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Words of advice and encouragement for the freshman class of 2015

Heights Staff

Published: Monday, September 26, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Hey, freshmen! Congratulations! You're closing in on the end of your first month of college. Honestly, it's a pretty significant milestone, one that's even worth being commemorated by a roommate-arm-around-the-back photo in front of your door and the casual one finger thrown up in the air (which can signify one month or the number of times you've left Newton Campus on a Friday). But I kid, for there are far more pressing matters at hand with the advent of this milestone.

You all probably have a fairly lengthy list of friends right now that has grown tenfold due to orientation, the boat cruise, that time you met those pretty chill dudes in the Wok-Away line at Mac, cupcake decorating at the O'Connell House, and so on and so forth. Boston College definitely gives you enough opportunities to meet your fellow freshmen souls dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and a mastery of Super Smash Bros, enough to fill your head with nameless faces and faceless names. (The latter is much less common but sounds way creepier and thus bolsters my argument.) In addition to your intense workload and trying to ward off that legendary 15 pounds like it's some voodoo hex, this sudden rush of information can be overwhelming for some, which is exactly why I'm telling you to start whittling down the friend list.

Making cuts certainly isn't the easiest thing to do in the world. Just ask Michael Jordan's freshman basketball coach or our president. However, I'm here to mentor you through the process. There are a few types of awful, miserable people at BC whom you should just avoid like the plague or risk suffering a terrible four years in Chestnut Hill. By heeding my advice and staying far, far away from these depraved hoodlums of society, you'll probably go on to experience a wildly prosperous and well-rounded life that culminates in the purchase of a 68-foot yacht whose name is derived from some nautical BC-related pun ("Snorkelin' Commons," anyone?).

Firstly, people who don't acknowledge you when you sneeze are undoubtedly the most awful cast of characters put on this earth, so if you're close with anyone who's been guilty of this crime, ditch them immediately. There's a wide array of acceptable pardons for a sneeze, ranging from the simplest "Bless you," to the German "Gesundheit," or even the casual, "Wow, that was a doozy," for those who set off minor earthquakes during allergy season. Basically, this vast repertoire really means that there is no excuse when it comes to not pardoning someone for a sneeze. Here's a helpful tip: When I sneeze in a classroom, I keep a mental note of everyone that doesn't say "Bless you" in one of its many forms, and these notes essentially translate to "You can no longer roll with me in the future." In fact, if your roommate is guilty of this sin, he or she is probably the one who got you sick in the first place; I'd request to be moved within the week.

Secondly, people who won't hold the door open for you probably have some sort of criminal record. BC seemingly revolves around a culture of door-holding, which can be seen in its finest form while walking out of the fourth floor of Maloney Hall or walking into the third floor of O'Neill Library. Complete strangers hold doors open for the young, the old, the fatigued, and the energized. I've literally watched as a woman in a wheelchair propped open the door of Bapst Library for a kid who was easily more than a minute behind her. Alright, maybe I haven't seen that exact scenario play out, but I'm trying to make a point that the door of Bapst is both ancient and heavy, and someone who won't put in the effort to thrust it open for you is simply not worthy of your friendship. This can be an awkward way of removing people from the list. On more than one occasion, I've walked away mid-conversation with past acquaintances while going into Mac, never to speak to these people again. But don't fret, for it's worth it to weed out these non-door-holders in the long run. Never again will I be forced to bump into a glass door. Never again will I have to suffer through the chuckles of unknown passersby. This is the kind of stuff that gives way to PTSD.

Lastly, your fellow classmates who genuinely enjoy and have faith in the industry of 3-D television and movies are enemy spies. Don't associate yourself with them anymore. Before you know it, you'll be spending your Friday nights watching Hawaii 5-0 on your hallmate's plasma 3-D television and wondering, in your bespectacled shame, "What did I do wrong to land myself in this position?" Seriously, does anyone actually like to pay four extra dollars to experience the excitement of reaching out at an intangible cannonball? With the exception of Lion King 3-D, which is the most important American cultural phenomenon since Michael Phelps won all the gold in China, 3-D entertainment is a doomed fad. And if a friend of 3-D entertainment is also a friend of yours, he or she is a doomed friend.

While making friends during freshman year, the best thing you can do is just have an open mind and be sociable toward everyone. However, if you follow my instructions, it only makes forming that eight-man at the end of the year that much easier. And trust me, they go fast. Best of luck!


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