BackgroundInterview Date:January 2019
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2021
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Public high school in Maine with a graduating class of 170 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Politics and International Affairs
Extracurricular Activities: Relay for Life.
Did Relay for Life have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
Not a ton. I enjoy doing it because I’ve had an experience with someone who’s had cancer.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It’s a lot of reading, lectures, and some discussion. The exams are usually short answer with lots of writing.
Is there anything you feel that your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
All of the professors are amazing. They seem very committed to what they are doing.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Politics and International Affairs is pretty collaborative. A lot of classes are discussion based, and people usually want to express their opinions. It’s not really competitive, but people are pretty interested. A lot of people apply to law school. In general, BC can have a bit of a competitive edge, but it’s not unbearable.
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.
Why did you choose your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
Last year I took a class called History and Politics of Terrorism which sparked my interest in this area. So far, I’m happy with it but have only taken two classes for the major.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived during college?
Freshman: Kostka Hall with 1 roommate
Sophomore: Roncalli Hall with one roommate
How was transitioning from Maine to Chestnut Hill, MA?
It wasn’t that hard. I hadn’t been away from home that much so that was hard, but the place itself isn’t that difficult. It’s busier, but similar in other aspects.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I haven’t had any issues safety-wise. The police department is always around campus. There have been a few safety issues but I haven’t personally had any problems.
Pros and cons of being located in Newton, MA?
1) In the Boston area, there are so many places to go.
2) 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
3) You aren’t really in the city, so if you don’t like the bustle you don’t have to be in it.
1) The subway can be slow and annoying.
2) I don’t know of any nearby hiking places other than New Hampshire. At home, I do a lot more stuff outdoors.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I don’t know if my experience is representative of a typical BC student’s experience. I’ve been to a few parties but not a ton. I like to go to different events on campus. I met the former Jordanian ambassador to the United States at one of the events which was pretty cool. That happened on a Friday. The school will send out emails about things going on. It’s fun to go into the city and walk around. A lot of people like to go to hockey games which are fun.
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.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Boston College? If you could change anything, what would you change?
I’m pretty content with it, but it’s kind of up to you to decide what you want to do on the weekends. People don’t come knocking on your door telling you to go to events, so it’s what you know about or what your friends are doing.
How did you meet your closest friends?
We met at orientation.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Boston College?
People tend to go out on Friday and Saturday. I haven’t participated in many clubs, but I know people tend to do go to parties with members of their clubs.
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.
What is the influence of BC being a Catholic school on your experience?
The most I’ve participated in Catholicism is receiving emails from campus ministry. Otherwise, I haven’t been to church much. It’s there as an option.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I used the career center to check it out last year. They gave me a test to see what type of careers I’d be interested in at the time. I didn’t find it extremely helpful, but I also didn’t really pursue it very much or continue to go to them for appointments. They’re helpful with organizing your thoughts for figuring out your future, but other than that, I haven’t used them very much.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that have been or will be especially helpful professionally?
For Politics and International Affairs, we were introduced to the Global Terrorism Database, which is pretty interesting.
Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs? Were they responsive to your questions?
They have been pretty good. I’ve been able to get financial aid every semester. They give you an advisor which is helpful.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Boston College before you entered as a freshman?
They didn’t have as big of an arts department as I thought. They also do not have a [running] track. I could have easily done some more exploring and figure those things out though.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
What the week is like. You could always sit in with a friend.
Reasons to attend Boston College:
1) The professors.
2) The area.
3) The resources are pretty good, you can build a network and talk to professors.
4) The support systems in general. We have health and counseling services.
Reasons to not attend Boston College:
1) We don’t have an LGBTQ center.
2) Food and books are expensive. You also have to pay for laundry and printing.
3) It can feel like a bubble, but the city allows you to get out.