Top 6 Best Things about Fall Semester in New England

By: Kat Soni


Greetings everyone, my name is Kat Soni and I work in the Administration department here at NSR.  One of the best parts of my job is that I get the chance to live vicariously through our prospects on a daily basis! I had the time of my life attending university in the States, and I managed to gain some insight along the way. Drawing from my personal experiences, here is a list of the Top 6 Best Things about Fall Semester in New England, followed by a few general tips. Enjoy!

1. Sports Events
While you will be concentrating on training and playing your own respective sport, it’s good to be aware of the other sides of the athletic scene at your school. Every sport offered at your college or university will have a unique schedule, and there is always a fun game or event to check out. At UMass, my friends and I loved showing support for all of our teams: soccer, basketball, hockey, football, you name it! It’s always a good idea to show support for mens’ and womens’ teams alike; there will be many talented athletes on your campus, remember to share the love! Attending different sporting events with your teammates is a great way to bond at the start of the season, so manage your time wisely and make an effort to venture out as a team!

2. A fresh start!
Whether you are a first-time freshman or a seasoned senior, the first semester of the year is always exciting. It’s time to pick classes, settle into your new dorm room or apartment, and make new friends!  The fall semester is prime time for new beginnings and the energy on campus is at an all-time high. Take advantage of the multitude of resources on campus and explore all of the clubs, student-run organizations, and activities that are available. College life is what you make of it, so don’t be shy! Put yourself out there, challenge yourself, and always approach your studies and your overall experience with an open mind.

3. First Week/Homecoming weekend
Since preseason training begins during the first week of August, student-athletes will have the campus to themselves for a whole month before the rest of the students arrive. Don’t get too used to the peace and quiet, because once the semester begins, the campus will be a different place! All colleges and universities plan a variety of fun events to welcome the students during the first week of the semester. At UMass, First Week was filled with live music, barbeques, and my personal favorite, the Homecoming game. Thousands of UMass alumni come visit the campus to attend the first home football game of the year, and the tailgating before the game is an event in itself!

4. The foliage
If you haven’t experienced autumn in New England (or any area that is predominantly deciduous forest) I wholeheartedly recommend you put it on your to-do list. Watching the leaves change from green to hues of gold, brilliant red, and fiery orange is truly a sight to behold. I lived in Massachusetts for 22 years, and each year, I was newly enthralled by the waves of autumn colors and the delightful smell of burning leaves! That might sound a bit odd, but hear me out. Since everyone’s lawns are blanketed by fallen leaves, people are always collecting their leaves into massive piles and burning them. Fall is a remarkable season in terms of natural beauty and the smell of fall is sweet, smoky, and very comforting; A feast for all the senses!

5. Bonfires
In Massachusetts, we had bonfires every weekend during the fall months. The weather can get quite chilly and there’s no better place to be than gathered around a fire with your mates under starry skies. The best part about having a bonfire is undoubtedly making s’mores! For all you Aussies who have yet to experience the majesty of a s’more, get this: marshmallow, (toasted over the fire to your preferred gooeyness) slab of chocolate, (Hershey’s is the classic choice), sandwiched between two graham crackers (honey-sweetened biscuits common in the States). Winning.

6. Holidays
While media and pop culture tend to depict the American college experience from an entirely one-sided perspective, the fact of the matter is that you will be working hard and studying more often than not. Luckily there are a couple of fun holidays during first semester to help you relax and stay sane! At the end of October, many students choose to get creative and go incognito for Halloween . Celebrating Halloween is a great opportunity to step out of your shell and share some laughs with your mates.  Also, if you’re unfamiliar with the Thanksgiving tradition, get familiar. Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude for your loved ones and also lends towards eating massive quantities of home-made, hearty, soul-warming food! Think roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cheesy casseroles and pumpkin pie! Make it a personal goal to spend Thanksgiving with a mate’s family, you won’t regret it.

Kat’s Tips for the Fall Semester:

– Use websites like when purchasing text books at the start of the semester. No need to spend a bundle on new books when you can find used ones in perfect condition for half the price!

– Get involved! Attend as many cultural and sporting events that you can. Support your fellow students and athletes, and they will come cheer for you when you’re in the limelight.

– Get to know the local area. College towns often have special deals at restaurants, stores,
movie theatres, etc. to cater to the students’ budgets.

– Never hesitate to ask for help or support. At any college or university, there are hundreds
of staff members available whose sole purpose is to care for the study body. Know that you
have access to all of the resources you need to succeed and make sure you seize this once-
in-a-lifetime opportunity by  taking responsibility for your happiness and overall well-

I wish you all the best of luck during this exciting time. Memories of your college years are treasures you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Keep working hard and making your dreams come true!