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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

College is about the journey, not the destination

Saichand Chowdary
Students enjoy their first time walking around the East Residence Hall. Photo by Saichand Chowdary (He/Him) / Mass Media Staff

As another semester begins on campus and members of the UMass Boston community begin funneling into classrooms, offices and shared spaces like the Food Court and library, more and more students may be looking toward the end of the school year—or their on-campus time all together. For graduating students, the end of their time at UMass Boston can feel like a relief or a dark cloud looming overhead (depending on your plans and how much student loan debt you have). For incoming first-years, there can be a rush to get through Gen-Eds, just to get to the classes you “want to take.” Either way, I want to tell all students coming into another year at UMass Boston to take this time to focus on the journey of college and all it has to offer, not just the destination of graduation.

I, like many people, hated high school. I graduated in 2020, and beyond the normal highs and lows of entering high school in 2016 and watching my friends become more and more agitated and stressed over the state of a government we had very little say in, as well as a global pandemic cutting my senior year short, I found that my time in high school was one of more bad memories than good.

Come senior year, though, I was practically counting down the days until I got to go to college. I couldn’t wait for the chance to spread my wings and explore new cities and lifestyles other than my hometown and meet new people alongside that change. College was a fresh start, a chance for me to really come into my own while being on my own. Most importantly, and most excitingly for me, a chance to make new friends. Of course, this was stifled a bit by COVID-19, but I still got the opportunity to do that.

In an attempt to find someone—anyone—to hang out with in the isolating space of my freshman year, I found myself pretending to be someone I wasn’t to spend time with those around me. I found myself trying to fit in with two groups that I really didn’t mesh with, and it was like putting a square peg in a circular puzzle hole. I kept pretending I enjoyed their presence, and after a while, I realized I actually didn’t like them at all. I wish someone had told me that there’s no pressure to mold yourself into fitting in with the first peopleor the secondyou meet because they were nice to you. I stopped hanging out with them, and found myself looking for new friends. Finding new people took time, though, and now I have friends I love.

It doesn’t just stop at friendships, either. There have been times in my years here at UMass Boston that I canceled plans to work on homework that had due dates weeks in advance, and while I was happy to have it done, I was upset I missed out on the event. Even now, I’ve skipped out on plans to work on grad school assignments that have deadlines months in advance, just to have them done. Or, alternatively, I let the fear of being alone at the event take over the possibility of having fun, and decided against going entirely. There have been dozens of events I wish I had gone to, and if I could travel back in time and knock some sense into my freshman year self, I would tell her just to go. Go to the event, no matter how ridiculous or silly it may seem to your friends or family members. If it sounds fun to you, just go and have fun. You might even discover something new about yourself while you’re there.

Alternatively, don’t try and blast through all your major and Gen-Ed courses, thinking you’ll try and wrap up your studies early. There are a lot of elective courses that all UMass Boston students have to take, and these courses can be a great chance to broaden horizons. By the time I finished my first semester junior year, I had taken all but three of my required English courses for my major and all of my Gen-Eds. My schedule is almost entirely electives, save for one English class. In doing this, though, I realized I may have time for a minor, particularly in classics. However, I would definitely recommend pacing yourself, and making these discoveries as you go rather than rushing at the end.

If I could bestow one bit of knowledge onto incoming students, old and new alike, it would be that if you like Starbucks, the line is almost always shorter than the Dunkin’ one. It’s a bit more of a splurge, but while the Dunkin’ line can be upwards of 45 minutes during busy periods, the Starbucks one tends to sit around 25 minutes. The Integrated Sciences Complex is also a great place to study if you can find a spot, so feel free to head over there and grab a coffee before studying!

Slow down and enjoy the journey. Go to the events if you can. Take a class on French or philosophy, and talk to the people around you. You never know where you’ll end up because of it.

About the Contributor
Katrina Sanville, Editor-In-Chief