UMass Amherst made Shivaram feel welcome when he first came to the school. Now he does the same as a leader in the new student orientation program.
The most important piece of advice I tell incoming students is when you move in, keep your door open and be open to trying new things. I chose UMass because applying to college, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I thought I was going to do PreMed, and engineering, business. So I figured, why not go to a school that offers so many different programs? I'm part of the New Student Orientation Program. Our job is to help acclimate the new students to where they'll be in the fall, help them set up their schedule, maybe make some friends, get a feel for the campus. So they come in the fall, it's a new experience for them. It's, the oh, I've been here before. I definitely remember learning about this, hearing about it. It definitely takes some time coming here. You're sitting in Intro to Biology or Intro to Psychology, you're in a class of 350 students. But the more different classes you're taking, the more you get involved in what you're doing. The smaller your school actually does become. And that's why I wanted to be part of this program. All these things that I experienced, I want to give back to incoming students the best I can. I do have a goal of going to graduate school. Whether that's here at the University or elsewhere, I want to be set up well for my future. And I truly believe that all students are set up to succeed here. When I'm talking to my friends who go to different schools, I always feel like I'm one step ahead of where I want to be than where they are. I feel like they're a step behind their goals, and I feel like UMass is pushing me one step further. I'm Shivaram Muruga, class of 2017. I stand for the lighter side of life, and I stand for UMass.