Opinions, Column

April Showers, May Flowers, and New Chapters

Students are swapping black puffer coats for sundresses, the once-snowy quad is finally green, and smoothies from the Rat are the new hot chocolate. After months of freezing winds and sporadic snowstorms, spring at Boston College is finally here. And with the start of a new season comes the close of my first chapter in Chestnut Hill. 

As the tulips root themselves along the Quad, students are conversely stripping posters off the walls and readying themselves for a return to their lives outside of the BC bubble. 

When the UV index breaks 3, students amass on the Quad in hopes of living carefree under the sun, if only for an hour at a time. But it feels like this period of sunny weather and final moments with friends is fleeting, and with the impending arrival of summer, it is becoming easier to get caught up in worries about the future. 

Although rain showers have alternated with the sunshine this past month, I’ve noticed one constant: flowers. First the wildflowers in Newton Centre started blossoming amid rain storms, then the daffodils began blooming on Lower Campus as the sun shied away from its cloud cover, and finally the bright red and yellow tulips swiftly appeared across campus as if magic (or by the careful orchestration of BC’s landscapers, but a girl can dream).

Flowers live short, blissful lives. From their emergence as tiny buds to the falling of their final petal, they fill the world with beauty. They don’t dwell on their short, week-long blooms and instead spend their time stretching toward the sun and soaking up its rays. Naturally, flowers aren’t bombarded with anxieties over exams or sorrow about saying goodbyes like we are. They exist for the simple purpose of beautification. And the beauty they bring brightens up barren street corners and persists under cloudy April skies.

Beautification is, in straightforward terms, typically used to describe the improvement of something’s physical appearance. I know the amount of meaning I subscribe to flowers may sound overly dramatic, but sometimes the seemingly far-stretched metaphors are the ones that make an impression—at least in my mind. If we look at the ideas of beautification in this more metaphorical sense, they can symbolize our opportunities to make contributions to the world around us. Flowers are little pockets of beauty, added to our surroundings to elicit joy. Sharing our passions with others, giving back to a meaningful cause, or taking the time to truly listen to what others have to share are simple ways we can also leave the world just a little bit better. With a three-month hiatus from essay deadlines and group projects, what better time to bloom into the people we have always wanted to become? 

Just like flowers, we blossom under the right conditions. The people who lift us up, the places that bring us joy, and the experiences that engrain themselves in our memory are the sources of sunlight that contribute to our growth. Reach out for them and discover how you too can become the sunlight for others. With the arrival of May, soak in these last few weeks at BC and make the memories that will keep you smiling throughout the rain and snow to come. 

Spring is bittersweet. It marks the end of our academic year and the last few weeks with college friends, but it also symbolizes the turning of a new chapter. Whether we’re off to wander the streets of Europe, reunite with hometown friends, or embark on an internship, so many new adventures await us in the coming months. Live in the moment, soak up the sun’s rays, and embrace the beauty of the world around us. And as you take in the beauty that surrounds you, don’t forget to create some of your own. As the tulips start to blossom, so do the opportunities awaiting us as we enter the next season of our lives. 

May 3, 2023