Madison Polkowitz / Gavel Media

How to Flourish Second Semester Freshman Year

Freshman year at Boston College is the year of events. I don’t mean your first party, or your first relationship, or even your first F on a college exam (@General Chemistry). I mean EVENTS.

Welcome Week, commencement, student involvement fairs, floor meetings, building meetings, and more—it seems that there is always an event around the corner for freshman students. A million emails are sent publicizing the resources offered by the Career Center, Office of First Year Experience, and the Academic Advising Center. Especially pertaining to first-year students, BC wants to keep everyone informed and busy, and for very good reason.

I recall dreading many of these organized events, especially the ones that didn’t provide complimentary Insomnia Cookies. Yet, BC offers so many (really so, so many) activities and programs because they truly want to help every freshman transition smoothly into their first year of college. And, thank goodness they did. I would not have found the friends, clubs, or opportunities that I now have without BC's encouragement.

But, what happens now? BC seemingly moved on from the class of 2021 (it’s not you, it’s them) and is now focusing on e-mails, programs, and events for next year’s incoming class. Even though it may seem like they don’t care as much this time around, I assure you that they do. They simply want you to take the skills you received first semester and put them to good use second semester. Just like the parent of any college student, they want you to succeed, but they know that they cannot hound you forever.

As a second semester freshman, even if you feel that you are not getting as much direct support from BC resources, they are still there. You just have to take some initiative and take advantage of them. However, if you do need that extra push, here is a guide to making the most of second semester freshman year. It includes events you should check out, things you should do, and goals you should set for a successful close to your first year at BC.

1. Join a few more clubs. I personally wish that I had tried more clubs in my freshman year. Once you become an upperclassman, there is not much time to try out different clubs for fun. I hope you attended the student involvement fair, but if you didn’t, BC's website lists almost all of the student organizations here. I urge you to spend some time sifting through them and researching any club that draws your attention.

2. Go to events sponsored by the Career Center. I repeat, GO TO THESE EVENTS. Even just one! Get a head start on writing a resume, completing a Linkedin profile, or just learn more about different job fields and industries. Check Eaglelink to see all of the events that center is hosting. A lot of them are only thirty minutes to an hour, but they make you feel like you are nailing adulting.

3. Speaking of Eaglelink, use Eaglelink. I know that a lot of freshmen are stressed about getting an internship for the summer. So take advantage of an excellent job search engine that lists so many awesome internships, volunteering opportunities, and more. Use the advanced search option to select your specific location and industry.

4. Go to less parties. Or more parties. Or no parties. Or all of them. Whether you had a wild or tame first semester of freshman year, second semester is a new semester, and a completely fresh start. A common theme I hear is people regretting their party “status” of first semester; whether that be too much or too little time spent going out. If you partied too much and want to focus on school, then do that. If you didn’t go to many social events because you couldn’t find them, you’re bound to get into more because you are bound to know more people. It’s simple math. Whatever you decide, enjoy college before the stress and workload of sophomore year and beyond.

5. Check the Boston College Events calendar whenever possible. With the surplus of events going on daily at BC, it’s easy to feel like you are missing out. There are many times when I hear about a speaker or an event after the fact and regret that I didn’t go or didn’t even hear about it. The calendar lists events that are sponsored by different departments, groups, and clubs. Last semester, I went to an event hosted by the psychoanalytic department that was about watching and analyzing various episodes of Black Mirror. Yes—awesome.

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