Congratulations, Class of 2027, and welcome to Boston College! Over the next few months, you’re bound to have a lot of questions. So, before you arrive on campus, The Heights Editorial Board wants to ensure you’re prepared to make the best of BC.
One of the first major challenges you’ll face is course registration. As you probably know, BC has a hefty core curriculum, but don’t be intimidated. You can use AP and IB classes to fulfill requirements.
BC offers many unique and engaging classes specifically crafted for first years. For example, Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses allow first years to fulfill two core requirements in one class that combines two subjects. If you’re worried about your philosophy and theology requirements, we encourage you to check out the Perspectives and PULSE programs. These year-long, popular classes allow you to complete multiple core credits through discussion or service.
Before you register, explore Cornerstone Seminar Programs and consider taking one. Classes like The Courage to Know and First-Year Topic Seminars provide students opportunities to engage in reflection and connect with other first years.
Mainly, though, don’t worry! You have four years and 40-plus classes to take at BC. That is plenty of time to explore all of your interests. Taking an elective just for fun won’t keep you from graduating.
First of all: If you were placed on Newton Campus, don’t worry. A short, 10-minute bus ride may divide your dorm from the Chestnut Hill Campus (or “Main,” as you’ll call it)—but there is genuinely so much value to living in your own community.
To make the best of Newton, get acquainted with the bus schedule and install TransLoc. This app tracks the Newton bus so you can get to and from your dorm on time.
Bus aside, living on Newton gives you access to an otherwise unknown part of the BC experience. So take advantage of everything unique to Newton Campus: Make friends on the bus, go on trips to the restaurants in the City of Newton, and use all of the study, dining, and recreation spaces available to you. But watch out for the geese!
Despite being our namesake, BC is (mostly) not in Boston. It’s largely in Newton, but the city is in our backyard. So start exploring!
The first thing to figure out is how to get into the city, which means getting acquainted with BC’s Shuttle Routes and the T. You can get on the B line of the T on Lower Campus or use the Commonwealth Avenue bus to get to the C line in Cleveland Circle as well as the D line at the Reservoir stop. For most trips into Boston, we recommend using the bus to get to the Reservoir stop—it is faster than the B and C lines.
Another great advantage of being a BC student? Discounts for events in the city! All BC students can get free tickets to great museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England Aquarium. And thanks to our student status, we can get Student9s—$9 tickets for Red Sox home games at Fenway Park.
You don’t have to love your social life when you first get here.
Inevitably, you will hear some friend groups plotting their housing for the next three years as early as October. But there’s no need to rush. Instead, try to find friends through dorm programming, clubs, or athletic events, and introduce yourself to new people across campus.
You don’t have to be friends with floormates, but it’s an easy place to start. Attend your RA’s dorm programs (if only for the free stuff), keep your door open at the start of the year, and greet neighbors in the hallways.
Student organizations can be a great way to find friends who share your interests. Before coming to campus, you can read online about the clubs that interest you and find them on social media. Then, you can meet them in person at the Student Involvement Fair during the second week of school. Our advice? Sign up for way too much, attend interest meetings, and narrow it down to the clubs that excite you the most.
BC’s sports teams might not always be winners, but rooting for the Eagles can be a great way to meet people. To attend (almost) all of BC’s exciting basketball, hockey, and football home games, we strongly recommend you buy the Gold Pass before the discount window closes in July. It’s the best deal you’ll get—unless you’re in the Montserrat Coalition, which means you will get free tickets.
But our strongest note of advice is to get out of your room. Never be afraid to chat with strangers in your dorm, study with acquaintances from class, or eat with new people in dining halls.
BC’s campus offers tons of free, “hidden” events, programs, and learning experiences that we wish we knew about in our first years. Here are just a few.
BC offers otherwise paid online services for free, including Microsoft Office, subscriptions to major newspapers like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, career resources like LinkedIn Learning and Handshake, and streamable movies and TV shows.
The Margot Connell Recreation Center (known as “The Plex”) is a gym with almost every fitness-related amenity you can think of, including group fitness classes every day.
The Connors Family Learning Center offers free tutoring services to all BC students, and it is particularly useful for students with learning disabilities. BC’s Career Center provides free coaching services to improve students’ resumes, cover letters, and networking skills.
The Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center provides a multitude of resources, events, and full-time staff for students of color and is adding new programming for LGBTQ+ students starting next year. University organizations also host a variety of prominent, thought-provoking speakers, from politicians to influencers.
Now that we’ve filled you in on the big things, we’d like to offer a few final tricks of the BC trade.
First up is dining. Here’s the deal—don’t stress, but get to know your dining plan. It’s divided into two parts: Your Residential Meal Plan money (that’s the big number!) can be used at all the main dining halls, while your Residential Dining Bucks (the smaller number) are for all the specialty stores and coffee shops on campus. Don’t use your Residential Dining Bucks all up right away. To make the most of BC Dining, track your balances through the GET Mobile app, take advantage of the Dining Menus, and frequent the What’s Open? page.
Next up we have financial aid and work-study. Be sure you understand your loans and the financial aid resources available through the Office of Student Services before you arrive on campus. If you have a work study or are interested in working on campus, start exploring BC’s job listings—and bring your passport and social security card with you to school so you don’t run into trouble when applying. Wait to buy textbooks until you know you’ll need them, and look for options online or at the library that might be cheaper than the BC bookstore.
Lastly, acquaint yourself with the academic calendar, check out the resources on the back of your Eagle One Card, and download Herrd: BC’s anonymous social media platform. You could also give us—your independent student newspaper—a follow @bcheights on Instagram to stay up to date with the latest from campus.
We’ve thrown a lot at you, so take it in bits and pieces. BC students have a lot of love about their first year. So take a deep breath, smile, and start getting to know your new school—August will be here before you know it.