Thank you for visiting our blog in order to get to know some of our students better. We hope that the following posts and pictures will give you a better sense of our students, community, and campus culture.
Spring Break for BC Students
by Annie Sheehan '19
These past few weeks, and more specifically these last few days, I have found myself encumbered with a burning question:
Why on earth is the Plex so crowded?
And today, I looked up from the outline of a paper I desperately need to write and realized what the light at the end of the tunnel is. Boston College’s spring break 2017 begins Friday. Guys and girls alike (upperclassmen, primarily) are in their final moments of desperation to really get that beach body so they can strut down the beaches of Punta Cana, or Cabo, or Cancun - wherever their tropical itineraries are taking them. Others (juniors here) are attempting to get into adequate enough shape to hide the baguettes, pasta, and gelato they plan on indulging in when they head out to pay a visit to their friends abroad.
Many people are going home for the week and simply would rather not have anyone realize they really have gained the freshman fifteen (sophomore fifteen? anyone?), not to mention the glorious home cooked food they have to prepare for. BC food is great and all, and I will miss my Eagles Nest salad, but nothing compares to my mom’s cooking.
However, plenty of the student population resides outside of the Plex, thinking longingly of Friday. Maybe they’re packing away their biggest sweatpants and sweatshirts for the recently-discovered spring break locale of Iceland, or maybe they’re preparing themselves not to shower for a week for one of the many different service groups that take off this weekend. Appalachian Volunteers is one of BC’s biggest volunteer programs, and sends hundreds of students in groups on trips all across the country for the week. They fundraise and meet once a week all year, and spring break is the culmination of these efforts as they head out to help a community in need.
Whoever you are, wherever you’re going, and whether or not you’ve been hitting the Plex like a psychopath this past week (it’s just a façade, truthfully), the reprieve from midterms and papers will be here before you know it. At home, with family, on a beach, or on a BC trip - relish in this break, and come back armed with enough sleep to carry you through to one of the best weekends in Boston. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.
Newbie Cabaret - Boston College Musical Theatre Wing
Theatre at Boston College
by Madison Mariani '20
Going into college, I was scared I wouldn’t get the opportunity to perform in the theatre department. I was convinced the theatre community would be plagued with theatre majors and minors, with no room for those who simply loved doing theatre as an extracurricular. With the first semester of my freshman year nearly behind me, I have been pleasantly surprised. I have had the opportunity to be a part of a play, a cabaret, and am preparing to be in yet another cabaret very soon.
At the beginning of the year, my schedule felt too hectic for me to prepare for the first audition season. Yet, I still had an urge to get myself into the theatre world at BC somehow; assistant stage managing was the perfect way to dip my toe in. I was able to meet new people and get involved without the pressure of auditions and the usual time commitment shows so often have. Not only that, but I feel it was a really rewarding experience to be on the other side of the production. I’m usually the performing, so it was an incredibly eye-opening opportunity to all sides of how a production is made and put together.
My first opportunity to perform was in the form of a cabaret – the Newbie Cabaret specifically. This is an amazing way to get involved with theatre in a very non-intimidating way. The cabaret is dedicated to all of BC’s new students, whether it be freshmen or transfer students. The time commitment was very flexible and manageable – which I am thankful for considering my busy schedule – and it was a nice way to get to know some other students in my class who are interested in the same thing that I am. Overall, I was ecstatic to get back on stage and it was an experience I would recommend it to any BC freshman who doesn’t quite know where to start when it comes to the theatre world at BC.
So far, my experience with theatre here at BC has been so worthwhile and I have found that there truly is a place for anyone no matter the level of interest. I have formed a wonderful network of friends and am able to perform and participate in a way that best works for me.
by Emma Llosa '20
When people ask me what I like most about my college experience so far, there are dozens of answers I can offer, but the one I continually return to is the campus' physical location. Boston College’s beauty is undeniable to even a first-time visitor; any passerby can appreciate the Hogwarts-esque architecture, the sprawling quads dotted with fallen scarlet leaves, and the tree-lined Linden Lane leading to the most iconic building on campus: Gasson Hall. But as I’ve learned, the more time you spend on and around campus the more you enjoy it. Just last week I discovered that the skyline of Boston is perfectly visible through the bare trees right from the stairs of upper campus. I see this same skyline when I’m studying on the fourth or fifth floor of O’Neill Library, walking around middle campus by St.Mary’s Hall in the evening, or jogging around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. It serves as a reminder that we are a part of a greater community which extends far beyond any map of campus.
What’s more is that Boston College makes it easy to connect to this vast community. A shuttle ride can take you to the multitude of shops at The Street, or to the eclectic neighborhood of Cleveland Circle. Want to see that picturesque skyline up close? Take the T into Boston and enjoy the beauty of the city from down below, or attend a homecoming dance at the State Room and admire it from 33 stories above. Everything- from scenes you’d instagram to places to internship- is at your fingertips.
Now I realize that this all may sound like an advertisement, and that’s because it kind of is. As a prospective student, I was aware that Boston was nearby and that campus was pretty, but I could not fathom how these things would affect me as someone who hails from a very different area, an area where getting around isn’t always easy, and where the late-night walk for sunset views is a more of a romantic dream than an actual possibility. Campus is truly located at a cultural crossroads and is the ultimate place to begin or continue an exploration of one’s passions, tastes, and above all, of one’s self. There are so many opportunities to engage in and experience the larger world through the little world here in Chestnut Hill. This is a lesson no brochure nor even my first visit to campus could provide me with, but it is something I grow to understand more and more each day as a student at Boston College.
O’Neill Library: The Underrated Gem of BC
Amanda Dulla '20
O’Neill Library doesn’t get much love and it makes me sad. O’Neill is easily overpowered by the grandeur and beauty of Bapst. I mean, who doesn’t like Bapst? Its stained glass windows and Gothic vaulted ceilings are reminiscent of Hogwarts, and I am in complete awe every time I walk into the building, but O’Neill is still my favorite library. Why, you may ask? Well for starters, every time I walk into O’Neill I run into someone I know. It seems to be the watering-hole for students rushing to print out reading assignments, studying for a chemistry exam, or meeting up with their calculus study group. With its large communal tables and couches, O’Neill offers a sense of community that makes studying just a little bit more enjoyable.
It also offers incredible views. If you venture up to the fourth and fifth floors, you will be greeted by a beautiful row of glass windows, showing a portion of lower campus and the Boston skyline. The combination of nature and city views is breathtaking.
Additionally, O’Neill has a coffee vending machine downstairs on the first floor. That’s right. A coffee vending machine. Not only is it cool to watch, but the coffee is always appreciated during late night study sessions.
So venture down to O’Neill. It’s conveniently located right in the middle of campus. Try out each of the five floors and find your favorite. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
“I am delighted…”
by Caroline Ring '20
“I am delighted…”
These were the only three words that I could read before I burst into tears. I was sitting at my dining room table with my mom and dad crying tears of joy because I had just gotten into Boston College, my dream school.
A few days prior, I had received my first college decision letter from my other top choice school. I had been deferred (and was later rejected), so at that point it was BC or bust. The days slowly passed as I nervously checked my email every hour, waiting for the highly anticipated response from my admissions officer. One afternoon, I checked my email for the tenth time that day and saw an email with the subject “Early Action Decision from Boston College.” My heart skipped a beat, and I immediately texted my parents that my decision had come in. My mom was already home but my dad was going to be at work for the next four hours and he asked me to wait for him before I opened the email because he wanted to be there when I found out. I reluctantly complied, and the next four hours felt like four years. When my dad finally came home, I couldn’t take the suspense anymore. I opened the email to find an attached PDF with the letter. All I saw were the first three words before my tears blurred the rest. My mom was sitting across from me and assumed that my crying indicated a rejection. I responded to her sympathetic look and comforting comments by jumping up and yelling, “I got in! I got in!” I immediately texted and called all my friends, and I changed my Instagram bio to say “Boston College ‘20”, obviously the most official way to indicate my acceptance.
For years I dreamt about being accepted to BC but I didn’t think it would actually happen. In the weeks and months leading up to my decision, I was a nervous, excited wreck. Even if I didn’t get accepted, I know that I would still be happy at whatever school I decided to attend, and you will too! No matter where you end up, you can make the best of your college experience at BC or at another school; it all depends on your attitude. Remember, everything happens for a reason but I hope you all see “I am delighted” on your decision letters soon!
by Madison Mariani '20
As my class comes to a close, my friends huddle around to pick a meeting time to work on a project due next week. A couple of times are shouted out but I immediately say no to all of them. After a couple of more tries, they suggested that maybe I should be the one spitting out times. I pull out my planner and after a moment say, “I can meet up at 9:45 on Thursday for an hour.” Silence. Clearly that wasn’t okay. That was just a day before the project was due. It would take much more than an hour to get it done. But what could I do? My schedule was packed. Each event tailing the next. I had done exactly what everyone profusely told me not to do. I spread myself too thin.
Here at Boston College, there are so many opportunities afforded to you. Whether it be theatre, sports, writing, fashion, or even cheese tastings, I guarantee there is a place for you. And while that is certainly something that helps BC stand out from the rest, it’s also a tad bit dangerous once you’re here. As you shop through the booths at the club fair (an overwhelming yet exhilarating experience) it is easy to say “sign me up!” to all the head club members throwing candy and free stuff at you. That’s all fine and dandy. However, once you get your name on all those listservs, it’s time to sift through them all - a critical step I seemed to have naively overlooked.
Undoubtedly, freshman year is a time to discover your passions and explore things you never thought of before. And BC offers you all the resources to do just that. But take it from a very overworked, overstressed freshman - get involved the smart way. Make an effort to go to all the introduction meetings - no matter how annoying or how easy they are to forget about them. Talk to experienced members of each club, ask how much of a commitment being a part of it would be as well as what nights they usually meet. And then, finally, choose one or two clubs to truly throw your efforts into. The beginning of the year, at least from my experience, starts of slow. It seems like you can get involved in everything in the world and still have time to hang out with friends and do your homework. But, there will come a time where you hit a wall. When everything piles up in the same week and you find yourself having to let people down, canceling plans, and missing out in order to get everything done.
So, do yourself a favor and don’t overload. You always have next semester, or next year, to try out something new. Freshman year is overwhelming in itself. So, give yourself the time to actually enjoy your time at BC, because trust me, you won’t want to let a single second here pass you by.
What Makes BC Special
by Cara Lyons '19
Since arriving on the Heights over a year ago, I’ve come to realize that BC really cares about its students—something that has made all the difference in my college experience. There are countless programs, professors, organizations, retreats, and classes that set out to help students become their best selves. These aspects of BC life allow myself and other BC students to reflect, find community, and grow as a person.
On the 48Hours retreat at the beginning of last year, I was able to talk about some of the struggles I was going through, and I found out that many of my peers were going through the similar experiences. In connecting with other freshmen and hearing insights from the inspiring senior leaders, I began to feel a real sense of community at my new home, in which reflection and difficult conversation topics were welcomed and encouraged.
Last spring in my Courage to Know class, I continued to find value in reflection and personal development. My classmates and I engaged in discussions about a variety of important topics, including relationships, identity, diversity, self-love, spirituality, vocation, and more. Every day after leaving that class, I felt so refreshed—not only because I engaged in interesting discussions where my personal beliefs were both challenged and solidified, but because I had the opportunity to converse authentically with fellow students whom I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Reflection continues to find its way into countless aspects of my life at BC. Tonight at the Appalachia Volunteers meeting, we split into small reflection groups and discussed how we practice self-love, where we find community, and our expectations for going to serve in an unfamiliar community. Many other service clubs engage in similar reflection activities to supplement their service experiences. Reflection groups like these allow me to see that despite what appearances may show, no one truly has everything together. Everyone struggles, and everyone has unique and important qualities that make them who they are. Reflecting with my peers, especially those who I am just getting to know, makes the people around me seem more human and more connected to me than I would initially think.
I love that BC is a place where I can grow as a whole person. It’s not just a place that offers me high-quality classes, a beautiful campus, and fun extracurricular activities; it’s a place that gives me opportunities to reflect, question, develop, communicate authentically, and ultimately feel like a part of a community that is special and important.
An Abundance of Excellence
by Tara Coffey '20
“Everyone here is talented; I’m not special anymore.” I listened to one my friends complain about the one aspect of Boston College he had not yet taken a liking to as we walked passed Gasson’s ever present beauty one late evening. I was astounded. Astounded because the thing he disliked the most was the exact reason I adored and ultimately came to Boston College. From the moment you step foot onto BC’s campus as a student, there is absolutely no denying that you are now a part of something big and spectacular. BC’s unique and enticing atmosphere is the combination of the vast variety of talent and passion that flows through its student body as well as the university’s central focus on the Jesuit tradition of magis (more).
Boston College’s community is one that is full of students who are dedicated and excited about the things in which they are involved, be that academics, clubs, research, sports, or service. Each student can speak for hours about the ideas they to which they are dedicated and by which they are motivated. For many new students, this idea can be stressful and harrowing. Going from a high school where you were most likely one of the stars of your class to community where everyone was also the star of their class can be a lot to take in and adjust to at first. What is important to remember is that what ultimately makes a BC student is the ability to take this gloom and worry and transform it into motivation. Freshmen first see their upperclassmen peers so dedicated and in love with their passions that those same students then use that to become motivated to discover the very thing that drives them and sparks that same devotion.
At Boston College you do not just feel that you are a part of something great, you in fact yearn to be part of something great. In turn this yearning hurdles you to become passionate and zealous about a particular idea or activity. A Boston College student is constantly in the search for more. More service, more research, more discovery, more excellence. Boston College’s atmosphere is not harrowing; it is the perfect rush of exuberance.
You Never Know Who You'll See at BC
by Caroline Ring '20
When I first toured Boston College, I couldn’t help but notice all of the brightly colored posters plastered around campus advertising upcoming speakers, talks, and presentations. I didn’t pay attention to them much at the time, but in the short two months that I’ve been here, I can already say that the wide variety of intellectually engaging and entertaining speakers on campus is one of the best things about BC.
There’s something for everyone here every week. The freshman class started the year with Steve Pemberton speaking at Convocation about his life, career, and time at Boston College. He talked about the struggles he faced in his abusive upbringing as a foster child and how he found his home while he was here at BC. In the following weeks, my inbox was inundated with emails about all the speakers coming to campus.
As a political science major, I’m really interested in American and international politics, and it’s especially exciting to be on campus during election season. Recently, I saw former US Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured above) speak about voting rights, former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift talk about what it’s like to be a woman in public office, and DNC interim chair Donna Brazile and Republican advisor Mary Matalin have a conversation about the election and their thriving friendship despite party differences.
I am also interested in learning more about global poverty and gender inequality. I’ve been lucky enough to hear from some speakers who have firsthand experience with addressing these issues and have made a real impact all over the world. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn came to campus to speak about two of their most popular books, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. The husband-wife duo each spoke about what people encounter and struggle with in developing countries. These individuals achieve great things in the face of medical disadvantages, overpowering patriarchies, lack of resources and education, and economic oppression.
BC brings in some celebrities to speak to students as well. I got to see an early screening of parts of an episode from Chris Hansen’s new show, Killer Instinct, and hear about his career in investigative journalism. Through Agape Latte, a monthly event that brings students together to enjoy coffee and conversations about faith, I was able to see actor Chris O’Donnell. Chris has starred in Batman & Robin, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS: Los Angeles. He came to talk about his time at Boston College, his journey in acting, and how his faith played a pivotal role in his life and career.
I love that I can take a break from homework almost any night of the week and go hear from a well-known, engaging speaker about topics that genuinely interest and entertain me, and I urge everyone to do the same. Next time you see a bulletin board covered in flyers about speakers coming to campus, take a look!
The Best of Both Worlds
by Jake Affanato '20
I was organizing my planner with this week’s assignments and then it dawned on me: a year ago today, I was about ready to have a meltdown because just days remained before the early action deadline. I am always amazed by how times flies! Take a breath, and keep your cool. Here’s a tip to minimize stress: stop trying to predict your admissions decisions based off of SAT scores and GPA, before you have even submitted your application
Say it with me: Everything is going to work itself out.
Here’s the thing: when I was in the fall of my senior year, I didn’t see myself at Boston College, mainly because I wanted to be in the heart of the city (which is evident from the schools I applied to). Afterall, Boston is America’s premier college city, so that did not exactly make it any easier on me. For many of you, the location of your dream college will be a factor of where you apply, and where you matriculate. So please, rule nothing out until the end.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, I have my calculus class in the top floor of Gasson Hall (one of the most Instagrammed buildings in America!), which looks out over the Boston skyline.
At the same time, I also overlook the beautifully landscaped campus, with quads, grass and trees. Last week, after my chemistry midterm, I went and laid face down on the lawn outside of Bapst Library to decompress, and I was in good company by plenty of other students enjoying the oddly warm weather for October.
BC really does have the best of both worlds, considering the center of the city is just a short train ride away on the T. For the non-locals, this is what we colloquially call our public transportation system; here me now, and believe me later, if you refer to it as the subway, your local classmates will be wicked ruthless. Conveniently, one of the stops is just a 5 minute walk from the upper campus (where most of you incoming freshman will live)!
Boston is filled with museums, theaters, shopping centers, and eateries--my personal favorite is the North End, home to authentic and delicious Italian food. But, as a pre-med student, the hospitals are of particular interest to me. Once or twice per month, I hop on the green line and ride it to the Longwood Medical area where I shadow amazing doctors and nurses in the Cardiac ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston has plenty of opportunities waiting for you.
If you don’t feel like going into the city, the campus itself has plenty to offer. Yesterday evening, the programming directors (people who put on events for you!) took members of my building out for pizza. Yes, that’s right folks, FREE PIZZA.
It was a great way to get to know some of the people in my building, who I don’t usually interact with, as well as take a break from studying for midterms. Your RAs and Graduate Assistants work really hard to put on nice events several times per week.
I hope this article took a little bit of an edge of things and I wish you all the very best as you work to fulfill your educational goals.
The Social Gastroenterology of Boston College
By: John Grimaldi
The city upon a hill was a new, ideal form of England once spoken about by the famous John Winthrop. The New World was an opportunity to start again and to create a new place where the marginalized citizens could thrive and grow. Our beloved city of Boston was built upon this dream, and out of this philosophy came Boston College. The school was originally founded for the poor Irish immigrants who filled the streets of Boston during the turn of the 20th century. The Jesuit ideals of educating the whole person and turning young men into some of the greatest leaders of the day made this university great.
The beauty of our buildings on campus draws some of the best scholars around the world to our school. It is impossible to walk across campus and not feel a deep sense of pride in your school. However, it is very easy to get caught up in this pride and get a sense of entitlement and superiority. This is the BC bubble that is referenced in conversation rather jokingly at times. I hear this question fairly frequently from my peers back home and it is a legitimate concern. I intend to show that Boston College is one of the best places to go to school.
The beauty of BC is in the people. The people are some of the best and brightest in the country. There is no other place where you will be able to have the kind of thought provoking conversations that I have had in my experience. A true college education is about learning together and interacting with others. I have seen how the intense involvement of everyone on campus can bring people together. It is easy to see how BC looks like a bubble because BC students love hanging out with other BC students. We love being on campus because it is such a beautiful and amazing place to be. No one would put up with the cold winters if it weren’t for the great people and beautiful campus.
Truly, it’s not the buildings that are beautiful; it’s the hearts and minds of students here that make this place great. A university that has achieved excellence for so long would not still be standing if it weren’t for the alumni who come back every year and give back to the school and to the students. It’s a tight knit network of people who love this school and who love each other. If you have been afforded the opportunity to come to Boston College I would invite you to join this family and help us continue to achieve excellence.
-Ever to Excel
A Day In the Life of a Perspectives Student
by Carol Porges '19
Dear prospective student, I am a Perspectives student. That doesn’t simply mean I am a student with a perspective of freshman year at Boston College. Nor does it mean my personal perspective will align perfectly with your experiences should you choose to join our wonderful community this coming fall. What it does mean, however, is that I am one of many freshmen enrolled in the yearlong Philosophy-Theology interdisciplinary course entitled Perspectives.
Now, I hope you didn’t stop reading as soon as I mentioned Theology, because last year when I was in your shoes, I might have. I am not Catholic, and I was definitely skeptical about the religious aspect of BC as a Jesuit-Catholic institution. But I am here to tell you that while two semesters of Theology is a requirement for the common core curriculum, religion will play as large or as small a role in your life at BC as you choose it to.
Okay, now that my little disclaimer is over, I would like to shed a little more light on the Perspectives program in general. As previously mentioned, Perspectives is a full year, interdisciplinary course where we study the works of philosophers and theologians to examine different “perspectives” on how to live in the world. Since the course is interdisciplinary, it counts for double credits each semester. While this means Perspectives will meet twice as much as all your other courses each semester, if you choose to take it freshman year, you will have fulfilled all four of your philosophy and theology core requirements in one year! If I have not sold Perspectives enough, I wanted to take you through a typical Wednesday of my life at BC, a day where my Perspectives class meets twice, once in the morning and once at night.
9:00: wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast in my room
9:50: leave my dorm for the five minute walk down to Stokes Hall for my first class
10:00: begin Perspectives and discuss anyone from Plato to Machiavelli to Moses
10:50: walk to my next class across the quad
11:00: begin French class and practice a new language through group work and interactive assignments
11:50: meet my friends at Eagles Nest for a delicious lunch of tossed salads or handmade sandwiches and paninis
12:50: say goodbye to my friends to walk to my next class
1:00: begin Sociology class and discuss human nature and interactions in relation to society
1:50: head back to my room for a quick nap and some homework in the afternoon
5:00: meet some Perspectives friends for a dinner of flatbread pizza and veggie burgers at Addie’s before night class
6:00: start Perspectives Wednesday Night class and work in small groups, listen to presentations of classmates, and watch movies over the two and a half hour meeting
8:30: walk back up to my dorm to hang out with some friends
10:00: HOWL (Hanging. Out. Wednesdays. Late.) Wednesday night dorm bonding activity where we eat yummy snacks and make crafts with our floor
Surviving a "Tundra"
by Connie Lee ‘19
I thought the time for taking new milestones had been over for me. But I say that surviving below-zero temperatures has to go up there for a Texas girl.
Escaping heat and living in a place where the snow actually sticks to the ground while actually being able to wear snow boots and fluffy coats were some things I had been looking forward to before coming to Boston College. I have seen the most snow I have ever seen in my life already and have put to use my new UGG boots well. But the idea of negative degree weather had never crossed my mind.
Back home, I would be bundled up in a scarf, knit hat, gloves, and triple layers in weather. But here, I was forced to tough it out surrounded by Northeast natives and Minnesotans who tell me that 30 degrees is considered warm. Wrapped around in my felt scarf and ear muffs every day, my friends couldn’t even recognize me on the walk to the library.
College had put me into situations that forced me to adapt and learn on my own. Not being able to turn to my parents whenever I needed to, being in an entirely new environment, and having to take ownership of my own schedules have introduced me to life skills I probably wouldn’t have acquired otherwise. Surviving what I call a “tundra” is a minutiae of what my year so far at BC has consisted of and might be even somewhat superficial, but I know it will be something I look back on in the future.
I thank my roommate for constantly dealing with my questions about surviving the cold and constantly reassuring me that “yes, the city still runs in three inches of snow.”
I thank the beauty of warm clothes and my fellow Texans for the mutual support, helping me realize that I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t feel their toes.
But most of all, I thank the new experiences I have had at BC beyond the things I’ve explored in the classrooms and clubs I’ve become involved in. More than halfway into my first year in college, I’ve realized that college is very much about the whole experience. Grades, internships, and connections for careers are all important, but being at BC taught me that the time I spend here will only be worthwhile if I take in every little experience too—even if I have to tough some things out along the way.
Now, I have to admit that it’s nice being in toasty weather.
"The Student Admission Program is a special group at Boston College because REAL BC students are able to share a little bit of their experience. My volunteers work hard to send over 2,000 prospective students emails about their life on campus. It is such a rewarding experience for me to read their story and hear an authentic representation of what BC is like for everyone. Maybe you have even received one of those emails! This email comes from a committed and enthusiastic volunteer who has been with the Student Admission Program for two years. Nick Raposo, CSON 2018, is willing to share his experience on the blog, and for that I am grateful!"
Molly Nuell, LSOE 2016, Outreach and High School Visits Coordinator
My name is Nick Raposo and I am a sophomore in the Connell School of Nursing majoring in Nursing and minoring in Medical Humanities with a Global/Public Health focus. I’m writing to you to thank you for expressing your interest in Boston College! I want to offer you the opportunity to learn more about my time here and to ask questions about my BC experience so far.
I am originally from Fall River, Massachusetts. BC isn't too far from home, but I have loved my experience on campus so far. Last year I was involved in community service at a soup kitchen in Boston, I tutored at an after-school program at one of the local elementary schools, and I got involved with the Student Admission Program here -- the program that connects me to you! This year I am a Resident Assistant in a first-year residence hall, I tutor freshman nursing students, I teach Faith Formation classes on campus, and I am still heartily involved in the Student Admission Program.
I have had a great experience with academics here on campus. Though the transition to college was a difficult one for me, my professors helped me to adjust to the demands of a college workload successfully. My favorite course last year was PULSE. It is one of BC's signature courses that fulfills the Philosophy and Theology core requirements and includes a community service component. The service component landed me at the Haley House soup kitchen in downtown Boston at 5amevery Monday and Friday. There, I got to know, serve, and spend time with homeless men from around the city. It was an amazing experience for me throughout my first year that really connected me to the Boston College identity. As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, BC has challenged me to explore and deepen my own understanding of my role in the greater world in order to develop myself and better serve those around me. PULSE allowed me to weave my service experience at Haley House together with my academic and social growth throughout my first year here at BC.
Life on campus has also been great so far. Aside from academics, our campus is vibrant with clubs, groups, social organizations, and other aspects of student life. This weekend, some friends and I are going to watch Big Love, a play that our theatre department is putting on. Sports culture is huge here at Boston College -- even for someone like me who doesn't know much about sports or athletics. Football is winding down now, and hockey is just about picking up; it's a really exciting transition! However, this weekend is the big BC vs. Notre Dame Football Game at Fenway Park (where the Red Sox play!) and campus is amped up about it. We're also so close to the city that I love being able to take some time away from campus to explore Boston, especially before a busy school week starts up.
Thanks for reading through some of what I have to share. I hope that I have managed to hit on some points that strike you as especially interesting. If you want to learn more about anything at all, please email me! I would love to hear from you to learn about what you’re involved and interested in at your high school, how your college search is going, your potential college major, what clubs you might like to try, or anything else that you think makes BC seem like the right fit for you.
Here are a few ways that you can learn more about BC:
· I'm happy to help - you can definitely get in touch with me by this email (email@example.com)
· Contact the SAP Office at 617-552-3378 from Monday through Friday,9am to 5pm
· Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
· Check us out on Twitter and Instagram: @BC_Admission for both!
· Look up "Boston College Admission" on Facebook
· Scroll through the Student Admission Program website at www.bc.edu/sap and the Student Admission Program blog, which features plenty of student voices from here on campus
We're here as your Boston College resources, so please take advantage of us and keep in touch.
Best of luck with your college search!
Peace, Love, BC,
by Lauren Wry '18
Living in a dorm can be one of the most underrated aspects of college life.
I know some of you are probably thinking this is a ridiculous statement.
People don’t generally expect dorm life to be a highlight, given the fact that you’re
away from the comforts of home, and you’re sharing a bathroom, etc. But at the
heart of dorm life is the opportunity to live with all your friends.
Starting in the days of your freshman hall, your dormmates are some of your
closest friends. It makes sense; they’re the people you see the most so they tend to
be the people that you befriend first in this new environment. This privilege of living
with all your friends is so often overlooked. Really at no other time in your life can
you walk out your door and immediately be at your friend’s place. At home you
probably have to walk, or drive, or take the subway to meet up with your friends. I
don’t even have to put shoes on to go see mine. If you’re bored, or procrastinating,
or just having a rough day, it is so easy to instantly be with your closest friends to
help you out. Your freshman residence hall is, essentially, your group of built in
Freshman year friendships are also forged during floor-wide activities with
the RA. In the beginning of the year, freshmen have weekly programs to get to know
each other and bond, to help cultivate these friendships early. As the year
progresses, programs expand to include the whole building, like the weeklong de-
stressing programming surrounding finals. Just in case proximity to one another is
not enough, these programs encourage more conversations, which in turn create
As you move up to sophomore, junior and senior year, you get to continue to
live with your friends, with the added benefit of meeting new neighbors. Your
closest friends may all live in your 8-man with you so that you can continue to have
all the fun you had last year, with the added benefit of meeting all the people on
your new hall in their 8-mans as you pass them on the stairs or in the elevator.
One unique aspect of BC dorm life is that it doesn’t go away. At a lot of
schools, juniors and seniors move off campus, find their own apartments and
essentially break away from campus life. This is not so at BC. Some people live on
campus all four years. Others move off campus junior year, but move back senior
year. This means that up through senior year, students get to participate in the
community that dorm life fosters, so that they can make the most of their time on
campus. Even those who move off campus junior year live with their friends in
clusters of BC houses in the surrounding area.
Dorm life, despite its negative connotations, can be one of the best aspects of
college life if you let it. Dorm life at BC is particularly special because it continues
throughout the four years, so that students can make the most of their time as an
by Erica Pascocello '18
One of the biggest differences between high school and college that I recognized immediately upon arriving to BC was academic advising. In high school, my guidance counselors were all really nice people, but weren’t necessarily the most helpful in picking classes, or giving advice on steps in the future. Basically, I was pretty self-reliant all throughout high school and had to figure a lot out on my own. But it wasn’t necessarily hard because I sought advice from friends in older grades, or fellow peers going through the same experience. Coming to BC, however, where I didn’t know very many people on campus from my high school, and had no previous general understanding of classes and scheduling, my whole self-sufficient system of preparing myself academically was thrown out the window. Luckily, I had a great academic advisor as a freshman who was an enormous help. I met Amy Lacombe, a professor in the Carroll School of Management here at BC, for the fist time over the summer at orientation before even moving into college. Freshmen at BC select their classes for their first semester during one of eight orientation sessions in the summer, with the help and guidance of their advisor. She met with a small group of us and thoroughly explained the liberal arts core curriculum as well as how the CSOM core classes operated, and based on what we were planning to pursue as a field of study, Professor Lacombe worked with us individually to create the best schedule possible. In the Carroll School, your academic advisor is also your professor for Portico, a business ethics class required for all first semester freshmen in the business school. I got to develop a really close relationship with her since I saw her twice a week for class. For the rest of the year, she continued to be an invaluable resource for classes, declaring concentrations and minors, and other academic questions, but also just for talking about what’s going on in my life. Even this year as a sophomore, although she is not technically my advisor, I continue to go to her office hours to seek her advice on classes and studying abroad, and even just to catch up. In fact, she helped me secure a research assistant job on campus with another CSOM professor this year. If there is one piece of advice I would give to an incoming freshman, it would definitely be to get to know your academic advisor, because they can be the most helpful resource you have on campus not only in your first year, but for the rest of your time at BC and beyond.
The Perfect Location
by Lauren Wry '18
Coming from an incredibly small town, I wasn’t sure if I was prepared for life
in a big city. Senior year, when I was touring colleges and trying to make a decision, I
was wary of any campus that didn’t have plenty of grass. But I also didn’t want to be
in the middle of nowhere, I wanted a place where there is lots of activity. Luckily, BC
strikes this balance perfectly. We are close enough to Boston that there is plenty to
do, but just far enough so that we’re not overwhelmed by the city life.
BC sits at the end of the B line on the Boston transit system, and also close to
the C and D lines, which makes it incredibly easy to get into the city. There is always
more to see and do in Boston, from shopping to festivals to dining. If sports are your
thing, Fenway and TD Garden are well within your reach (although BC offers plenty
of sports right here on campus as well!). If you’re more into history, there is no place
with more American history than the city of Boston, which is teeming with historical
landmarks from the days of the revolution. There is plenty of culture to see as well,
evident from the various sections of the city (like the Italian North End) to the
various museums (like the Museum of Fine Art, which BC students get into for free!).
Some students even choose to work in the city if something piques their interest,
and many students volunteer at various locations. The city offers everything, from
shopping to festivals to ice skating during the winter months. There is always more
to do and see, and it is all easily within your reach at Boston College!
At the same time, the campus itself has plenty to offer if you don’t feel like
venturing into Boston. Our sports teams play year round on campus, there is a
museum with rotating exhibits in Devlin Hall, and there are regular shows by
theater, comedy and acapella groups which are always worth a watch. BC clubs also
bring in a variety of well known speakers to talk about hot topics and relevant
issues, and the opportunity to see some of these speakers is just too good to pass up.
Not to mention, your extracurricular activities will guarantee that you always have
plenty to do, and the friends that you meet along the way fill in the few extra time
slots you’ll have left.
No matter what your interest or comfort level is, BC’s location ensures that
there is always something to match it!
by Abigail Brown '18
Do I miss football season at Boston College? The obvious answer is yes! Football season at Boston College is like no other, especially considering we are Division 1. Not only do I wake up early on Saturday mornings to cheer on our team, I am excited to. The camaraderie and community at Boston College truly are exemplified in the stands of Alumni stadium, as we all cheer on the players, rain or shine. To be honest, I didn't go to one football game in my high school career, yet at Boston College, I haven't missed one. Boston College football is not something to be missed.
That being said, football season does inevitably come to a close. Bittersweet as it is, I have come to appreciate all the other extracurriculars BC has to offer. Sports-wise, hockey has now replaced the gaping hole in my heart that football has left. Hockey games are just as much fun, and you won't get rained on in Conte forum. In addition to sports, acapella concerts, dance performances, and comedy clubs have taken up countless hours. It seems I am quite fascinated in watching things I am not good at, namely sports and talent based performances.
To wrap it up, I am so fortunate to go to a school where sports are so valued, but so are culture clubs, dance organizations and theatre performances. One thing is for sure, there is never a lack of cool events to attend at Boston College. Everyone here is so talented, and their talent is certainly fostered!
The Screaming Eagle
by John Grimaldi '18
The Screaming Eagle, more affectionately known as the “Steak and Chee”, as my friends and I like to call it, is one of the most popular sandwiches served here at BC. Some may liken it to a Philly Cheese Steak, but it is much more than that. It is a separate category of its own that is so unique to the culture of Boston College. You can find it at Lower Dining Hall every day for dinner, and late night, and select times during the week at Mac over on Middle Campus.
One day early on in my freshman year, I was with a good friend of mine on a simple Tuesday afternoon when I stumbled upon the Steak and Cheese line in Mac. It was off-peak hours so there was no line, which was amazing because students usually wait upwards of 30-45 minutes just to get their hands on one of these sandwiches. I was intimidated at first because there were so many different signs explaining the steps in the process. Or I should say, the art of constructing the Screaming Eagle. The beauty is in the customization. Choice of vegetables consists of caramelized onions, red peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms of course. You can choose Steak or Chicken as your meat, or add double meat if you so choose. Sauces range from BBQ, Chipotle Mayo (a fan favorite), and Teriyaki. All of this is topped with white American cheese and a classic American sub roll. As American as they come and as fattening as it sounds, this sandwich is sure to blow your mind and encourage you to get on over to the Plex (our recreation center) after class.
As I sat there eating that Steak and Cheese for the first time I realized that there was one more amazing thing that I could look forward to at BC for the next four years. No matter how small it may seem I’ll always have the Steak and Cheese and the best of friends to share it with.
“The Tort Classic” – Double Chicken with Cheese, Chipotle Mayo & Teriyaki
“The Grimaldi Special” – Double Steak with Cheese, Onions, Red peppers, & Chipotle Mayo
Leading the Way
Alec Ellis '17
When one of the BC splash e-board members approached me about becoming a Splash leader, I have to admit that I really didn’t want to do it. A Sunday consisting of working with high school kids did not sound appealing to me, mostly because I normally sleep in on the weekends. Basically, the way the program works is that high school students come to BC and take classes that are interesting to them, while learning a bit more about college in the process. The reason I decided to be a Splash leader was because I really liked the idea of helping high school students learn about college academics and the freedom to find classes that are interesting to each individual person. However, I still had no idea what to expect on the day of my first Splash lesson. On that particular Sunday, my group partner and I were assigned a group of kids to play icebreakers with and help out as they went to their classes. I had so much fun holding up a sign as we welcomed all of the kids and then proceeded to learn all about them and play games with them. This fun continued throughout the entire day, and one my favorite times was lunch when all of the kids ate with the Splash leaders and asked us all about college and the college life. What I thought would be an unexciting day turned out to be a great day full of laughs and new friendships. It occurred to me that we could miss so much if we sleep in too late. I did all of these events before many college kids even woke up, and I was very glad I did so. BC Splash turned out to be one of my favorite days at Boston College, and I will almost certainly be participating next year.
Singing as a Passion
by Arev Doursounian '17
I sing in the University Chorale, and this past weekend we performed a series of three Christmas concerts in conjunction with the Boston College Symphony Orchestra, who sounded absolutely beautiful. We sang sixteen Christmas classics; everything from the timeless Hark the Herald Angels Sing to a moving rendition of Ave Maria. Each night, the audience was invited to sing along. From the perspective of a singer, it was amazing to see how traditional Christmas songs could move people so strongly. Audience members became very emotional and invested in the pieces we were singing; it was clear that our music meant a lot to them, and being able to contribute to those feelings simply by singing—by doing what I love to do most—was incredible. As per usual, the concert ended with the Hallelujah chorus, and our director, John Finney, invited alumni of the Chorale to come up and sing it with us. Many audience members did indeed join us, which demonstrated the strength and timelessness of alumni’s bond to Boston College, and especially to the music program. I’m so happy to be a part of it!
P.S. I learned this weekend that Mr. Clinton Kelly, of What Not To Wear, not only graduated from BC, but was President of the Chorale during his time here! My friends and I had the pleasure of meeting him after our Friday show. He was very nice, and of course, extremely well-dressed. (That’s me on the left!)
A Day in the Life of.. A Student-Athlete
by Cecilia Milano '18
I have my morning routine down to a tee. Rowing has made the mornings I can “sleep in” a luxury I am not willing to shorten. My alarm goes off at 8:15, I’m walking to breakfast at 8:30, and then I walk from Mac to class at 8:50.
At 9 am my first class, a requirement for the Arts and Sciences Honors Program, begins. Already in my practice clothing, I learn about the classics, and find myself wondering if Odysseus’ crew was as sore as I am that day after rowing him across the Mediterranean. Between the end of class at 10:15 and my 11 am, I try and get some reading done so I don’t have quite as much to do that night (an early bedtime is a must). Sometimes I even fit in a bagel for a second breakfast to hold me through practice. At 11, I head to Devlin 008 to learn about America’s evolution and place in the world.
From there, I walk to Alumni Stadium, where the vans pick us up to head to the boathouse. Practice starts at 12:20 and for the next two hours I find that all the stresses of classes or friends or family dissolve into the glistening water of the Charles that I am fortunate enough to row on. The focus and intensity of the sport is incredible; in the boat I’m truly part of something larger than just myself and 7 other athletes.
After practice ends and we’re driven back to campus, I grab a quick lunch at 2:30 before heading to my genetics class at 3. Because I come right from practice, this hour and a quarter goes more slowly than my morning classes. Sweaty and often still recovering from whatever difficult workout we did that day, I am so thankful I find the subject matter interesting.
At 4:15 I head back up to upper campus where I live and at last shower and change. Often I have to take a 30-minute nap to restore my energy before I embark on the uphill battle of homework. From then until about 6:30 I try and finish my reading and get some studying in for pop map quizzes in my political science class. For dinner I meet up with my friends and use that as my study break.
After dinner, I get as much work done as possible until about 10:30 when I get ready for bed. My bedtime always comes up faster than I’d like, and sometimes it even feels early, but I always make myself fall asleep. My alarm goes off at 6 the next morning, I walk to practice at 6:10, and (since the river is still frozen) I’m running by 6:35.
While my schedule is packed, I wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep-ins in the world. I have cherished being part of a team at BC. It has given me a community I am so grateful for and has helped me see all the incredible opportunities BC has to offer.
Broadening Academic Scopes & Interests
by Priya Atiyeh '18
Though I am not a student in the Carroll School of Management (CSOM), I decided to take Professor Thomas Wesner's Business Law class. This class has not only exposed me to the intricacies of business law and analyzing cases, but it also has allowed me to develop certain characteristics to become a more astute individual overall by looking more closely at matters to gain more insight. I am a political science major and international studies minor and this class cultivated a greater interest in pursuing Pre-Law through the dynamic classroom environment and more personal learning experience not impeded by technological distractions. Professor Wesner's tips on how to efficiently take notes by splitting the page in half, the left side devoted to the student's notes on reading and the right side devoted to the professor's comments, has been an applicable method for my other classes as well. The IRAC method for analyzing cases has shaped me into a more methodical student, honing in on the important facts and abandoning inconsequential details. Business Law has broadened my scope of knowledge and understanding and for that I am eternally grateful.
My Life as a Baby Eagle
by Mary Kate O'Neill '17
Something you probably know about BC, whether you’ve experienced it first hand or not, is how much of a family school it is. So many times you hear, “Oh my mom came here,” or “My cousins all came here,” or even, more often than one would expect, the nonchalant, “Yeah, my entire family went to BC.” Now, you could definitely argue that the same is true at a lot of different schools, but the BC family connection definitely holds its own when stacked up against other competitive schools.
Growing up the eldest child of two very proud Eagles, Boston College was essentially all I knew in terms of what “college” was. I’d been to more than my fair share of tailgates on Shea and hockey games in Conte Forum, and I could have counted on one hand the number of colleges I had seen besides BC when my formal college search began towards the end of my sophomore year of high school. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely loved BC, but there was an unyielding curiosity burning within me that made me want to see as many other schools as possible. People would always say to me, “Well BC’s your top choice right?” just because they knew what it meant to my parents. I hungrily sought out other, more ideal, options for me, tirelessly looking for that “perfect” school, but never quite reaching that moment of blissful realization people always talked about when setting foot on their dream school’s campus.
It was towards the end of my college search process that I considered that perhaps the reason I had not had the “Aha!” moment I was anticipating was because I had already had mine, a while back, without even realizing. I spent so much of my energy trying to convince myself that Boston College wasn’t my number one school just because I wanted to be my own person and be 100% sure of any decision I made, no family biases considered. However, BC had become a standard that I held all other colleges I visited to. Between its location, its Jesuit tradition, its size, its school spirit, its athletics, its campus, and its staff, Boston College was the benchmark that I always fell back on when looking at another school. Plus, the fact that my experience at Boston College would be something I could share with my own glory-days-loving BC Alum parents was just icing on the cake. As soon as I realized this, I quickly understood that BC was the place for me if I was lucky enough to be admitted.
Fast-forward three years and here I am now… A second-semester sophomore at Boston College, daughter of two BC Alumni, and I can confidently say that I am blessed to be a baby eagle. While my parents’ memories of their own BC experiences do impose some kind of pressure to constantly be having fun and soaking up everything awesome BC has to offer, I have learned to make it my own in ways that are both challenging and satisfying. Everything may not be the same, but MA’s is still open, the Mods are still standing, the Hockey team is still good, and we still don’t like BU all that much… More importantly, the people of BC, are the same enthusiastic and passionate individuals today that they were in 1985 when my parents were here. Yes, my parents still reminisce every single time they visit. And yes, my dad can’t make a trip to Chestnut Hill without grabbing a slice of cheese from Pino’s. And of course, my mom has told me countless stories of my dad’s college antics. But all in all, I couldn’t be more blessed and excited to share in such a huge part of my world with the two people that brought me here.
Whether or not you are a baby eagle yourself, there is no denying that BC is a special place, a place any one would want their own children to experience in a perfect world. The senses of community, love, service, pride, and tradition that permeate throughout campus are infectious sentiments. They are the kind of sentiments that spur nostalgic reminiscing among alumni, camaraderie and friendship among classmates, and eminent joy on the lucky seniors’ faces when they open their acceptance letters.
A Woman for Others
by Arev Doursounian '17
On December 7th, myself and a few other Executive Board members of BC’s Bellarmine Pre-Law Society volunteered in Roslindale with Habitat For Humanity. We arrived on site to find the construction of an unfinished house, and were instructed to each grab a pair of safety glasses, a hammer, some nails, and work gloves, and to head right up to the third floor (which had no roof or walls!). The four of us got to work right away hammering nails into two-by-fours, placing individual pieces together to form the walls of the house, and filling them with foam insulation. It was remarkable how much work had to go into the creation of just one wall—our small group worked together for six hours and the fruit of our labor was only a piece of the puzzle that was the construction of the house as a whole. Yet, we did more than simply hammer away; we helped to build someone’s future home. It’s so incredible to think that one day, people will live under the roof we assisted in creating; we will have helped others in ways we cannot even imagine. I’m so grateful to have been able to participate, and encourage anyone who has the opportunity to volunteer his or her time with Habitat For Humanity; you will not regret it! It’s just another one of the ways that students here at Boston College can represent the Jesuit ideal of “men and women for others,” and to truly make a difference.
To register to volunteer, please visit http://www.habitat.org/.
Pictured above is the house we worked on!
by Kimberly Pace '17
At Boston College there are many places to go to study, catch up with a friend, or simply people watch. My favorite happens to be The Chocolate Bar in Stokes Hall. I absolutely love the calm, coffee house vibe coupled with such close proximity to classes. Being in the Carroll School of Management, I do not get the chance to go over to Stokes very often so the Chocolate Bar is a nice escape from Fulton Hall (which houses most of my CSOM classes). I particularly enjoy hanging out there when I have an essay to write; nothing keeps me going like the smell of coffee and the readily available famous giant cookies. Unlike a library where the stress level can get a bit too high for my tastes, the Chocolate Bar has an equal amount of people grabbing a chai latte with friends as it does people studying for exams, averaging the stress out to a nice, neutral level. The Chocolate Bar, to me, resembles a mini-Boston College; it has social students that know when to get work done in a calm and relaxed manner.