Cindy Rosario '24 - Introduction

Photo of Cindy Rosario
Hey Everyone! My name is Cindy Rosario and I am a part of the Class of 2024 here at Amherst College. I am from New York City and was born and raised in Washington Heights. While my physical home is back in New York City, my heart is back in the Dominican Republic. I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and best friends that live back in the D.R. I often take any chance I get to go visit them. So, I like to say I have three homes: New York City, the Dominican Republic and Amherst College.

At Amherst I am an Education Studies and Psychology major. I came to Amherst with the intention to study Psychology. However, I quickly fell in love with the Education Studies department here. Now I am studying both! I am also a part of the Club Volleyball team at Amherst as well as a part of La Causa, our affinity group for Latinx and/or Hispanic students.

This summer I am working as a Summer Intern at the Amherst College Admissions Office. This means I’ll be giving tours, shadowing info sessions, working the front desk and working on office projects. I could not be more excited for this very productive summer coming my way!

Amherst College Club Volleyball

I graduated highschool in June 2020, this means that my transition from high school to Amherst College was extremely difficult as it was during the peak of COVID-19 and the pandemic. I was a remote student at Amherst College for the entirety of my freshman year. During this time, I was able to participate in classes via Zoom. I also met many students from my class year through social media and GroupMe chats. However, what I felt I was most missing out on was being a part of clubs and other organizations on campus. It is a bit more difficult to participate in clubs remotely, especially if the club is a sports team that holds practices. For the entirety of my freshman year, I did not join any clubs. I was a bit unmotivated to join a club due to me being remote. But, I knew that once I was finally on campus, I’d be able to fully enjoy this aspect of being an Amherst College student.

Within my first week on campus I was already looking for clubs and student activities that I would be interested in being a part of. After talking to some friends and classmates, I was able to meet someone who was already a part of the Amherst College Club Volleyball team. This friend immediately sprung at the chance to bring me to a club volleyball team practice. 

I played on my highschool volleyball team all four years of high school. Being on this team and attending practices was something I enjoyed very much in high school. I was beyond excited to continue playing at Amherst through the club team.

The Amherst Club Volleyball team practices three times a week. Our Mondays and Thursday practices are the team’s time to work on drills and skill development. Our Saturday practices are used for scrimmages within our own team. The practices usually run for two hours from 7pm-9pm. The club reserves the Alumni Gym in the athletic complex and that's where we usually practice. Although, during the warmer months, it is common for practice to be moved outside onto the beach volleyball courts near the Greenways Dormitory. 

The team has also had a few chances to compete against other club volleyball teams in the NESCAC Athletic League. This past academic school year the club was able to travel together on multiple occasions to schools nearby for scrimmages, games and tournaments.

I’ve really enjoyed my time on the Amherst College Club Volleyball Team. Not only does it allow me to continue a passion of mine I’ve had for years but it has also allowed me to meet new students and make lifelong friends on this team. I cannot wait to get back on the volleyball courts this coming Fall semester.

How I Take Advantage of Amherst’s Open Curriculum

Attending Amherst College has completely changed the way I learn. Being that Amherst has an open curriculum, I can select courses that I am genuinely interested in and passionate about. The open curriculum also creates a more rich environment within each class because each student in that class chooses to be there.

I’ve heard about many different ways Amherst students use the open curriculum to their benefit. Personally, I’ve devised a perfect system to ensure I am fulfilling my major’s distribution requirements and taking advantage of the open curriculum. I am a double major studying Psychology and Education Studies. Every semester students must take four courses. My rule of thumb in choosing those courses is that in the fall semester, I’ll usually take two Psychology classes, one Education Studies class, and a class that interests me and has nothing to do with my majors. In the Spring semester, I flip it. I usually take two Education Studies classes, one Psychology class and another class that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with my majors. Those “outlier” classes have become a staple in my learning routine, and I can even say that my favorite class since I’ve been here has been an “outlier” class.

Last fall semester, I took an Art History and European Studies course called “Vampires, Witches and Monsters.” This class became one of my absolute favorite classes at Amherst. Being a Psychology major, many of my assignments include a lot of reading. These assignments usually include articles, journals, and research. When I got to my Vampire, Witches and Monsters class, it allowed my mind to think differently. Of course, we were reading novels, but we were also reading poems, watching films, and doing visual analyses on paintings, drawings and sketches. The assignments given to us by our professor were also very unique. The first awesome assignment that comes to mind is when our professor asked us to find and take a picture of something that seemed “monstrous” on campus. To fulfill this assignment, I went with a classmate to the Beneski Museum; we searched their collection of dinosaur footprints until we found the biggest one and finally took a picture of my foot next to the dinosaur footprint. We submitted this as our homework for the next class.

These kinds of assignments were fun, but our final project was the best part of this class. Each student was able to pick “one monstrous thing” and do a “deep-dive” into the history and depictions of this monster. I chose El Diablo Cojuelo, a big presence in Dominican Folklore. My family is from the Dominican Republic, and being able to research and learn about my culture was amazing.

This class helped solidify my desire to always have an “outlier” class as it helps me explore new interests and learn new things.

My Biggest Fear: Leaving New York City

When I was accepted to Amherst College, I was so absolutely thrilled for the new opportunities and lifestyle this meant for me. Every day felt like a countdown towards my new life. But, with this excitement also came a growing fear. I had never lived apart from my parents, I had friends that I had known for my entire life in New York City, and I didn’t even want to think about leaving my cousins behind, who were basically the closest I’d ever get to having siblings. Thinking about everything I was leaving behind seriously made me shift my perspective. The move-in date, which was fast approaching, was no longer something I looked forward to but something I dreaded.

I expressed these concerns to my parents, and they really helped get my mind back on track. I remember my mom saying to me, but in Spanish, “New York isn’t going anywhere, but your time at Amherst is fleeting, enjoy the four years before they’re over.” My parents truly did help me realize that my home would always be in New York, but if I didn’t explore what else was out there, I wouldn’t be able to open myself to new opportunities.

Now, I consider Amherst another home. I’ve found great friends here, and they’ve helped me put down my own roots here. I even have a part-time job at Holyoke Mall! Of course, sometimes I miss the city, but I’ve been able to find joy in small-town college things like picnics with friends, heading to the farm to pick flowers, and watching the stars at night. When I am feeling homesick, my friends help me by helping me make my favorite home-cooked meal, and if I’m feeling extremely homesick, they’re always up for a weekend trip back to NYC. Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am for my friends at Amherst and the rest of the community that welcomed me here.