As the semester is dwindling down to its final days, I’m hit with the realization that I won’t be back to BC for an entire eight months. I know this is nothing compared to the seniors who are still in denial that they’re graduating in a few weeks, but bear with me. While most students will be arriving back on campus in September, prepared to take on new courses and reunite with old friends, I’ll be on a flight to France. Spending my fall semester in Aix-en-Provence, a city in the south of France, is something I’ve been looking forward to for months. I’ve looked at maps and pictures of the city, researched the best restaurants, and practiced my French to prepare for my home-stay. Living in France is a dream come true, but I can’t help but think about the things I’ll miss most about BC.
It goes without saying that I’ll miss my friends and my family back home, but it’s the little things about my life at BC that really stick out to me. Every day at lunch in Eagle’s Nest, I’m greeted with an enormous smile from Geraldo at the cash register. Similarly, Michelle swipes my card every night in McElroy and has even begun calling me by name (it took me a while to realize that she knew my name from reading it off of my ID). I’ll miss out on the opening of Stokes Hall and the addition of green space to O’Neill Plaza. I’ll spend my Halloween wondering if anyone has put something in the hand of the St. Ignatius statue – another jack-o-lantern or light saber, maybe? As a huge fan of the Bostonians, I’ll have to resort to watching videos from their acapella shows on YouTube. I’ll have to tuck away my Superfan shirt since I won’t be here for an entire season of football or the first half of the hockey season. I’ll miss rushing into Devlin to give campus tours, putting on an enormous smile regardless of the unpredictable Boston weather. Last but not least, I’ll be looking at Facebook pictures of the Christmas Tree Lighting in O’Neill Plaza, craving the free hot chocolate and wishing I could be huddled around the plaza will friends.
Fortunately, I’ll only be gone for a semester and I’ll be soaking up every bit of the French culture in Aix, so I can’t complain too much about being away from BC. As the year is winding down, I’ve realized how easy to get caught up in the stress of schoolwork, the drama of our social lives, and the struggle to manage all of our extra-curricular activities. Four years goes by surprisingly quickly, though. I think it’s important to take a step back and notice all of the little things that make Boston College the place that we all call our second home. Although it’s important to do well in class and get involved, all of the experiences and the people with whom we share them are what seem to truly make up our BC experiences. These little details that I’ll think about while I’m abroad are the same ones that I’ll be missing in another two years. Now is as good a time as any to make sure that these moments are not memories of long nights in Bapst but of time spent with the people we love in the rest of the BC community.