Opinions, Column

Pennacchio-Harrington: Being a Part of BC, Even Apart From BC

As Boston College’s Weeks of Welcome approached, I recalled all the traditional activities that have been enjoyed by generations of BC students before me—from movie night on the lawn to the scavenger hunt with friends, and most importantly, Convocation.

Even though I’ve not been able to participate in some of the in-person activities that make up the typical “freshman experience,” being a remote freshman at BC has actually been pretty great.

Now you may be asking, has “Boston College provided you with any alternatives?” I feel that BC has done a phenomenal job at welcoming all students, both those who are on campus and those who are staying at home.

In my case, I was able to participate in a majority of BC’s Weeks of Welcome events, from a virtual game show to the club fair. Game shows and trivia are fantastic ways to get to know one another, plus those who were in the top three got upscale prizes including Apple AirPods. What more could you ask for?

Aside from the Weeks of Welcome, classes have been a new and exciting experience across the board. Although I do believe I’ve truly missed the feeling of being in a real classroom, in general, students are very kind and eager to meet others, even over Zoom.

My professors have done a magnificent job in formulating activities to allow students such as myself to interact with each other, whether they’re one dorm away or 30 minutes away from one another.

Even though I have missed having physical interaction with others, various courses—from calculus labs to English discussions—have assisted in filling that void. In my calculus lab, I’ve worked with three other students and we have had deep, meaningful conversations through our analysis of various functions. In English, we are placed into breakout rooms where we discuss our background and other topics that we’d discuss during a normal freshman fall. 

From discussion-based English classes to the Ecology and Evolution Zoom reviews, I have realized just how passionate these professors are about the subject they teach and their students’ well-being during such unprecedented times. 

I have begun to notice how no matter whether their students are remote or in person, they are eager to answer their questions through office hours—whether through Zoom or in front of Merkert Center. 

As I learn more about my professors, I am so honored to be taught by such educated people who are true leaders in their fields. The deep interest they have in the subjects they teach is evident in their detailed lectures, from discussing modes of selection to the cathode ray experiment. I have learned, so far, that the key to having the college experience that you desire is through time management, planning, and engaging in deep and meaningful conversation with your professors about your academic interests — just like with the cathode ray experiment.

Featured Graphic by Allyson Mozeliak / Heights Editor

November 3, 2020