The Best and Worst Decisions Freshmen Students Make at Boston College
Boston College Freshman
By Amanda Colwell
Unigo Campus Rep at Boston College
The first week at BC may seem a little intimidating. If you did not go to boarding school, you are probably not used to living in a dorm room or being constantly surrounded by your peers. However, that first week is very important.
From my experience, I found that making an effort to be outgoing, even when you feel like being shy, is the best way to get acquainted with others right away. BC students tend to break off into cliques midway through first semester of freshman year. If you take advantage of the times when people want to make friends, your social life will thank you.
I spent my first week mingling with many of the girls who lived on my hall: I kept my door open, sat down at random dinner tables and participated in all of the social events held for freshman. By the end of the week, I felt more comfortable in my new environment and met a great group of friends. Those rewards greatly outweighed the occasional feelings of awkwardness.
If you are having trouble socializing, talk to your resident assistant, resident director, peer minister or a professor. These people want to help. Daniel Harvey, class of ‘09, said one of the best things he did as a freshman was get to know his peer minister.
“He was a cool guy to talk to—had advice for me on everything, from school work to girls. He definitely helped me settle into BC life. I still keep in touch with him today,” Harvey said.
Sophomore Christine Duggan suggested taking part in volunteer programs or retreats.
“BC offers a lot of programs that help freshmen get integrated into college life,” Duggan said. “Sign up for 48 Hours, Kairos, an Arrupe Immersion Trip, a random retreat, anything! BC has reflection programs specifically for freshmen and others that combine kids of all class years—they are a great way to meet people and a lot of fun.”
It is common for freshmen to solve socializing problems with alcohol. Harvey regretted that he let partying take a toll on his grades during his first year at BC.
“I drank a lot during my first semester to get to know people… it was a fun time, but definitely not worth the damage it did to my GPA,” Harvey said. “After getting all A’s in high school, I started settling for C’s.”
Duggan added, “I did not drink much in high school… it is important to know your limits before you do things you’ll later regret.”
Besides the social aspect of college, freshmen need to learn the ins and outs of handling academics. Paige Salvia, a senior, found using the internet to buy textbooks to be a big money saver.
Salvia suggested using amazon.com, adding, “If you e-mail your professors over the summer, they will usually e-mail you back with a reading list.”
I also suggest waiting before you buy odds and ends for your dorm room. I brought bed raisers and a full length mirror only to discover the bed in my dorm room was extremely high and the room already had a full length mirror. Plus, a more appealing incentive, after summer ends, the back to school sales begin…
However, “Do not wait,” Salvia stressed, “to buy football tickets. They sell out quickly. Even if you don’t like football, buy the tickets your freshman year. Everyone goes, the games are a blast!”