Read it and weep, Boston College freshmen. It’s almost the end of the semester, and if you’ve made it this far, you’re almost guaranteed to be a cool 10 pounds lighter from skipping out on meals at Mac or from the relentless drip-drip-dripping of your nose thanks to the adorably named “BC Throat Tickle Pt. Two (feat. flu, strep, and a mild case of bronchial inflammation).” So cute!
MCAS, CSOM, Lynch, and CSON students alike—all freshmen are subject to the wrath of “The First Year.” Gone are the days of snuggling up on your mattress topper–free bed back home. It’s time to give that bed a raise and stuff all manner of gadgets, goodies, and yes, garbage, underneath it. Say sayonara to personal space and hail hello to the common space replete with last night’s pizza boxes and tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.
But never fear, fellow freshies—soon you’ll be stuffing your face with enough food to last you through Spring Semester and maxing out on medicine from your parents’ cabinet—you know, the strong stuff. The end is nye!
Yes, this BC insider knows a thing or two about being a first-semester freshman. In fact, anyone who’s spent the first few weeks of their school year using Google Maps to figure out where your next class knows of what I write.
As a budding English major, I like to think of the first half of freshman year as a Shakespearean tragedy—a horror show in five acts, if you will. We love to hate it, don’t we?
So find yourself a cozy nook, dear readers, away from the relentless presence of your roommate, and listen up. The show is about to start:
Act I: The Weather: Let’s set the scene
Here’s the only other hint you’ll get into my identity, readers. They warned us cross-country transplants that we should prepare ourselves for the cold of the Northeast. But no one thought it relevant to mention that those first few weeks after move-in would result in deeply held emotional attachments to our box fans. Just thinking back to those hot and heady days of August makes my hair go limp and my heart yearn for a cold, cold shower.
But stay on guard, fearless freshman, you aren’t in the clear just yet. Massachusetts’ weather waits for no one and we’ve since moved into the season of those odd storms that could rival the one Prospero conjured in The Tempest. The forecast might say sunny but it’s always cloudy with a chance of anything, so keep your eyes on the horizon. Don’t get it twisted, though. It’s still way too early to break out the full-length parka, so chin up. Get good use out of your cropped puffer while you can because soon looking cute in the cold will be the last thing on your mind.
Act II: The Bathrooms: Rising into action
You might remember walking into your hall bathroom on the first day—all those many moons ago—and thinking “This isn’t so bad.” What your sweet newbie mind likely didn’t anticipate at the time was a gradual build-up of hair in the drains, on the walls, and in the sinks so profound that it would inevitably cause a catastrophic flood ultimately soaking your brand new Ugg slippers through and leaving you sloshing in sherpa sludge for weeks.
And beware of the middle shower stall, ladies and gentlemen. Try as you might you’ll never be able to hit that sweet spot in between scalding off your skin or freezing under the frigid stream of low-pressure water.
Act III: The Food: A calamitous climax
Warning: part three of this tragedy might make your stomach turn. I know most freshmen are mildly excited about the array of dining hall food options … at first. But then we soon realize the “chicken-and-two-sides” item isn’t going anywhere anytime soon—no matter how much the parents complain in their BC Facebook group.
No matter how BC Dining’s weekly email tries to explain away the pink tinge of your meat, I recommend eating with both eyes open. Stay vigilant, first-years.
And a fair warning to any freshmen looking to make a rash 10-minute trek down the Million Dollar Stairs for a meal: No matter how dire the situation grows, stay away from Lower until you’re a sophomore or risk the wrath of those burnt-out, elderly upperclassmen who frequent that dining hall. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Act IV: The Plague: Falling action … or falling like flies?
You might think that going through a pandemic would teach the world a thing or two about staying illness-free. Not so. If the coughing in your lecture halls hasn’t alerted you that something is in the water, or rather, in the air, and you’ve yet to fall victim to the “BC Throat Tickle,” then I have news for you, and it isn’t good.
“Throat Tickle Pt. Two” is ripping through campus, this time with a twist, featuring the flu, strep, and mono. Take your pick or have all three, the “Tickle” isn’t picky. For many, a cough-free night and nose sans congestion is a blissful memory of days gone by.
It’s rare that you’ll go your first year at college without getting sick, but it appears BC’s brand of bug is more brazen than the rest. Stock up on DayQuil, NyQuil, and Advil—all the-ils. And mask up, too—it’s been proven to help.
Act V: The Waiting Game: denouement of sorts?
If you’ve been doing anything this semester at all, I can say with certainty that one of those things you’ve been up to has been waiting. Waiting for the weather to turn cooler, waiting for the rain to stop so you can make a run for it to your next class, waiting for the big shower in the bathroom, waiting in line for food in the dining halls (only for them to run out of home fries by the time you get there), waiting to feel better, waiting to register for classes, waiting for your friends to figure out what line you’ll wait in on Friday night, waiting to go home for Thanksgiving, waiting, waiting, waiting.
But have no fear, the wait is almost over baby Eags. Winter Break is just around the corner, promising with it all the family drama you’ve missed over the past few months. But if this BC insider knows one thing, it’s that you’ll be back. Nothing can keep you from the lovely people on your dorm floor, the fall foliage, the lights on Gasson during your 1:30 a.m. walk back from O’Neill, or the coffee at CoRo Cafe. Go home, young freshmen, take a break. And when you come back, the beloved horror show (pt. two) will be here waiting for you.
Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan/ Heights Editor