add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Free Time is for Boston - BANG.
Madison Polkowitz / Gavel Media

Free Time is for Boston

“I just wish we had somewhere to go,” Your roommates grumble to each other, shuffling through the piles of leaves lining Linden Lane.

You look up, about to suggest White Mountain for the third time that week, when suddenly you catch a glimpse of the skyline just past their shoulders. “Let’s go to Boston!”

Boston College students wear the name of one of the country’s most historic, vibrant cities on their sweatshirts and backpacks almost daily, and yet they seem to forget just how close they are to being downtown—a mere bus or T-ride away. Access to a metropolitan area is a luxury that many students don’t have, and one that is taken for granted far too often.

BC’s campus is beautiful. In my experience, it’s largely due to these aesthetic qualities that I find myself sinking into patterns of localized activity. Cozy cafés like the newly-renovated Coro, just a quick walk from my dorm building, or lounges, just a trip down the hall, that don’t require the experience of any bracing New England weather at all are easy to fall back on. With its scholarly atmosphere, Bapst Library is ideal for those out-of-body college moments when you realize that your university’s buildings, serving as museum-esque photo-ops for tourists, are the study spaces open to you every single day. So why leave Boston College at all? It’s familiar, more than a little attractive, and navigable (if you don’t mind stairs).

The better question is, "Why not leave BC?."

The hallowed halls of Stokes and Fulton will always be here, and if you never leave them then you’re doing an injustice to yourself and your university experience. Beauty aside, BC’s environment can become overwhelming and even stifling as the semester progresses. Despite the stigma that college years are a time of growth and exploration, many people feel as though the only way to succeed in those areas is to spend hours poring over laptops and textbooks and to dive completely into club meetings, job shifts, and study sessions.

Even those with the strongest time management skills find themselves struggling to stay afloat with all of their responsibilities, especially as finals loom on the horizon. What's worse is that students often admit to feeling guilty when they find a spare moment to come up for air. MCAS ‘22 Greg Buisson reflects, “When I break from studying I [initially] feel as though I deserve it, yet then I keep taking the break and feel like I’m the laziest person on Earth.”

The pride derived from independently navigating the MBTA, or the introspection one is opened to while musing over a painting at the Museum of Fine Arts are triumphs and moments of adventure arguably just as important as mastering the Tree of Life or reading “The Republic” cover to cover. College is about acquiring both book smarts and street smarts, and where better to pursue the latter than the intricate web of Boston’s downtown districts?

Not a “city person”? Find a spot in the Common to sit and forget about the skyscrapers lining the green. Frog Pond also runs ice-skating sessions from now all the way through March. Running low on funds? Inbound options besides Uber are plentiful; T-rides run just $5.25 per round-trip, or $4.50 with a Charlie Card. The ever-reliable Newbury Street and Faneuil Hall offer a variety of shops to browse, whether you’re looking for gifts or just perusing the windows.

In addition to a variety of mouthwatering food options, Faneuil Hall also offers a light show from 4:30 to 10:00 at night, every day from now through Jan. 1. Still drowning in deadlines? Grab your laptop and head to the Boston Public library, or a trendy coffee spot to hit your books and get a change of scenery. Push every excuse out of your mind—there is virtually no reason why you shouldn’t head downtown. Boston is calling your name…will you answer?

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Next to writing, some of my favorite ways to spend time include designing Spotify playlists for friends and making grocery runs to Trader Joe's. I'm drinking coffee or tea almost constantly, and my mantra is the classic yet undeniably basic, "If it's meant to be, it will be!"