The Real Reason Boston College Students are in Such Good Shape
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Lower, Middle, Upper, Newton, and Brighton Campuses comprise Boston College. While students live and study among these locations, only one houses undergraduate classes. No matter where an undergrad lives, he or she must arrive to Middle Campus each day for class. At many other universities, this may mean that students casually walk across campus, some students can enjoy riding bikes from one class to another, and other students may even take public transportation from one end of campus to another. How must students at BC either arrive to class or go back to their dorm room? They must take the stairs. BC did not get its nickname of “The Heights” for no reason.
Any student at BC will tell you how the Higgins Stairs are either their savior on a day they cannot make it to the Plex, or their worst nightmare when the stairs remind them of how much they need to go work out at the Plex. The journey from Lower Campus to morning classes can be a struggle while trying to juggle coffee and carry a large bag full of books. Students on Upper Campus are not exempt from the stair phenomenon either. They have it a bit easier on their way to class, but when they go home to their dorm room after a long day, a mountain of stairs awaits them. Many may think that the Newtonites actually luck out here, as their bus drops them off at Middle Campus, and they have a beautiful walk down Linden Lane. Anyone who has ever had to walk up the Duchesne hill at 8 a.m., however, knows that getting to the bus involves an uphill journey.
There is another option: the elevators. With an option like that, one may wonder why undergraduates even bother consider taking the stairs—but wait, there’s more. Even if a student takes the Hillside elevators, he or she must walk up the stairs through the CTRC. The elevator in the garage leads to a large parking lot followed by, most presumably, a walk through O’Neill Plaza. Even with its beautiful new grass, O’Neill Plaza has stairs too. This is all before a student even arrives to a building, where they must take more stairs within the building if their class is on any other floor than the first. The Heights is a never-ending obstacle of stairs.
Having many, many stairs on campus is not necessarily a bad aspect to BC. It is something, though, that differentiates the University from most. Not every college student can say that they have done a 120-stair workout before their professor even utters a word. Come springtime, when Lent occurs, some BC students choose to “give up” taking the elevators, realizing the added health benefit of the stairs. Maybe all of this stair climbing has something to do with the recent ranking by College Magazine deeming BC guys as the 10th “hottest” among American college students.
The terrain of BC may be a bit daunting at first to a new undergraduate coming from a small, flat high school campus. Upon graduation, if not yet pleased with campus, most will at least be comfortable and used to the hilly area. If all else fails and someone can simply not handle the stairs one day, a student still has one remaining option. Walk all the way to Beacon Street or Commonwealth Avenue and walk up a hill. Yes, that’s correct, a hill is still involved. Our university is called the Heights for a reason, and the stair-filled campus contributes to the definition of BC.