Impressions Of
Boston College

Academic Experience

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2021

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I think so. I tend to be skeptical of things so sometimes I try and take a step back from what the professor is saying to try and avoid bias, but I think people are quick to oppose things if they do not agree. Not all the time, but for the most part.

How accessible have the professors in your department been?
I’ve taken advantage of TA’s more than my professors. The professors always tell us to email them if you want to come in, but, for the most part, I use the TA.

Female Biology Major c/o 2018

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think, by the end, the Biology department is really good about keeping small class sizes and teaching very applicable knowledge. I came out it really feeling like I knew what I am talking about. In the beginning you get lost in the numbers because it’s the second largest major in the School of Arts and Sciences. It became kind of a bloodbath to see who could talk to the professor and things like that. For me as a pre-vet student it was hard because there were not a lot of us, so the advising wasn’t as good as the pre-med students. They’d often be like, “I really don’t know, but I’ll look it up for you.” That was sometimes a struggle, but overall, I think the professors did care.

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Within BC, I don’t find that it’s very competitive. I think students are willing to and want to collaborate. I’m in a lot of study groups for different courses. We share notes and study together, and that’s really common. In Politics and International Affairs, I think it’s slightly more competitive, but, overall, it’s not a competitive school.

Social Opportunities

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2021

What are your favorite on-campus events to go to?
There are small bands that play on campus that are fun to listen to. Honestly, it can be sometimes hard to find things to do on campus during the weekends, so sometimes I’ll just go out into Boston. We have the [Chestnut Hill] Reservoir that people like to bike and run around, so I’ll go there sometimes. The theater also attracts a lot of people on the weekends for plays and dances.

Female Biology Major c/o 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I like to go out. Nightlife changed over the years. Freshman year was more so dorm parties and staying on campus and trying to get into parties that upperclassmen were having. Once you turn 21, Boston is a city that becomes an amazing city to be in – it becomes a new world. Freshman and sophomore year were a little bit hard because there were parties at bars that you [could not get in to]. Thursday nights were bar nights, and Friday and Saturday were on campus all four years. As a senior, you would start going out on Tuesday night because it was called senior night. There’s a saying at Boston College that every year gets better, and that is definitely true for the social life.

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
It’s kind of weird at BC, especially freshman year. When you’re in the freshman dorms there’s no place to really hold all freshman parties and there’s no Greek life. You have to know older kids to get into parties sometimes, not all the time, but on occasion. Parties are held in off-campus houses, [sophomore] eight-man suites, and senior housing. I wouldn’t recommend BC for anyone who is interested in the state school-esque, really vibrant party life. It’s more low-key with exciting things happening from time to time. For me, it’s perfect. I never find myself not having something to do, but it’s more low-key.

Campus Culture

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2021

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Minimally. I try to and have a few friends who are different races. If you look around in the cafeteria it’s clear that oftentimes people cluster with their like race. It’s something I’ve noticed and am sad about, and I know people who are not White who have noticed that as well.

How do you like the size of your school?
I like it. I don’t always see people I know in the cafeteria, sometimes I’ll see a group I know and sometimes I don’t, but every day I’ll see someone I know. It’s a pretty good balance of people you know and people you don’t know. I’m always meeting people.

Female Biology Major c/o 2018

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s not extremely cliquey, but there are some cliques that occur. A lot of the social scene is driven by community service clubs. They’re the ones that will have parties, or the athletes will. Sometimes if you’re not in a club or not involved, you will find yourself trying to figure out what to do that night. It’s not cliquey in the sense that athletes don’t just hang out with each other. You have to know people to find things to do.

What impact has it being a Catholic school had on your experience?
Originally that deterred me from it because I’m not Catholic. It’s a lot of what you make it to be. There are Theology requirements, but you don’t have to take a Catholic Theology class. I took one that compared Asian religions to Christianity. I think the main point is the Jesuit ideal of serving the community, and I think that is really instilled in the students.

Female Politics and International Affairs Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the student body?
It’s a lot of kids from Massachusetts [26.1%], New York [16.4%], New Jersey [11.8%], and Connecticut [8.3%]. It can be kind of preppy, but there is some diversity in self-expression. In general, the kids aren’t very politically active there. There are not a lot of protests on campus. It’s a good mix of progressive and conservative students. I came from a high school where everyone was liberal, and going to BC I was surprised by how many conservative kids there were. But, I think it’s good to have balance and challenging opinions. I’m very environmentally minded, so I’m disappointed that the student body isn’t as environmentally minded and uses a lot of plastic and disposable silverware.

Chestnut Hill, MA

Pros of

  • “It’s super accessible to Boston. There’s a subway station right off of campus and it takes about 20-30 minutes to get into the city by subway. It’s wonderful, it’s been so important to my experience.”
  • “Boston is a college town with a lot of people our age. If you don’t want to hang out here, you go visit other schools like MIT or BU.”
  • “You aren’t really in the city, so if you don’t like the bustle you don’t have to be in it.”
  • “You’re not necessarily in a big city and have a campus feel. It doesn’t feel like your school is built around the city, it’s more like you have your own thing. At the same time, you’re very close to Boston and it’s easily accessible by public transportation. You have the best of both worlds.”

Cons of

  • “If you would like to be right in the city, I would suggest Boston University which is right in the city.”
  • “Boston is a little bit further. It’s an event to go, you can’t just run in one day. Sometimes you find yourself not leaving campus as much, so you have to push yourself more.”
  • “The main con is there’s not much parking, so if you want to bring a car it’s a bit difficult. The easiest way to get around is public transportation.” [Student parking is only available to junior and senior students who are enrolled in a sponsored field practicum or three credit internship that is not accessible by public transportation.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Psychology and Neuroscience Double Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Boston College before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the curriculum because after I came here I realized how rigid it is. There aren’t as many interdisciplinary courses as I thought and there are so many core requirements that it’s difficult to expand into different subjects and there’s less time to figure out what you want to study.

What is something a prospective Black student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
You just have to find your group of people. Especially with all the Jesuit stuff that goes on here, if you find the people you are comfortable with and relate with you’ll be fine because it’s an institution that feels rich White-oriented. [Socioeconomically, 44% of students come from the top 5% and Boston College has the second highest median parent income among colleges in Massachusetts.]

Male Economics Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Boston College before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the courses so I could schedule classes that would be best for me to take right off the bat and would help me with my major. For example, the Digital Technologies class I just mentioned I didn’t know anything about before I came in. If I knew more about the courses, I could know more about my four-year plan and get a head start on that.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think the thing I love most about BC is that all the students are very genuinely nice. You have to stop and talk to people during your visit and you’ll pick up on that.

Female Biology Major c/o 2018

What is something you wish you knew about Boston College before entering as a freshman?
Get involved in as many things as you can because, especially freshman year, things can be pretty selective. If you cast a wide net you’ll find the right people and right group to integrate into.

What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go into Bapst Library. It looks like Hogwarts and the tours won’t take you there because you’re not allowed to talk.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Boston College

To Attend

  • “I think the principles and founding ideas that Boston College has really do shape you into a more thoughtful individual who cares about what their impact is on their community in the future. You don’t realize that until you’ve graduated that that’s occurred.”
  • “I think the community atmosphere and the people you meet are unique. People are very well rounded and all have varying interests. The people are very important to Boston College.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you want a more progressive and politically active student body, you might be disappointed. It’s a mix of liberals and conservatives.”
  • “The liberal arts education requires that you take a lot of core courses. I personally don’t have a problem with that because I’m interested in a lot of different things and like the liberal arts education, but a lot of people complain about that.”
  • “If you want a good football school or a big party school, BC isn’t the place for you. Our football team isn’t that good if you really care about that. Social life also isn’t always what you want it to be or as wild as you want it to be.”
  • “We don’t have an LGBTQ center.”
Notice: Boston College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Boston College.

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