Something you probably know about BC, whether you’ve experienced it first hand or not, is how much of a family school it is. So many times you hear, “Oh my mom came here,” or “My cousins all came here,” or even, more often than one would expect, the nonchalant, “Yeah, my entire family went to BC.” Now, you could definitely argue that the same is true at a lot of different schools, but the BC family connection definitely holds its own when stacked up against other competitive schools.
Growing up the eldest child of two very proud Eagles, Boston College was essentially all I knew in terms of what “college” was. I’d been to more than my fair share of tailgates on Shea and hockey games in Conte Forum, and I could have counted on one hand the number of colleges I had seen besides BC when my formal college search began towards the end of my sophomore year of high school. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely loved BC, but there was an unyielding curiosity burning within me that made me want to see as many other schools as possible. People would always say to me, “Well BC’s your top choice right?” just because they knew what it meant to my parents. I hungrily sought out other, more ideal, options for me, tirelessly looking for that “perfect” school, but never quite reaching that moment of blissful realization people always talked about when setting foot on their dream school’s campus.
It was towards the end of my college search process that I considered that perhaps the reason I had not had the “Aha!” moment I was anticipating was because I had already had mine, a while back, without even realizing. I spent so much of my energy trying to convince myself that Boston College wasn’t my number one school just because I wanted to be my own person and be 100% sure of any decision I made, no family biases considered. However, BC had become a standard that I held all other colleges I visited to. Between its location, its Jesuit tradition, its size, its school spirit, its athletics, its campus, and its staff, Boston College was the benchmark that I always fell back on when looking at another school. Plus, the fact that my experience at Boston College would be something I could share with my own glory-days-loving BC Alum parents was just icing on the cake. As soon as I realized this, I quickly understood that BC was the place for me if I was lucky enough to be admitted.
Fast-forward three years and here I am now… A second-semester sophomore at Boston College, daughter of two BC Alumni, and I can confidently say that I am blessed to be a baby eagle. While my parents’ memories of their own BC experiences do impose some kind of pressure to constantly be having fun and soaking up everything awesome BC has to offer, I have learned to make it my own in ways that are both challenging and satisfying. Everything may not be the same, but MA’s is still open, the Mods are still standing, the Hockey team is still good, and we still don’t like BU all that much… More importantly, the people of BC, are the same enthusiastic and passionate individuals today that they were in 1985 when my parents were here. Yes, my parents still reminisce every single time they visit. And yes, my dad can’t make a trip to Chestnut Hill without grabbing a slice of cheese from Pino’s. And of course, my mom has told me countless stories of my dad’s college antics. But all in all, I couldn’t be more blessed and excited to share in such a huge part of my world with the two people that brought me here.
Whether or not you are a baby eagle yourself, there is no denying that BC is a special place, a place any one would want their own children to experience in a perfect world. The senses of community, love, service, pride, and tradition that permeate throughout campus are infectious sentiments. They are the kind of sentiments that spur nostalgic reminiscing among alumni, camaraderie and friendship among classmates, and eminent joy on the lucky seniors’ faces when they open their acceptance letters.
- Mary Kate O'Neill '17