Leslie Coronel '16
My name is Leslie Coronel and I am a rising junior at Amherst College and I am a double Economics and Spanish major. I am originally from the greatest city in the world…Chicago (Go Cubs!!.....jk). I’m not sure what I want to do after college and am considering many different things from education, grad school, or taking the actuarial exams. Needless to say, my interests vary quite a bit. For now I am just cruising along taking amazing classes at Amherst and enjoying my time here.
During the school year I tutor with Girls Inc., I am working on an up-and-coming club for first generation students at Amherst, and I also work at the Career Center. I’m excited to spend this summer in Amherst interning at the Office of Admission and blog about it every week. It should definitely be an interesting experience. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions at all about anything related to Amherst or to college in general. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you enjoy reading my blog!
Free Dinner=Happy college students
Last week Val (our dining hall) was closed the entire week because they were getting ready for the arrival of the first year students. Since they were closed, the interns and I were scrambling for choices for dinner whether that was Lean Cuisine (me the entire summer), mac and cheese, or yogurt and some granola bars. Kane mentioned that we were hungry all the time and Melissa (the amazing receptionist at the office) offered to have us over for dinner!! So on Wednesday all the interns headed over to her house (about a 15 minute drive from campus) for dinner. It was the first home cooked meal we had had in soooo long. She made us lasagna, spaghetti and meat balls, and some really good iced tea. Needless to say, it was amazing.
She made us an entire feast! It was probably the best meal I had the entire summer. I can't wait for the school year to start for me to be able to do TYSO (Take your staff member out) with Melissa. Basically the school gives us money to pick a professor or staff member and take them out to eat!
The very next night we were very lucky to have the chance to go out to eat with the president of our college, Biddy Martin. We had a very fancy dinner at the Boltwood which is the restaurant located inside the Lord Jeff, the hotel that is owned by the college. The dinner was completely paid for by the college which is great especially since i'm a broke college student. Biddy is such a busy person so we were definitely very grateful that she took the time to have dinner with us. It was a great time. It's also worth mentioning that during the year she has office hours where any student can make an appointment with her and go speak with her about basically anything! She's quite popular and, like I said, very busy but that's definitely something I like to brag about during my tours is the accesibility of our faculty, staff, and administration.
Sorry I haven't blogged in a few weeks. The office of admission has been pretty busy this month. I actually just got back from vacation. I went home for about ten days and it was so much fun and I thought I'd dedicate this post to talking about my vacation partly because I want to pretend I am still on vacation.
The first weekend I was back in Chicago was Lollapalooza weekend so that was A LOT of fun. I went to Lollapalooza with one of my very close friends, Grace. Grace is from Kenilworth, a suburb of Chicago, and she went to my rival high school and is now a rising junior at Amherst. I also went with Olivia who is also a rising junior here at Amherst and she was visiting Grace for the weekend before heading off to China. Unfortunately, I did not get back home until late Friday night because my flight was delayed so I was not able to go see Eminem or anyone that performed on Friday. But, I went on Sunday which included Kings of Leon, Skrillex, Sebastian Ingrosso, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Cage the Elephant, among many others.
At night I went to see Chance the Rapper perform and as I was walking out at the end of the concert my sister and I both saw MALIA OBAMA! How cool is that??? I didn't believe it at first. i thought it just happened to be a girl that looked like Malia. I also didn't see any secret service nearby so I brushed it off as being another girl and the next day when I checked the news I realized that it WAS her. I was kinda bummed I didn't go up to her to say hi. Oh well. Chance the Rapper was great and he surprised everyone by bringing R. Kelly to the show during his performance. It was a lot of fun.
The rest of the week I caught up with some friends from high school. My best friend Maritza is a student at Venderbilt. She will actually be studying abroad in the fall in Jordan! She leaves August 31st. I'm really excited for her and it makes me look forward to spring semester when I will be abroad. Anyway, we went to watch a movie at an outdoor theater in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. We watched the Hunt for Red October. There were a ton of people that brought lawn chairs and blankets to lay on and there was free popcorn! The movie was actually pretty good.
We also went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and I had some of the best tacos I have ever had. They were only $1.25 each. It was sooo refreshing because it can be hard to find good, authentic tacos in Massachusetts. I find that most Mexican places are neither authentic nor well priced. Anyway I promised myself I would stop talking so much about food during my blog posts so that's all I will say but I had AMAZING food while I was home :)
The rest of the week I spent taking my dog to Pooch Park which is a dog park about two blocks away from my house and hanging out with my siblings. Roscoe (my dog) LOVES Pooch Park. He is still a puppy so he loves playing around. He will be one in November and I am really sad that I won't be there for his birthday but I can make it up to him with a bunch of snacks. He loves food. Probably more than I do! While I was home my brother took Roscoe to the dog park one day and they actually ran into Roscoe's brother! Unfortunately i wasn't there but Alex sent my siblings and I a picture and they look so similar! Here is a picture of both of them.
Roscoe is the one in the harness. How cute are they?
Anyway I think that's enough for today. I'll blog again soon :)
Harvard and Fitness
During the summer, our gym is only open Monday-Friday so we were looking for ways to stay active on the weekend. We found a really cute place called Energia Fitness. On Saturday mornings they actually offer a free circuit class so Nicole (one of the other interns) and I decided to check it out. It was only a 30-minute class but by the end of it we were drenched in sweat. We had to do the circuit twice and each time we altered it to make it a little more difficult. The people in the class all knew each other because they were all members and were encouraging each other and it was a really great, positive atmosphere. We left commited to doing those Saturday classes whenever we could. Tonight they are actually offering a 45-minute spin class for $5. It seems a little intense and we are kind of intimidated but I'm sure it will be a great time.
The next weekend I took a trip to Harvard to visit my best friend Tatiana. Tatiana is also a rising junior at Amherst and she is at Harvard for the summer doing research in psychology. My friend Lana and I took a Peter Pan bus to Boston and met up with Tatiana in Cambridge. We stayed in her dorm, walked around Newbury street and shopped for almost seven hours. We hadn't shopped in quite a while so we went a little crazy with the number of option available on Newbury. After that we headed back to Cambridge and checked out the nice boutiques and went out to eat. While in Cambridge we had breakfast at a waffle place and I ordered a Nutella waffle with bananas. It was soooo gooood. It was kind of hard to finish just because I don't think I've ever had that much sugar before in one sitting. It's a good thing I'm going to that spin class tonight.
Wish me luck,
Puffers Pond and Studying Abroad
This week I went to Puffers Pond for the first time ever. It was so great. I had never been to a pond before so it was a great experience. It is a pond with a small beach and a beautiful waterfall. There’s actually a bus that takes students there but I drove with my friend. It’s about 6 miles a way, maybe a 10-minute car drive so it’s fairly close. I would definitely recommend that every student go there at least once before you leave Amherst. People dive into the pond from small cliffs and it’s a lot of fun and best of all…it’s free!
Masser, Michael. Waterfall at Puffers Pond HDR. Digital image. Michael Masser Photography. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2014. <http://www.michaelmasser.co.uk/keyword/landscape%20photography/>.
I’ve also been looking into options for study abroad. I was considering not going abroad just because I wanted to spend more time in Amherst because I love it here so much and I wanted to take more classes here. If I go abroad, when I come back I will only have 8 classes left to take at Amherst! I recently found a great program through SIT that really excited me so I decided to petition it. We have over 240 pre-approved study abroad programs on our campus and if students find another program they are excited about, we can petition to go with another program. The process is really simple. I had lunch with Janna Behrens, our study abroad advisor, last Tuesday and we had a great chat about the necessary steps I need to take.
The program I’m petitioning takes a look at different cities around the world and how culture, politics, and geography affect people’s standard of living in their respective cities. I would start the program off in New York City for two weeks and then go to Brazil for 5 weeks, then India for 4 weeks, and finally South Africa for 5 weeks. There really are a wide variety of programs that students can choose from. Most students choose more traditional programs where they study at a foreign university in whatever country they travel to but there are more alternative programs as well. One of our green deans for the 2013-2014 year, Daniel Pastan, studied abroad in rural Thailand. His program was not paired up with a university in Thailand and instead he studied the effects of globalization on rural towns. It is definitely worth mentioning that when you study abroad your financial aid package travels with you. That means that when you’re abroad you just keep paying what you would have paid if you stayed on campus. Also, if you choose to do a more traditional program where you study at a foreign university you may even get credit for your major!
Wish me luck petitioning!
Until next time,
Summer Adventures in Amherst...and the WORLD CUP
This week has been full of adventures to some of my favorite places in the area (and some new ones that I discovered) so I thought I should blog about that!
I have been religiously watching soccer games in the world cup since it started. I kid you not last weekend I watched six games in two days. It's a problem. I'm working on it. But I have been looking forward to the world cup since the last one ended back in 2010. There have been some great games. Anyway last Monday Croatia played Mexico in a great game. My parents are both from Mexico so I was definitely rooting for them although it was hard since Mexico's team has not been very good in the past. This was the last game of the group stage and Mexico needed to win to advance. In the end they beat Croatia 3-1!!! It was quite exciting so the interns and I decided to go out and celebrate.
First, George (one of the admissions interns) and I decided to go out for a smoothie in the town of Amherst. On our way to town we passed by a trolley.
We asked how much it was and it turns out it was free so we decided to ride the trolley around Amherst/UMass. We were the only ones on the trolley since it was a slow Monday evening. The trolley driver was a great guy named Rich.
He was very talkative and told us about some of his favorite places to visit in the area. Rich has lived in Amherst almost his entire life and loves the area. When I asked him what his favorite place to eat was he said Mission Cantina, which is the restaurant i was planning on taking the interns to try. He also suggested we try smoothies at Bart's, the ice cream place in town. The next day Nicole, Sophie, and I went to Mission cantina to celebrat Mexico's win. I ordered three steak tacos. If you visit Amherst I would definitely visit Mission Cantina. It's about a seven minute drive from campus. If the 45-minute wait for a table isn't enough to prove the quality of their food, i'm not sure what is.
Picking your major
I thought I should dedicate my first entry to a discussion about majors since I just finished up my sophomore year and declared my major and its kind of a hyped up moment. If you read my bio you’ll know that I am a double Spanish and Economics major. If you read my entire bio you’ll also know that I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. But that’s OK. Majors don’t really matter in most cases. I know it can be tough especially if you’re an English major and people say, “wow the job prospects” in a sarcastic tone. I’m currently working at the Admission Office on campus this summer and a few parents will do that. It can be quite annoying to say the least. The truth is your future is what you make it and no choice of major is going to hold you back from reaching your goals. You can major in religion and go to law school or even geology and go to business school. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re prepared and make yourself a competitive applicant and have a plan. You’ll be fine. Our alumni network is also probably one of the greatest in the country and our career center on campus is a great resource.
My advice to any incoming student at Amherst is to take classes in the departments that you love and to take classes in departments you aren't necessarily familiar with. After all, that's the purpose of the open curriculum. I'm sure that when you arrive you will be overwhelmed with the number of courses Amherst offers and at one point may even consider taking 5 classes because you can't decide between Stalin and Stalinism and The American Constitution. Enjoy your time and the classes you take while you're here. We only have 4 years.