The following is North alumnus Liam Stern’s response to our questions about his college decision process, the student life and culture at UMass Amherst, and more.

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Stern graduated from North in 2019. He is a part of UMass Amherst’s class of 2023.

When I first got to UMass Amherst, my friends (who are all pretty much Massachusetts natives) asked why I decided to attend UMass Amherst. For one thing, I love the outdoors. I’m usually always going hiking, kayaking, biking, or really anything else that involves being out in the wild! The pioneer valley, where UMass is located, has great mountains to explore and the beautiful Connecticut River where you can go kayaking or canoeing. This perk of UMass—UMass being a rural campus in Western Massachusetts—was something that really stood out to me. 

Another thing that made me lean towards UMass was its warm community feeling. When I went to visit, I was amazed by how everyone on campus was friendly and genuinely nice. Also, the faculty is comprised of people who really do care about what they’re doing, and who make sure you get a great educational experience.

As my second semester of my first year starts to dwindle away, I can truly say that I’m happy I chose UMass. I have been doing good with my academics and I have gotten involved in a number of clubs that allow me to explore new things that I never thought I would do, all while making new friends along the way.

The first week or two did feel really weird being away from home. The fact that I was at the point in my life where I could dictate whatever I wanted to do, and not have to tell my parents that I was going out to get some boba with the boys. 

UMass in Pictures | UMass Amherst

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One thing that I miss about the WW-P area is definitely the late-night shenanigans in Princeton with my pals. Oh, how those nights shall go down in history.

Hands down my most favorite part about UMass is our dining. #1 IN CAMPUS DINING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR AS CITED BY PRINCETON REVIEW! I get to eat hand-rolled sushi every day, and the stir-fry stations are always up and running. Oh mama mia, my mouth is watering right now even as I think about it.

The hardest part about attending UMass is the classes. At first, it can be a little overwhelming with all the workload that is introduced, but very quickly you get into the groove of things. 

Overall, everyone at UMass understands that we’re all working towards a common goal to be better versions of ourselves than we were before. We always push each other academically, but, at the same time, we allow for awesome memories to be made, and shared, among each and every person. We’re all in this together, and that’s why the UMass community is a place I can truly call my second home now.

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