Friday, November 21, 2014

A Day in the Life: Jenn Conlon

Jenn Conlon, an Accounting and Political Science double major, still cannot believe how much she is enjoying her sophomore year.
“Finding out I had to live on College Road (the so-called “least desirable sophomore housing”) was making me dread this year,” she shares. “But now I don’t mind CoRo at all. It’s close to class, it’s quiet, and it’s clean.”

This cozy double in Roncalli Hall is where Jenn starts and ends her busy days. Because she is a student in both the Carroll School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences, Jenn’s schedule is packed with a wide variety of classes. First thing in the morning, Jenn makes the short walk from her dorm to Fulton, her favorite building on campus. There, she takes classes in accounting and business law.

“CSOM has a lot of group work,” Jenn says. “It helps your presentation skills. Working in groups helps you build relationships with your classmates. When you have problems with something, you have someone to go to.”
This sense of community—combined with inspiring professors and the integration of technology into the classroom—is what makes CSOM such a fulfilling and unique experience for Jenn.
            After the business portion of her day is complete, Jenn catches up on her Spanish homework in her favorite study spot, the Stokes amphitheater.  “Working there allows me to enjoy the nice weather whenever I can!” she says.


Jenn’s day does not consist entirely of schoolwork. In the evenings, she often makes time to go to the Plex with her roommate to work out. “Going to the Plex gives me structure,” she says. “I love that I have a gym close by.”

Although her days are busy, Jenn is grateful to be a Boston College student and cannot imagine herself anywhere else. “I love it, “ she says confidently. “I know that all the time and effort I put in here will be worth it.”
-Alyssa Vaughn '17 and Colleen Ward '17

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Forever a Newton Kid

Being placed on Newton freshman year might not seem ideal at the time, but in the end, it is an experience I am very thankful for. People say it has the best dining hall, the buses are fun at night, and that Newton has a greater sense of community, and while I found all of these things to be true, I felt the greatest aspect of Newton is the environment that you are provided with freshman year that helps transition BC from a school to a home. What reminded me of this feeling was putting up Christmas decorations in my quad on lower campus (a little early I know), which made my room even more “homey” than it already is.
Stuart dining hall is a good place to start. With decorations for every holiday, themed nights with special meals every Thursday, and a kind staff that really got to know the residents, Stuart always put me in a good mood and made ,e feel welcome as a place to relax from the stress of classes, clubs, applications, etc. For us Newton kids, it was the place we would retreat to after a long day’s work on Main Campus. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of Main Campus definitely made Newton more of a home, like getting home from school in High School.

Living on Lower is truly amazing and as a sophomore there is no where else I would rather be; however, there are nights when I miss the warm, welcoming retreat we call Newton Campus.  I think freshman who live on Newton get the feeling that BC is more of a home, and I would not trade that for living on Upper any day (though all my friends who lived on upper loved it as well). To all you incoming freshman out there, do not be disappointed with Newton Campus – it is a blessing in disguise. 

 - Erin Fitzpatrick ’17 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Balancing schoolwork and the holidays!

I think many BC students would agree that we are getting to an especially stressful time of the semester. Soon we’ll be signing up for spring classes, taking our final exams, and anxiously waiting for the holiday season to begin. Personally, this time can be difficult because right now the only thing I can think about is going home for Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family. Although it is important to keep a delicate balance between schoolwork and our social life throughout the year, it is especially important now. It is important to enjoy the holiday season- with festive trips in to Boston, cookie decorating, tree lightings, and whatever else the holiday season means to you, while still remembering that the schoolwork for the rest of the semester is critically important. So, keeping that in mind, keep working hard, but make sure to leave some time for pleasure as well! Tis' the season :) 
-Jillian Bjorn-Caron ‘18

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Handling Class Registration

       Just hearing the word “registration” in November often makes me want to freak out––how can I be expected to choose new classes when I’ve barely hit a rhythm in my current schedule? It’s fun to browse through BC’s course catalogue and see the plethora of fun offerings, but as an English major, I sometimes feel like the extensive options are too much of a good thing. Now that I’m transitioning into upper-level classes and gaining a ton of academic flexibility, it’s easy for me to be overwhelmed by BC’s offerings and the fact that I can’t take them all. Part of me feels silly for worrying about this because I’ve loved all of my English classes and know firsthand how difficult it is to go wrong in BC registration; I wouldn’t be pursuing a French major if not for a Freshman-year registration mishap for which I’m now deeply thankful. Still, the idea of missing out on the perfect classes stresses me.
Fortunately, I’ve found a great coping strategy: talking to professors. In addition to my official academic advisor, I know I can rely on several faculty mentors for advice. I’m glad that registration gives me an extra excuse to visit their office hours because I love staying in touch, and every time I visit, I leave with a clearer plan for my present and future. The best part? Each registration cycle yields a class with at least one more professor whom I grow to trust as a mentor. In my eyes, BC’s main academic strength lies in its amazing faculty, and even though registration time is stressful, I love stepping back and seeing how positively my professors have shaped my BC experience.

-Ross Tetzloff '17

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BC Dining

            There are two very important and very under-rated areas that every student visiting a college wants to know about in order to properly judge a university. What might these be, you wonder? Food and coffee, of course! On a lot of tours and school visits, students have the opportunity to take a trip to the dining hall, but do not get a sense of the overall food and coffee options on campus. As a food lover and a coffee addict, I can give more insight to these areas at BC. Beginning with meals, there is basically one main dining area on each part of campus – Newton, Upper, and Lower – that are all accompanied by smaller, more specialized options. At the bigger dining halls, you will find all the classics, from a salad bar to a hamburger grill to stir fry, while the small eateries each have their own specialties. Eagle’s Nest, below Mcelroy, the main dining hall for Upper/Main campus, has great wraps, paninis, salads and soups, and is the perfect lunch spot in between classes. The fan favorite, Tuscan Chicken, is a mozzarella, tomato, pesto, chicken and balsamic sandwich that is adored by BC students. Furthermore, Addie’s, above Lower dining hall, has organic and farm fresh options for dinner, including build-your-own salads and pizzas, ice cream, cider, and more. There are plenty of options at the dining halls, and higher-end food to fill your cravings at the smaller places.
            When it comes to coffee, BC does lack in the area of having a Starbucks on campus, but we more than make up for it with our awesome on campus or nearby options. Firstly, there is a Dunkin’ Donuts across the street. If that is too much of a trek, Peet’s coffee is found regularly at every dining hall, and specialty lattes, cappuccinos, and Starbucks-like drinks (including pumpkin spice lattes) are made at The Chocolate Bar on Main campus, Hillside on Lower campus, and at Stuart on Newton campus. The occasional ride on the Comm. Ave bus to Starbucks (a mere 5-10 minute ride) may be necessary for addicts like myself, but when I am in need of a good coffee to get me through my studying, I am very happy with the coffee options BC provides. Overall, BC provides options and specialties that you will not find at all schools, with rotating menus and options to provide you seasonal treats and keeping your options open. If you get the chance, swing by one of these dining halls on a tour to check it out for yourself!

- Erin Fitzpatrick ‘17

Making connections with Faculty and Professors!

Most people are astonished when I tell them that my graduating class in high school had thirty-six people. Although I admit that it was a ridiculous small number, I loved the individual attention the teachers gave us and I loved getting to know all of my classmates on a personal level. So, as you can imagine, I was a little hesitant to attend BC, which has over 9,00 students.  However, now I realize I had no reason to worry. I have two classes with fewer than twenty people, which results in great relationships my professors. I do have two very large lecture style classes, but the teachers make it very clear that they are always around to ask questions or to just chat with during either their office hours or at a scheduled time. For example, my history professor Dr. Lyerly scheduled a review session for our class before our midterm and has online office hours (in addition to her regular office hours) where people can send their questions via the Internet. Her TAs also offer office hours and are more than willing to read over our papers before we hand them in. So, ultimately, although getting to know some of my teachers may require a little bit of effort on my part, Boston College professors want all of their students to succeed.
-Jillian Bjorn-Caron A&S ‘18

Finding your place at BC

           One of the first things I heard about during my freshman year at Boston College is the student involvement fair. At this fair, just about every group or club on campus will have a booth, and the lines and lines of students will all be yelling, complimenting, throwing candy, and doing anything they can to get you to sign up for their club. And as a freshman, you won’t know how to say no (aka, you will be on about 30 list servs (group email lists) for dance shows, acapella groups, art clubs, service trips, business academies, and maybe even student admissions). The good thing is that this fair allows you to sign up for so many things, and as a freshman you will start to cut through the emails and attend first club meetings, striving to find your place.
            As a sophomore looking back on this experience,  my advice is to allow yourself to try out all of these crazy, new, clubs freshman year,even if you aren’t great at singing or don’t have time for a service trip. This is because freshman year is all about experiencing new things, and college is the best time you will have to do this. In the end, trying a lot of activities will enable you to find your your place on campus. And once you do, it will feel great to have something to be passionate about outside of classes with a group of people probably outside your circle of roommates or friends.  Therefore, putting the effort in at the beginning is worth it – and fun! Go to meetings alone or try out for something or work hard on a long application because you will not regret trying, but you will regret not trying.
            One of my experiences with this has been with BC charity:water club this year. Last year I had wanted to be a part of the club, and attended meetings here and there, but never really pushed myself to get involved. This year however, I decided to apply as sophomore rep for the club and was accepted! Now I get to really help with the events the club puts on, fundraise, and have made friends with the board! It is really special to have a group to feel a part of and work toward a common goal with my fellow students at BC!

- Erin Fitzpatrick ‘17