My name is Lili Kinsella, and I am a student at the ASA Summerfuel Program at UMASS in Amherst. I am from Boston, Massachusetts and am 15 years old. I entered the ASA Summerfuel program as a somewhat unwilling participant, but by the end of the first day, I had already begun to warm up to the program. On the first day at UMASS Amherst, I met my 3 other suitemates (Alejandra from the Dominican Republic, Lauren from New York, and Samantha from Texas). All of the students were split into orientation groups, which met in the courtyard and played games to learn each other’s name. I made many new friends that first day and, even now on my second to last day at the program, I am still learning the names of new people. The first three days consisted of orientation activities and our schedules were packed with fun things to do. There are 8 girls total in my RA group, led by our amazing RA (Resident Assistant) Holly. Each day during orientation we ate our meals with our RA groups at the dinning commons, allowing us to always have someone to sit with until we created our own group of friends. I have grown close with not only my roommates, but also the other girls in my RA group. In addition, I have made many other friends from all over the world, including places such as Turkey, Japan, the States, Tunisia, and France.
The classes here are quite fun and interesting. The courses that I am taking are Entrepreneurship, Essay Writing, and Tennis. I was not thrilled about taking my Entrepreneurship or Essay Writing classes, but they both turned out to be much more fun than I had anticipated. This past weekend, we took trips to Six Flags and Boston- both of which were extremely fun. Each day, after our AM and PM/ Workshop Classes, optional activities were arranged for students. Some of these activities included a bowling trip, soccer games, college tours, and the Teen Talent Show/ Mr.-Mrs. ASA Pageant. Having gone to the bowling trip and having been a member of the audience during the Talent Show/ Pageant, I can report that both activities were loads of fun. The performances by the RA’s were great and the student’s cross-dressing was hilarious.
I am doing another 2-week program similar to ASA Summerfuel that will begin in two weeks. If I could, however, I would without a doubt stay the full 4 weeks here at UMASS. I have grown to love my time here, and will miss everyone here very much. I have been more independent, made new friends, and have had an amazing time at a program that I thought I would strongly dislike. I had an absolutely phenomenal time at UMASS and would definitely recommend the Summerfuel program to people looking to make new friends, be more independent, and get a feel for college life!