College Perspectives During The Pandemic
Learn about insight from the pandemic during their times at BC from our WIN e-board sophomores - Abby Soja, Kaileigh Jackson, Christie Lee, Kayla Talcoff, Hadley Middleton, and Olivia Franceschini!
Take advantage of office hours + TA sessions! Professors have gotten a lot more communicative because of the pandemic. Many of the classes in person weren't a given anymore. Especially in classes where you may be struggling, most professors/TAs will be more than happy to work through material with you. It especially helps to build connections with professors in larger classes.
GET is the way to go! Food options when entering dining halls were slightly more limited during the pandemic, so the best way to still give yourself options if the daily menu isn’t your cup of tea is to order through the GET app and customize! The Mac bowls will be a lifesaver when you’re hungry after a long test or just in need of some pick me up. Take full advantage of places like Eagles Nest and Addies!
Even though you are here to learn and grow academically, you’re here to grow socially as well! The pandemic made a lot of people lonely with all the covid restrictions and many people’s social skills have gotten a little rusty, so try to reach out! Make sure to take a break from studying and join a club, go to a game, and explore Boston! This not only gives your brain a rest but will help you find your interests and passions outside of the classroom.
Making friends in other grades is essential! It’s always nice to have someone who can offer some perspective, but it is especially important with covid. If you’re a freshman or sophomore, it can be exciting to hear from juniors and seniors about elements of life at BC which you will hopefully get to experience soon (like tailgates)! And if you’re a junior or senior, offering your wisdom to those whose entire college experience has been through a pandemic can be extremely helpful.
If you are lucky enough to live in Newton, walk to campus as much as possible (especially in the fall/ late spring)!! The pandemic made it more difficult to try to get fresh air outside of Zoom classes, so take advantage of the walks! Abby’s favorite route to take was starting on cotton street but taking Comm Ave works too. Walking will give you fresh air and a little time to decompress and clear your mind (I used the walk to call my parents and friends from home). The views are so pretty, and the neighborhoods and locals walking around will give you a little sense of community/family that you might miss from home!
If you can’t get work done in your room but also don’t work well in the library, try Addie’s (the top level of the Lower dining hall) or the Rat (in the bottom of Lyons Hall - right next to Stokes Hall)! These areas get a little noisy during meal times, but in between meals they are the perfect space to study if you need a little background noise without a ton of distractions. The pandemic especially has made some people realize that studying and working in your dorm all the time is not for them.
Highly recommend getting the Nutella playa bowl for the best pick-me-up! During the pandemic, it was pretty easy to just go to the dining hall all the time to get your food and not try to branch out with your food options; however, Playa is a great place to go to because it’s so close to campus. It’s the perfect combination of delicious fruits, yummy nutella, and much needed granola. Christie always walked to Playa to get this bowl when she was stressed and needed something to cheer her up. She’s been to Playa 15+ times her freshman year, and it has never failed to cheer her up.
Take. The. T. Since covid, Ubers and Lyfts have been so unreliable so take advantage of the T! It not only will save you a TON of money, but you will find yourself discovering different areas of Boston as you use it. We all know that the pandemic has caused us stress in one way or another financially, and this is a nice way to save your money. Just make sure you spend a few minutes figuring out which lines you need to take/crossover on, and know the difference between inbound (towards Boston) and outbound (out of Boston)!!
You will get a somewhat overwhelming amount of emails a week, so find a system that works for you to stay organized. With the future of the pandemic still unknown, you will probably be receiving constant updates regarding new policies. What worked for Abby was to make labels in her gmail for each class, personal mail, general school-wide emails (you will get way too many BC bookstore emails), and club mail. This way you can easily access past emails and are less likely to delete/lose track of the important ones!
You’re going to learn how to budget your money. Whether that be for groceries, transportation, nights out in Boston, etc, being on your own for what is many people’s first time will force you to have to figure out how to renavigate spending. Finding on-campus jobs or side hustles like Depop or Poshmark to make some extra money can be extremely helpful! Take advantage of the fact that especially during the pandemic, the dining halls, libraries, etc. need more student employees.
Don’t be afraid to fail at things! During the pandemic we had plenty of opportunities to try new things (especially because so much was on Zoom!) Use this time also to dabble in things you may not be good at (yet) and step out of your comfort zone. Give yourself the grace to fail, try again, and grow in new and unfamiliar ways.
Say yes! The pandemic taught us that college is SHORT and you need to make the most of every moment. One of the best pieces of advice Hadley heard her freshman year was from Dean LaCombe and that was to always say yes. Obviously she meant this with judgement, but say yes to trying new things, hanging out with new people, taking a class, whatever it may be. Don’t be afraid to test yourself!
Reward yourself! Last year we experienced stresses and anxieties we never knew we had- many of which were fueled by the pandemic. College work alone can be overbearing at times and you may feel like you don’t have time to take a break, but you always do. Take a walk, call a friend, get ice cream, enjoy a night out in Boston. One of my best investments this year was getting a therapist, even if you don't think you need one, they are always a great resource to get you through tough times! This year we learned mental health is key to your success as a student and happiness as a person, so take a break as often as you need!
Take pictures! Covid will go down in history as the time we had to wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, and do things we never had to before. These are important times to remember! Hadley always found it somewhat embarrassing to take pictures in public, but one of her great friends at BC was always taking pictures - candid and posed. These pictures were always the most fun to look through and reflected our best memories!
Stock your dorm with snacks! During the pandemic the dining halls had some weird hours, and as college students we get hungry often. When you don't have time to grab a full meal, you're gonna want to grab a quick bite from your room. Be prepared!!
Make sure to stay in touch with your family and friends from home. Covid has caused a lot of hardships, especially with quarantining and social distancing from friends and family at the peak of the pandemic. While college is an amazing opportunity to make lifelong friends, your fam/friends miss you! Try to keep your parents updated with all your success (and failures)!
Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t think that during the pandemic, everyone has it together 24/7 and no one is facing any hardships or difficulties. It seems like a cliche lesson you’ve already learned, but college can be a big step out of your comfort zone. BC is full of motivated students with a wide variety of passions. You can’t join every club, play every sport, land every internship, and ace all of your classes. No one can, so don’t stress yourself out worrying about how you measure up to the others.
Don’t stress about your major. Despite quite literally being called a “Major,” it’s really not that big of a deal. Whether you’re pre-med or undecided, we’re all on our own path. Your Major and Minor are guidelines to your education to help you lean into your interests. Also, highly recommend going to the Career Center to meet with a career coach and talk about your interests. They have been so helpful and understanding with the pandemic, and they’re amazing resources. Enjoy the ride!
Don’t believe everything you see on social media!! With the pandemic, everyone was impacted one way or another. It’s easy to compare and say that this person’s life wasn’t impacted because they seem to be having the time of your life. This is also a tip that is true for all of life, but social media is only a highlight reel. That perfect group of girlfriends hitting Pink Taco on Thursday night was cramming for a stats test on Wednesday! We’re all striving to reach a work-social life balance and there isn’t a perfect formula.
We hope that all this advice helps you out this year, and once again...go Eags!!