My sister is a junior in high school, which means that this spring, she has begun the “College Process.” She’s been visiting many schools around the country and beginning to think about which ones she wants to apply to next fall. This process should be one of excitement, and to a degree, it is. Seeing a variety of college campuses is very fun, and fantasizing about where one will have their mind molded for four years is exhilarating. However, these days it seems that the College Process is a far more stressful experience than it is a positive one.

As we approach the end of the year, the campus seems to be brimming with nostalgia. Suddenly, the weather is nice again and we remember what it’s like to be here on the really good days. Commencement approaches and the “end” calls us to turn around and look backward. What do we see when we reflect on our experience? What constitutes the Amherst experience, and further, is there even such a thing? With our diverse student body, it is quite difficult to imagine a single Amherst experience.

Labor isn’t pretty. Amherst College is pretty — especially as it prepares to host the families of its graduating seniors, who will undoubtedly remember the beauty of the commencement ceremony, the speeches and campus aesthetics for a long time.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been researching the meal plans offered at Amherst College. For me, it works — but for others, it doesn’t. Before I continue, I want to make this clear: I bring up these flaws because I love Amherst. I believe that critique strengthens institutions that pay attention and implement change. I want Amherst to flourish, but it can’t be done without addressing the problems that stunt its growth.

With the grad fair taking place in Keefe, theses being completed and senior photos flooding Facebook timelines, the fact that graduation is just around the corner has become increasingly clear. Many seniors, overwhelmed by emails and impending deadlines, are already feeling the swirl of emotions that graduation brings. Amidst all of these feelings, there likely exists a small feeling of regret: regret about that class they didn’t enroll in or that risk they didn’t take.

Recently, Comedy Central, the network that airs “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” announced two new late-night projects. One called “The President’s Show” stars Anthony Atamanuik, a white male actor and improviser. Atamanuik is an expert Donald Trump impersonator and the show will essentially take the form of a standard late night program, except the host is “Donald Trump.” The other is a yet-to-be-named project that will star Jordan Klepper, another white male who has made a name for himself as a correspondent on “The Daily Show.”

When I was in high school, I resented gay pride and queer activism. To the younger version of myself, pride felt overbearing. I remember sitting in my counselor’s office and telling her I didn’t need to go to the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting. I imagined that going might mean I was defining my identity wholly by my sexuality. Apart from worrying about how I would be perceived by others, I was even more worried about what attending those meetings would mean for my own sense of self.

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