My freshman year at the University of Massachusetts Boston is slowly coming to an end. Finals are approaching, and there are about a million papers to write and another million opportunities for things to do on campus as well. I’ve never had a school year go by so quickly and so many things change in the space of one year. When I first came to Boston, I wasn’t anticipating all the great things that would come my way. To be honest, I didn’t even really want to go to UMass Boston, but I felt like it was my only option. I didn’t realize until after everything that it was the best option for me.

Moving to Boston from a small town in Western Massachusetts was a big change, but it was one I was looking forward to—anything to help get me out of the small town I felt trapped in. I learned quickly how many opportunities are here in Boston that I would never have had the chance to participate in, had I not moved here. I was able to go to Boston Fashion Week, see The Nutcracker, meet tons of people from around the world and spend many days filled with laughter and joy.

Moving to Boston has become one of the best things I have ever done. I have joined The Mass Media as an editor, testing the waters for a career in journalism. I have also begun dog walking, as working with animals is something that I am extremely passionate about. On top of this all, my classes have all been super-interesting and so different from how things were in high school, in the best way possible. Living on my own in the dorms has also been super rewarding, introducing me to my classmates and making it much easier to make friends on campus. Since we are primarily a commuter school, it can be a strain on a student’s life to make friends. However, staying in the dorms really allowed me to meet some great friends and find people I have similar interests with.

The best part of the dorms has been living on campus and the social aspect. The worst part is always going to be the food. It has been extremely difficult for me to adjust here because of the food. Typically, our options are limited in the dining hall, and as a picky eater, that leaves me hungry on most nights. Luckily, I have dining points to use but it has been exhausting knowing that each day I most likely will not want or like the food served that I have paid a lot of money for. I have loved going to school here and even living here, but the food has honestly caused me so much stress and pain—stomach issues due to constant hunger which has in turn created an even bigger problem for my health—that I do not know if I would do it again.

With that said, I have learned my lesson and thankfully I will be able to change things for next year. I can get my own apartment and make my own food and put myself in the right direction. I am looking forward to coming back to Boston next year, and I am really sad to leave for the summer.

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