I planned to write a piece talking about the beginning of my senior year, but here we are. I am halfway through my final year of college.
Smith has a really great housing system in which we live in communities rather than dorms. Each house is self-governed, and we have a plethora of singles available. They are made to feel more welcoming than typical college dorms. I’ve enjoyed those for the past three years, but my friends and I won the lottery in getting into one of the special senior apartments!
We had been planning on living together since we became a friend unit our first Spring. Our dream came to fruition, and our school built brand-new, modern apartments just in time for us to enjoy.
Though we’ve had our ups and downs (it’s difficult living with friends; I can confirm), I have loved living in our giant, cold apartment SO much. (Having to watch TV on a couch rather than my bed has prevented me from falling asleep at 7PM every night!)
This year I started taking classes for my Master of Public Policy degree. This means that I have begun taking classes at the UMass Amherst campus, something I have grown to tolerate. I concentrated all of my classes into one day so I’m only there on Wednesdays, but I still have to do a back and forth trip in the middle. The campus is huge and made of concrete, but I made friends who make my time there fun!
My involvement with the Community Service Office has been time-consuming and challenging, but I’ve learned a lot about dealing with other people in the workplace.
I also got an on-campus position as the intern for the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations where I’m learning all about grants, fellowships, and asking people for money.
My biggest challenges have stemmed from being on the rowing team. I once loved the sport, but I have stuck with it to be with my friends and to hone my leadership skills. As captain, I’ve tried to make the team a more inclusive space, but there are individuals who make my job difficult. Bureaucracy and bullies get in the way, and training seems like the biggest chore to me at this point. I see all of this as a learning experience; I’m never going to be on a sports team again, but I can gain some important life skills through the hardships presented to me.
This semester has gone by SOOO quickly, faster than I could have imagined possible. I have next year planned out, but it seems scary to think that this chapter in my life is coming to an end. The passage of time is one of my greatest fears, so this is a hard concept to wrap my head around.
Smith has been great to me and has offered me countless opportunities I wouldn’t have received at a bigger or more exclusive school. I’m grateful to be where I am.
(Photo is a preview of my Thanksgiving trip!)