Lidia Gutu '20 - Introduction

Picture of Lidia Gutu

I am absolutely positively surely excited to introduce myself AGAIN to all you lovely readers checking out our blog: My name is Lidia Gutu, and I am a member of the class of 2020, majoring in Economics and Psychology.  I come from Chisinau, Moldova, though I've spent the past three years at a boarding school in New England. For those of you who are curious, my favorite ice-cream flavors are coffee, mint and pistachio.

This year I am a Residential Counselor in an upperclassmen hall, Greenway C. I also teach Romanian at the Five College Language Center, and work with the Admission Office. I still play badminton occasionally, and enjoy spending the evenings with my friends and catching up with their busy lives. My goals for the year are to stay grounded and balanced in the hurricane of things I’m involved in, and to maintain the ties I have with the people I love.  

Some of my personal interests include music, writing, questions about the meaning of life and obviously, languages! (if you speak Romanian, Russian, German, Spanish or French, I would love to talk to you! Just kidding, English speakers are welcome, too) On campus you can see me sprinting everywhere in my running shoes, working out at the gym every Saturday, attending Val lunches and dinners almost "religiously" and taking pictures of trees, chipmunks and the sky.

If you need a person to ask questions about Amherst, follow these 3 easy steps:

1) Copy lgutu20@amherst.edu and paste it into your "To:" bar from your mailbox.

2)Ask me anything!

3)Hit "Send".

Yaaaay you've send me an email and I will get back to you soon!

Till future adventures!

Your Student Blogger,

 Lidia

About the Ski Trip Part 1

When I was an Intern & Blogger this past summer for the Office of Admissions, I would readily read my friends’ posts on adventures off-campus. From going to lake Viol in Massachusetts to traveling to the tropical forest in  Costa Rica, the posts were captivating, and I always wished I could do a similar nature trip, and write about it. Alas, the closest thing I did to these adventures was traveling to Boston, and although it was very enjoyable to stroll around an elaborate urban center, visiting one park doesn’t quite make it “a nature trip”. But the time has come: due to a lucky draw, I was selected to go on a ski trip with about 30 students and the skiing club. Below you can find a timeline of my “nature trip”, and please don’t hesitate to tell me if you would like more of these posts!

5:39 am: My alarm wakes me up peacefully. I feel no tiredness, and I am ready to embark on a fun adventure. I hope the pants I borrowed from my friend are water-proof, as my skiing experience resumes after four years, and I anticipate many falls.

6:05 am: With one of my residents, Kelly, I walk across campus to Converse Hall, the meeting point. I soon discover that my friend Yuko won’t come, and hence I am left with no skiing goggles, since she was supposed to graciously lend me a pair. Unhappy, I hop on the bus and can’t fall asleep.

7:59 am: We’re almost there! I really dislike bus rides, but at least the weather seems nice. Wow, we’re so close to Williams College: When Zephaniah Swift Moore moved part of the college to Amherst, MA, he should have taken half of this ski resort with him! Oh, the slopes weren’t in place then, are you saying? No problem, just take the hill and we’ll build the slope ourselves!

the resort

Yay we arrived!

9:20 am: I’m getting ready for a beginner ski lesson. The College has generously paid for everything on this trip but the lunch, and I borrowed some goggles from the head of the skiing club: I feel well-equipped. Getting into the boots is a challenge, nevertheless smaller than actually stepping on the skis. I wish I could jump back to my ok-beginner level from March 2014.

(around) 11:14 am: I am doing some progress. At first, Instructor Greg wanted to split us into two groups, because obviously some of us were making more progress than others. In my opinion, it was JUST ME who was being behind all the time. There was little actual need to split, however: I miraculously redeemed myself.

(around) 11:25 am: I managed to help my skiing partner, Tim, out of the chairlift. I have always fiercely feared chair lifts, but this one doesn’t seem that bad. Multiple times in a row, our team of 7 lands out of the chairlift successfully, with zero falls. Greg is proud of us, and says he was worried about me in the beginning, yet his worries proved to be unfounded. He advises me to give myself more credit for my skills. Does that mean I can start training for Olympics?

12:00 pm: Our class is over. We take a group picture together, and Greg says goodbye. Some ski enthusiasts are already ready to try new slopes, whereas I am ready for lunch. The food zone has yummy fried things like chicken tenders, fries, nachos and burrito bowls, and even noodle soup! Tim and I split a bucket of curly fries & chicken tenders that seems to have no end. I also tried some chips with salsa: Chipotle, you might have a competitor.

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See you for part 2 next week! (Find out if the pants were really waterproof!)

 

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia

About Pindar Dinners

Today I've decided to write about the Pindar Dinners, one of the newer Amherst traditions no one would mention to you out of the blue unless they get an email with the title :CONFIRMATION REQUIRED: Pindar Dinner This Friday, 6:30 at the Alumni House.

According to this Campus Community Events page, Pindar dinners were "are intended “to encourage students to engage outside of their comfort zones and standard social groups, and were concieved by a member of the Class of 2013".

The registration process is very simple: You enter your name in a link provided in the email by the Wednesday of the respective week, and if you get picked, you have to confirm your attendence, and adherence to the rules. The dinners are requiring formal clothing, and there is a closed with clothes to be borrowed in case a student requests it. Moreover, since the dinner encourages face-to-face conversations, all electronic devices are stored away for the event.

I got really excited when I got invited, since one gets an invitation only so often, and I missed my first one due to a scheduling conflict. If, for any reason, a student cannot attend any of the Friday dinners, there are also a few Thursday ones that can accomodate. But place is limited EVERYWHERE: it's not fun to be the one friend that hasn't had their first Pindar Dinner yet.

The event proved to be very fancy, even a bit above my expectations: all names in the menu sounded very exquisite, and some students even chose to wear short dresses, defying the cold outside! I attended a 21+ dinner, which meant that most students were either juniors or seniors, and I was a bit nervous.

Pindar Dinner Menu

21+ Dinner Menu: Set-up for the dinner starts as soon as 3pm!

My uneasiness proved unfounded, though: people were easy to talk to, and I could recognize most of the faces, either because Amherst is a small school or because I procrastinate often by watching people.

Needless to say, the decorations and table-set up were amazing: at the end of the dinner we were encouraged to take one of the center roses, as a token of friendship. And before I get too cheesy over pointy descriptions, friendship and connections were themselves the center-piece of the event. I got to meet people living the the dorm next to mine, and find more about the current party policy or the Dominican politics. It felt refreshing to be at a table where I did not know well anyone, yet had un-awkward conversations, laughter and honesty (that moment when you see the last lamb roll passing you, but you offer it to a newly-acquired acquaintance). I am very thankful to the staff members who made the event happen, and gave 7+ hours of their time to satisfy our appetites and our curiosity. The dinner started with a talk by Jim Brassord, the chief of campus operations at Amherst College, about his 1,600 mile rowing journey from Miami to NYC. Moreover, in the end of the dinner, the chef came forward and gave us a Chopped-like presentation of the meal, explaining flavor combinations and ingredient-pairing.

I would encourage all Amherst students to go to at least one Pindar Dinner in their time here at the College, because one could meet very familiar faces and find more about them. And, if this is not a good enough argument to convince you, I guarantee you the dessert will!

Dessert

When the dessert looks so good that you have to take a picture of it!

Until later,

Your Student Blogger,
Lidia

About campus jobs

As the second semester of sophomore year rolls in, and I have realized I have completed 37.5% of my Amherst education, I think back of the many ways outside classroom I learned something. And if you wonder how on earth is the title of my article connected to the rest of it, I will reveal it to you: jobs have taught me a lot! Especially last semester, I liked to boast that “jobs are my main extracurriculars”, while all my friends shook their heads and gave me weird looks. Before you follow their example, I can tell you that a college job can give you way more than just money on your bank account at the end of the day (though the financial compensation is more than welcome).        

Moving on with the jobs theme, the reasons why I chose many of my positions are less poetically waxing and more down to earth: I became an usher because I saw it advertised at the career fair, I applied for the RC position because I had a great RC (and I heard the stipend is great, too), and I taught at the Five College Language Center because at International Orientation, my Orientation Leader advised me to do it. My non-academic work has brought me great joy, and, in the spirit of 2018 resolutions and lists,  below are 5 things I love about my jobs:

  1. Flexibility: I am someone that ends up being late to everything that is not a class or a job. That being said, I hope in 2018 I can be on time when I meet up my friends, and keep coming to work on time. I am truly grateful to my supervisors who have given me an extra day off to go see my friend in Connecticut in the summer, and the Office of Residential life who allowed me to fly home a day early.
  2. Doing something for the college: Many of my jobs implied direct contact with visitors and alumni, such as working in the Alumni Office or Office of Admission. From telling funny stories about my classes to explaining the Open Curriculum, I enjoy answering questions, and helping other find more about Amherst College. And there is always random trivia that comes along, like that one time I talked to an alumnus from Central America whose grandmother was Romanian! (I am Romanian myself).
    Phonathon logo
    Phonathon: Connecting people 
  3. Meeting new people: Perfect segue from my previous part! More people means more life stories and more memories, whether it meant to usher with the Music department or be in RC training. Amherst is a close-knit college community, and working close to someone for a few months almost guarantees you’ll know more facts about them than name and position. Shoutout to my Admission Trivia Team and finding out that Dean Wan loves cooking cola wings!
  4. Problem-solving! If you read my previous blog post about my love to math, you won’t be surprised that problem-solving is a badge I don’t just write on my resume. The jobs that I had required some creative thinking, from giving driving directions on the phone to writing more than 40 dialogue scenarios for the Romanian class I taught.

door decs

Every semester RCs make new door decs for residents: It's a job obligation, but it's also fun@

  1. Taking a break from classes: Every Monday morning last semester, I sat down in the Admissions Office at the front desk at 10am and let a small sigh of relief. I had my math class earlier that day from 9am, and though it’s probably the best class I took at Amherst, it was very intense and tiring. Being in the office for two hours and doing non-academic things put me in the mood for my future classes that day, and cleared my mind. Obviously work is no downtime, and my mind was busy with other tasks, but I bet not thinking about my math problems actually helped me solve them better.

For me, balancing the academic workload and the job/extracurricular responsibilities has been a way to keep me organized and busy, which kinda defines me. Having an on-campus job is a great way for me to try different things and build on skills that I will need in the future (and write to y’all about my experience!)

Until later!

Lidia

About why I missed Amherst over break

After a notable winter break of almost a month,  I am reporting back from Amherst on my blog (hope you missed me). Although the comforts of home were pleasant and much needed, it feels good to be back, and enjoy some of the things I longed for while away. The following list of nine things I have missed follows no ranking system, although it’s safe to assume that I missed my friends more than food.

1. Val

Yes, I did miss my friends more, but it’s unexpected to miss a dinning hall, when all this month I just ate my mom’s food! I appreciate the diverse choices, and really missed the bagels and the donuts! Maybe missing Val translates better into missing “American Food”, as unfortunately bagels are not something I can just buy in my local supermarket. Also, Val just added a Burger Bar this week! (yum, vegetarian options included)

2. My friends

Being greeted by one of my best friends after a long flight feels really awesome, especially since she thoughtfully saved me some dinner. At home I only saw a handful of my friends, also because the bulk of my life is now here,  at Amherst. Giving and receiving gifts and cards is particularly pleasant, and catching up over meals put me in better shape for the first week of classes

3. My residents

I got back earlier than most students because of Residential Life Student Staff training, but enough of my old (and new) residents were already back. Seeing familiar faces made me realize how much I know and care about my residents. And two new exchange students moved in on my floor, who are just starting their Amherst adventure. Also a big shout-out to my Area Director: she is an amazing woman, who inspires me to give my best in my RC job.  

4. All this gorgeous beauty

Look at it! So much snow! At home, no snow stayed on the ground for more than seconds! Going to school in New England means winters get white… at some point. I mean, all December I was complaining about the lack of snow, and now a whole blizzard came upon us.

Beautiful winter view

Beautiful winter view

5. Walking around campus at night

Seriously though, our campus is so beautiful! I enjoy walking around and admiring all the funny squirrels and the colorful sky. Sunsets here are my  favorites, as multiple hues of pink, violet, blue, red and orange mix and fade while my Iphone battery is slowly dying when I’m taking a gazillion of pictures. Since the campus is fairly small, I get to my dorm quickly and safely at night, and the cold is no big problem for me, even in the winter.

6. Going to the gym

Since New Year was only a mere three weeks ago, many people are trying to keep up with their resolutions and still go to the gym. I, on the other hand, made no resolutions, and haven’t run since a month ago, therefore hitting the gym is a pure body joy. Blasting music in my headphones and feeling that adrenaline rush… yes, this is what I want this week, as soon as I get my classes sorted out.

7. Frost Library

This one is a bit of  a bummer, as I am an avid lover of McGuire Science Library (otherwise known as Merrill Library, or just Merrill), and rarely go to Frost. However, the vast collection of over 1.5 million books got me excited: I can return books and borrow new ones? Deal! My picks so far have been some manga novels and a lot of books on film studies: maybe reading can both make me a smarter person and a better sleeper? We will see.

8. Those tea times

TEA TIMES WERE NOT A THING AT HOME! Sure, I had snacks, and ate pizza out with friends, but nothing compares to the joy of munching on cookies and ice-cream as a homework break. I’m not fond of that homework part, but tea-times are great for socializing on my floor, and, as you know already, I love to hang out with my residents! I also brought a lot of chocolate from home, so I’m sure attendance will be high.

9. Having my own room

I’ve shared my room with my sister for practically almost all my life. Since I’m studying abroad, I’ve been lucky to have singles quite often, and I find that having my personal space makes be more organized. That being said, I love snuggling her as we fall asleep, but having my own desk and bed and closet… is quite fulfilling. The best part is that now I can invite my friends in my room… and no one will complain about that!

 

Mammoth pride

Mammoth pride

I can’t believe  the semester has already started, I feel like I need some more time to get my life together! However, as I walk around  looking for my new classes, I think how reassuring it is to be back, among so many familiar things.

About Math

This whole semester I've been waking up four out of five week days (or seven days total) at 8:30 am, trying to get out of bed and rush to my math class, conveniently situated at a 3-4 minute walk from my dorm. Altought this might not sound like the best motivation to wake up on a Monday morning, every math class that  I've taken has been a pleasant experience, up to the point where  I want to take more of it, and the breadth of the Open Curriculum truly allows me to do it. I am not a math major by any means, but I'm no stranger to it either: I work a lot with numbers in both Economics and Psychology, and most classes that I took in these Departments use Statistics and Calculus. 

Math classes have something special and different that most of my social science classes, as they meet more often, about 4 times a week, but also are shorter. It's nice to push your chair back after a mere 50 minutes, when in other classes 50 minutes mean that you still have half an hour left. Yet that doesn't mean that just because math classes are shorter, they are also less work: in most of my classees, there were two problem sets per week, with the exception of weeks when we have exams. The good news is that help is abundant and accessible: my math professors have held multiple office hours scattered throughout the week, every class has at least one student assistant that holds additional office hours, and there are Q-fellows available for appointments during the afternoon and at night. Despite of the busyness of my schedule, I have been getting the help I need on time, and I truly appreciate the flexibility of the hours. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I enjoy social gatherings that involve food for the body (and for the soul), and math department happen to have both of them quite often. I will repeat my disclaimer that I am not a major, yet I regularely attend their department semester parties and colloquia (math talk hosted by Amherst professors and their special guests), where I enjoy catching up with my professors, and nibbling on delicious cake, fresh fruit or cookies. I am also a big fan of Game Nights, which are evenings with pizza and board games, or better said, a time when you can win you math professor at Catan and feel great about it. For the last game night I attended in October, both me and my friends were colluding (conspiring together, it's an economics term) in order to stop professor Benedetto from winning, yet, as a result, another student won. 

Reading this, you might ask me: so why aren't you a math major? And my answer is not that simple... but I guess the gist of it is that I really enjoy my current two majors, Economics and Psychology. That's one of the choices that any student has to make sooner or later, after all, we can't all have five majors!

 

Untill later!

 

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia

About studying abroad from a different perspective

As the end of the semester approaches, some students are packing their belongings, contacting storage, and double-checking their passports. This might sound to you like a bleak prospect, but fear not: I'm just writing about students who are studying abroad, which is the choice of about 45% of the junior class. You might wonder "Hm, why would someone leave Amherst to study abroad? Aren't they foregoing many parts of their comfort zone, like hanging out with old friends, family, maybe speaking their native language, using a currency that they are familiar with, and finding the ingredients of their favorite dish at a local store? Well, many students on the Amherst campus are already experiencing many of these things, and about 10% of our students are already studying abroad.

Yes, that's me and many others, and I laugh really hard when people ask me whether I'm considering studying abroad, because I've been a foreign student now for 4 years and a half. I like to be an optimist person when I can, so I'll tell you some of the benefits (and lessons) that being a student abroad might supply you with. As of the disadvatages? (See all of the comfort zone above).

1) You get to be independent

This one is probably my favorite, because it is the reason why I decided to study abroad in the first place. When you are in a new country, there is a lot to learn, and only you (not your parents, your school or your friends) can do that learning to benefit from it. However, people around you can be a great resource for that learning, and luckily Amherst has a Center for International Student Engagement and a Study Abroad Office to answer many of your questions. If you are like me and enjoy traveling on your own and speaking many languages, going to a new country for college might be a good idea.

2) You get to be homesick

It might come as a surprise that being homesick is a good thing, because sadness rarely is. Coping with homesickness is challenging, but if you're doing things that you enjoy, they can slowly create a new comfort zone for you. My point is that being afar from a familiar place helps you see it in a different light, and learn more about it. In America I learned how foreigners see my country, while my view of the US also changed, now that I am spending most of my time here. Also, being away from home leaves you with truly committed friends, that are willing to maintain your relationship despite the many kilometers (or miles) that separate you. 

CISE_Study Abroad Coffee Hour.jpg

CISE has cool events to help you meet students who have studied abroad (and domestically). Stop by!

3) You get to learn that the world is much bigger than your window view

I have been lucky to travel a bit as a teenager with my family, so I was aware that what I see out of my window is not what the whole world is like. However, being a tourist is different than actually living in a new place, because you face much more complex joys and challenges, that both make you stronger. Had I not given the chance to come to the US I wouuld have never learned what is Mac&Cheese, or how rewarding a liberal arts education can be. I might have been elsewhere learning equally cool things, but I am really happy where I am, and, as this ideom says, a bird in your hand is worth two in the bush. Why worry about things I could have done, if I'm currently surrounded by people who appreciate me, and make me smile?

Rainbow Greenway Hall

A rainbow near my residence hall: had I not studied abroad here in the US at Amherst, might have never seen it!

 

Till next week,

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia

 

About being a Resident Counselor

Hi everyone!

Hope you didn't miss me too much because of the Thanksgiving Break, but here I am, back on track.

Today I want to talk about my main "extracurricular activity" - being a Resident Counselor. There are other cool articles in past years about residence halls and RCs that I suggest you check out, but since you landed on my page, hear out my experience.

If you read this far, you probably wonder what is an RC? Schools have RAs and Peer Mentors and House Monitors and so many other terms, that don't always mean the same thing. Here at Amherst, to the best of my understanding, an RC is someone that is first and foremost a resource to students. From creating bulletin boards to organizing movie nights and keeping in touch with the custodian about a broken latch, the RCs are always there for you, to support you in having a fulfilling residential experience.

My favorite part of being an RC are probably the tea times. This might sound cliche for a lot of RCs here on campus, but I think tea times were the reason why I applied to be an RC in the first place. Nothing beats good company and delicious food. For my first-year, I lived on a floor with only women, and my RC Anna did a wonderful job helping us befriending each other. Her tea times were always so creative and warm, with food ranging from cheesecakes to pizza to cake! I ended up staying close friends with a fair amount of the women on my floor, and I'm so grateful I have them in my life. On a less dramatic note, BEFRIEND YOUR RC AND YOUR LIFE WILL GET BETTER. 

Marshmallow dip

Delicious marshmallow roasted dip that I once made for my residents

They were once in a first-year shoes, and know many things about how Amherst works. And yes, even if you are an upperclassmen, your RC may still know moret thank you think, for example how to reach out to different parts of campus if need be. Nobody has all the answers, but the intention to help is something that unites a lot of us RCs, and the appreciation for our residents.

I am an RC in Greenway C, an upperclassmen dorm, and I am responsible for the first and the second floors. I enjoy getting to know my residents, so no surprise I mentioned tea-time earlier. I always burst out laughing when people think that the RC has some sort of disciplinary power and is the god of everything: we are students like everyone else, but with residential responsabilities, that mostly include taking care of our residents. We are there really not to punish, but rather talk things out and mediate, and no, we can't just burst into your room and tell you what to do.   

 Being an RC also means being a part of the RLSS family (Residential Life Student Staff), which means one gets to know the other "family members" very well. If one of us needs a ride, a phone charger or a piece of tape, chances are someone else can help out with that, so people get to know each other within months, if not weeks. And if push comes to shove and I need a fresh slice of pizza in my empty stomach, likely I would text my RC friends, hoping they had their tea time today, and there are still leftovers. 

 

Until next week!

 

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia

About languages at Amherst

I really enjoy languages! I think it's so cool how people developed and changed their ways to communicate throughout time, and I wonder whether it would be possible to keep track of all the languages spoken around the globe.

Some people that I've meet have the stereotype that "all the people from Europe speak multiple languages, and enjoy learning more of them". Sorry to spoil that for you, but that is not the case! I guess I'm not disproving this idea, but I know enough people who easily do. Whether a new language is a badge of honor, a school requirement or a survival need, people learn them for different reasons, and sometimes learning isn't even the hardest part!

For me, knowing many languages means mantaining them to the best of my ability, because skills can be easily lost.

Amherst College offers 9 languages, as far as I know, and I have been personally involved with 4 of them. Maybe 5... actually? 

These are 4 ways to get involved with languages on (and off) campus (Spoiler: there are many other ways than that, but just bear with me): 

 

1) Take a class!

Do you want to learn more about Modernism and its Discontents in German? Have you thought about learning French or Arabic? Did you want to know what are the opportunities to learn Japanese on campus? Then be bold and pick a language class for your next semester! From my personal experience, language classes at Amherst tend to be fairly small, and rather intensive, but they definitely bring a lot of joy. My German seminar from my first spring here was a very good pair to my quantititative classes, to the point of me wanting to take "Modernism and its Discontents" for this upcoming semester. Also, if you start taking a language, chances are you might even consider studying abroad in one of the countries it is spoken ;) 

2) Get to know the LAs

For select languages, Amherst College hires Language Assistants, who are native speakers, students or recent students themselves, who come on campus for a year (or more). They will live in the Theme Houses correspondent to the language, and often help professors in teaching courses, by having their own conversation hours or tutoring students. Moreover, the LAs take classes alongside students, and participate in campus events. Similarely, if you want to study abroad, and there happen to be LAs from the country you're planning to go, they are a great resource for Q&As.

CISE Poster 2

The Center for International Student Engagement puts on language-related activities as well, open to all students!

3) FOOD

Yes, food and languages are closely tied. Language tables, Evening Language Tea Time in Theme Houses, Cultural Events, End of the Semester Parties: I will leave the food to speak for itself. And the best part of these gatherings is meeting people like yourself, who enjoy the language and the culture of the country or countries represented.

4)Teach a class!

If you (like me) are a native speaker of a foreign language, the Five-College Language Center may want to hire you, in order to pair you up with a conversation partner for a semester or more. I am currently teaching Romanian to a Five-College student, and it is a very rewarding activity, as I miss speaking the language to people geographically close to me (not just through Skype or Messenger). 

CISE Poster

Movies are also a great resource! (Spoiler alert 2: There is food and subtitles)

Additionally, you can take a class in the Five-College Consortium, study abroad for a semester or the summer, and many more.

Languages are great, and I am happy that Amherst helps me to keep speaking them.

 

Till later!

 

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia

 

About Taking Time for Yourself

This week has been a busy one for me. Even if Fall break happened, I was able to load myself with work in very little time. Being a sophomore makes you more aware of the rest time you get, and the ways you chose to spend it. That being said, I am grateful that even after a busy day at Amherst filled with assignments and Linear Algebra problem sets, I find the time to take care of myself. Self-care is definitely a privilege, as one of my friends was pointing out this week; it depends on background and personality. But enough with the serious musings about the individualistic self, and let’s dive into ways to discover the care you need!

Get a getaway

For me, the getaway was Boston, where I went with five of my friends, hoping to see a concert. As the band took a prolonged hiatus to keep writing their music and the concert was cancelled, our plans became more cluttered. For the first day, we “hunted” for food for 3 whole hours!

Who said getaways are always relaxing? However, the second day put a smile on hour faces with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, and eating delicious food from Cambridge and Chinatown. Obviously, not everyone can just leave all the work behind and go to Boston, but even taking a stroll through vibrant places like Northampton can make a difference in your mood. We tasted some delicious cream puffs in Boston, so now we’ll definitely check Northampton’s pastry shops for a similar experience.

  Me and my friends in Chinatown, Boston

Me and my friends in Chinatown, Boston

 Go to “the woods”

This Saturday, instead of doing my regular, longer run, I ran for 10 minutes, and then took a stroll through the Bird Sanctuary and the Bike trail. Especially with the fall colors, the leaves look like little droplets of wonder, falling on the ground slowly. I took one of the smaller paths through the woods, and aimlessly wandered around, up to the point where I realized that I’m taking a very dark path, and it was already dusk. One of the reasons why I considered Amherst in my college process was its rural beauty, and every time I walk around at night I’m so grateful that I am here. I hope I continue to find time for walks like these, where I totally unplug from the world and the wifi, and take the time to look around, and even spot a cottontail or two. This campus has many bunnies, it’s just that they are very shy and blend well with the surroundings, especially in the fall at dusk.

Beautiful Sunset near Greenway Residence Halls

Beautiful Sunset near Greenway Residence Halls

Fall FEST

Fall FEST is one of the most expected holidays on campus for the fall semester, as it offers students a chance to take a break and enjoy great company, delicious food and meeting new people. This is also a DIVOH Weekend (Diversity Open House, along with a Native American Program), when prospective students come visit campus and stay overnight. For first-years, this is a good chance to feel a sense of ownership of the place, as they’ve been here for almost a month and a half now, and now it’s their turn to give advice to the visiting high-schoolers. For us sophomores and above, we look back and realize how fast the time has gone. Many thanks for the hard-working staff that made Fall Fest happen, from popcorn to the carriage rides!

Fall Festival: Pumpkins, Scarecrows and Caramels Apples

As this picture shows, apples were in high demand!

 

Until future adventures,

Your Student Blogger,

Lidia