Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Spending the Summer in Amherst

Puffers Pond, located in Amherst, the perfect place to be on a hot summer day.
Last year, I made the decision to spend my summer in Amherst. I lived on Main St., about a 10 minute bus ride away from the campus. I worked in the Undergraduate Advising Office as a Peer Advisor helping undeclared and HFA students create their academic schedules for their first semester at UMass while also taking an online class through UMass.

Living in Amherst over the summer was one of the best decisions I could have made for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons was the gorgeous weather. It was refreshing to spend sometime in the Pioneer Valley that was more or less, consistently warm. It was almost strange being in Amherst without snowstorms and inconsistent drastic changes in the weather. I got to truly enjoy the area and explore Western, MA more freely and openly without having to worry about a full load of classes with projects, exams, and more. I had more free time.

Now, to many students, living in Amherst over the summer sounds great in theory but many wonder what they could do? Where they could work? There are actually a lot of options. Many on-campus offices are hiring for the summer such as the Undergraduate Advising Office.
Here is a link to learn more about being a Peer Advisor  (which I did last summer and loved): (deadline just after Spring Break).
Along with this, there are organizations in Amherst, Northampton, and other parts of Western, MA that are looking for internships and volunteers. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops looking for summer help as well. Still don't have enough to do? Maybe take a summer class being offered at the university.

For me personally, living here in the summer made a huge impact on my rest of the time at UMass. While advising students and helping them figure out what they wanted to do here, I thought a lot about how I wanted to spend my remaining time at UMass, resulting in me picking up a new minor that I love, getting a great job working in Undergrad. Advising Office, and getting really involved with various organizations on campus. I grew up. It was also the first time I had ever lived off-campus and apart from my family. I had to learn how to cook (kind of...) and other responsibilities associated with living independetly.

So start thinking about how you want to spend your summer, what you want to do, and whether spending your summer in Amherst could be the perfect fit for you.

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