It's the final countdown!

We are the 12.5% (#occupyfrostlibrary). And by 12.5 I mean 1/8. As in, my first semester of college is gone. And it feels like just yesterday that Andrew was helping me carry my fridge to my dorm. Oh, the nostalgia! 

But really guys, these past few weeks since returning from Thanksgiving break have flown by! I unpacked, put up the Christmas lights with my roommate


had a handful of lectures, a couple of essays, and then BOOM! Classes ended just like that. It actually made me sad when everyone started clapping during our last lecture in my Political Rhetoric class -- it felt like the end of a really intriguing movie and I wasn't quite ready for the credits to roll. 

Before delving into the world of finals, we closed off the school year the best way we know how, TAP. Do I even need to tell you who got a TAP shirt? Chyupp, yours truly! But this time I scored not one shirt, but TWO! Usually when my friends text me 3 minutes before the "every hour on the hour" release pleading to "get me one!" I just shrug and reply with "I'll try." But that day I figured, go big or go home. And the former I did. Honestly, I've gotten the entire t-shirt grabbing process down to a science, but I'm not sharing my procedure because that's what the competition wants me to do and I'm too smart for that. So rocking the Christmas TAP Shirt, I headed to Crossett Christmas (email me for a funny video), Amherst's annual "last hoorah" before finals week. Wrapping paper and Christmas lights adorned the dorm room walls as elf, santa, and candy cane clad lads and lassies danced the last weekend of the semester away. But as with all good things, we switched our Santa hats for thinking caps as finals rapidly approached. 


As you can see the studying got intense. But I found solace in Amherst's accomdations to make the week as smooth as possible for its students. Professors extended office hours and held extra review sessions to help us prepare. The dining hall was open later with midnight snacks for relaxation/procrastination/calorieization. Even the library closed an hour later, providing a quiet place to study. Although study sessions with friends and classmates often lead to stories and distractions, we still bounced ideas off of one another and grasped a better understanding of our classes from hearing our neighbors' viewpoints on them. It's good to know that even at its most stressful hour, Amherst never turns into a hostile or cut-throat learning environment. And admist all of the stress, some finals were not that torturous after all. Like in my performance class, I supplemented the play that I wrote with a 3D tenative set design of what I want the stage to look like. Not as epic  as the stuff my professor can whip up, but I'm getting there.




HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU! And best of luck on all of your final tests.

Keep the emails coming =)

Sales racks on racks on racks

10 days of Thanksgiving break is sufficiently more than most schools offer. And for that, I am truly thankful. Vacation was extremely cathartic. Few things make me happier than sleeping in my own bed...especially for 10+ hours. Spending time with my family and catching up with all of my friends was amazing and much needed. The free shipping and 50% off sales offered by Forever21 on Black Friday were much needed as well. Since Amherst's closest mall, the Hampshire Mall, doesn't have a Forever21, I had to make Forever21 come to me. (don't hate the player, hate the game) Besides shopping and chillaxing with my peeps, I got ahead on studying for finals and finished up projects. Like this weekend when I finished writing my first ever play! Broadway producers have yet to call, but I'm still pretty proud of it. Can't wait to show it to my seminar professor on Tuesday! 




Stay thankful!

We are the champions, no time for losers

So Friday was Tshirt-Gate again. Out of the luau, homecoming, and Williams game tshirts, I think this one is my favorite. I knew I had to get one -- the more anti-Williams gear I accumulate over the next four years, the better. Maybe the mob was tame this time around. Or perhaps I’m just getting better at gauging the tshirt throwers, but I grabbed this tshirt with relative ease. Record Time of 00:00:06  after the clock struck 1:00pm.


After snagging this tshirt, painting my nails purple, and buying some purple shades, I felt sufficiently Jeffed out and pumped to unleash my fandom at the big game. The Social Council sponsored a trip up to the game so my friends and I made the journey to Williamstown, MA (See below).


The atmosphere at Williams can only be described in one way: intense. Before we even stepped foot off the bus, we saw people decked in purple and yellow screaming all around us. As it was their homecoming game, hundreds of alumni and and friends of the college were roaming the campus. Tailgating and tents of food abounded and I made sure to zip up my jacket and hide my "Williams Sucks" tshirt while I stood in line for a burger. Food. Fun. Friends. Nothing better. Except winning of course. Throughout the first half, Amherst scored touch down after touch down, keeping the scoreboard at 31-0 by halftime. When the game began, our cheers had merit. "Defense, defense." "Move those chains." Etcetera. But as the game progressed, we started cheering random things like "USA!" And "Biddy Martin!" It was pretty hilarious.



Although Amherst and Williams are particularly small schools, this game is always a huge deal. Alumni come from across the globe to cheer for their respective alma maters, and those who can't make the trip watch its television broadcast. When it came down to the last few minutes, we deserted the bleachers and crowded on the edge of the field. And when the horn sounded for the end of the game, we rushed the field, sprinting gleefully up to our undefeated boys.

My token football player friend, Gene.
The adrenaline of this stampede was contrasted sharply by the 1.5 hour nap that everyone took on the busride back to Amherst. We had to save our energy for the celebrations that would ensue once back at campus.
Stay undefeated!

Don't Stop Beliebing

Random Facts

  • There is nothing quite as satisfying as printing out a finished paper.
  • Justin Bieber's holiday album is beautiful. I'm not ashamed to be a Belieber, but I like to get to know people for a while before I come out. So now that we're five blogs in and officially best friends, I thought I'd tell you guys. 


In other  news, yesterday I was roaming campus like the gypsy I am, and I saw RC Spence giving a tour guide. The scene brought a smile to my face because, just a little over a year ago, I was that nervous high schooler gazing up at the buildings around her, trying to soak up everything and make her decision about one of the most pivotal chapters of her life. Also, I stalked RC Spence's blog relentlessly in the summer before my senior year, so it felt very Lion-King-Circle-of-Life-ish. Almost  a year ago, I submitted my early decision application to Amherst. And as this year's November 15th deadline draws closer, I'm reminded of the apprehension and confusion that I felt back then. And some of you may be wondering Why Amherst? Well here's why for me.


Why I chose Amherst

1)   Huge research universities are not the ideal learning environment for undergraduate education. I didn’t want to sit in a 500 student lecture hall with a professor who cared more about publishing his research than figuring out how he could best help me grasp the material. I also didn’t want to be taught by a graduate student or have resources only available to graduate students or upperclassmen.  There are no graduate students at Amherst. All of the attention is on the undergraduates, freshmen and seniors alike. We get equal access to the resources and unprecedented attention from our professors. After all, college is for the education so I knew that at liberal arts college, I’d be getting the best.

2)   “But aren’t liberal arts colleges sooooo small?” Amherst’s campus stretches over 1000 acres, so more than one acre for every 2 students. Memorial Hill is my designated acre, but I’m just nice enough to let people hang out there anyway. Yes, I see a lot of the same faces around campus, but that just makes it home-y. I can’t walk out of my dorm without running into dozens of friends, teammates, classmates, or professors that are eager to talk to me. Amherst fosters the kind of community and support system amongst students and faculty that simply cannot be found at larger institutions.  And if you’re ever feeling suffocated, just walk off campus. There are four other colleges within a ten mile radius creating a college town of around 30,000 students eager to meet you. Still think it’s small?

3)   So I knew I wanted a Liberal Arts college. I also knew I wanted diversity.  In my high school, I was one of three students of color in any of the AP classes. Yet America is the most diverse country on earth. How could I be prepared to face our nations challenges by continuing to educate myself in an environment that ignored our nation’s diversity? Amherst is the most diverse college in America. As I type this, I’m sitting in a common room with friends of every hue, religion, socioeconomic background, and sexual orientation. Every day I become smarter, not just from my studies, but simply by talking to the people around me and getting to know their stories. I would’ve felt robbed if I'd attended a school with a homogenous population. Also, Amherst’s gender ratio is 50/50 so no one gender dominates the campus.

4)   Amherst is part of a consortium (5 college consortium) with the four other colleges in the area, which allows students at each college to take courses at any of the others. This increases our colleges resources tenfold and makes our education and social life that much richer. In classes, at the dining hall, and at social events you will constantly be meeting people from outside of the Amherst Community. Two of my closest friends attend UMass and I love seeing them on a steady basis.

5)   The two major things that I wanted were diversity and a small, liberal arts education. However, hundreds of other intangibles made me fall in love with the ‘Herst. Like it’s location only 2.5 hours from my house, 1 hour from Boston, and 3 hours from NYC. Also, the campus has quintessential New England beauty.


"But it can't be perfect, right?" Ah! Very perceptive, young grasshopper. The two most common complaints about Amherst are...

1)   Val closes at 7:30. Growing up, I never ate dinner before 8:00.  It’s been an adjustment eating as early as 6:00pm some nights. Do I ever get hungry past 7:30? Um yeah, I'm a growing child. But that's why mankind has evolved into a sophisticated species with tupperware. Just stuff some fruit into your backpack and hoard a box with cookies. It's all about a balanced diet ya know? Some people will complain about the quality of Val’s food, but clearly they haven’t been a camp counselor before. Val’s food is quality, if not delicious. The kitchen people go out of their way to bring in eclectic cuisine like Mexican night or German night. And the only way it gets redundant is if you’re unwilling to try new things. There are endless options for such a small dining hall and they are always open for suggestions. Check out our menu here!

2)   The Campus has hills. I’m not kidding. I hear complaints about this on the daily. Not gonna lie, Amherst has approximately 8923749234 hills. We’re in the Pioneer VALLEY, not the Pioneer Prairie. You’ll get used to it by the first week and when you go home for breaks, instead of pinching your cheeks, your aunts will pinch your toned calves. Get pumped!


Other complaints I have are mere trifles. Like having to pay for the printer in the library. It’s only $.50 a page, but I’m stingy so I gripe. Honestly that’s about it. Of course, I’m a dreamy eyed freshman enchanted by the world around her, but I’m being 2015% honest when I say that I love this school. I meant it when I hit submit on my early decision application at 11:43pm the night before it was due. And I mean it every time I print out a paper ten minutes before it’s due. My patronus is Lord Jeff and it will always guide me home.



Stay irradienting the terras!


I'm dreaming of a white Halloween

On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me,

A-fun-night-at-U-Mass-Am-herst. Students who attend any of the five colleges in the Pioneer Valley get to experience the largest free bus system in America. (We were second after Disney World until it started charging) This makes taking classes at any of the other four colleges in the area extremely easy. It also makes travelling to the colleges for weekend festitivities extremely easy. And since my two best friends since junior high both go to UMass, the PVTA will be a prominent part of my college life for the next four years. As it was my first visit to UMass, I noticed quickly how different it was from Amherst. The huge campus was overwhelming at first, but I enjoyed meeting dozens of new people at a time. It's a great feeling to know that I have an extension to my college experience not too far away. 

On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me,




My plans of a romantic picnic on Memorial Hill to celebrate two months of being a freshman were thoroughly thwarted. The weather forecast warned of snow on Saturday, but I didn't think much of it. I remained pumped for my crew race in Saratoga. I signed up for a school trip to Six Flags with my friends. Saturday morning held much promise for me. But I awoke to a blizzard that forged on into the wee hours of the night, ultimately accumulating over a foot of snow. But that did not stop me and my friends from having an awesome Saturday night despite my foiled plans. I trekked through the snow in my Harry Potter Costume

 Nope. Wasn't kidding.

and we celebrated until the electricity went out. But in the words of Dumbledore, "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light." And that we did (the metaphorical light of course). We trudged back to our dorm and hung out in the common room, laughing and enjoying each other's company.

On the third day of Halloween my true love gave to me,





The adventurous aspects of the previous night wore off the next morning when we all had to take cold showers and huddle in Valentine Dining Hall, the only building with a generator, to charge our phones and laptops. Fortunately, the dining staff was exceedingly accomodating, providing us with food and warmth and extending regular dining hall hours to allow for maximum texting and Facebook activity. By dinner time, the power returned to campus  which was discontenting to the many students who were banking on a snowday (snowday (n.)- apparently a foreign concept to all of my international and Californian friends, however a staple of my childhood where school is cancelled because of treacherous weather conditions). But at exactly 6:24pm (I always check what time it is when something epic happens) I heard shrieking from the floor below me, ran out to see who/what had died, and was ecstatic to discover that RC Spence had sent a mass text that CLASSES WERE CANCELLED! After that, madness ensued. Our textbooks and calculators were shoved back into our desks and we scrambled to find makeshift costumes for yet another night of Christmaween.

On the fourth (and actual) day of Halloween my true love gave to me,






Luckily these classes are awesome so my homework isn't too much of a chore. Once I'm done, I'm going to head to Val, load up on hot chocolate, and catch up on Desperate Housewives. Nothing like a Sunday disguised as a Monday. Aw, relaxation.



Stay warm! 

Biddy Biddy Biddy, can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me!

A few weeks ago, Amherst turned into a ghost town because around half of the student body went away for Fall Break. Being at home gave me some much needed relaxation, and I loved catching up with friends, grabbing everything that I’d forgotten to bring with me to college, and sleeping in my own bed. Yet I found myself feeling collegesick for the Amherst bubble and missing all of my friends and dormmates in North. After the initial shock of seeing all of them with new haircuts wore off (at school? too expensive. at home? parents can buy them for you), things here returned to their usual liveliness. Especially during Biddy's Inaugural Weekend. Alumni and friends of the college gathered from all over to participate in the three day event. Talking to them and hearing about their experiences since graduating was so inspiring, and a comforting reminder that, no matter where I end up in the future, I'll always have a home in the Pioneer Valley. In front of Val(entine Dining Hall), a tent went up with delicious food and musical performances from our school's acapella groups. During orientation, I couldn't recognize any of talented people serenading me, but now that around five of my friends have joined acapella groups , cheering them on and singing along has become that much more fun! Along with the tent of goodies, our Biddy shennigans continued in the form of  our first ever Biddy flash mob, dancing with our president all the way to Memorial Hill. Saturday night, Keefe Campus Center held an all out Biddy celebration equipped music, food, and chique Biddy mugs! 


The festivities ended with Biddy's Inaugural speech on the iconic Memorial Hill. And although the weekend inevitably had to come to a close, I'm stoked for the next four years under Biddy "Caroline" Martin's fun-filled reign.

This past weekend was homecoming. To load up on school spirit, I took a study break and went to a tshirt making fête at Keefe Campus Center where I cranked this out! The white letters look faint on photobooth but it says "Go Amherst, Beat Wesleyan!" And that we did. 24-10. 

putting Es on is harder than it looks, okay?!
The bad news is, I missed the homecoming game and all of the subsequent celebrations on Saturday. The good news is, I missed it because I had a field trip to NYC to see two plays for my Freshman Seminar. Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to say this but WAR HORSE WAS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PERFORMANCES I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! I laughed. I cried. I dug my fingers into the arms of the people sitting next to me. It was breathtaking, and even more awesome because even though I know a lot of people in my seminar from clubs, or crew, or my dorm, I'd yet to interact with most of them outside of the classroom setting and it was fun roaming the Big Apple together. So I'm not too bummed about missing the big game because I have 3 more homecomings ahead of me to heckle NESCAC rivals. Plus, the Amherst-Williams game is in two weeks and I can relieve my pent up fandom there. Plus plus, I still got to enjoy Friday night homecoming traditions, like the bonfire. Do you guys remember Luau tshirt-gate? Well the same shenanigans ensued at the bonfire. Except this time, despite much clawing and reaching, I couldn't grab an awesome "Wesleyan -- Third Wheeling since 1899" T shirt :( But I did snag this cute Amherst hat
which will come in handy since it SNOWED LAST NIGHT! And yes, me and all of my friends scraped the remnants of the Irene-esque blizzard and had an epic snow ball fight. 
Tomorrow is my two month anniversary of being a freshman at Amherst! Romantic picnic on Memorial Hill? I think so.
Stay purple! 

Wake me up when September ends

Last Monday, my alarm clock sounded and, in a sleep deprived haze, I meant to climb off of the top bunk but somehow rolled into the space between the window and my bunk bed. In the pitch dark, I tried to claw my way back onto my bed as my alarm blared, but was too tired to complete this feat. So I swallowed my pride and called out to my roommate, “Mel, I’m stuck…" And in her equally lethargic state she murmured "Okay, I’ll catch you." So I let myself fall into her arms and had to crawl over her on the bottom bunk, take the walk of shame to turn off my alarm clock, grab my books and study in the common room. I'd hoped she’d been too tired to recall the event, but when I saw her that afternoon she burst out laughing and has never let me live it down since. It was pretty hilarious though, can’t deny it. I shared a bunk bed with my older sister until I was thirteen and slept in one all summer as a camp counselor, and NOW is when I fall off of the top bunk. Lesson learned from this event: despite being a Red Sox fan, my roommate's not half bad, and she always has my back...literally.

After a long day of classes, nothing is more relaxing than rowing on the river.  No professors lecturing. No parents skyping. No floormates gossiping. Just the splash of waves and oars. Nothing but the water and my thoughts. Pure solace. Now fastforward an hour or two to four Amherst vans speeding (just kidding, Amherst kids don’t speed) in Route 9 traffic from the dock to make it back to Val before it closes at 7:30. (The adrenaline rush only makes me hungrier.) For those of you who don’t know, Val’s macaroni and cheese is the bees knees. So even though Monday night’s rendition was “Lobster Macaroni and Cheese”, I figured that it’d still be delish. So I warily took my first bite, exclaiming my famous last words of, “Wow, you can’t even taste the lobster!” 3 bites later, I made a B line to bathroom and sent that lobster right back to the ocean. After some projectile vomiting, my throat started closing up and a good samaritan called ACEMS (Amherst College Emergency Medical Services) for me on her phone. Approximately .00001 seconds later, ACEMS, a campus police officer, and an ambulance were waiting for me outside of Val. Even though crossing “riding in an ambulance” off of my bucket list was a major accomplishment, I was really terrified of falling behind during midterm week. Not only did I receive a comforting phone call and email from TWO different deans and tons of support and understanding from my professors in the following days, but President Biddy Martin let me take her private jet to Aruba for the weekend to recooperate. Just wanted to make sure you're paying attention... But seriously, Amherst truly is such a small, close-knit community. When I returned to campus, all of my dormmates and friends were showering me with concern and kindness. Couldn't have asked for a more adorable way to discover that I'm allergic to shellfish.

Along with rowing, activating my antibodies, and sky diving in my dorm room, I've taken up TAP. Not the eloquent dance style, but a monthly event formally known as The Amherst Party. September’s theme was Luau. The best part about these parties is that the Social Council gives out free tshirts. The worst part is there’s only about 100 tshirts for over 1800 students. So at 11am, 12pm, and 1pm, they give these tshirts out. And at 10:15, 11:15, and 12:15 dozens of eager students begin lining up. And by “lining up” I mean crowding around the table and heckling the tshirt givers for adhering to the “on the hour” rule. Like the boss that I am, I showed up at 12:08 waiting to pounce (don't hate the player, hate the game). The beauty of the smart phone age is that all of our phones read 1:00pm at the exact same instant, and at that moment, a stampede broke out. Thrusted to the front of the mob, I successfully snatched a tshirt and attempted to vacate the scene but was instead pinned against the wall for what seemed like an eternity but actually lasted only one minute because the tshirts and crowd members were both gone by 1:02. IT WAS AWWWWWEEESOME! Naturally, I plan on enduring this same torture to get a tshirt from every single TAP during my four years at Amherst.  

Me and my friend Brian sporting Luau tshirts
me and my friend Brian sporting our hard-earned Luau tank tops - "da shirt before da shirt." 
my friends from high school who go to UMass came to Luau! Gotta love the 5 college consortium 

You may be thinking, "TAP once a month? So what do these Amherst kids do all of the time? Study?" Well actually, all we ever really do is play Wikipedia races. For those of you who have yet to discover the awesomeness that is Wikipedia races, it's simple, yet genius. You search a page on Wikipedia, such as hand rails or shoe laces, and click on random hyperlinks in the hope that they lead you to another category such as “dumplings” or “ crocodiles.” Tip: whatever you’re looking for, just go through the United States – we have everything.



Lastly, I bought my first of many Anti-Williams items.



Stay Classy, San Diego!

The H is Silent

The past eight days here have utterly reaffirmed my choice to apply early decision!

Orientation for the class of 20irene was unforgettable, especially the quality time spent in our squads. Every freshman broke off into groups, or squads, with about 10 other freshmen and 2 upperclassmen leaders who facilitated conversations about the lectures we had heard. Nothing like a heated debate to break the ice. Aside from squad meetings, Orientation was also filled with hilarious skits presented by the upperclassmen. The best part was having my admissions essay acted out by a senior. I SWEAR my chicken and french fry motif was relevant. Stop laughing, it made sense! Once the sun had set and the bolded mandatory events in our orientation packets had finished, we were left to find our own amusement. And that we did. From roaming the local town, to gorging on Antonio’s, to playing Jenga in the common room of North, which, contrary to what the Chuck Pratters want you to think, is the sickest dorm on campus, adventures with my new classmates were a blast.

Today was the first day of classes and my two biggest fears were 1) falling asleep during class 2) not understanding a word of the material, especially in my freshman seminar: Performance. When I got the summer email detailing which seminar in landed in, I flipped out because my last theatre gig involved two lines as the minister of culture in my fifth grade production of the Emperor's New Clothes -- naturally, I felt ill equipped to be in such a class. But my professors welcomed us, seasoned vets and newbies alike, and told us that our class takes more field trips than any other seminar. Somehow, the promise of five star performances in NYC quelled my fears. In the end, I made it through three classes back to back to back with my eyelids open AND understood my professors’ discussions. Turns out I DID learn something in high school!  Added bonus: my professors are all brilliant, hilarious, and super inviting.

Even outside of the academic realm, Amherst continues to prove challenging. My major may be undecided, but I'm minoring in Avoiding the Freshman 15. In an attempt to adhere to this newfound concentration, I've been going to the gym every day and trying to eat healthy at Val. However, my nights of watching Real Housewives of New Jersey on the treadmill may be cut short soon because I signed up for SO MANY THINGS at the activity fair! Every club looked so interesting...and not just because of the candy incentives. In fact, tonight was my first crew meeting. I’ve played field hockey for the past six years, but I felt like trying something totally new so I signed up! I’ll let you guys know if it’s as fun as it seems.

Can’t wait for my next batch of classes tomorrow. Not as excited to buy the books for them though.


Precious college moment of the week:

Starving in the common room at 2am when my neighbor walks out and offers me one of his mom’s carepackaged (yepp i verbed that) birthday brownies! YUH HUH HUMMMM.


Stay fly!