Fiona Guo '23 - Introduction


Welcome everyone! My name is Fiona, and I just finished my first year here at Amherst College! I am originally from Princeton, New Jersey. To go further back, I was born in China and lived there until I finished elementary school. So for those of you wondering, yes I do speak Mandarin Chinese fluently enough to understand Chinese tik-tok videos. I came to Amherst thinking that I will be a pre-med student, but right now, I am a prospective Economics and Asian Language and Civilization double major. I’ve been an avid reader of these student blogs, and I’m super excited to be on the other side of the screen and to share my Amherst experience (virtually) with you all.

On campus, I am involved in our music programs (I play the flute, guitar, and a TINY bit of piano), the Asian student association (which is one of the affinity groups here on campus), and the Meiklejohn fellowship (a program to support first-gen or low-income students). I am also part of our student tour guides, and one of the visitor relation interns that will be giving virtual tours and writing blogs for the Admission Office this summer! 

In my free time, I like eating food at the restaurants in town with friends (you can probably find me at one of the three boba shops out there), visiting different dogs on campus, and wasting way too much time on tik-tok. Some quick fun facts about me: I used to be a pet skunk sitter (yes it is legal to own skunks as pets in New Jersey), I used to live in an ancient stone house that’s more than 200+ years old (yes my parents are crazy for doing that), and I have a beagle named Bagel (she’s in the picture with me!). 

So, what’s in store for these blogs? Follow along and I will show you how I survived my first semester of college, how I found a balance between academic and social life, what I do when I am bored on campus, and last but not least, where you can find the best food/dessert places in town. If you have any questions about my Amherst experience or Amherst student life in general, please feel free to email me at!

Unexpected College Dorm Necessities

Entering college as a first year student, you will find yourself going through the preparation phase where you may be having thoughts like: “Do I have everything I’ll need in my dorm?” Well, lucky for you I’ve compiled a list of dorm necessities beyond the decorations!


  • Tide to Go pen

I can’t tell you how many times these have saved my shirts and pants throughout the school year. If you are someone like me that does not like doing laundry work, a stain remover pen is definitely a must have. I like to keep on in my bag in case an inopportune drink spill happens. 

  • Kettle

We are not allowed to keep microwaves inside the rooms, so an electric kettle comes in handy when it comes to heating up water for tea, oatmeal, soup, and ramen. I use mine on a daily basis for quick breakfasts, or late night meals when I’m hungry. 

  • Ear plugs

This one is for all my light sleepers. Unfortunately not everyone will be on the same schedule and not everyone will be courteous about their noise levels. So, these things will help you fall asleep when the rest of your floor is being loud. 

  • Clamp lamp

These clip-on lamps are perfect for when you are studying in bed or on a futon while your roommate is trying to sleep. The clamp allows you to mount it on your study desk but also on many other furnitures like bed frames or nightstand. 


  • Power strip

If you are like me, and need to charge your laptop, phone, airpods, and ipad all at the same time overnight, a power strip would probably be a crucial item. It gives extra outlets to plug in all your devices at the same time, so you no longer need to wait for one device to finish charging before charging the other one. 

  • Fan 

One IMPORTANT FACT,  Amherst provides a heater in all dorm rooms, but not air conditioning or fan! Even though the hot weather doesn’t last that long here at Amherst, a fan is still a necessity for those hot, stuffy days. 

  • Water pitcher

If you don’t want to carry a whole box of drinking water from the store to your dorm, it is probably a good idea to have a water pitcher. There are water fountains on each floor, but a water pitcher is an easy fix to always have water ready in your room. 

  • Bathrobe & hair drying towel

Living in a college dorm with communal showers, you will soon get used to putting on clothes right after you shower. I personally don’t trust towels since they can easily slip off, but getting fully dressed right after the shower can also be tiring sometimes. So a bathrobe of some sort is definitely nice to have! 

  • Shower slippers

I hate to be the one to break it to you, with the communal bathrooms you no longer have the luxury of having a shower all to yourself. (But the good part is you don’t have to clean the communal bathrooms yourself!)  There will probably be miscellaneous unwanted things in the shower blocks. So you are GOING to want a pair of shower slippers to prevent those unpleasant bathroom experiences. 


First semester bucket list

This year, the coronavirus has moved us all back home. As hard as it is to know that campus life will definitely be different due to COVID-19, it’s been nice to look back on the amazing memories I’ve had on campus while writing these blogs. Even through the difficult transition from in-person to online classes at home, I still loved my first-year experience at Amherst college. For the incoming freshmen who are looking forward to their very first college semester, I’ve compiled this “First Semester Bucket List” for you to make the most out of your first-year college experience! 

  • Attend Pindar student dinners

The Pindar dinner provides a unique opportunity for students to attend an intimate, elegant dinner and dine on a refined four course meal. Students from disparate majors are invited to small gatherings and encouraged to engage outside of their comfort zones and traditional social groups. Students that feel they do not have the dress clothing that is required for the dinner can pick from a closet of clothing that suits their needs. 


  • Go pick your own flowers at the garden of our Book and Plow Farm

Come create your own floral arrangements with hand picked flowers from our Pick-Your-Own Flower Garden! Even though I am not wild about flowers, it was still super fun to pick the garden with friends. Not to mention there were also free ice-cream served. :)

  • Take a break from campus. Explore Amherst, Northampton, Hampshire and Holyoke!

Do not be fooled into thinking that Amherst is isolated from the world! Despite the fact that there’s quite a distance between Amherst and the major cities, we have some awesome towns/ malls with a bunch of wonderful restaurants and shops for you to explore! Over the weekend, I enjoy hopping on a PVTA bus and taking a little field trip away from campus with friends. The PVTA bus system is free for all Amherst students, which allows you to visit all the local malls and towns nearby. It’s easy and convenient, especially if you use the PVTA app which tells you if your bus is running late. 

  • Build-A(mherst)-bear 

Who doesn’t love some free stuffed animals? Join AC After Dark and build your own stuffed animal friend! Build-A-Bear is an event hosted by AC After Dark which is a program within the Student Activities Office that provides social options to Amherst students every weekend. (Check out more AC After Dark events via The Hub:


  • Go on an Amherst College Sanctuary trail!

College life is undeniably exciting, but it could also be quite overwhelming sometimes. I find that a nice walk in nature brings me back to serenity. Amherst offers a series of sanctuary trails through the woods at the edge of the campus, where you get to explore some of the “hidden treasures” of the college, and discover wild lives such as bald eagle, muskrats, heron, and turtles etc.

  • Go to the Amherst symphony orchestra concert 

When the madness of academic and social life surrounds you, it is easy to lose sight of how magical life can be. That’s where live music steps in. While listening to recorded music is still a fun experience, getting to listen to music live is something that everyone needs to experience. When it comes to watching an orchestra concert live, you will be fascinated and amazed by how musicians and their instruments are able to blend their sounds together to form some of the most emotionally-charged and powerful songs. To make things even better, all orchestra concerts are free to Amherst students! 

  • Farm Fest, Winter Fest, Fall Fest and Spring Fest! 

One of my favorite traditions here on campus is our festivals. The annual festivals are Amherst community events open to all Amherst students, faculty, staff, their families, and the Amherst town community. These events feature amazing free foods, fun events, and live music! 

  winter fest

  • Explore the museums! 

Despite the fact that art and collections are never lacking on our campus with Mead and Beneski. I still love to scout out new museums to walk around and let my mind wander. Check out the Emily Dickinson Museum, Russian Center Art Gallery, the Eli Marsh Gallery, and the Archive collections at Frost for more special collections of art, books and archival materials. 

  • Go see a show at Kirby Theatre

What better way to spend a family weekend evening, than to spend it watching a wonderful play performed by your fellow classmates with your family? Go to the Kirby Theatre and catch a new play written by Amherst students, and performed by Amherst students! All plays are free to Amherst college students! 

  • Long weekend? Go to Boston!

Want to get a taste of city life? Hop onto the Peter Pan bus with some friends and go spend your long weekend in the city of Boston! Boston is endlessly entertaining, and there’s always something new to do. Whether you want to get lost inside a large museum, or to dig through tons of clothes inside different thrift stores, or just to get some delicious fancy baked goods, Boston’s got you covered! 


So...How is College Life Online?

Like all Amherst students, I was devastated when the college announced that they decided to move to online learning for  the rest of the spring semester. Despite the fact that I wish everyone can be back on campus for the fall semester, chances are that some of you have to stay home and stick with online classes due to the global pandemic. So, I did want to share how my classes and social life have adjusted to an online format with those of y’all who will not be studying on campus for the fall semester! 


  • Classes

 “Transfering” from the Amherst campus to “Zoom university”, as some students jokingly call it, has not been the easiest adjustment. Fortunately, my professors have all been ingenious with the online materials, and it was great to have a routine in life again. I was lucky enough to have all my classes in the live Zoom format, and didn’t have to watch any recorded lectures. Zoom made it easy for professors to share their screens for presentation slides during the lectures. For my Japanese class, we used Skype since it’s a small class and we are mostly practicing by speaking with each other. During class discussions in bigger classes, we were put into smaller break-out groups to discuss proposed topics. It was also pretty easy for me to submit homeworks through Moodle since we were using that for a lot of my classes already prior to quarantine. I do recommend using a tablet + stylus pen to do homework and take notes if you have those. It makes submitting things online SO much easier. I was also able to attend office hours, and make appointments with professors to ask questions and discuss materials in depth virtually.  Although I missed seeing everyone in person, the online format has worked pretty well overall and I’d say Amherst did a pretty good job with the transition! 

  • Flute lessons

The most difficult part of online learning was probably my music lessons. Unlike my other classes, virtually learning an instrument and not being able to hear sounds in person was definitely a challenge. However, my instructor and I worked through it, and I learned how to adjust the sound settings on ZOOM, which made listening a bit easier. So, can you learn an instrument online? The answer is: yes you can! Although it’s not as easy as learning it in person, I was still grateful for the opportunity to have some guidance while practicing in quarantine. 


  • Virtual Activities

Various student organizations have done a wonderful job keeping our community connected. Many different affinity groups, resource centers, and other resources offered regular virtual activities such as study sessions, discussion groups,and virtual movie screenings. I was also able to make appointments with different advisors and directors to talk about my concerns about academics and life at home. It felt good to be able to interact with other human beings even though it was online, and I was able to bond with many others through conversations during that difficult time. 

  • Job Opportunities 

Despite the fact that we are off campus and the number of job opportunities has decreased, I was still able to keep my jobs as a note taker and a student tour guide remotely. Moreover, Amherst is dedicated to supporting its students financially. Amherst has distributed more than $1 million in direct support to students who are in need, from both College funds and from the deferral CARES act. The college has also distributed its own funds, totaling more than $168,000 in the emergency relief support to students who are in need. For the fall semester, Amherst will also replace the term time student employment component of the financial aid package with a grant from the College. 

  • Social life

Although I couldn’t be with my friends in person, I still talked to them pretty much every day. Over the course of the past few months my friends and I have planned some virtual meet up having movie nights and playing interactive online games like COD and Mafia. We used ZOOM and Discord, which allowed us to share one person’s screen while still seeing each other people’s faces on the side bars. This way, we were able to watch things together while sharing our reactions in real life like we were together in person. :)


How Affinity Groups Helped Me Adjust to Campus Life as a Person of Color

As a Chinese American, coming to Amherst I was worried if there lacks the resources on campus to connect me with other minorities and people of similar cultural backgrounds. Turns out my fear was unfounded. At Amherst, I met many other Asian Americans, multiracial Asian Americans, and international / first-gen Asian immigrants. When I got to campus, joining the Asian affinity groups was a quick decision for me. I joined ASA (Asian Students Association) and CSA (Chinese Student Association), which are two of the many wonderful affinity groups we have here on campus. I was born in China, and later went to an American school district that was very racially diverse. Which made being with other people of color and people of similar culture the common norm for me. It wasn’t necessarily because I only feel comfortable in an Asian community, but it would definitely feel uncomfortable for me if there’s not a community space to interact with other Asian students.


From my personal experience, I deeply value the Asian community here at Amherst. Looking back on freshman year, so many of my best memories of Amherst come from events hosted by the affinity groups. I remember going to my very first ASA meeting, where we shared our experience growing up as an Asian/ Asian American, and how that has shaped our identity. The common experiences and shared vulnerability quickly bonded us and I was able to truly become part of the Asian community here on campus. The social events hosted by ASA such as the five college parties also gave me a chance to interact with people that I would not have interacted with otherwise, who are now some of my best friends! Even though we are no longer on campus, the affinity groups still host events online that provide a place of support for Asians and Asian American community at Amherst. And ASA is just one example of the many wonderful groups here that support the students and provide students with a sense of community on campus. 


Moreover, it was reassuring to know that Amherst town is quite diverse too. I arrived on campus with a huge pack of instant noodles, and it was definitely a huge bonus for me to discover that there are so many ethnic restaurants, more specifically Asian restaurants around Amherst town. Mom’s House, an Asian grocery store is also only a few minutes away from our campus. All these factors have helped me adjust to campus as an Asian American, and have made Amherst feel like a home for me.


How I Picked My First Semester Courses

Here at Amherst, we have a variety of 850+ courses, and hundreds more offered through the Five College Consortium. The Open Curriculum also gives Amherst students the flexibility and the freedom to pick their classes based on interest with no core requirements. Which brings the question, what classes should I take? Let me show you how I picked my courses my very first semester of college! 

Before you read about my decisions, be sure to ask youself this simple question: what do you want to do? If you already have a clear answer in mind, then stick to your instincts and follow your heart. Your first semester classes really can’t decide your entire college career here at Amherst, so don’t be afraid and explore whatever you are interested in! 

  • As someone who arrived at Amherst with no specific major in mind, I was ready to take advantage of the open curriculum and explore new things. During orientation week, I went to a couple of academic panels to learn more about the different majors. Even though I barely took any economic related classes in high school, the department seemed quite interesting to me and I decided to try one of the most popular courses (and probably one of the biggest classes) here on campus: An Intro to Economics (ECON-111). 


  • One of the hardest decisions for me was picking my freshman seminar. Every first-year student is required to take a freshman seminar during their first semester of college. Luckily, there are a wide variety of choices, ranging from STEMS to humanities to topics as specific as Olive Oil. Growing up as a bilingual child, I spoke english outside and Mandarin Chinese at home. Bilingualism has always been a significant part of my life, and has often caused me confusion to my own cultural identity and heritage. In the hope of being able to accept two different cultures as part of the duality of my own identity, I picked a seminar that discusses the cultural contributions and struggles of bi-/multi-lingual individuals: Language Crossing.


  • Summer of my high school senior year,  I traveled to Japan with my mom and some friends for the first time. I still vividly remember losing my sanity on the street of Shinjuku, using google translate to ask people where the closest train station was. My short time in Japan quickly revealed to me that my knowledge of Japanese language and culture from those books and videos was limited, at best. Ever since my return from Japan, an innate curiosity has compelled me to explore the Asian language and civilization courses here at Amherst college. Starting a new language from scratch seemed scary, but the low student to faculty ratio at a small liberal art college like Amherst forms a wonderful language learning environment. My Japanese class has about 3-4 students per class, and I was able to get a lot of face to face speaking time with professors and my peers. Aftering shopping the class, I decided to add Intro to Japanese on to my list. 

  japanese garden

  • Despite the fact that Amherst College has a open curriculum that allows you to basically avoid the core classes which you are not interested in, I still wanted to take a basic core class of my own free choice. Math is definitely something I’ve hated ever since elementary school, but many upperclassmen suggested to me that the math courses at Amherst are actually quite interesting. After shopping a couple of different math classes, I decided to give calculus another chance at Amherst, and I’m glad I chose to! 


  • Before arriving at Amherst, I didn’t know that we could apply for private lessons taught by professional instructors in the music department, and receive a music scholarship for these lessons. At home, I played guitar, flute and piano. However, I stopped playing the flute junior year of high school to focus more on my academics. During my very first semester,  I decided to take flute lesson for half credit, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The weekly lessons allowed me to pick up my flute and gain access to performance opportunities again. Practicing the flute forces me to take time away from working and socialising, and reduces my stress level in a rigorous school setting. It also connected me with other musicians here on campus, who I can share work together and play chamber music with. 


Birthdays at Amherst

As a freshman in college, you will find yourself constantly experiencing many “firsts” in this new environment filled with wonderful new people. One of those “firsts” will probably be celebrating your birthday away from home and away from your family. Here’s how we celebrated my friend Nancy’s birthday here at Amherst with a little surprise party. 


  • 10:00 am 

After tricking Nancy into thinking that we are all going to study individually in our rooms, my friends and I headed towards the PVTA bus stop. The PVTA bus system at Amherst is free for all five college students. Which means with your student ID you can hop onto the bus at any time and go to wherever you would like! My friends and I decided to head over to Hampshire mall since our favorite chains, such as Target, Trader joes, and Petsmart are all in that area. 


  • 10:15 am

After arriving at Hampshire mall, we first stopped to get some morning coffee from Starbucks, and some breakfast from Panera. We decided to make “unicorn” our party theme, since we could only find enough unicorn themed birthday supplies in the party aisle of Target. During our birthday shopping spree, we loaded up on balloons, party hats, and some flameless light candles (P.S. lighters and candles are not allowed inside the dorms). 


  • 10:30 am 

Although we are generally not allowed to have pets inside our dorm rooms, fish in aquariums of ten gallons or smaller are permissible. Nancy had a betta fish in her dorm named Aaron, who unfortunately died five months into the school year :( So we decided to get her a new baby betta fish from Petsmart! We later named it after Nancy’s favorite snack: flamin’ hot cheetos (aka. Feetos) 


  • 11:00 am

Instead of a typical birthday cake, we decided to build a cute donut tower with donuts from Nancy’s favorite donuts shop in town: Glazed. 


  • 12:00 am

We decided to set up the surprise birthday party in my common room since it’s furthest from Nancy’s dorm. Inside all dorm buildings, each floor shares 1~2 common rooms which provides a space for students to study or hang out at. After finishing up the Birthday decorations, we texted Nancy and told her to come and study with us in my common room. 

common room

  • 12:30 am 

Surprise! After showing Nancy her Birthday presents that we ordered ahead of time, my friends and I dressed up, put some makeup on, and went into town to continue the birthday celebration with some delicious pho at Miss Saigons, and yummy bubble tea from ViVi’s. :D


Winter Essentials at Amherst

One common question that I get as a tour guide is: “I am from a perpetually sunny place. What do I need to do to survive an East Coast winter?” After witnessing my Californian friends shivering in the snow with just a sweater on, I am glad you asked. Although Amherst has lively springs, sunny summers, and golden autumns, frosty winters are almost unavoidable here on campus. Whether you love wintry weather or you have never seen a snowflake your entire life, campus life in cold weather is quite common at Amherst College. Amherst is a walking campus, which means having weather relevant attire is super important if you don’t want to be caught up in a winter storm with a hoodie and slides. Big winters can be a student’s favorite thing about a college, but if you grew up in a place where winter means simply wearing a light sweater, you might want to take note of these weather essentials. Winter clothes are relatively pricey, but with a few basic essential purchases you will definitely be able to survive (and enjoy) freezing winter on a budget! 

  • Water/windproof winter coat: Investing in a long heavy winter coat with a good hood will keep you warm throughout your four years of college. The most important thing to consider when buying a coat is whether or not it will keep you warm enough. If a coat is really cute, but leaves you freezing, it’s not worth it. (TEI3 is probably a good warmth level for coats!) Popular brands I see around campus: North Face, Uniqlo, Marmot, Canada Goose etc. 


  • Layering clothes: Dress in layers so you can remove pieces as necessary when you enter a warm, heated classroom. (My weird trick is to wear my pajama pants inside my jeans as “insulated pants” for particularly cold days).
  • Gloves: Gloves are also a necessity for me since my fingers freeze in the winter time when I am holding up my umbrella or just accessing my phone. So I have a pair of tech gloves to keep my fingers warm through the cold winter breeze.
  • Thick long socks: Even those UGGs can fail us sometimes, chances are, a few minutes walking in the melty slush along the street, you will be left with soggy socks! I personally like ski socks because they are really warm, but any thick socks honestly work! 


  • Snow boots: I personally prefer waterproof mountaineering boots when it’s snowy/slushy outside. Popular brands that I see around campus: UGGs, Timberland, and sorel. 
  • Headband/ beanie: Any winter accessories that will keep your ears and head warm. Trust me, it is THE worst when your ears get cold.
  • Umbrella: Umbrella are not only useful in rain, but also in snow. Regardless of the reason, umbrellas are always pretty handy. 
  • Face cream, eye Cream, and lip balm. Anything to stay hydrated: I don’t know about you, but I find winter months to be super dehydrating. So make sure you keep some sort of moisturizer for your skin and hair also! 


A Guide to Eating at Amherst

There is endless food on Amherst’s campus: quick lunch at grab-and-go, dinner at the Valentine dining hall, late-night snacks at Schewmms, and a lot of free food from fun events. It is pretty easy to stay on campus for a long period of time without stepping out, however, sometimes campus food just doesn’t cut it. Some days, you just feel like eating somewhere else outside of the campus. This is where the Amherst town comes in handy. Amherst town is a great “resource” at Amherst that allows you and your friends to take a break from the repeating campus routine. Whether you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, get a taste of ethnic dishes, or just getting a quick snack, you can definitely find it here. :) Come check out some of my favorite food/drinks options just steps away in our awesome college town! 


  • Antonio’s:

Voted the “Best Pizza” by readers of the Springfield newspaper for 21 consecutive years, Antonio’s is a classic pizzeria here at Amherst. Antonio’s has a tremendous reputation for the amazing selection of pizza and efficient service. It is a pretty small place and things move quickly once inside, so it’s probably a good idea to review the menu online before ordering! My favorites from here: chicken bacon ranch, avocado quesadilla.


  • Honeycrisp Fried Chicken:

If you are a Korean fried chicken lover like me, this is the right place for you. As avid crispy fried chicken fans, my friends and I come here religious almost every single week. They always make your order on the spot, so the chicken always comes out super fresh and smoking hot! However, that also means the wait time is a bit longer, but it’s definitely worth it! My favorites from here: spicy popcorn chicken, red Korean chicken wings. 


  • Arigato:

Located conveniently downtown, this restaurant is just a walk away and super easy to find. The service is always excellent, and all the waiters and waitresses are super friendly. The price here is also affordable, especially for their lunch specials with sushi, sashimi, and many other Korean/Japanese dishes! My favorites from here: lunch special tempura rolls, kalbi 


  • Miss Saigon:

Miss Saigon is my to-go spot when I just want some comforting food. Whenever my friends and I are craving a bowl of hot pho, we end up at Miss Saigon. It is always busy with long lines on the weekends, but for the price, the food here does not disappoint! My favorites from here: any of the pho, spring rolls. 


  • Oriental Flavor:

Whenever I crave my mom’s homemade food, Oriental is my favorite Chinese restaurant to go to. If you want to try some non-Americanized Chinese dim sum, this is THE place! Their dim sum served all day, unlike the typical dim sum which only offers these food options during lunch-time, so you can get a decent dim sum meal here at any time! Also, they have delicious freshly made egg tarts sometimes, which is definitely one of my favorites! My favorites from here: soup dumplings, egg tart, shrimp dumplings. 


  • North Hotpot:

If you’ve never tried Chinese hotpot, you should definitely come here and try it! Hands down the most authentic Chinese hotpot place around here with great selections of seafood, meats, veggies, and a wonderful sauce bar. They offer both the typical big hotpot that you can eat together with friends, and the individual small hotpot that you can eat by yourself! I love to come here with a large group of friends on a cold winter night to just warm up and have a delicious dinner! My favorites: sesame based sauce, minced shrimp slide, sliced beef, Chinese fried bread.


  • Kaiju:

Personally, I think Kaiju is the best ramen place here at Amherst. Kaiju is a cool underground ramen monster-themed restaurant with a beautifully decorated interior. It’s dimly lit, and is surrounded by bricks and stones everywhere. I love the look and vibe of the place, and the food is delicious also! My favorites: kaiju ramen, takoyaki


  • Wings Over Amherst:

If you and your friend want fried chicken for a late-night snack but don’t want to get out of your dorms, Wings over Amherst got you covered. It’s cheap and super convenient. From my experience, the delivery to campus is always on time. However, there’s no inside seating so only take out is available! My favorites: spicy teriyaki, hot garlic


  • Insomnia cookies:

No explanation needed. If you have a sweet tooth, this store is perfect for a late-night snack when you are pulling an all-nighter with projects and exams. Super close to campus, and delivery to campus is available also. My favorites: choco-mint cookies



  • Moge Tee:

Moge just opened this year so it’s one of the newer boba places here at Amherst. But it is safe to say that this is my new favorite boba place in western mass. I am a HUGE boba addict, and I’ve tried so many different boba places from ALL AROUND THE WORLD, but Moge’s cheese foam fruit tea is still one of my favorites! Some of the bubble teas here are quite pricey, but in my opinion, it’s worth it. My favorites: Cheese foam strawberry fruit tea, Cheese Dongding Oolong tea, Mango bubble milk. 


  • Glazed Doughnut Shop:

If you are looking for a place with great doughnuts, you’ve found it! Glazed is a popular shop amongst the locals, and offers a variety of fun flavors as well as vegan /gluten-free options! They also provide free wifi and there’s a bathroom, which makes this one of my favorite studying spots off-campus! My favorites: cookie dough, mocha latte, Vanilla frosted with fruity pebbles.


  • VIVI:

If you are from New York City, you’ve probably heard about ViVi’s. ViVi’s is one of the classic boba places in NYC and we have it here at Amherst! I love the interior setting of Vivi’s, it has a fair number of tables, a lot of laptop chargers, and a lot of fun board games/cards that you and your friends can play with! My favorites: vivi signature fruit tea, flaming brown sugar milk, taro. 


  • LimeRed: 

The oldest boba shop in Amherst town. The atmosphere of limeRed is incredible and is always a wonderful place to sit down to talk and study with people. My favorite: honeydew smoothies with boba. 


  • Amherst Coffee:

One of the cafes we have here at Amherst. There are plenty of seats to relax, do work, and bring a friend. I personally don’t have a high standard for my coffee but I really enjoy working here with friends! My favorites: iced coffee, iced matcha.

amherst coffee  

  • The Works Bakery Cafe:

This place is super fresh, local, sustainable, and friendly! There are a lot of great breakfast options, parfaits, and delicious smoothies! My favorites: mozzarella sandwiches, smoothies.


  • Dunkin’ Donuts:

It’s Dunkin’ Donuts. We all need our cold brew sometimes! My favorite: Iced hazelnut