My awkward freshman-self was sitting in Mac one day with a friend--all right, so she was an acquaintance--who happened to be meeting up with a senior.
Enter senior. Now I’m sitting with a senior… am I cool? Do my Sperry’s look good? I mean, I bought them the week before move-in as an attempt to fit in, so I’m hoping the investment pays off. Mind you, this is a senior guy we are talking about. If I play my cards right, he'll land a big-shot job, propose three and half years later at my graduation, and I'll be set.
The small talk starts flowing. You know, it was the same old thing: “Where are you from? What’s your major?” There were plenty of filler questions and fun facts, but the senior finally cuts the crap and shares some of the most important advice that I have received as a student at Boston College. He says, “Whatever you do, make sure that you spend a summer at BC before graduating.”
Flash forward to present day me--I’m going to be a senior, myself. Boy, does time fly. Anyway, after consecutive summers of double jobs pushing papers and working at a frozen yogurt shop, I was in the market for some change. Realizing that this was my last chance to take that senior’s advice, I went for it.
Picture this: being at school, but not having schoolwork. That’s a summer at BC in a nutshell. This isn’t necessarily the case for the business kids, but I am a biology major working in a lab in Higgins. Don’t get me wrong, I’m busy. Monday through Friday is a typical routine of wake up, eat, go to the lab, walk home, eat, run, eat, shower, eat, eat, hit up Netflix, eat, bed. It can be redundant, but it’s a good system.
This is the first and only time that I will live off campus, and I have taken full advantage of the opportunity. I brought my grandma’s fifteen-year-old Honda Civic, Otis, so I don’t miss out on opportunities to travel that require a car. Maybe I am not home in New York for the summer, but I know I can go home whenever I feel like it without classwork getting in the way. Staying for the summer has even been a chance to bring a piece of home to Boston--my dog, Lucy (also known as Goose), has joined me for several weeks.
Summer takes away the restraints of time and temperature. Swimming excursions, rooftop bars and weekend trips to Maine or Cape Cod are all possibilities. Playing Frisbee on the Brighton campus for hours at a time is a reality. Baseball games and food truck festivals become the norm. In the summer, you even have time to cook yourself a real meal, though your Flex Plan will still work if you need it.
It’s always fun to visit friends with night shifts in the hours that you aren’t working, too. If you want to crash on the couch of the welcome center in Stayer while your friend Shari is working, you are more than welcome to do so. If your pal Emma works at Chill for the summer, you will probably find yourself purchasing frozen yogurt fairly regularly. What I'm getting at here is that being around your school friends will easily keep you occupied.
The biggest difference I've noticed this summer is that I haven’t grown bored of my routine. Summer is usually exciting for a few weeks, but the longer it lasts, the more boring it becomes. Constantly being surrounded by your best friends doesn’t get boring, though, and I love every second of it.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to an orientation mass to see all the freshmen. A few parents recognized that we were upperclassmen from our lack of ID tags, and they asked us a few questions about life at BC and got us talking with their children. I turned to a freshman and gave him one piece of advice.
“Whatever you do, make sure that you spend a summer at BC before graduating.”