Boston College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Social Life: There is no Greek Life here at Boston College and for that, I'm extremely grateful. I think a lot of people hold that opinion about the school. Schools like Dartmouth and Brown do have Greek life, but as you probably know they are places where hazing and sexual assault happen far too frequently. Boston College isn't immune to these things but they happen at a much lower frequency from what I know. There's no social hierarchy here, unless you're a freshman boy. In that case, your social life is going to be limited for about a year, especially if you're living on Newton Campus, which is about a 10 minute bus ride from Main Campus. A lot of my friends made lasting relationships with the guys in their building/on their floor because the social scene is lacking for them until sophomore year. Sophomore year onward, opportunities to party are abundant because the entire sophomore class (save CoRo kids...sorry yall) lives together on Lower Campus with upperclassmen. The thing about the school socially is that it is very group-oriented. I have about 4 different groups of friends. Of course people extend beyond groups, but housing tends to create a circle of 8-10 or so friends who stick together. I have met incredible, wonderful people here at Boston College who will be lifelong friends. The student body likes to joke about how stuck-up, rich, and unapproachable the majority of students are, but to be honest those type of people are a visible minority. People do have a lot of money here and dress up in BRANDS but I am solidly middle class (parents are teachers) and haven't felt uncomfortable or out of place at all. Usually it's too cold to care too much about what I'm wearing haha My impression is that I've liked most people I've met. Moral of the story is that you shouldn't take any scathing assessment or resounding praise about the student population seriously. There are a lot of well-rounded, interesting, and fun people here, but also some people who can be hard to relate to. I know that Boston College has one of the highest rates of eating disorders and a fair rate of mental illness in the country. However, the population of students is high-achieving and perfectionistic by nature. The school provides mental health resources, which I've taken advantage of and appreciated.
Partying: The school is a catholic, jesuit school so its restrictions on drinking are rough. The RA's who live on every floor will end your party if you are underage or playing drinking games. :/ I'd say this is a definite downfall of the school from a student's perspective. The penalty for underage drinking is pretty swift, harsh, and unforgiving. Personally, I'd say it leads to a lot of people pregaming with hard alcohol in their rooms and getting too drunk too quickly.
Food: Good! Lots of variety. Vegetarian options. 5 dining halls and 1 coffee place. Super cool dining hall workers who I love to shoot the shit with. I'd say that BC does food better than a lot of schools I've been to.
Dorms: Freshman year you're in a room with a roommate. Sophomore year you're in an 8-man (8 people, 4 rooms, living room) or on CoRo (a street on middle campus rather than lower campus) where you're in a room with a roommate. Junior year a lot of people live off campus (I didnt live off campus but I know people enjoy it) and senior year it's variable. Although I was given 4 years of housing, I know most people get 3 years of housing and have to live off campus, usually junior year.
Academics: I have had some wonderful professors here and some not wonderful professors here, speaking as someone who is a Political Science/Psychology double major. The thing about this school is that it might have a slight chip on its shoulder, not being an Ivy League. Instead of grade inflation like some of the Ivies have, the grading system is a little bit tougher. I've met a lot of premed kids who are frustrated with the system because getting into med school, or really any grad program is difficult without a stellar GPA. Still, BC is a good school and that's going to open up doors for you. However, if you're considering going to BC and know that it's a bit pricey and you definitely want to go into a grad program afterward, think about going to a state school instead. Jam out, get your 4.0 and go to grad school if that's what you know you want. A 3.5 is a pretty good GPA here for reference.
If you're looking for a school where you pick a major and all you do is stick to those classes and treat college like a training program, BC isn't for you. The core requirements are extensive, but these classes make for a more well-rounded education and allow you to actally speak intelligently about something other than whatever you majored in.
As for the social aspects, make no mistake that BC is a drinking school. Most weekends are spent at on or off campus parties or at the bars in nearby Alston/Brighton. Its very hard not to have a good time at BC and if you aren't, you are probably just too lazy to go out and find one. There is easy access to the city (there is a T-stop pretty much on Campus that will take you anywhere in Boston)and there is also always something going on on campus. Sporting events are also big at BC. If you want to go to a school in the Northeast with D-1 athletics that are actually pretty good, BC is your only choice.It is true that student population at BC isn't the most diverse. Most of the students are upper class white kids but with few exceptions everyone is nice. Like with any school, I would reccomend a campus visit before making your choice and seeing how you feel about the campus and how you fit in there.
The BC experience is really enhanced by its location. The school is situated right on the Boston city line (not WAY out in the suburbs like some people might believe). A section of the campus actually does sit within the city limits. Downtown can be reached in ten minutes via cab or 20-30 minutes via the T (subway). The T does shut down at midnight, so most people take cabs back to campus when they are out late. Split between all your friends, a cab is not a bad option.
Some people complain about the party scene on campus--that parties are exclusive/lame and the authorities are overly strict. I can say that I have NOT been disappointed with the nightlife at BC. Weekends at BC typically start Thursday night. Thursday nights the students head out to the bars. Most underclassmen have fakes, so if you are under 21, invest in a legit fake and jump on board. Typically there is some kind of BC student-sponsored event at a bar downtown on a Thursday night, and these parties are a lot of fun. Friday nights students typically stick around campus--they either party with their friends in their rooms/suites or they head to the mods (senior housing) or off-campus (where most of the junior class lives). This is where a lot of the student complaints regarding BC nightlife lie. These parties are typically crowded and as a result can be hard to get into (unless you know the people who live there), and some of them can be pretty short-lived, as cops or RAs are likely to break up anything that appears to be too rowdy. However, if you don't get into a party or the party you're at gets broken up, just leave and move on to the next one. Odds are you're bound to have a good time at one of the places you happen upon. You won't get in too much trouble for partying on campus as long as you are smart about it. If a party/pregame appears to be getting rowdy and will likely attract unwanted attention, you should probably grab your friends and go. Once you become an upperclassman, it is your turn to throw the parties. Upperclassmen can register parties, and as long as things are kept to a dull roar and effective crowd-control measures are put in place, it shouldn't get broken up.
Some students are under the illusion that having greek life would improve the party scene. I don't see why--the only way greek life would help is by forcing underclassmen to form connections with upperclassmen and therefore giving them a definite party to go to on weekends. BC has enough extra-curriculars that people can join and form these kinds of connections, and a lot of times different sports teams and other groups on campus will throw parties on the weekends for their friends. The key is to be proactive enough about meeting people/getting involved. If you aren't pleased with the on-campus options on a given weekend, you can always head to the clubs/bars downtown (although this can get expensive) or to one of the dozens of other colleges in the area for a good time. Oh, and if you're not into drinking, the school provides dozens of alcohol-free events on campus every weekend, and there is obviously a TON of stuff you can do in Boston that does not involve alcohol. No one is going to make you feel weird or out of place if you don't drink.
In the fall, Saturdays are devoted to football games. You wake up, put on your superfan shirt, get together with your friends, get your pre-game/tailgate on, and then stumble into alumni stadium and cheer on the team. Games are a lot of fun and really bring everyone together. If you're not crazy about sports, it is still possible to go to the game and have a good time. In the winter, a good amount of people go to the hockey games on friday nights. Hockey games are also a lot of fun, and, by the way, it does suck to BU. Basketball is a pretty big deal too, but the games are during the week and at odd times and therefore aren't quite as heavily attended as football and hockey games are. The best part about BC, aside from everything that is has to offer, is the people you'll meet. Everyone is incredibly friendly. Those people on this site who think that every single one of the 9,000 undergrads is snooty and close-minded can think what they want, but I personally have met some of the greatest people at BC who I can see myself staying friends with for the rest of my life. And no, I am not a wealthy boarding school student from New England. Some of the most unlikely people have surprised me with incredible life stories, wits, and intelligence. If you come to BC, give everyone a chance and you're bound to end up with a tight-knit circle of friends.
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