plane tickets to Iceland cost. We discovered that they were decently affordable and from there decided to plan a Spring break trip to Iceland. We saved up money during the summer and school year for this, and we all worked together to coordinate transportation, plane tickets, and an Airbnb. It was a lot of hard work, but it ended up being so worth it. 

On the first day of the trip, we arrived at the Keflavik international airport at around 5:00 AM and then waited in the airport until 6:30 AM when the rental car place opened. From there, we picked up the cars and drove to the Airbnb while watching the sunrise. It was such an amazing view seeing the sun rise over the coastline. After this, we decided to go grocery shopping, since we wanted to make our own food to save money. I ended up finding green chili from New Mexico in the grocery store, which I found very funny since I’m also from New Mexico. 


After grocery shopping, we decided to take a nap for a while and then walk around the city of Reykjavik. There was so much street art all over the city and so many cute bookstores and cafes. We took a lot of photos and lamented over how cold it was with the wind blowing. 


The next day, we went to the Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring in Iceland. We relaxed in the sauna, tried different skin care face masks, and had a lot of good conversations with each other. Afterward, we went back to the Airbnb and decided to go on a Northern lights tour. We chose to last minute book tickets for a boat tour, so we drove into the city and then got on a boat that took us a few miles outside the island. The lights were absolutely stunning and we even got to see a red aurora, which we learned is incredibly rare. We talked to some other travelers, drank hot chocolate, and overall had a great time. Sadly, I don't have many photos from this, since my camera doesn't work well at night.


After this, we went on a road trip, driving from the Western end of the island to the Eastern one. During this trip, we saw a lot of partially frozen waterfalls, black sand beaches, and an old plane wreck from World War II. The whole time we took a lot of good photos, had great conversations, shared music with each other, and ate really good food. The next day, we went thrift shopping and found a lot of really great clothes for a reasonable price. After this, we went to see an active geyser and took a hike around the national park. For the last day, we ended up spending a lot of time cleaning up the Airbnb, and we went to Thingvellir, a gorgeous national park that contains a rift valley formed from the divergent plate boundary that Iceland sits on top of. 


During the flight back, I did a lot of homework that I didn’t do during the break, but I was able to get all of the important things done. Overall, it was a fantastic trip, and I loved being able to get closer to my friends. This was the first time I had ever left the United States, and I am so incredibly grateful that I am in a place in my life where I am able to do this and have such a fantastic experience!

A Day in the Life

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Welcome back to my blog! Recently, Amherst College had its Spring break, and I took this as an opportunity to relax and spend time with friends! However, during Spring break, I realized how busy I am throughout the day and how many things I do. I typically get asked while giving tours what a typical day in my life looks like, so that’s what I’m going to be talking about today. Of course, everyone’s typical day is different and not everyone is as busy as I tend to be. One thing that I really appreciate about being at Amherst is how flexible my schedule is! I personally never take classes before 10 AM, and I have a ton of friends that don’t take classes at all on Fridays. You can really make your schedule whatever you want it to be to a certain extent. 

To begin each day, I wake up at 7:00 AM, make my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, and then head to the dining hall. I like to wake up early because it always feels really good to be productive right at the start of the day, and I enjoy working in the mornings. I love hanging out with my friends at breakfast, which typically lasts from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM for me. For breakfast, I’ll typically make myself a burrito, yogurt parfait, or a bowl of cereal. Sometimes when I have a lot of work, I’ll do homework while eating breakfast. 

Afterward, I like to head to the library and do homework, answer emails, or read. Usually, I’ll find a big desk facing a window, spread out all my stuff, and listen to music while I work. Afterward, I start class at 11:00 AM or go to work at the CARC. I’m currently taking Surficial Earth Dynamics; Linear Algebra II; Groups, Rings, and Fields; and Toxic Worlds (an anthropology course about toxicity). 

After class, I’ll typically meet my friends for lunch at the dining hall. I love being able to catch up with them and ask them how their day was. During this semester, I found a lovely group of people who I had never really talked to before while looking for people to eat lunch with. Now, we eat together every Monday and Wednesday and hang out during the weekends! 

From there, I’ll typically go to class again for about 2 to 3 hours before either going to work at the CARC or going to my professor’s office hours. From there I’ll typically do some homework and then head to dinner somewhere between 6:00-7:00 PM. This is the time during my day that changes every single week. I typically like to go to different performances, guest lectures, events, or club meetings before or after dinner. I love taking contemporary dance classes before dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Mondays and Thursdays, I like to go to the rock climbing gym in Hadley. 

If I have time, I’ll usually do more homework or spend some time hanging out with friends. I stop doing work at 10:00 PM and then head back to my dorm to unwind until going to bed at 11:00 PM. I always make sure that I get at least 8 hours of sleep per night because, without this, I’m not able to regulate my emotions as well or have the energy to do everything that I want to during the day. So that’s a typical day in my life! I love being busy so my day doesn’t exactly align with a typical one, but I love the schedule that I’ve made for myself. Being busy makes me really happy, and I wouldn’t want to spend my time any other way.

Strategies For Coping with Stress

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! This week, I’m going to be talking about how I handle stress as a college student. It can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed when you have a lot going on, especially during exams season, so these are the strategies that I use to keep myself grounded and make sure that I get everything done. 


1. Get enough sleep

I know it’s really tempting to pull an all-nighter to try to get all of your work done, but you will end up regretting it in the morning. I’ve found that I am able to get so much more done and be so much more present when I get enough sleep. It’s always more important to prioritize your well-being over getting a perfect grade. Remembering that you’re important and that you matter, is so vital to maintaining good mental health during exams season. Your grades do not define who you are as a person and in the long run, one bad grade isn’t going to hurt you. 


2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/extensions 

From my experience, professors tend to be really kind and understanding when it comes to asking for extensions. Professors understand that you’re a human being who isn’t perfect and has a lot going on in your life. While in college, it is really vital to be in communication with your professors, go to office hours, and ask for help when you need it. Everyone at college wants you to succeed and do your best. 


3. Remember to take breaks 

When studying for a long time for an exam or essay, it’s really important to take breaks, walk around, and breathe. I’ve tried to power through study sessions and I end up really feeling exhausted and drained. Giving yourself time to go for a walk, talk to a friend, or eat a snack while studying will make it go so much easier and you’ll end up feeling so much better. Don’t be afraid to relax a little bit. 


4. Talk to your support network 

Calling home is one of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed. When I’m able to talk things out with someone who I trust, I always feel a lot better and more grounded when it comes to the things going on in my life. It’s a great way to remind myself that I have a life outside of college and though the work that I do here does matter and I enjoy doing it, it’s nice to know that I always have a place to come back to and get away from it all. It’s also just great to connect with friends during exams season, as they’re probably going through a similar experience as you. Shared complaining can be a great way to let out some steam and form a stronger connection. 


5. Remember to take care of your body 

Though sleeping is incredibly important, it’s not the only thing that you need to do to take care of your body. Eating enough food, getting exercise, and doing the things that make you feel good are so important as well. I really benefit from eating breakfast in the mornings, and often when I’m stressed out I have the temptation to stay up studying and sleep through breakfast. I have to remind myself that keeping my routine up will lead to more effective studying in the future and not giving in to this temptation. At the end of the day, you matter more than getting a perfect grade and it’s really up to you to be in your own corner and do what you need to do to feel okay.

The Class and Access Resource Center

Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! Welcome back to my blog! For today’s post, I’m going to be talking about one of my favorite places on campus, the Class and Access Resource Center (CARC). The CARC is part of the Office of Identity and Cultural Resources, which is the office that manages all of the different resource centers on campus, which are the Women’s and Gender Center, the Queer Resource Center, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Center for International Student Engagement, and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. These centers are spaces dedicated to specific student populations on campus and offer a place to build community, as well as physical resources. They also hold different events that engage students in discussions about identity. 

The CARC is the resource center that specializes in building a community for first-generation, low-income (FLI), veteran, and transfer students. Our programming and events center these identities and our goal is to make sure that these students have the support that they need to succeed at Amherst College. We also want to make sure that these students have a space to fully be themselves and talk to people who share similar identities. 

When I was looking for jobs as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to find a job on campus where I was doing meaningful work that I cared about, so I applied to work at the resource centers. I chose to work at the CARC because I felt a strong connection to the FLI community, and I saw a lot of gaps in the support that FLI students were receiving on campus that I wanted to try to fill however I could. 

Last semester, I worked on hosting a dinner in collaboration with the Center for International Student Engagement and the Queer Resource Center for students whose families couldn’t come to family weekend. We did different activities for people to get to know each other, and we had a really big turnout for the event. I was so nervous about planning it, but it ended up being really successful. I also worked on a speaker event with one of my professors where she talked about her work with the LA Tenants Union and Marxist ideas surrounding class! Currently, during this semester, I am working on a panel of FLI students who will talk about their study abroad experiences that way people have the opportunity to know more about what studying abroad is like and ask their peers questions. I am also working on a biweekly book club for FLI students where we talk about our experiences on campus while reading The Privileged Poor by Anthony Jack. 

Working here has been such a great experience because I am able to build community and do work that actually makes a difference in people’s lives. I love getting to meet so many new people as a part of my job and getting to make my ideas a reality is something that is so cool to me. I am definitely the type of person who has lots of ideas about pretty much anything and everything but a lot of trouble executing those ideas. This job has taught me so much about how to make things happen and make those ideas real. I’m so grateful for the team that I work with and the community that we have here at Amherst. Every day I wake up and I know that there are other people who have similar experiences to me and that makes me feel so much less alone. 

What I do outside of classes

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! For this week’s blog post, I wanted to talk about some of the things that I did for fun this week outside of my classes! It’s been a very busy week for me, so I wanted to share how I stay so busy. I also want to highlight how being at Amherst can be more than just simply going to classes. 

Last Friday, I started off my weekend by going to the Shabbat dinner hosted by Hillel! They had pita pockets this week and it was really lovely to run into some friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. After that, I saw a performance of Myths and Hymns put on by the Theater and Dance department at the college. I went with as many of my friends who were free at the time could make it, and overall, it was such a great time! Everyone in the performance did amazing, and I loved being able to support my friends who were in it. 

On Saturday, I slept in very late which was a welcome change from waking up early for classes. I then went rock climbing at Central Rock Climbing Gym with some friends and spent the rest of the day catching up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. Sunday, I called my family back home and was able to reconnect with them after having not called in a week. From there I gave two tours around campus and ran into someone who was an alumn of my high school. Later that day, I went to Winter Festival, which is an annual event put on by the college. I ran into some friends, ate some really good dumplings, and went ice skating! Afterward, I baked cookies with another one of my friends and stayed up really late talking to him. You can see a photo of the cookies that we baked below. 


During the week, I spent most of my time outside of class working, doing homework, and giving tours. I performed in a poetry slam on Thursday, which was my first time ever sharing work like that on stage. I have performance experience in dance, but I had never done anything like that before. The experience was terrifying and fun, and I enjoyed getting to listen to the other poems being shared that night. During the week, I went to a contemporary dance class as well, and it was great being able to slowly get back into dancing. I had taken a bit of a break from it due to health reasons, but getting back into it has been a fantastic experience. I also got to watch a figure skating performance, and support my friends who were performing in that! Overall, this week has been hectic and stressful, but at the same time, I’m really grateful for all of the time that I got to spend with friends and all of the experiences that I got to have.

What it’s really like being a math major

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today, I’m going to be talking about the math department at Amherst College, which spoiler alert, is the best department that the college has. I’m totally not biased or anything as a math major. Growing up I always really loved doing math and it's been my favorite subject since second grade. I used to be very confident in my ability to do math, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and classes started to be held online, my confidence began to waiver. I had a hard time focusing and learning online, so I found the material that I was learning in my AP Calculus BC harder to grasp. I began to doubt myself when doing math problems and my grades dipped a little bit that year. 

Because of this, when I first started at Amherst College back in Fall 2021, I tried to convince my advisor to let me take MATH-121, Intermediate Calculus, instead of MATH-211, Multivariable Calculus, which I had placed into. My advisor reassured me that the placements that the college provided were usually accurate, and he encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone and take MATH-211. When I first arrived in class on my first day of freshman year, I was incredibly nervous sitting in that math class. However, the professor reassured me as he gave a quick overview of Calculus I and II. I managed to understand what was happening throughout the class and even enjoyed being there. I started to go to his office hours twice a week, every week to ask questions and get to know him! As I continued going to office hours, though the material became more difficult as the course progressed, my ability to learn it increased. I started to feel more confident in myself again after having doubted myself for so long. 

By the end of the semester, I decided that I wanted to declare a math major, and I asked my Multivariable Calculus teacher, Professor Zhang, to be my advisor. I then went on to take MATH-220, Introduction to Proofs, and MATH-272, Linear Algebra with Applications, and I am currently taking both MATH-350, Groups, Rings, and Fields, and MATH-275, A Second Course in Linear Algebra. I’ve loved taking all of these courses, and so far my favorite has been Groups, Rings, and Fields. You can find descriptions of all of these courses on the math department’s website

I was incredibly nervous about committing to being a math major, as I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough or good enough at math to succeed. However, since declaring my major, I have been attending my professors’ office hours as often as I can, and I enjoy going to TA office hours in the evenings when I can’t make it. There are a bunch of resources at the college to help people succeed in math and from my experience, anyone who wants to major in math can! Every math professor I’ve had has been kind, understanding, patient, and legitimately excited about teaching math! They are always a joy to talk to, and you can tell that they love what they do. There are so many people who are there to support you throughout the major, and for me, the workload has not been hard to manage. For most classes, there is usually one problem set due per week and between 2-3 exams per semester. 

As for completing the major, there are six required courses and 5 elective courses that you need to fulfill. I placed out of two of the required courses, MATH-111, Introduction to Calculus, and MATH-121, Intermediate Calculus by taking AP Calculus AB and BC in high school. The other required courses that I needed to take were Multivariable Calculus; Linear Algebra; Groups, Rings, and Fields; and Real Analysis. After this semester I will only need to take three math electives and Real Analysis, and then I will have completed the major after I pass the comprehensive exam in my senior year! The department has a lot of really fascinating classes to pick from, so I’ll probably end up doing more than just those four after this semester! 

All in all, I’m so happy with my choice of major! I love the department, the classes, and the professors. They really care about the students taking their courses and want them to succeed, and I know that I have resources to get help if I ever need it! So that’s what it’s really like to be a math major at Amherst College!

Finding Balance in College

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! I hope you all are doing very well and are having a fantastic beginning to your semester! For this blog post, I’m going to be reflecting upon some of the tools and strategies that I have learned to find balance while in college and manage my time more effectively. These strategies are ones that I have learned through trial and error, and though they work for me, they might not work for you. There is no one way to find balance in your life and figuring this out is an ongoing and personal task. Nevertheless, here are my top three strategies that I use to manage my time while at college! 


1. Google Calendar 

I like to joke with my friends that if I don’t put something on the Google Calendar, it will never happen, and admittedly, there is a lot of truth to this. I am a very forgetful person, so having everything that I need to do located in one place has been incredibly helpful for me! I have about 5 separate Google Calendars that I consistently use. There is my main one for classes, other events/meetings, and homework assignment due dates I have throughout the semester, and then I have another calendar for scheduling time to eat lunch and dinner and making sure that I have at least one hour of free time per day. I have a separate calendar where I schedule in when I’m going to get homework done and what homework I’m going to work on at that specific time, and another calendar where I write down all of the office hours that professors and TAs hold for the classes that I’m taking. I like to use the office hour calendar to easily check my availability compared to my professors, and it makes it a lot easier for me to remember when office hours are. I personally like to make a habit of going to office hours as often as I can, since I enjoy chatting with my professors, and I tend to have a lot of questions about homework problems. My last calendar is for fun little events that aren’t necessarily things that I need to go to, but things that I would like to try to attend if I have time. This can include performances, dance classes, and various club meetings. I love this system because it helps me manage taking four classes, auditing a fifth class, and working three on-campus jobs while still having time for myself and time to spend with my friends! Each of my days can be long and chaotic, but having this system helps me keep track of everything I need to do and provides stability and structure to my day. 


2. Getting Enough Sleep 

I know that this one will probably seem a bit cliche but it’s still incredibly important! Last semester, I made a commitment to going to bed at 12:00 AM every day and waking up at 8:00 AM. I also started making myself stop doing work at 11:00 PM every night, which was really difficult at first. After about a week of doing this, I began to feel so much better. I started to feel like I had enough energy to do everything that I needed to do and I was able to work more quickly and efficiently. I understood and remembered what was happening in my classes more consistently and my mood started to improve as well. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned through being at college for 3 semesters is that it is more important to take care of your body and your overall well-being than it is for you to get perfect grades. Professors are often very kind and understanding, and if you need an extension, it is so much better to ask for it than to stay up working. 


3. Making Time for Friends 

I have a bad habit of becoming very focused on the work that I need to get done and forgetting about the people around me. I tried to counteract this during freshman year by spending time with people and putting off school work for later. What I’ve come to realize is that scheduling specific times to hang out with people who you want to spend time with is often much more rewarding than hanging out with them all the time even when you need to get work done. I would often feel like the work was hanging over my head and that I wasn’t able to be fully present with the people around me. To combat this, I’ve started inviting specific friends to eat dinner with me, bake together, watch a TV show, or get coffee and catch up, and then scheduling out my work around that instead of just constantly hanging out with people. I also have specific friends who I enjoy studying with, and for me, having someone around while doing work makes it a lot easier to get it done! 

Winter Break and J-term Recap

Hello, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! Welcome back to my blog! I just want to start off by apologizing for my absence. I had a very hectic last two weeks of the semester, and then immediately winter break started, which happens to be the topic of this blog: what I did over winter break and January Recess! At Amherst College, students get the entirety of the month of January off. During this time, students can choose to do a variety of things, such as work on summer internship applications, travel, spend time with friends and family, or simply catch up on sleep! 

For my January break, I decided to come home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and catch up with friends and family. I was really excited to do this because, due to circumstances that were out of my control, I hadn’t been back home since May 2022. I was especially excited to be back home because Hanukkah happened to fall between December 18 through December 26. I was incredibly excited to come home, make latkes with my family, play dreidel together, and catch up on everything that’s been happening in our lives. My family hosted their yearly Hanukkah party, and it was such a good time!


For the first half of the break, I took a lot of time to recharge and just let myself relax. College can be a really difficult and draining experience sometimes, especially during finals, so giving yourself time to rest is essential. I ended up playing a lot of video games, drinking tea, taking long walks, and catching up with friends from high school. I’ve been really lucky to have kept almost all of the close friends that I had growing up, and it was absolutely fantastic to see them again. 

For the rest of the break, I worked on applying for a variety of summer internships and study abroad programs. I also took some time to appreciate how gorgeous Albuquerque is! Attached to this post are a few of my favorite photos from the break. I don’t often times feel homesick while I’m away at college. I always do my best to try to find beauty and joy wherever I end up, but leaving home is always really difficult for me. I often times end up missing my dad, my family, and my friends from home, so I do my best to make time in my day to call and reconnect with them. It absolutely is possible to go to college out of state and still maintain those friendships and connections from home! It can be really challenging at times, but I can attest that doing so is worth it. Enjoy some of my favorite photos that I took while I was in Albuquerque, and have a great day!





Snow Days at Amherst College

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! In today’s blog post, we will be discussing one of my favorite parts of living in Amherst, Massachusetts: the snow. Due to the hot weather this summer, I found myself reminiscing this week about winter days. Growing up in Albuquerque, the times we had some snow were few and far between. Snow days were always one of my favorite parts of winter, and when packing up my stuff to head to college, I knew that seeing my first snowstorm here was definitely something I was looking forward to.

During my first year of college, it snowed heavily in December during the reading period, which is the time during every semester when students have about three days to study for their upcoming final exams or complete any final essays for their classes. I decided to take a break from studying and take a walk in the snow with my friend, Emma. Watching the snow collect on the ground and trying to catch it on my tongue as it fell was so incredible. My hair and Emma’s ended up freezing, and I had to go inside and let myself thaw out for a while. Seeing the clumps of snow that collected on my hair was so fun. Pictured below is an image of my frozen hair and a picture of Emma from that night right after we went inside.


After warming up inside, I met back up with my friends, and we decided to have a snowball fight. It was the first snowball fight I had ever had, and let me tell you; it was one of the most enjoyable things I had ever done. We were screaming at each other, running around, and trying to make the most enormous snowball we could possibly muster. After we decided that we were snow-ball-ed out, we met up with some more friends near Memorial Hill and went sledding together. A friend from Florida had brought some boogie boards from home that worked surprisingly well as sleds. We all took turns flying faster than I could have imagined down the hill, grudgingly taking the slow walk back up. Afterward, we all gathered inside and warmed up with a hot cup of tea.

Between December and March, there have been many snow days similar to this one. Sometimes my friends and I would choose to hunker down inside and have a board game and movie night together during days like these. We would all bring whatever games we had, meet in a common room, and spend the cold day relaxing together. Other times we would join up with other students and work together to build snowmen with them or take turns trying to come up with the fastest sledding technique.

I always loved days like these because I could meet so many people just by going outside. I’ve borrowed sleds from people I had never talked to before and became closer with people I barely knew just by building a snowman with them. It felt so exciting and free to take a break and play in the snow together. Having the opportunity to ditch the responsibilities and pressures of adulthood for one day by playing in the snow is something that I absolutely cherish. I look forward to many more snow days in my coming years at Amherst!

A Summer Recap

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Today, since this is my last blog post, we’re going to be talking about my first summer in Amherst, Massachusetts! I’m going to be sharing with you all of my favorite things that I did and some examples of fun things you can do while at Amherst College.

1. Working as a Summer Intern at the Office of Admissions

The main thing I did this summer was work as a summer intern at the Office of Admissions. I really loved this job, because I got to meet people from all over the world. I always loved chatting with prospective students and learning about what they were looking for in a college. It was really cool to see how different everyone’s interests were. My favorite part about giving tours was always the conversations that I had with people after the actual tour was over. I loved getting to connect with people and share whatever advice, knowledge, or wisdom I could with them.


2. Living in the Greenways

This summer, I stayed in the Greenway Residence Halls. I really loved getting to live here since I was only about a five-minute walk away from the Office of Admissions. I also appreciated having access to AC during hot summer days. It was also really great having a kitchen close by because I was able to cook my own meals whenever I wanted to! Below is a picture of how I decorated my room for the summer.

I had a lot of free time during the summer to pursue some hobbies that I had forgotten about during the academic year. I practiced guitar, learned how to crochet (you can find a picture of one of the crochet projects I did this summer below), played Terraria with my friends who weren’t on campus, and read through the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It was fulfilling to be able to do things just because I wanted to again.


3. Exploring the town of Amherst

I got to go to so many fantastic restaurants and shops this summer! Some of my favorite places that I went to are Amethyst, a cute little crystal shop in downtown Amherst, Hadley Scoops at the Silo, an adorable local dairy farm and ice cream shop, IYA, one of the best sushi restaurants in town, and India House, which quickly became my favorite Indian restaurant in the Pioneer Valley Area. Getting to explore so many different places and find my favorites amongst them was such a fun experience! I also loved going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, getting some breakfast there, and buying some fresh produce! My favorite stand there was called Egg & Company, and I adored getting their egg wraps whenever I could!


4. Making New Friends

Sadly, the majority of the friends that I had made last school year were not staying on campus this summer. However, I decided to use this as an opportunity to branch out and meet some new people! It admittedly took me a while, but I eventually found a bunch of new friends. I really loved getting to hang out with them this summer! From bonfires to open mic nights to late-night movies, hanging out with them was always a great time!

5. My birthday!

My birthday always lands smack dab in the middle of summer at the end of June, and this year I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do for it. My friend ended up coming down for a visit, and we went and got brunch at the Black Sheep together. There happened to be a live band playing music that day inside the restaurant, and I ran into another person celebrating his birthday as well! We then just relaxed for the rest of the day, watching documentaries, eating homemade brownies, and talking for hours on end. It was such a fantastic birthday! Everyone around me made it feel so special, and I’m really grateful that I got to hang out with such amazing people!

6. 4th of July Trip to Vermont

For the 4th of July, I decided to take a short little trip up to Vermont to visit my partner. I took the Amtrak train up to Montpelier and stayed with her for a couple of days. We shared some really good pizza together on the first day, and I spent a long time petting her two dogs, Lucky and Darwin. The next day we went to the farmer’s market up in St. Johnsbury where I had the best strawberries that I had ever tasted. We came back and made some Shepherd's pie together and spent the rest of the night relaxing and playing board games. For my last day there, we decided to make some hamburgers together, light up some sparklers, and roast marshmallows over a bonfire. It was such a great trip, and when I eventually got back to Amherst, I slept for about 11 hours.


A note of gratitude

This summer ended up being a much-needed break to really slow down and appreciate the things that I had taken for granted last year. I am so glad that I had the time and opportunity to do this while still being able to have adventures all over the New England area! I am so grateful for all the people I met this summer, the places that I got to explore, and all the time to learn more about myself and the world around me! This is my last blog post, so I want to give a shout-out to all of you who have read my blog! I hope you were able to learn more about me, Amherst College, and what being a student here can look like! As always, if you would like to reach out with any questions, my email is! I hope you all have a great rest of your summer! :)


My Experience with the Arts at Amherst

Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! It has been a hot minute since I updated this blog, but I am incredibly excited to write here again! Today, I am going to be talking about my experience with the arts at Amherst College. Everyone’s experience at Amherst is unique, so I’ll only be sharing about the things that I have done while here. For me, having a strong artistic community was something that was so important to me when choosing a college. I have done ballet, contemporary, and jazz for 7 years, and I wanted to make sure that there were avenues for me to continue doing so while in college. Since middle school, I’ve also been practicing visual arts, mainly oil pastels and colored pencils. All of my friends growing up also did art in some way, shape, or form, so I also wanted to ensure that there was a strong community filled with people who really cared about art. 

At Amherst, there is the department of Theater and Dance, and I’ve really loved being able to take classes with them. I’ve taken an introduction-level acting class with Jude Sandy, which I wrote about in a previous blog post, My Favorite Classes. Professor Sandy made the class feel like a welcoming environment for people of all experience levels, and over the course of the class, I became much more comfortable and confident while acting. I also began to feel more confident in who I am as a person, so overall, I highly recommend taking that class, even if you have no intention of exploring theater in any other way. 

I’ve also taken an intermediate-level contemporary dance class with the Theater and Dance department, which I also loved doing. Being able to reconnect with dance in an environment that was supportive and understanding was such a great experience. I felt like my technique improved throughout the semester, and the instructor, Sarah Konner, was a truly fantastic teacher. 

One of my favorite things about arts at Amherst, besides being able to take classes in subjects I love, is that there are so many different clubs that are focused on art here. For theater, there are two clubs specializing in student lead productions, Amherst College Green Room (you can check out their Instagram page here) and Ghost Light. For dance, there are two main student groups: Intersections Dance Company, which focuses on contemporary, modern, ballet, and jazz dance techniques, and Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), which focuses on styles of dance rooted in Black American culture and the larger Black Diaspora. Both of these groups are by audition only, but they hold dance classes that are open to anyone. They also both have performances at the end of every semester, which are great opportunities to showcase student choreography. I always do my best to attend their performances whenever I can! Seeing the truly breathtaking work that students are able to create always inspires me to work on my own art. 

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many more intricacies and things that I haven’t even touched on, such as Marsh Arts House, which may become a future blog post, and the visual art department at Amherst, not to mention all of the amazing music groups on campus. Overall, having a community of people who care about the arts just as much as me and the opportunity to practice my art, see performances, and learn new things in such a supportive and kind community is easily one of my favorite parts of being at Amherst College.