At Boston College, it can be easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life. Students’ days are filled with classes, appointments, and deadlines; they run from extracurricular to extracurricular, from coffee date to coffee date, constantly moving to the incessant pulse of life on the Heights. In the midst of all the noise, it is often hard to find time to slow down, reflect, and simply be. However, BC’s Center for Student Formation provides students with the perfect opportunity to do just that through its signature retreat, Halftime.
Halftime is offered to students who are looking to take a step back from the day-to-day frenzy of BC life and more critically examine what their time in college has meant to them so far. Offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, it provides upperclassmen with an excellent opportunity to think about their futures.
As Helen Ka, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Center for Student Formation, states, “Halftime is an opportunity for students to take time, to slow down, to think about how your major and future fit in with who you really are.” At Halftime, students are encouraged to take a long and sincere look at what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Retreats at Boston College frequently have fairly similar objectives, agendas, and outlooks. As a result, they can have the tendency to blend together. Halftime, however, provides students with a unique retreat experience in a number of different ways.
While other BC retreats tend to emphasize relationships, vulnerability, and spirituality, Halftime focuses specifically on career discernment. For sophomores and juniors frantically searching for summer internships and seniors seeking plausible post-graduate paths, a career-based retreat might be exactly what they need.
Another unique aspect of Halftime is the presence of prominent faculty and staff members at the retreat. While most of BC’s retreats are almost entirely student-led, Halftime gives students the rare opportunity to share a reflective weekend with many of their on-campus mentors. Faculty members participate in small group activities with students throughout the weekend while also presenting in two separate panels.
Ka explains that the panels allow the speakers to “share a little bit about how they’ve made big life decisions, what are some questions that they explore, who are the people that they talk to in making those decisions.” Getting the chance to hear some of BC’s most distinguished people share their discernment stories and provide insight into how they made decisions when they were college students is a rare opportunity that not many BC students are granted.
Along with the many benefits that focusing on career discernment and hearing from faculty members bring, the intimacy of Halftime is another aspect that sets it apart from other BC retreats. Whereas retreats like Freshmen League and 48 Hours have hundreds of people, Halftime generally consists of fewer than 50 students. This smaller setting lends itself well to immersive, intimate conversation and allows participants to get to know each other on a deeper level.
On top of the long list of reasons to attend Halftime, the retreat is also completely cost-free. In order to attend, one must simply sign up and show up. Halftime retreats this spring will be held Feb. 19-21 and March 18-20 at the Connors Retreat Center in Dover, MA.