It becomes painfully apparent within the first two weeks of freshman year: approximately half of the population of New Jersey actually attends Boston College.
This indisputable, scientific-ish fact is what drew me to BC in the first place, as I myself also hail from the hallowed lands of NJ. Everyone I had ever known that attended BC was simply enamored with it, so I figured I would be as well.
Freshman year is always the worst. “The worst,” of course, is code for “less than optimal” in the extremely privileged context of college life. Anyway, I had my fair share of eating alone in Mac, bombing my first couple assignments and spending way too many weekends with my parents.
Sophomore year, on the other hand, was pretty darn good as I began taking advantage more thoroughly of all the opportunities that BC offers. PULSE was an amazing experience, and I participated in the life-changing Dialogues on Race. Living in close quarters with some of my best friends was also a great pleasure, even if we had to brave the forced triples of 90.
Really though, the highlight of my sophomore year was joining the Gavel, where I found a truly quirky, fun and devoted group of people trying to make their mark at BC. In only its second year of existence, the Gavel was clearly a new publication struggling to gain traction on campus. To be honest, with almost nobody having heard of the Gavel, I enjoyed the sense of anonymity. I could write my articles in peace, have few people ever read them and enjoy the simplicity of my staff writer position. Second semester I moved up to Associate News Editor—a true testament to how strapped for labor we were in those days.
Junior year provided a variety of unique experiences—I interned in Boston, spent an unparalleled five months in Buenos Aires and lived down the Jersey Shore for a solid summer. On the Gavel side, I call junior year “the year of the failed blogs.” If you ever find yourself in need of some unnecessarily smug humor or details of my abroad experience you rationally have no reason to care about, then check out my “Real Jersey Shore” or “Word-A-Day” blogs.
However, in going abroad, I was sad to depart from our tight-knit News family, Jasmine, Meghan and Mei, all of whom would be graduated by the time I returned to Boston. Junior year truly expanded my horizons and taught me many lessons about myself, my friends and the value of an empanada (or five).
Senior year initially presented a host of challenges, many of which derived from my new position as news editor. The workload quickly caught up to me, and I realized that returning to life at BC was not quite the piece of delicious, dulce de leche-frosted cake I had expected it to be.
The obligatory cliché is that senior year proved to be the true highlight of my college experience. Coming back to the Gavel was a blessing as I met a variety of new friends and got to know better those I had worked with previously. News slowly but steadily began to hone its niche and has been blessed with many great writers and editors as well as the debut of an awesome design team. I didn’t fail my classes or my thesis, and enjoyed the last months with some of the most amazing people I have had the privilege to call friends. I believe kids these days call this phenomenon “hashtag blessed.”
The Gavel has been one of the most meaningful and gratifying parts of my Boston College experience, and there are so many people to thank for this. Firstly, our inspired Gavel founders and determined predecessors, faithful readers, devoted writers, innovative editors, the incomparable Jenna LaConte and people who grudgingly take a print issue when we’ve shoved it in your faces…thank you all for validating and valuing the work and progress we continue to strive for.
The fact that the Gavel is in great hands for next year is truly an understatement. Emily Akin and Katie Levingston are going to rock all of our socks. James Cody is already the best and vegan-ist News Editor we’ve ever had, and I am lucky to have such a diligent and dedicated successor.
In summary, I cannot wait to keep reading the Gavel, liking all its Facebook posts and generally being a strange groupie. Future Gaveliers, be warned. At least I’m apologizing in advance.