36°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

What I Wish I Knew as a Freshman

The+number+one+thing+I+wish+I+had+known+as+a+freshman+at+UMass+Boston+is+the+inter-library+loan+system.+The+second+most+awesome+thing+I+wish+had+known+earlier+and+taken+more+seriously+is+the+Career+Services+office.
The number one thing I wish I had known as a freshman at UMass Boston is the inter-library loan system. The second most awesome thing I wish had known earlier and taken more seriously is the Career Services office.

The number one thing I wish I had known as a freshman at UMass Boston is the inter-library loan system—a massive library network, free to all students, containing a goldmine of books, DVDs, articles, etc., online at umassboston.worldcat.org. You can borrow most, if not all, of your textbooks for a semester from a partner library instead of buying them at the bookstore. You can get foreign language books, movies, anime DVDs, manga, music CDs, graphic novels, original copies of dissertations and theses—all for months at a time, unlike traditional libraries which give you a two-week loan.

The second most awesome thing I wish had known earlier and taken more seriously is the Career Services office. You have to play the résumé-and-cover-letter game with the rest of the world if you ever want to get away from restaurants and manual labor. At Career Services there are experienced professionals ready to help you format and present these documents to target fields and employers.

Career Services also has an online job search portal, MyCareerOnline, in the same vein as Monster.com or other job portals. It allows you to instantly connect with Internships.com, a huge directory of free and paid internships, and with LinkedIn, which has its own job search portal (not just the professional version of Facebook—it actually has a purpose). You’ll receive notifications about career fairs and important networking events which will put you in touch with professionals who can give you advice about where and how to start.

The third aspect of UMass Boston I wish I had been more involved with is student clubs. Get involved with a campus club. Start your own and you’ll actually get a budget to work with. It could be the UMass Boston Competitive Online Gaming club, a dance club, or an anime club. Joining or starting a club may be good for your social life as well since college may be one of the last places where you’ll have the opportunity to meet a huge number of people and be in a massive social environment. Don’t count on graduate school to fulfill your social needs.

The last point is important. College, for many undergraduates, is the last bastion of social exposure, the last enormous networking pool you’ll be swimming in. Post-college, friends will be working, have moved somewhere, or (bizarrely) have gotten married and had children. Communities outside of college aren’t hard to find, but college makes it so incredibly easy to meet people that you might be taking it for granted. Meet as many people as you can, and really take care of the ones you like best.