Los Angeles has UCLA, New York City has NYU, Philadelphia has Villanova, and countless more cities have countless more top colleges, but you chose Boston College. You chose BC over a number of other schools—and, in my humble opinion, that was the right choice.
Not just because BC’s academics are on par with the other institutions listed, but because Boston is an infinitely more rewarding area than any of the previously aforementioned locations. If you come from outside New England or the United States, you may not know just how great your new city is. Now, you may think that being a senior and wrapping up your fourth year at BC makes you an expert on Beantown—and that may be true. However, I’ve spent 19 years (that is to say, every moment since birth) living and breathing in Boston, Mass.
I’m writing to assure you that whether you are just arriving on campus, or fancy yourself a native Bostonian, you will find yourself adamantly believing that Boston is the best city you will find in the U.S. (and maybe even the world).
There’s a reason we assert that the spirit of our state is the spirit of America—and that’s because it’s true. I would go so far as to say, without Boston, and the spirited rabble-rousers it produced during the eighteen century, there wouldn’t be the America we know today.
Without diving too deep into the details of American history, Boston was the trade capital of the British colonies, and control of them came with great military and economic benefits to the European power that was able to do so. Following the reversal of the prolonged policy of salutary neglect, the British attempted to procure greater regulation over this lucrative port. Every new act passed by the British parliament engendered tumultuous outrage and demonstrations against this tyranny. This eventually led to the tipping of the first dominos (being the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party) in the long train that would give rise to the Revolutionary War and, eventually, the inception of the U.S. as a nation state.
Had it not been for these rebellious Bostonians harassing British officials, as well as embarking on some late-night, outrageously expensive property damage, Boston would not have been sieged, the first correspondence committee would not have been established, and the revolution would not have begun in the way that it did. Dare I say it, without Boston, the American Revolution would not have happened.
You may have your own feelings about the U.S.—love it, hate it, or have no particular opinion—but a relatively small city that births the most powerful country of the 20th and 21st centuries is an impressive portfolio boast.
But, maybe you don’t care about history and politics. I mean, what do Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock do for you today? Lucky for you, Boston has many influential groups, known largely as the Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics, and, most important of all, Patriots.
Growing up, I said the line, “Oh, are the Patriots in the Super Bowl again?” more than a few times before I began truly paying attention to sports. Have you ever before been able to say, “Oh, darn, I missed the championship parade! But I’ll probably be able to go within the next two years?”
“Spoiled” doesn’t even begin to describe Boston sports fans, and even the city’s greatest adversaries (including the most wretched Yankees fans crawling throughout New York City) will admit that, in the 21st century, the capital of American sports is located here in Boston.
The Celtics and the Bruins only have one title in the past 15 years, making them the underdogs when compared to the Red Sox, which have won the World Series four times since breaking the Curse of the Bambino in 2004. Yet all of the other teams are dwarfed to microscopic size in the shadow of the Patriots, the New England sports titan headed by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. With eight Super Bowl appearances since 2001, six of which resulted in rings, the Patriots epitomize the motto, “They hate us cause they ain’t us.” Even Brady himself has begun to blur the line between talented sports star and Bostonian folk hero.
Simply put, Boston wins. We once had to wait one more than 81 years to win a championship title. Now, our next trophy is no more than a few months away. You don’t even need to like sports to appreciate the culture of title-grabbing and trophy-winning that’s cultivated here in Boston.
And to top it all off, Boston is one of the healthiest cities, according to the American Fitness Index, has one of the highest quality of life scores from Deutsche Bank, has some of the best universities in the world, and, according to Movinga, is the best place to find a job.
Being in Boston for 19 years has taught me all that I need to know about Boston. It is the best city on the planet, and, by graduation, everybody will appreciate it and love that dirty water, just as much as I do.