Spring has finally sprung here at Boston College. Finally. As a sophomore experiencing my first BC spring, it almost feels as if the past year was one very drawn-out winter. Although we’re missing the usual tenets of a BC spring—the Boston Marathon has been pushed to October, St. Patrick’s Day was parade-less, and Mudstock seems an unlikely occurrence—it is hard to miss the feeling of hope in the Chestnut Hill air.
As old traditions take a hiatus while the community recovers, new ones are budding on campus. The addition of outdoor meeting places like Baldwin’s Backyard, Equinox, and
Club Kevork BC After Dark have brought some life back to a campus gripped by Zoom classes, pandemic anxiety, and burnout. Opportunities like these give students the option to stay on campus without pushing room capacities or limiting their friend group size to four.
While it’s frustrating that it took our student organizations and administrators this long to create outdoor spaces, this is all the more reason to take advantage of them. One of the best parts of these spaces is that they’re here on campus and exclusively for BC students. For the first time in a year, it’s possible to have random Friday night run-ins with that girl who sat behind you in Finite Probability or the guy who’s always in the Rat at the same time as you. Maybe you’ll even get to meet your Zoom crush irl—if you’re lucky.
The benefits of spring reach past the weekends too. Just having the added option of doing your work or taking online classes outside can expand your world tenfold. Some obvious favorites are the new grass outside the Plex, Stokes Lawn, and the plaza outside of Lower. However, if you’re willing to venture off the beaten path for some more private outdoor spots, I would recommend Brighton campus’s sprawling hills outside the McMullen Museum and the shaded clearing halfway around the Reservoir.
Of course, there is the other side to spring arriving: finals loom in the not-so-far-off distance. After a semester of days with little variation and lots of schoolwork, final exams seem like a punch in the gut when we’re already down. Plus, while little has changed in terms of students’ stress levels and Zoom fatigue since last spring, many professors seem to have lost the sense of compassion they had for overwhelmed students last spring. Of course, don’t feel discouraged from asking for an extension or an extra credit assignment. Professors are dealing with the same fatigue we are, meaning they might just need the reminder.
Even though the arrival of spring means the arrival of finals, I think it’s best to focus on the positives. Whether you are approaching your first spring at BC or your last, you can always find a new way to enjoy our campus and the surrounding community. Take your classes outdoors, walk the Res, or get Playa on a nice day. Springtime is a fleeting phenomenon in Boston, one that we don’t get to fully experience with the semester ending mid-May. Keep an eye on schoolwork, of course, but give yourself a break from the year we’ve had, get outdoors, and enjoy all the school has to offer.