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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Semester reflections: A mix of emotions in the journey of higher education

Saichand Chowdary
Students relax and do work together in the Campus Center as the semester winds down. Photo by Saichand Chowdary / Mass Media Staff

We are at that time of the semester. Deadlines are looming, finals are just around the corner and some students are graduating in a few weeks. So much is expected to happen over the days left in the semester. While UMass Boston students are engrossed in the necessary preparations needed to finish this semester and achieve desired results, some students have begun to reflect on their experiences and some of their expectations for the coming semesters. Through their shared perspectives, students shed light on their lived experiences this semester and hopes for the coming semesters.

No one really expects that 16 weeks will quickly go by until they eventually do. Tayo, a student majoring in biology, reflects on the semester’s journey and highlights that the semester for him has been interesting with challenges, such as homework, assignments, commuting and juggling school with his part-time work. It takes him about an hour to commute to school via the train and buses. When asked about his hopes and concerns for the coming semester, Tayo acknowledges some of the uncertainties, stating that it does not seem like the cost of living will go down, but he hopes it does not increase to a higher rate. Moreover, he aspires to secure a better job and anticipates additional financial support the FAFSA may offer in the form of grants.

Tayo is not the only student who is feeling the weights of the semester’s work, and is yet excited. Ani, a biology major is also experiencing the same mix of feelings. Ani shares that the semester for her has been stressful with all the coursework she has had to carry out; however, she is very excited that the semester is coming to an end. When asked about her hopes and concerns, Ani shares that she has observed the difficulties in attaining aspirations in our present day. She still maintains a positive outlook on the future, hoping that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As she looks ahead to the coming semesters, Ani looks to study hard, pass exams and complete her homework. 

From the College of Liberal Arts, Claudia, an economics major, also shares her reflections on the semester, highlighting that the semester has been good for her, even as she took on four classes. When asked about some of her thoughts on the cost of living and expectations for the coming semesters, she mentions her awareness of the rising cost of living, but notes that this isn’t her reality, as she resides with her parents. Going forward, she is looking forward to learning more about economics.

Throughout the semester, UMass Boston students have navigated a landscape filled with many events, both on a national and global scale. From the ongoing unrest in Israel and Gaza to the rising inflation rate clearly reflected in the increased prices of basic necessities, these factors have undeniably and very clearly been felt by the student body. However, some UMass Boston students, based on feedback, are willing to engage with the rhetoric of present events, persevere through and continue to maintain hopes for a good future. 

It has become evident that the journey of higher education is not only about academic achievements, but also about navigating the complexities of the world around us. Each student has a story to tell. From the highs of educational accomplishments to the lows of personal challenges, everyone’s unique story adds richness and depth to the collective narrative of campus life. As we navigate these final days in the semester and reflect on the past few months, we must remember to carry with us lessons learned and resilience gained. 

Wishing all UMass Boston students the best in their finals!