BU is a big school but it's not impersonal. Because BU is so large there are opportunities for all different types of students to find their niche and develop their interests. There are a lot of different ways to find your place within BU. The first way many freshmen find their place is through their dorm. Living in a large dorm like Warren Towers or West makes it easy to meet a lot of other freshmen very quickly. Some students feel really passionate about their specific school or college, make friends in their classes, join student government. About 10% of students are involved in Greek life so that's another opportunity for students (but it doesn't run BU, so don't stress if it's not your thing, you won't be left out.) If the groups above aren't going to cut it, don't worry, we have over 500 student organizations! Join the community service center, one of the largest student groups on campus; get involved with spectrum, BU's LGBT organization; audition for an a capella group or an indian dance team; attend a meeting at the meditation club; try out rowing on the charles river or learn what broom ball is (BU's most popular inter mural sport; and of course go to a hockey game! It might take some time to figure out exactly what your thing is at BU and to find your place, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for you here! There are hipsters, there are nerds, there are international students, there are sorority girls, there are future politicians, educators, doctors, lawyers, and journalists (and often times these stereotypes and labels overlap). BU is the perfect place for motivated, open students who are excited to step outside of the comfort zone, challenge themselves, and enjoy college!
I had a hard time getting used to the student body. Even in my third year, I still haven't many friends; I come from a very different background than most BU kids. BUers say they are middle class -- they aren't. They are ridiculously wealthy, but don't always realize it. I grew up in trailers and run-down public housing. I never have extra money laying around, and never have. The high school I went to was a big, urban school. About 3% of the graduating class went to college, and I was one of two that went to a private college. We had a 65% dropout rate. BUers don't get where I'm from. They don't understand how hard I worked in high school, how I know what it's like to go through metal detectors to enter a building. So yeah, I'm an extreme example, but nonetheless it's rough when kids complain their parents are cutting their allowances to only $1000 a month. I'd love to have some help from my parents, but it's just not feasable. Other than that, the student body is diverse. I know people from all over the world now, which is really cool. A good eighth of the males are gay. If you walk down a hallway, you'll see every race possible -- but keep in mind they all grew up in the same nice suburban neighbourhoods. There's religious groups on campus, but there's a LOT of atheists and agnostics. I'm atheist and found it was pretty neat to have people quoting Ayn Rand or Richard Dawkins instead of the bible.
I feel that we could do some more about diversity here on campus. Sure, we have all types of students here from so many different backgrounds but we could use some more minorities on campus. The dress code here on campus is different from everyone else. We do have a lot of tights going around now matched with boots and the typical showing off of the "UGGS". That of course applies to the ladies on campus. For the men, they have so many different brands on them. As a girl I notice Hollister, Gap, some punk and goth here and there too. I think financially, we have a lot of upper middle class and a lot of upper class here on campus. This school is very expensive and I know not everyone is able to get financial aid or grants so I do see a lot of kids with so many expensive things on them which makes me think that they are very well-off. Students should be politically aware but we don't have that much going around on campus. We do have events here organized by the Democrats or Republicans on campus. We occasionally get the political activist group, "La Rouche", on campus usually harassing the students. We joke around here and call the "The Douche" because we hate it when they badger us with their very strong and opinionated political beliefs.
For the most part in my experience there has not been a great deal of racism on BU's campus (in comparison with other campuses I've been at), but then again, I'm also white. Religious students are accepted for the most part, LGBT students have it slightly harder, in my opinion. Socio-economic diversity is essentially non-existant. The vast majority of BU students are rich, affluent white kids. Students who are do not consider themselves mainsteam will not like BU. Most students dress in the current fashions and are very appearance-conscious. Different students do interact, but cliques don't really develop except among students in very specialized majors so feeling isolated is a problem that most students I know have felt at one point or another, despite whether they are different from most other students or not. Most BU students are from the either the East Coast (New England, New York, or Pennsylvania) or from California. Students are not as politically aware as they should be, but they are probably about average for most college campuses. They tend to be very liberal. Students talk about which careers will earn them the most money.
I have had some experience the past few years working with two BU theater groups, Stage Troupe and BU On Broadway. The former does primarily straight stage shows and the latter musicals, and I've worked for both mainly in a technical capacity. I've worked construction before, and enjoy building things. There is nothing quite like being there from the moment a set is designed all the way through the construction, erection, painting and decoration process, and then watching how the actors use the space you've built to put on a show. Both of these groups have tremendously talented membership, and Stage Troupe has the resources and facilities to put up some very technically challenging shows. I have loved working with both organizations, and have met some of my best friends through these activities. I think it's something about working side by side with people until 3 AM trying to level a set of doors or something--by the end you're either going to love them or you'll hate them. With Troupe and OB, chances are you'll have made a friend.
Again, my time at BU was mainly spend within the College of Fine Arts, where I was fortunate enough to have a close knit community of friends. BU's campus is a large one with an even larger population of students. At times it can be hard and overwhelming to meet new people, but overall I would say that I was surprised with the diversity and friendliness of BU students. To go into the GSU, a popular place to eat and study, one would see a room full of 100+ tables with moderately diverse students. Most of which would be eating a slice of pizza or a salad while studying with a group of 10 or more other classmates, all with lap tops open. It seemed to me that while there were a good number of students from the Northeast, the balance came in students from not only other parts of the country, but from overseas as well. BU benefits from a large number of study abroad programs across all Colleges and Majors. People always felt open to letting me and other friends join in at a table or in a game of frisbee on the BU beach.
Someone who wasn't a go-getter or shy would be out of place. Someone who had at least somewhat established who they were and had an open mind would do great. I've met people from every race, religion, orientation, socioeconomic background and my group of friends is definitely a big mix. The only thing we have in common is we work hard but still want to make time every once in a while to just slow down and relax and have fun. You'll see almost semiformal outfits to pajamas. We don't look down on any of it. Unless you haven't showered. All types of students interact. The largest social division is probably between East and West campus. West is almost all CFA and CGS. They party more, but people in the other colleges are a little snobby about not being in their college. We joke about how much we'll earn. We've decided if we're still friends that the failing ones will have to live in cardboard boxes, but that the successful ones will allow them to live in their cardboard boxes in their mansions.
BU consists of a large diversity of students, in ever meaning of the word: diverse ethnically, geographically, socioeconomically, and religiously. While predominantly white, most (if not all) races and ethnicities are represented. Sure, there are a lot of rich kids (BU IS an expensive private school) but also students like me who wouldn't be attending BU without the generous financial aid received. There are students from nearly every US state, and many international students. I think it's invaluable to interact with students from different places around the country and world. From what I've come across, students at BU are very open and accepting to different backgrounds. I honestly don't even know the economic backgrounds of the people I've come across because no one is really obnoxious about it or flaunts it. I don't think anyone would feel out of place at BU. Since there's such a large student body, there's a niche for everyone.
Although BU has a large student body, the students are hardly diverse. In all of the classes I have been in in my freshman year, there were little to no minority students in any of them. Most girls dress up everyday for class; longchamp bags, flats, designer jeans, expensive shirts, necklaces, charm bracelets, and tons of makeup. The boys are more casual, but a little frat boy jock-y. There are few alternative or sort of "out there" students. The majority of the student body is preppy and shallow. And these students don't really overlap. In the dining hall there are the nerdy boys and girls around their computers studying all the time, the preppy girls eating only fruit and looking at their phones, the preppy boys talking about their parties and girls, and then there are random people sitting alone. a lot of the students are from New Jersey, New York, Texas, and California.
One word to describe the BU community is diverse. There are students from a variety of races, religious groups, sexual orientations, and socio-economic groups. I don't believe that there is one person that would feel left out in the BU community. Besides these widely known categorizations BU has over 500 groups so everyone can feel like they belong to something. There are a lot of students at BU from California, New York, Boston, and various international countries. However, I am pretty sure that there is a student from every state in the United States and a large number of different countries. Different types of students do interact at BU, most everyone is open to new things and meeting new people. If you meet someone in class, on an elevator, or in the dining hall, you will never feel rejected even if you just start small talk.