Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F
Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10, #9, #8, #7, #6, #5, #4, and #3, and are continuing on to #2!
#2: Exploring a new social scene!
Before you know it, you’ll be living in the beautiful Pioneer Valley, home to mountain hikes in your backyard, crisp fall weather, and funky small town living. Both on and off campus, there are plenty of sweet spots to hang out and explore whether you’re alone or with your friends – here’s a short list of some of my favorites!
Anywhere in the woods, but especially the Hampshire Tree or any of the sunny cornfields: I highly recommend taking a Saturday afternoon before it gets too cold to explore the woods surrounding Hampshire’s campus. The woods are filled with unique art and structures that students have created over the years – there are many little treasures to discover while walking the unbeaten path through the trees!
The Goodread Library: I discovered the Goodread Library during my third year at Hampshire while living in Donut 1, where it happens to be situated (right in the middle of the donut). I was lucky to be just steps away from this often unused library space, which provided me with a cozy and quiet spot to write or get some leisurely reading done. The library operates entirely on an honor system, meaning you can just borrow one without checking it out and return it whenever you’re done. I’ve found some really unique titles while browsing the library – their children’s books section always put a smile on my face!
The Roos-Rohde House: The Roos-Rohde house appeared on campus during my last year at Hampshire. My friends and I were quick to embrace it as a lovely new study and hangout spot for any time of day while we worked on our Div IIIs! You’ll find Mixed Nuts here, Hampshire’s longest running student group and co-op. Their foods are always locally sourced, organic, and pretty cheap to boot! From ice cream to a wide selection of trail mix type goodies, you’re bound to find something to munch on while you’re hanging out at the Roos-Rohde house.
The Kiva: I’ve taken many naps up on the third floor of the library in the Kiva. It’s hard to not feel relaxed (and a little sleepy) in this spot, since the floor to ceiling windows let in a tremendous amount of sunlight to warm you while you read or write. While some folks use this space as a meeting spot for student groups, most hang here to get assignments done while having a full view of the library lawn and all who cross it.
On top of Bare Mountain: This hike is somewhat steep but fairly quick to the top. I’d recommend it to any level of hiker! Just a short drive or walk down the road from Atkins Farms — towards Mount Holyoke College — you’ll find the entrance to the hike, which is pretty clearly marked. The view from the top is pretty spectacular, especially once fall is in full swing. With gorgeous yellow, red, and orange hues sweeping the valley, what’s not to love?
Botanical Garden at Smith College: The main street in Northampton tends to attract many folks from all of the different colleges. While there’s plenty of shopping and eating to do (I recommend Local for burgers and fried pickles), there’s also beautiful museums and nature to be seen farther up the road on Smith College’s campus. The Botanical Gardens is open year-round and is free (donations accepted) to enter with an incredible collection of all sorts of flora — approximately 9,000 different kinds! Take the PVTA bus #39 to get to Northampton. The Garden is just a short walk away!
Amherst Cinema Arts Center: For those of you who enjoy a good movie every once and a while, Amherst Cinema is a great place to go on the bus line. Located right in the center of town, Amherst Cinema shows all sorts of films, although generally speaking their selection tends to include mostly lesser known titles. Every so often the Dean of Students office will provide free tickets to various showings at the Cinema, so keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding these events!
Have questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!