I have always wanted to be Rory Gilmore. And, though Rory is not a real person, I hoped to have a similar college experience as she did: overachieving my way through classes and transforming from endearing small town girl to newspaper editor. However, after I realized that my life is not Gilmore Girls and I let go of what I thought college should be, I started to make college my own.
I noticed others are also trying to live the “idea” of college rather than have their own experiences. Sure, Asher Roth showed us one way to get through college, but "pass out at three, wake up at ten, go out to eat, then do it again" is not the only way. Even the BC way is not the only way. If Mod-hopping and hooking up are not for you, then don’t get involved there. If they are, then go for it. Either way, both lifestyles are ending up on BC Confessions, and the contrast between them is confusing prospective students. Many 2017ers ask, “Is this school as bad as it seems? What is this hookup culture? Should I go here?”
As a freshman, I am not far removed from these questions because I have asked them myself a year ago. Though I love BC, I can’t say that stereotypes don’t exist. I can’t say I haven’t met people with seething Ivy envy. I can’t say my friends at home don’t joke, “How is it at Vineyard Vines University?” Yet, through the ups and downs, the love and hate, the immense feelings of belonging and isolation, I have no doubt that Boston College is the right place for me. And, judging from the way many people come to BC’s defense on those hesitant, prospective student confessions, it seems that many of us experience a love/hate feeling with this school at one point or another. We know BC has flaws, and we hate those flaws, but at the same time, we love our school and want prospective students to love it too.
From the first time I toured BC, I had that gut, “This is it” feeling I didn’t experience anywhere else. Most of you 2017ers must have had that feeling too, or you would not have endured the supplement questions this year. I may have only a semester and a half of experience, but I know BC Confessions should not influence your decision. Sure, you may empathize with one of those posts in your four years here, but contrary to everything you have heard, college will not be perfect. And when you think about it, what relationship is perfect, anyway? Feelings fluctuate about people, so who says feelings cannot fluctuate over a university?
Though I acknowledge that stereotypes exist, you don’t have to become one. At Boston College, we have a reputation for being an unfriendly J. Crew catalog, but do not change yourself to fit that. Do not change yourself at all. Even if you are put off by confessions of conformity, lack of diversity, or the unspoken uniform, please realize that those are not the only aspects of this school. I have friends who had never heard of The North Face or Sperry until they came to college, and they turned out fine. They found their Sperry-less niche. They are surrounding themselves with people who do not care what labels they wear, and mock the BC look-away. It may not be instantaneous, but you will find you place here.
I am adamant about not changing because people think they have to change to experience college properly. Once on the weekend Newton bus, a boy from my building drunkenly shared the woes of evolving freshmen boys. “Let me tell you something,” he began while slinking himself on my shoulder, “You are not going to find a nice boy first semester freshman year.” At the time, I shrugged him off and thought, “You’re drunk,” but now I understand him. What he meant was that people have images at home: the overachiever, the athlete, the nice kid, and once they start school with 2,000 people who don’t know anything about them, they try to reinvent those images. We think we have to become different people, and, more specifically, we think we have to develop into people that seem like they attend BC, instead of developing ourselves as a whole.
After reading BC Confessions, you may be reconsidering Boston College, but I hope you do not. College, like most things in life, is what you make of it. No one’s experience is perfect or easy. The friends you make or classes you take are decisions that are unique to your life. Don’t make those decisions based off what Asher Roth said, Rory Gilmore did, or an anonymous person confessed. Do what you want. Make the friends you want. Take the classes you want. In short, do you.