News: Featured Stories

June 6, 2017

A letter to incoming and current UMass undergrads


  • The UMass System

As I prepare to leave my internship with the UMass President’s Office — a few weeks after my graduation from the Amherst campus — I can’t help but reflect.

College goes by fast, and the four years you spend at UMass will shape the type of person you're destined to be. Going to UMass Amherst was the best decision I’ve ever made. Everything that I care about I have because of UMass.

The fact that you still have time in school is an incredible gift; don’t take it for granted. I’m not going to pretend to have infinite wisdom on how to maximize your time at school, but I do think I can help, so I’d like to give you some advice:

Get Involved

The best way to tap into your potential is to surround yourself with individuals that push you and motivate you to be the best you can possibly be. Whether it’s Greek Life, a sports team, a club, student government or your own business, do something that challenges you in a group setting. If you have ideas, a group will listen. Learn about the type of person and leader you are by setting a goal and working towards it with a group of like-minded individuals. You’ll find the experience incredibly rewarding and eye-opening.

Take Control of Your Own Destiny

It’s time you realize that the only one in control of your life is you. If you want to do well in school, pay attention in class, be active with your studies and seek out help. It will pay off.

If you don’t want to be bored in class, find classes that will spark an interest. Try and think about the type of career you wish to have and take advantage of the top-notch education available at UMass. There are so many classes offered at these campuses — find your favorites.

If you want to set yourself up for success upon graduation, get involved in internships and jobs that apply to the career path you wish to go down. Build a relationship with your career advisor at school. Network. If you build up your experience and your connections, I promise you will find something.

This line of thinking applies to any part of your day-to-day college lives. You have the reigns on your own life and your own path; don’t lose control. Set your sights on something and follow through. You can do it if you want to.

Make Memories

Your four years aren’t going to last forever, so take advantage of this time you have. Explore the areas you live in, build relationships with people that make you happy, do something that hasn’t been done. College is an incubator for ideas and passions, and you will never have another time in your life quite like this, so use it wisely.

UMass is an amazing place, and while I only went to one campus, the system as a whole is strong and growing more and more every year. You are blessed to be here — don’t forget that. You are and you always will be, UMass.

Griffin Carroll can be reached on LinkedInWant to write your own letter to UMass undergrads? Send your thoughts to Find more advice for UMass students at Words of Wisdom