As an initial disclaimer, I love this institution. There was never a moment I felt disdain for or (too many) adverse emotions toward this school, even when I had negative friends and lived in a Kostka double. My first interaction with Boston College was actually at a ripe 6 years old, walking into a Mod with a wrinkled nose and exclaiming, “People actually LIVE here?!”
I think they’ve been renovated since then. Either that, or my living standards have dropped mightily.
Anyway, the Eagles run in the family. My mom went here, then my older brother went here, so naturally, I followed suit. I’m an admissions panelist because I love talking about this school so much. Some might even say I bleed maroon and gold.
But, as most seniors and probably any upperclassmen can attest, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what is so exceptional about this place. We’re jaded—we pass by Gasson in a hurry without stopping to admire how great she looks in this lighting, we take advantage of things like the farmer’s market at Lower without a second thought, and we don’t even consider how lucky we are to have classes with incredibly brilliant, inspiring professors just because we’re so used to it. I was in that category myself. I hadn’t thought about the unique BC-isms that contribute so strongly to my happiness here in probably two years—but then my little brother moved into a triple in Keyes North four weeks ago. A humbling experience, to say the least. His non air-conditioned room that reeks of sports equipment (lacking a spacious storage unit like the ones we have in Ruby) and shared bathroom spaces made me feel nostalgic, certainly, but mostly grateful. Score one for Hillsides.
My brother’s venture into the first few weeks of freshman year initially had me feeling only massive amounts of relief that I wasn’t the one going through that again (you know, the small talk, the constant fear of not knowing who you’re going to eat your next meal with, wondering what on earth the name of that girl who always knows yours is, etc.) and minor amounts of pity for him. I was ready to help him out in any and all ways I could, thinking he would need his cool older sister to show him the ropes. I was promptly put in my place, though, as he joined more clubs than I could even list off the top of my head and went to two sporting events in the city that I hadn’t even known were happening. A necessary ego check for me, I suppose.
As he grew more comfortable being here, our conversations were less about how he was so tired of asking people where they’re from and more about the uniquely BC things he started to discover on his own:
“The coffee selection in the Rat is incredible. This place is basically an Au Bon Pain.”
He did have a point here. I had never thought of the Au Bon Pain parallel myself, but on second thought, it seems legit. The iced coffee is great, the pumpkin muffins are truly next level, the cereal selection is the best on campus, and you can get a hot dog at all hours of the day. Sounds like an Au Bon Pain plus, if you ask me.
“And do you know they’ll just make you whatever panini you want at Stu? I also got stuffed shells last night. Every meal I’ve had has been literally delicious.”
I’m no Newtonite and can’t totally relate to the hoorah around Stuart, but it’s nonetheless nice to hear some praise around the more adventurous dinner options. I had gotten stuck in a rut of chicken and two sides myself. This was the motivation I needed to try that Thai Salmon Crunch Bowl.
My mom told me my brother called her to explain how football games at Big Ten schools like Michigan and Wisconsin just had to be so overrated. I believe he described Alumni Stadium as a more “personal” experience. (And, hey, did you hear the news? We’re ranked now. Practically equivalent to a Big Ten team, anyways.)
He loves the food, loves the innumerable clubs he can apply to (key word there is, of course, apply), loves the culture and the sports and his classes. He raves about his professors and the way they connect Socrates to current events, is enamored with Hillside sandwiches, and has yet to complain too heavily about the Newton bus. Not only am I incredibly proud of him for taking advantage of everything there is at this school, but I’m inspired, too.
His freshman experience has made me think twice, bringing me back to those initial weeks when everything was new and I really couldn’t escape the thought of how truly lucky we are to be here. While he can look ahead at everything there is for him, I’m already on the other side of things, looking back at all the amazing things I’ve gotten to do because of BC. He’s gotten me to take a second look at what I get to do every day that I don’t always think about, and as a senior, this is necessary. Everyone talks about living in the moment and not taking any second of this year for granted—I just hadn’t thought of how this concept expands to basic things like classes and dining hall food.
Featured Graphic by Anna Tierney / Graphics Editor