Hey, Eagles. Graduating feels good. We’ve accomplished a lot and we have a piece of paper to prove it. But for many, graduating means leaving the campus they spent most of the past four years at, and that means everyone has something they will miss. No more midnight mozzarellas sticks from Late Night, no more Edmond’s (is it dusty yet?), no more Showdown for the dance groups or acapella concerts for those singers. No more Masses at St. Ignatius or exhausting runs up the Million dollar stairs for class or for exercise. Haven’t heard your favorite BC memory yet? Here are ten of the top things that made Boston College a home sweet home.
1. Study Spots on Campus
Boston College no doubt has “scholarly” written all over it, and students love to embrace the studious environment. “What I’ll miss most is always being able to find able to find a serene or quiet place to study, whether that’s on the bench in the quad or in the rose garden by Saint Mary’s hall and there’s always plenty of other humans diligently studying too so that always provided the motivation I needed,” said senior Leslie Gonzalez. BC is also surrounded by places that are quite the hubbub with traffic and laughing students like Hillside and the Chocolate Bar (AKA, places where food is served and puffy seats are available), but at the end of the day, it also provides those spots for students who need some silence for studying or some introverted relaxation.
The small things every day that add up to a sense of belonging at BC ultimately make up the atmosphere all seniors will miss. “I’m going to miss dining hall cashiers like Ana who made my morning every morning, and professors who met with me outside of office hours to help me be a better student and person or just to talk about life. I’m going to miss walking through the beautiful campus which, for four years, became my home away from home,” said senior Parisa Oviedo. And don’t forget the views we just walk by (mini Boston from afar, yes?), or maybe small things like the smell of certain flowers and the sound of certain bells every 15 minutes (ahem, I’m looking at you, Gasson). These things all affect our experiences even if we don’t give them enough thought while we’re there.
The people we meet can influence our college experience even more than the classes we take or the things we learn. Some upcoming freshmen may be afraid they’ll meet no one who they can truly befriend, but BC makes it happen. “However cliche it may be, I’m going to miss the people Boston College has invited to cross my journey through life. Without BC I would not have met best friends, professors and a boyfriend of three years, who I am certain have imprinted themselves on my heart forever,” said Oviedo. Students (now graduates) find parting with friends the hardest thing to leave behind. College provides so many opportunities to meet new people that eventually we all find some we can call friends. But there’s always the reunions, I suppose.
4. Athletic Events
We all know the signs of sporting events on campus: the loud music coming from the Mods, the excessive beer cans, and some version of the BC “Superfan” T-shirts absolutely everywhere. You can’t find students’ loyalty to their school at this hardcore level anywhere else. “I’ll miss most the tailgates from senior year. Even though our team was effectively garbage (no offense), it was always nice waking up in the morning, greeted by beer and an assortment of grilled meats mixed with sharing company with friends and meeting new people,” said senior Nathan Schwan. The huge variety of serious club sports and even the hubbub of people in and out of the Plex at all hours show the school’s huge population of sports fans.
Workplaces on campus have their own community. That means leaving them can be hard. There’s all those dining halls like Mac and Lower and then Addie’s and the Chocolate Bar and Hillside and some I’m forgetting that need students to make them what they are, with fresh food and bright smiles. There’s studious O’Neil where those genius students can magically fix computers and have to return all those books we borrow. And there are those poor souls at the Plex that have to teach classes like tennis to beginners (sorry about that). “I always felt so comfortable there. Whenever I’d come in to work and say hi to my coworkers, I’d always leave with a smile and at least one laugh. I even spent Thanksgiving and Easter with one of the full-time staff members. I’ve only worked at the library, but I’ve heard that BC dining and other workplaces on campus have a similar family-like atmosphere,” said senior Margaret Antonio. Workplaces anywhere can feel like places we simply want to run from, but at BC they all form a community of their own.
We automatically consider our closest friends the people we’ll miss, but if a school has enough spirit then we can miss even the population as a whole. “People at BC just seem to really take care of themselves. I don’t mean that everyone dresses perfectly and is super fit, but that there’s a general awareness of personal care for one’s body as well as spiritual and intellectual well-being. You don’t see that everywhere,” said Antonio. Whether it’s the passion and energy behind the events or the phrases only known to BC students, BC, like all schools, has a specific culture that all people there adapt to or adopt, maybe even without noticing it.
Boston has so many unique places and people that make leaving it hard. It’s ancient compared to some American cities and has an enormous amount of history (who else walked the Freedom Trail? Anyone?). It has all those different areas between the Theatre district, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the South End, to the North Shore, Chinatown, the Esplanade, Harvard Square, the Fenway, the waterfront, Newbury street and even more that I haven’t explored after living in the city for four years. And then there are the incredible amount of colleges and the infinite college students. “The abundance of other colleges in Boston meant that we had a rare combination of city life and college life that most other students don’t get,” said Schwan. The opportunity to explore a place like Boston is not something we should overlook…even if we do want to erase those packed subway rides from our minds.
As students, we may find professors frustrating when they expect us to turn assignments in and pass tests with flying colors when we just want to hang out with our friends, but some of them are sources of support and guidance. “The professors truly invested everything in their students and cared about our lives even outside of academics. They were much more than just lecturers and made BC feel like a home,” said senior Joanna Saikali. People teaching college classes have all been through the college experience and can offer advice and guidance if we ask for it. That’s usually the hardest part. But, if we manage it, these are people who know what they’re talking about. So let’s keep their email addresses for recommendations, shall we?
9. Academic Conversations
In college we’re surrounded by people, who guess what, want to be in college. This means there are quite a few academic discussions to be had. “I will miss the meaningful and challenging conversations with friends, roommates, and basically anyone from BC. During my time these conversations challenged me to define what I believe in and be willing to keep an opinion in mind to other ideas and opinions. These conversations allowed for me to put what I learned in the classroom.” said senior Fabiola Del Carmen. A place that allows students to discuss important topics with one another in a relaxed way and also gives an opportunity to use those skills to better our education is something we should recognize.
10. Learning Everyday
Those going into graduate school will keep learning anyway, maybe even at BC. However, for some, the required attendance at classes has ended, at least for the present. Though there are all kinds of benefits to this, like a glorious thing called sleep, the opportunity to gain knowledge is one some of us may miss now that it is gone. “I’ll also, dare I say, miss the academics that challenged me like nothing else in my life. Writing a thesis was never pleasant, but looking back on it, I can now feel accomplished having explored an area of interest and coming to my own conclusions based on evidence that I collected and defended,” said Schwan. And we can find this sense of accomplishment in all the roles we seniors have played in our four years at BC.