Young Kevin Xia

Young Kevin Xia

Ayesha Kazmi


A lot of people double major at UMass Boston. When we come across someone that does, we’re usually not surprised.

However, when sophomore Young Kevin Xia tells people that he is a double major, one of the most common responses he gets is: “What are you smoking?!”

That’s because Young has quite an unusual combination of majors-biology and art.

“Usually my friends respond with a joke,” said Young. “They tell me I should become a plastic surgeon, that way I can combine both bio and art.”

Young recalled sitting down with his current advisor for the first time. “He didn’t even know how to proceed when he looked at my degree audit.”

And if a double major and a bio and art combination doesn’t strike one as crazy enough, if Young could have it his way, he would have also majored in English and psychology. “I have interests in different things,” he said, thus he considers himself already somewhat limited.

“Oh, I wish I could find time to take some of the music classes here at UMB-I like one of the guitar classes offered right now.”

Young came into UMass Boston just after graduating from high school about 2 years back. “When I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and instead of wasting money at an expensive private college for a year or more trying to decide a major, I picked UMB for economical reasons.”

Upon arrival, Young expressed being immediately struck by the university, “When I came here I was pleased with the diverse student setting. You learn a lot from conversing with people of different backgrounds and ages.”

And then Young reminisced back to one of his most miserable experiences at UMB: Psychology 102 (and as if he isn’t doing enough, Young also revealed that he is a psychology minor!). “I met a security guard who was tattooed up and down his arms. We went through Psych 102 together, and I want to wish him well,” says Young. “At UMB I get a lot more insight from the people around me because of the diverse backgrounds,” he continued.

When asked if he could reveal some interesting facts about himself, in one breath Young immediately announced, “I have always wanted a puppy and have entertained the thought of being a vet-oh! And I wish the parking at UMass was better.”

On an average day, Young drives into school, attends his classes, and then studies all he can on campus until late at night. Some nights he listens to music by Hoobastank while studying to “keep myself awake.”

When it’s time to head out of school for the night, Young goes on what he calls “a stakeout” to circumvent his problems with parking he spoke of earlier. He explained as he laughed, “Since the parking gate goes up at 10:45 and I end up waiting in the parking lot for the 5 minutes until the gate goes up. It’s like I am on a stakeout, cause other people sit in their cars waiting as well so they don’t have to pay the fee,” he said as he sighed “oh God. There’s many things I wished I didn’t do, but I continue learning”

For now, if Young were to sum up his life, he’d tell you, “I’m overwhelmed! I am so behind in both of my majors by about 7 classes in each. If I want to graduate on time, I will have to take 4 classes each summer term and a full load throughout winter break.”

Well, Mr. Xia, you certainly have your work cut out for you. Good luck!