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Boston College Bucket List: Things Every Eagle Should Do Before Graduation

One-thousand three-hundred seventy days. Eight semesters. Four years. Each Boston College student’s time on the Heights is unique and monumental. Yet every Eagle shares a common nest in Chestnut Hill. Through conversations with roommates, professors, alumni, and hallway chit-chats in between, I’ve compiled a list of “bucket list” items every BC student should do before walking down Linden Lane on graduation day.

Walk the Chestnut Hill Reservoir (At Sunset)

Just down the hill from BC’s campus lies the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. A 1.5-mile loop, the “res” is the perfect place to release stress on a run, catch up with friends on a casual walk, or read a book on one of its many benches.

There’s not a bad time to visit the “res,” but when in doubt, the golden glow of a sunset walk is always your best bet. I like to walk counterclockwise and start alongside the houses on Beacon Street. While it’s a bit windier due to fewer trees, car lights cheer you on as the path gently curves westward to a gorgeous sunset over campus. The serenity of these walks are an unfailingly peaceful way to recenter myself before heading home for the day. 

Meet a Professor Outside of the Classroom

Remember how mind-blowing it was in elementary school when you saw your teacher at the mall or a restaurant? Even in college, it can be hard to picture professors outside of academia. But just like us students, professors have lots going on in their outside lives too!

And even amid their commitments, most professors are more than happy to meet with students outside of class time. Yes, BC requires them to have office hours, but perhaps taking the time to discuss something other than schoolwork makes all the difference—for both you and them. Grab coffee, attend one of their lectures, or even hit them up on LinkedIn.

Participate in BC’s Traditions

BC is known for its traditions. In the fall, participate in the chaos of the activities fair and tailgating. Wear your best maroon and gold while cheering on the Eagles in Alumni Stadium. Seniors, don’t ever pass up time in the mods. Run the Red Bandana Run in honor of Welles Remy Crowther, an alum who gave his life in service to others on 9/11.

As temperatures cool down, see campus light up at the Christmas Tree Lighting and watch St. Ignatius Church glimmer with candlelight at the Christmas Mass. Start the new year off right by packing the T on the way down to the Beanpot and remind all those Terriers that it sucks to BU. Get your groove on at ALC Showdown and make sure to cheer on runners as they cruise down heartbreak hill at Mile 21 on Marathon Monday. The best way to get to know BC is to be BC.

Take a Moment to Retreat

Time passes all too quickly at BC—retreats are an opportunity to slow down. Retreats allow students to pause, reflect, and find gratitude through their attentiveness to themselves or others. Many occur at locations away from BC’s main campus. 

As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, many retreats are run by BC’s Campus Ministry program. Designed for students of all faith backgrounds, popular retreats like Kairos and the Manresa Silent Retreat focus on intentional reflection on relationships and spirituality. A bit of advice—if you haven’t entered yourself into the Kairos lottery, do so now. I promise you won’t regret it!

The Center for Student Formation has retreats centered on vocational discernment to help students discover how their joys and strengths can serve others. Freshmen should check out mentorship programs like Ascend and Freshman League, while Halftime is geared to sophomores and juniors.

Explore the Hidden Nooks of Campus

We’ve all taken a Gasson Gram—if not, add that to your bucket list! While Gasson never ceases to provide a bad photo, BC is full of hidden wonders to add to your camera roll. Take a stroll around campus without a set destination. The best way to find yourself and learn about BC is to lose yourself in the surroundings.

Need a place to start? Venture over to St. Mary’s Hall. A marble altar, carved oak ceiling, and detailed stained-glass windows make its chapel a true “Gothic gem,” as a Jesuit once described. Or, walk across Linden Lane and get a tour of the Burns Library Archives with collections of historic Irish and Bostonian culture. 

Take a hike up the million dollar stairs for once (because we all take the Maloney elevator) or climb up Gasson Tower to see the bells. If the quads are a bit too crowded for your lunch break and reading session, sit in the Pine Tree Preserve, a forest tucked next to the Margot Connell Rec Center. Hidden gems are everywhere on this campus—who knows what discovery you will make. 

Honorable Mentions

A few more “must-do’s” that are good enough explained in one sentence!

  • Win an intramural mug.
  • Wear a costume to a football game or Marathon Monday.
  • Be featured on the BC Instagram.
  • Learn BC’s cheers.
  • Get a photo with Baldwin (even better, get proposed by him).
  • Enjoy a picnic on the quads.
February 25, 2024