There’s no right or wrong way to be an Eagle, but there are definitely a few thing to do freshman year that will enhance your BC experience.
After four years of resume building, you have a large amount free time. You know, that thing you had only heard whispers of in high school. With about three hours of class a day, no clubs varsity sports, and no parents, you are the commander of your time. Don’t let it go to waste.
Every year, students take their free time and fall into binge habits. There’s binge drinking, binge eating, and binge Netflix watching. Students use this newfound freedom to go out whenever possible, hit up late night for chicken tenders because they’re bored or start non stop watching Orange is the New Black.
These binge habits promote dangerous amounts of alcohol consumption and the freshman fifteen. Worst of all, binge habits produces pompous TV watchers who condescendingly question you “Wait, you haven’t seen Breaking Bad!?”
Student who get involved tend to do better in the classroom, have stronger time management skills, and run into less disciplinary action. Not to mention it’s one of the best ways to make friends, discover passions, and make the most of your four years at BC.
Get Off Campus
Freshman year at BC can make you feel like you’re running on a treadmill. The ground beneath you keeps going and going as new relationships and activities enter your life. Sometimes you just have to step off the treadmill and get off BC’s campus.
Whether it’s a visit to the MFA, a walk through Boston Common or a trip to the North End, just spending the day in Boston can be a huge breath of fresh air. A retreat, like 48 Hours, is also a great way to get off campus and reflect on how your own first year is progressing.
It’s important to take a break and burst the BC bubble. Yes, you may miss one party or event that’s happening at BC that day or weekend. Get over your FOMO, get off the treadmill and get a breath of fresh air. After getting off campus, I always find it to be the refreshing experience that I needed in order to greater appreciate and enjoy my time on campus.
Make The Right Friends for You
After exposure to the Vandy 8-man life, many freshmen feel pressured to make seven other best friends right away. That decreases the chances that you’ll make the right friends for you, and will instead settle for the first seven people who come along. You’re not a single person in your forties. You don’t need to settle.
Friends should be people that you have meaningful connections with, can depend on, and laugh with. There is no need to waste time with people who don’t support you or make you feel excluded.
My freshman year I saw so many people who tried to fit in with a group in their hall who did not appreciate them. Many students think that they are limited to their freshman residence hall for friends, so they restrict their options to the 50 people with whom they share a bathroom.
In a community of over 9,000 undergrads, there are going to be plenty of people to make friends with. Be willing to look outside the first seven people you meet and find people who will make you a better person.
Get to Know a Professor
I was extremely intimidated by professors my freshman year. Something about a Ph.D invoked a sense of fear and I had some bizarre paranoia that if I went to office hours my professors would realize how little I knew in their class and then proceed to lower my grade. In retrospect, I was an idiot.
Professors are a great resource though, even far beyond just asking academic questions. They can serve as mentors, people to listen to you and give advice. One of my greatest memories from freshman year was grabbing coffee in Cleveland Circle with my First Year Writing Seminar professor. It made me feel much more connected to the BC faculty and community.
Ostensibly, everybody at BC has it figured out. Students seem to effortlessly rock the J. Crew with a hangover look, to be super involved, and to earn straight A’s. Sometimes it can feel like you are the only one who isn’t killing the game.
On top of that, friends from home will be telling you about their amazing and flawless college experiences. They’ll be supported by Facebook pictures and Instagram photos of them doing cool things with their new friends.
People who seem to have college all figured out within the first two weeks, they’re faking it. Even in real life, people put up filters to mask their flaws and to cover up their authentic selves.
Things take time though, I’m going to be a junior and I’m still figuring out how to navigate BC life. So be patient and breathe. Everything will work out in the end, and if everything isn’t fine, then it isn't the end.