Opinions, Column

The Beauty of Being Back On Campus

It was a constant topic of conversation over the summer. Senior year of college: Are you excited? Do you have career plans after the g-word? Are you actually going to do a lot of schoolwork? And, of course, do you live in a house for senior year?

(First of all, give me a warning before you’re going to ask me a question like that. No, I did not get a Mod. Yes, it still hurts.)

But the real answer to that question—that, in fact, I am living in a room that looks eerily similar to my Walsh eight-man (minus two friends and a cockroach)—left people bewildered. Convincing my distant aunts, great uncles, cousins, and former high school crushes alike that it’s actually a cool and normal thing to live on campus proved to be no easy task. Back to RAs, dining hall meals (grilled chicken and two sides, anyone?), roommates, and dorm furniture? We choose to do that?

Yes, we do. As a proud member of the Student Admission Program (SAP), I can report to you that 96 percent of seniors live on campus senior year at Boston College. It’s an astounding stat, to say the least, but before I made the transition this fall from off-campus housing, I didn’t have much more of an argument than “Well, it’s what everyone does.” I don’t mention the fact that I prayed to every Jesuit, god, demigod, and my roommate’s mom named Mary Theresa, who seemed holy enough to me, for one of those ramshackle red buildings in the middle of campus with doubles the size of a closet, dead grass, and a shared grill. They don’t need to know that—it’s personal, and I don’t need to bring up such a fresh wound. Again.

But I digress.

Living on campus is like taking a breath of fresh air. I don’t have to worry about break-ins, nor do I wake up in a sweat wondering if National Grid is going to leave us to the mercy of a Boston winter because I forgot to pay the bills. When things go wrong, I don’t have to call my dad and ask him how adults handle a leaky sink or a burst oil tank. I simply submit a work order from the comfort of my bed or, if things get really ugly, I can just call my RA in a panic, and it’s actually her job to listen to me. I’m already halfway up the fake Million Dollar Stairs when I wake up, and it only takes me five minutes to get to my 9 a.m. I get to see people in the elevator and in my hallway, and we even have neighbors whose conversations I can hear through the wall!

On-campus housing is convenient, no doubt. But while it helps me avoid the adult responsibilities that are looming in my all-too-near future, it also reinforces one of my favorite things about going to school here: community. So many of us choose to live on campus because, you know, we want the chance to live in those “temporary” housing units, but we also choose to live on campus because it means we live less than a mile from nearly the whole senior class.

In a cliché, High School Musical kind of way, we’re all in this together. It’s our last hurrah, the last time we’ll live in a building with hundreds of other people our age and a direct roommate who just so happens to have identical furniture and the exact same twin bed. After working our own jobs last summer or being independent abroad, it can feel weird returning back to such a “college” way of living, but it’s a way for us to take one step back before it all becomes our responsibility. Forever. And, I mean, think about it—how many other apartments in Boston can provide such a phenomenal view of the ever-beautiful Corcoran Commons?

Slim to none, I’d say.

Featured Graphic by Anna Tierney / Graphics Editor

September 9, 2018