Message to Freshmen/Transfer Commuters: Get Involved NOW!!!!
Driving to and from UMass Lowell was a major part of my college life. I drove from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA everyday for all of my four years at UML. The drive from my hometown to the university was a good 40 - 50 minutes, depending on the times that I'm driving (ie. driving 8am vs. 1pm), traffic, and the routes I took. Planning out my drive was very important for me as a commuter student. I wanted to avoid night driving, hitting traffic, getting caught up with construction crews on Route 3, and so on. I also wanted to get home right away so I have enough time to study, do papers, and other school-related stuff.
All commuters were like this, especially those who live 20+ miles away from UMass Lowell. Because of our strict planning to get out of Lowell to beat rush hour and our limited time in UML, we all felt that we weren't part of the UML Community. I bet a lot of commuters felt like this. The problem with commuters is our lack of discovery, involvement, and spirit. I first realized this when I got involved with Alpha Lambda Delta in my sophomore year. To make the most of the college experience, I felt that I have to get involved with what was offered, from sporting events, joining clubs, getting involved with an organization, helping out a professor, or even just plain hanging out in the university with residents and other commuters. My friends and I have realized that if we get involved in some kind of way, we would finally feel like we're part of the community. Last year, I started going to hockey games... and now I wish I started watching them when I was a freshmen! The Riverhawks are an excellent Division 1 hockey team. Their games are super exciting and... hey, they're nasty!! (And when I say "nasty" that means THE TEAM IS WICKED GOOD). Also, I started to get involved with Omicron Delta Kappa. One event I helped out in was "Trick or Treating for the Troops." That was a blast! Plus, I get to dress up as a handsome and adventurous Indiana Jones (hehe). I started to get involved with what was offered and I finally felt like home.
I regret not spending more time at UMass Lowell. I wish I was more involved with the community and the organizations I was part of. I wish I was at more sporting events so I can support our Riverhawk teams. I finally felt like I was part of UML community at the end of senior year... do not make the same mistake of being a late bloomer.
Get involved as soon as possible!!
Trust me, those 4 years will fly by faster than you can blink...
UML Alumni, EP '09
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