As the class of 2018 came back to campus for their fourth and final year, people reunited with friends who had gone abroad during junior year. As the date of commencement looms over the horizon, seniors commiserate in a mix of relief and terror that college is soon to be over. While dauntingly close, the finish line also feels impossibly far with theses, comps and 400-level seminars staring down at us. The mantra of choice, “Well, we’ve made it this far,” reminds us that, at three-quarters of the way there, we may be exhausted but we have to push through.

Saya Woolfalk’s project, “The Empathetics,” highlights issues of gender, culture, identity, technological advances and commercialization in an innovative series of works that combine technology with art and storytelling. The exhibit, featured in the Mead Museum, examines the lives of women, called Empathetics, in a fictional world where they can modify their genetics at will and fuse with plants.

This fall’s political conversations and actions surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Dreamers and the border wall have revived fears and questions of what our country would look like without immigrants.

Our minds first go to political questions of American life without immigrants, but how would America’s — and Amherst’s — culture change with the restriction and exclusion of immigrants?

Summer 2017 was filled with huge releases from the likes of Lana Del Rey, DJ Khaled, Lorde and Tyler, the Creator. We were inundated with new projects from Meek Mill, A$AP Ferg, XXXTentacion, 21 Savage and Young Thug. There was so much new music released that I delayed my listening of Lil Uzi Vert’s album by two whole weeks. Two weeks! With all of these new albums coming in from big names, it is inevitable that some music will go unnoticed. That’s why I’m here with some albums that may have slipped under your radar this summer.

At the annual Emmy Awards this past Sunday night, host Stephen Colbert began a joke by saying, “Is there anyone who could say how big the audience is?” He then turned away and delivered part one of the two-part punchline: “Sean, do you know?”

Note: The following is a letter sent by an alumnus to The Student as well as several other publications. It has been edited for style and clarity.

To the Amherst Community,

With an open curriculum, it can sometimes be jarring to look back on your transcript and attempt to trace a line of continuity through your coursework. Though some majors may have stringent trajectories, many are quite open-ended, and it is possible to end up with all kinds of patterns in levels and sub-topics even within one discipline.