Boston College Tour
Going into my spring break with a Boston trip ahead, I had no idea what to expect of the schools I had signed up to tour in this new city I had not yet traveled to. Prior to arriving, Boston in my head was a city filled with rich American history, but that was about all I knew. I had no idea about what types of people were there, the boundaries of the city, or the popular must see tourist spots. The unknown was all a little daunting when you think about how I was looking to find a place I would be for four years that would have to become my perfect dream school. Despite this, I tried to be optimistic and went in with an open mind willing to explore and immerse myself in a new city.
When my family and I emerged from the tunnel that gave us the first full glimpse of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood where our hotel was, I sensed a much different atmosphere than the New York air I was accustomed to. It’s difficult to put into words, but Boston is far more quiet than other cities but still maintained the clearly urban atmosphere. That being said, the culture in the city is far from quiet with its different restaurants, people, and gorgeous architecture. Boston is also very much a college town, something I did not know before, and has the highest concentration of 18-24 year olds in the country. What is comforting about that is that you know there are so many people there going through your same struggles such as college, finding a first job, and also general coming of age troubles.
Boston College was our very first tour of the four we had scheduled and also the furthest from downtown Boston. Boston College is actually in a suburb of Boston about 20 minutes away from downtown Boston in a town called Chestnut Hill. This town was so gorgeous, and although I did not spend a ton of time outside of campus driving through was a suburban dream. It also provides a safe haven from the city and is very separate while also giving the city dream life with it so close by. There is also no need for a car on campus because the T (Boston’s public transportation system) is easily accessible which is great as well because the city is at your fingertips.
The actual tour began with an information session as most campus tours do that consisted of a Q&A with current BC students. This was a unique way of approaching an information session that gave light to the honest feelings of the student and shed light on their daily lives. We also received more personalized information than would have been given on a normal information session about specific professors that the students loved. One interesting fact that I learned was that the show Mindhunters on Netflix was based off the life of one of the BC professors during the 70s. The classes there also seemed to be unique and interesting as well which were paired with a liberal arts core to create a well rounded student. The study abroad program was also mentioned which was something that was also very important to me, and it seemed at BC that it was something most everyone does at some point whether they do a semester or even during the summer. Double majoring also seemed to be extremely common there as well, which is comforting because it seemed like the course load is manageable enough! BC also appears to be flexible in terms of double majoring where you aren’t restricted in what your second major can be.
After the information session, we were sectioned off and sent off to our tour. The campus itself is very traditional to what I always pictured college to be like with the beautiful architecture and grand library. When walking through the academic buildings, BC also emphasized that they had small class sizes and limited large lectures which was also a huge plus for me. There also seemed to be an emphasis on community which to be honest, I didn’t even know that I wanted. Although Boston College is a medium sized school with a population of around 9300 undergrad students, my tour guide ran into about 3-4 of her friends on our short hour long tour as we walked all around campus. Unfortunately, we were unable to see dorms or dining halls except for one cafe that was not a full service dining hall. Although, one fact I learned about housing is that people tend to live on campus for all four years, something uncommon at a lot of other schools. As far as amenities, one exciting thing BC has to offer is that they are rebuilding their recreational center / gym which will be open next summer! According to our tour guide, this will be a gorgeous new area with fitness classes, VR simulations, as well as traditional gym equipment.
Overall, of the four colleges I saw on that trip, BC was my favorite. Boston College was able to still maintain campus life while also being so close to a city. I also very much related to my tour guide (we even had the same outfit on!) which made me feel as though, I could be a fit at Boston College. If you’re looking for a school that’s urban, but you don’t want to commit too much, has intensive academics, and has a fulfilling campus community, BC could be for you.