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Photo courtesy of John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Going the Extra Mile: A Freshman’s Guide to Newton Campus

As soon as incoming freshmen receive their housing assignments for their first year at Boston College, they will feel a sense of pride for either Upper or Newton Campus. One of these choices will soon become their first home away from home. For about 40% of each year's class, home will be tucked away about two miles from the main BC campus. The Gavel is here to highlight some of the many benefits that await almost half of the Class of 2022. The distance is nothing to worry about!


Newton's separation from Main Campus creates a unique environment for residents to meet new people and engage in new experiences, two important qualities to the beginning of freshman year. Living on a campus with only freshmen takes away a lot of the stress of making friends.

“I was never scared to sit down at a random table in the dining hall or next to a stranger on the bus because I knew that everyone was just as eager to make new friends as I was,” Elena Akins, MCAS ‘19, explains. “Coming from the West Coast, I didn’t know a single person at BC, so this environment was ideal for me. Every day after class, I was able to come home to a campus of familiar faces.”

For many freshmen, familiarity and routine is what makes Newton feel so much like home. For Emily Rayball, MCAS ‘19, who lived on Newton her freshman year and then returned as an RA, “The best thing about living on Newton was the feeling of going home at the end of the day.” A bus ride away from the stress and academic happenings of Main Campus, Newton fosters an environment of relaxation and fun, where students spend hours in Stuart Dining Hall talking to friends or on their dorm floor participating in RA-led activities.

Stuart Dining Hall

Almost every student who has lived on Newton would agree Stuart Dining Hall is BC Dining's hidden gem. With specialty coffees available on regular meal plan money, Stuart makes the morning commute to classes more than worth it. For students eating lunch on Newton, Stuart has delicious, made-to-order paninis available every weekday. If the food isn’t enticing enough, Stuart is also home to some of the friendliest employees on BC’s campus. Take some time to get to know them and they’ll start to feel like family!

Study Spaces

When finals season rolls around, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of people who crowd the libraries, so take advantage of the unique study spaces on Newton. The Trinity Chapel basement, the “yellow room” in Stuart, law school classrooms, and residence hall lounges are some of the best places to get work done. This is the year you won’t have to compete for a great study spot, so make the most of it!

Newton Centre

“My advice to freshmen would definitely be to take advantage of the perceived isolation from BC by going out to Boston and walking around the city of Newton, especially in the first month while it’s warm,” says Connor Lynn, MCAS ‘19.

Although Stuart is arguably BC's best dining hall, it’s still nice to go off-campus for brunch or dinner with friends. When dining hall food starts to bore you, Newton Centre is the perfect place for all your foodie needs. About a 15 minute walk from Newton Campus, this part of town has all the food you’ve ever dreamed of. Head to Johnny’s Luncheonette or The Station Diner for sweet and savory breakfast served all day long. For dinner, try Tango Mango’s delicious tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. For relatively inexpensive classic American food, grab a table at Union Street. Afterwards, grab some ice cream at J.P. Licks and enjoy it on your walk back home.

These perks, among others, make waking up a little bit earlier to get to class more than worth it. Incoming freshmen should remember that no matter where they live, “it’s all about what you make of it”, as Lynn puts it. Whether you’re placed on Upper or Newton Campus, you’ll be calling it home in no time!

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Avid optimist who likes long walks on the beach with a Long Island bagel and iced coffee in hand. As my favorite man Drake once said, "I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I've ever known."