Amherst, MA — Update #13: Aarah

Hi everyone, 

Today is my last day in Massachusetts!  I am currently sitting in the airport waiting for my plane to arrive.  It has been an amazing adventure and easily one of the best decisions I’ve made post-high school.  I made many friends I hope to see in the future and moments I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.  UMass has been incredibly beneficial to my education.  I’ve been able to experience a part of a country I had never been to before and see how it functions, comparing it to what I’ve known from home.  There are several differences from Arkansas compared to here, so I thought I’d share some differences I’ve noticed.   

The biggest difference is the pace of life.  In the smaller country town I grew up in, life is laid back.  No one is ever in a rush, and the same goes for their mentality.  Here, however, everything is quick and on the go and can often be stressful at times, at least it is for someone like me who’s not used to that.  I’ve enjoyed the difference, however, and find it interesting how people who have grown up in different atmospheres think and how they choose to live.  Another difference is the colonial-styled architecture of the houses.  Almost every house has two or three stories, no porch, and is very boxy looking, which is a stark contrast to the antebellum-style houses that make up the south.  It is common at home to see families enjoying a day out on a porch swing or rocking chair usually backgrounded by a white house with large paned windows, something I never saw here in New England and a feature of home I missed.  The last difference is the Massachusettsan’s love for Dunkin Donuts.  I’ll admit I’d never had Dunkin Donuts before.  It’s not incredibly popular back home, and in fact, I can’t think of one person that likes it.  The closest one is also an hour away, whereas here they’re on every street corner.  After trying it, I can say that it was alright but honestly not very good in my opinion (don’t tell them I said that haha). I’m just used to the quality of the locally made coffee from home and have been spoiled on it I suppose. 

When I return home, I’ll have two years left of college until I graduate.  I’m not sure yet what the next chapter of my life will be after that, but as of right now I would like to work for a Conventions and Visitors Bureau somewhere in Arkansas.  I have plenty of time to figure out my next step.  No matter where I end up I plan to use what I’ve learned from my experiences here and apply them when helping those in need through the hospitality industry.  I am very thankful that I was given this opportunity from Arkansas Tech and hope others will take the same chances, and discover the ways of life from a new perspective.  

-Aarah <3


“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost




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