Opinions, Column

How to Deal with BC Housing

The housing process is probably the most difficult part of living on Boston College’s campus. I’m aware of how fortunate I have been—I lived on Upper Campus my freshman year and currently live in an eight-man suite in 90 St. Thomas More Rd. My freshman year roommate and I are friends and we still live together, just not as direct roommates anymore. My current roommate and I are practically inseparable, but we will be apart next year when she starts her job as an Resident Assistant on Lower Campus. Of course, I still have six other roommates to pick from, but with some of them going abroad and others not having four years of on-campus housing, things quickly became difficult.

Again, I was fortunate to get a picktime on the four-person apartment day and ended up with a room in 2000 Commonwealth Ave. At first, I wasn’t happy about it, but upon realizing that the majority of my friends would also be there with me did make it much more bearable. After hearing all the horror stories from freshman year (one of my friends lived in a forced triple with identical, inseparable twins, another lived on the third floor of a building on Upper that didn’t have an elevator), I did realize how lucky I was in the entire process and grateful I should be.

But just because I was lucky doesn’t mean that everyone on this campus is. BC offers so many housing options, but the lottery system makes picking a dorm to live in difficult and leads to the splitting of many friend groups. There are situations where people lose friends because they really wanted an eight-man or really did not want to live in Walsh. Why BC chose to build another athletic center in place of dorms when there are sophomore transfer students living on Newton Campus is beyond me, but I digress. Regardless, housing is happening right now. Some people have already excitedly gotten their top choices for the upcoming school year, and others are still scrambling to add extra members to their groups and perfect their ideal living groups for next year.

I’ve learned a few things throughout the process though. Friendships are so much more important than where you live. Yeah, it sucks when everyone and everything fun seems to be happening either on the other side of campus or a bus ride away, but it is much more important to stick with your friends and have plans going into housing. It would suck to throw away a friendship that could’ve lasted you a lifetime just because you wanted air conditioning or wanted to be at the center of parties. Looking back after we all graduate, the memories that we’ll cherish are the ones we made with our friends and not so where our dorms were located.

With that being said, planning is necessary. Have a list of places you would like to live and a group of people you would like to live with, as well as backup options in case your plans fall through and your group of eight needs to split into two groups of four. Also, select a roommate and stick with them. The BC ResLife twitter is both hilarious and informative. It allows for students choosing housing have an idea of what dorms are open, what the most popular dorms are, when the picktimes have been sent, etc. Talking to peers, upperclassmen, and alumni is helpful, as they have experiences going through housing and can possibly have helpful information. This guide is super informative in helping you decide on the resident halls on campus.

There are so many great aspects that come with living anywhere on or even off-campus that it makes up for how stressful housing is, although the system should be improved so that students who really need to live on campus due to financial reasons should get preference. You’ll still be on campus for classes and will see your friends on the weekends and during the day—if anything, not being as close to your friends can actually be helpful. I know that, for me, a lot of my relationships with friends who weren’t as close to me on campus actually strengthened because we had put in the effort and make time to actually see each other. Something as simple as setting aside an hour or two to grab lunch with a friend or to study in the library certainly helps. The best advice I have to give is to just try not to stress too much about it. Regardless of where you live, you’ll still have an enjoyable experience.

March 25, 2019