There is only one question with the undisputed ability to divide BC’s entire student body: “Which is better, Newton or Upper?” While the answer to this question is more often than not based on where you lived freshman year (full disclosure—I lived on Newton), this 100% unbiased article sets out to definitively prove why Newton campus is vastly superior to Upper.
“A sense of community”—this slogan is used by BC students to describe one of the main benefits of living on Newton. While it may seem far fetched, the sense of community is real! Two miles away from the main campus, Newton residents experience community through their collective suffering. Waking up at least 30 (if not more) minutes early to get ready and catch the Newton bus is an annoying experience to say the least. However, being so separate from main campus has its own set of benefits. For one thing, everyone on Newton campus is a freshmen, meaning you will inevitably see the same faces on the buses and in Stuart (Newton’s dining hall) every day. This means sitting down at random tables and meeting new friends is a common experience and wonderful way to make new friends. Try doing the same at McElroy, and you will be met with countless awkward stares and “Sorry, I’m a sophomore” from the poor souls stuck on Co-Ro.
Another advantage of living away from main campus is that there is a much greater separation between classes and “home.” I personally took the bus every year in high school, so having to take it again freshman year was no different for me. In addition to reminding me of home (thereby helping with the transition to college), it also meant Newton campus felt more fun and less burdened by the stress of college academics. Sure if you live on Upper you can wake up five minutes before your class starts and still make it on time. But that also means all of the sources of your stress are at your doorstep, waiting to haunt you the second you leave your dorm. Since few students want to take the Newton bus back late at night, Newton lounges are frequented by Newtonites who forgo staying at O’Neill to study. This means meeting more people and inevitably having more fun. Would you rather do your work on the 5th floor of O’Neill or with your friends in the lounge?
Enough with community—there are several tangible benefits to living on Newton as well. The first is that the dorm rooms on Newton are usually bigger. Another plus is that there are no forced triples on Newton! Having to share a double-sized room with three people is an experience no one wants to have, and Newton residents get to dodge this tragedy. Stuart, affectionately referred to by Newton residents as Stu, is arguably the best dining hall for lunch—its pressed sandwiches are similar to Hillside’s, but can be paid for in regular dining dollars. In addition, Stu employees are among the best at BC dining. They remember the names of residents, and they might even friend you back on Facebook. Finally, the law school present on Newton campus is one of BC’s best study spots. Empty law school classrooms and the law school library (if you manage to not get kicked out by library staff) are wonderful study spots at night.
While I wouldn’t wish Newton on any sophomores or upperclassmen, for freshmen trying to navigate BC and make friends, Newton campus is by far the superior option. For all of its shortcomings, Newton is ultimately the homiest. While living there may mean getting a little less sleep every night or arriving late to a party on main campus that you were miraculously invited to, just remember that Newton will always have one thing over Upper: a true community.