- Class: Alum
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Lawrence Academy
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about UMass is how many available options there are for courses and extracurriculars. If UMass doesn't offer something you'd like, you can also do independent studies or even participate in BDIC (where you can make your own major). UMass's administration can be a little frustrating -- to get one thing done regarding your account you may have to go to 5 different buildings and talk to 50 different people. The college town is great -- nice stores, great restaurants, and Hadley has Target and Walmart if you need it. I liked the size of UMass. The only part that was frustrating about it is if you need to be somewhere in 10 minutes and it takes 20 minutes to walk there.
I'm closer with some professors than I am others. Lower level, lecture hall classes are what they are. I mean, for basic courses I enjoyed being with 300 other kids. But sometimes when you're in an upper-level course and the class is too big, it can ruin the experience. My least favorite class (and professor) was Major British Authors with Professor Freeman. The class had about 35 students in it which is way too big with how much we had to read. Having that many kids in class didn't let us explore much into the text. Students are competitive with themselves. No one really talks about grades to each other because it's no one else's business. Professors rarely threaten us with grades, but rather try to enhance the learning experience. When you go to a big school, your education is what you make it. If you want to slack off, you can. If you want to become close with your professors, you can. A big school is for the independent, students who don't need people forcing them to do their work or participate in class.
UMass claims to be diverse, but it's very stereotypical. The five residential areas are characterized by who lives there -- Southwest includes the party people and the athletes; Central houses the druggies; Orchard Hill is where the dorks live; Northeast is where the Asians live; and Sylvan is for the freaks, and the people who tried to live in Southwest but couldn't get in. These aren't my own opinions, but if you asked anybody on the UMass Amherst campus to describe the residents in each housing area, that's more or less what they would say.
The Best Things
It's infinite learning options.
The Worst Things