Dear Prospective Students of the Class of 2017,
As your senior year begins to wind down and the anticipation of college life heightens, you probably have lots of questions that you don't even know how to ask. Fear no more, because here are your answers to some of the biggest questions about BC.
1. How will I find a roommate?
There are a few options for this anxiety filled process. First off, you could do random selection. Before you move on campus, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your habits and this will be what matches you to a roommate. Many kids feel this process leaves too much to chance, so they opt to pick their own roommate. This can be done using roommate selection websites or by browsing the BC survey and getting in touch with students that look like a good match. The best piece of advice that anyone can give you when picking a roommate is to be honest. If you plan on going out whenever humanly possible, then say so. If you don't want to drink and would rather spend your Friday night doing some leisurely reading or watching a movie, speak up now because switching roommates after you move in is a headache you do not need.
2. What can I do to avoid living on Newton?
Let's take a step back before we delve into this one. Newton Campus is the all-freshmen housing that is located on Centre Street next to the BC Law School. Newton kids have to take a bus to campus every morning and back home every night. They get snowed in during big storms, their dorms and dining hall are smaller and they can't even use the Law Library for studying. To all of this, I say, so what? So what if you have to get up a little earlier to make it to class on time? So what if Stu doesn't have quite as many options as Mac? So what if Newton's gym, the Hut, isn't as big as the Plex? Living on Newton is a gift. As an Upper kid myself, I feel a little guilty talking Newton up, but Newton has a lot of perks that Upper lacks. You will know your hall mates and they will become your best friends at BC. You will recognize faces in the dining hall and never feel like you have to sit alone. You'll get a chance to go to another prom, you'll be able to study without disruption in your own room or a lounge and you'll have a sense of community that is offered no where else in BC housing. Also, you won't have to worry about living in a forced triple. That's only on Upper.
3. How's the food?
BC's dining services have consistently ranked in the top 10 in the country. That being said, the food gets old. The key to not getting bored with the food on campus is to try new things. When your dining hall is featuring cultural food for a night, fill your plate. When steak tips and grilled chicken won't do it for you, check out the vegetarian options. Changing things up whenever possible is how you will keep yourself from resenting the food on campus. Eating at Lower, Addie's and the Rat to change things up will also keep you from falling into a food slump.
4. How do I know what classes I need to take?
Depending on what your prospective major is, there will be an outline of classes that you will need to take freshman year. If you're pre-med, things are pretty well planned out for you already. If you have no idea what you want to major in, that's more than fine. BC requires all students to take mandatory core classes in theology, philosophy, science, socials science, mathematics, language, writing, literature, arts, history and cultural diversity. Browse through these and take a mix to find out what peaks your interest. Any of this information can also be found on BC's website and your orientation leader will guide you through the process come this summer.
5. How do I make friends?
Some of you may be coming to BC as a fifth generation student, knowing plenty of upperclassmen and kids from your hometown. Others, like myself, didn't know a single person in their class. My advice: use Welcome Week to your advantage. Sit outside and smile at people, knock on your neighbors' doors while they're moving in and introduce yourself, sit down with other freshmen at dinner and get names and phone numbers. Odds are, you won't end up being friends with more than half of the people that are in your phone by the end of the first week. But that's totally fine! Once classes start, people cling to their new BFF's and don't let go for a while. It takes a while to find your niche, but don't be discouraged! Everyone goes through some lonely nights and meals but there is a place for everyone at this university.
6. Where are the parties on campus?
Most freshmen flock to the Mods to find the nightlife on campus. If you want some tips on how to get into a Mod, check out this article. Parties will become easier to find and more fun to attend as the year goes on, so don't fret if your first experiences fall short of expectation.
7. What if I don't party?
Most kids end up going to parties their first weekend on campus even if they don't drink. This is totally acceptable. It is a complete myth that you have to be wasted to attend a party on campus. Odds are, you'll meet plenty of sober people and make a friend or two. If you still don't want to do that party thing, that doesn't mean you have to hold up in your room and Skype mom or dad telling them how awful college is. Sit in your lounge and pop in a movie. Keep your door open while you watch TV. NOTH, a campus organization, puts on lots of fun night activities for students that avoid the party nightlife. Or you could explore the amazing city that you live in and all it has to offer.
8. What clubs should I join?
What clubs your join in college will probably be a little different than the ones you joined in high school. The activities fair on Linden Lane at the beginning of the school year will be your opportunity to check out clubs and sign up for email notifications. Since BC sports hundreds of student organizations, it might be a wise idea to narrow down your search a bit so you aren't completely overwhelmed by the kids throwing candy and free stuff at you as you innocently walk down the street.
9. Where do I buy my books?
The BC bookstore will have every book that you need for any class that you take. That being said, Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks and tons of other websites will sell you books for half of what BC sells them for. However, beware of the classes that make you buy online access codes. These might be exclusively sold at the BC bookstore, so do your research before you pay.
10. How do I succeed?
Success in college will mean something completely different than what it meant in high school. Everyone walking onto this campus was the best of the best in high school. They ran every club, played varsity sports, started businesses and got perfect grades. The key to success in college is not to succeed at everything, it is to succeed at what you love. The clubs you join and organizations you get involved in will be where you make your best friends, learn your most important lessons and make the biggest difference for BC, the Boston area or even the world. As a new member of this Jesuit institution, you will learn to be become men and women for others, to have open and honest conversations with your peers and to light the world aflame with the lessons and values that this institution instills within you both directly and indirectly.
An Eagle who has almost survived her freshman year