I’m finishing up my second Bud Light in my friend Maggie’s dorm room on the fifth floor of Edmonds. It’s the Tuesday night before Easter Break—the last break before graduation—and the threat of the end of senior year looms over our heads like a storm cloud.
Thankfully, it’s a warm night in Chestnut Hill—not that the weather matters, considering Senior Night doesn’t stop if it’s cold outside. Hardly any of us ever go out in jackets anyway. Instead, we stay warm by relying on beer blankets from our pre-games and body heat from crowded lines outside of either MA’s or Cityside, whichever your choice for the evening is.
After splitting up to pre-game in separate rooms, my roommate Haley and I have been texting for the past hour to solidify our plan to meet up at Cityside. We’ve kept each other posted with approximate times we’re heading to Cleveland Circle and our estimated times of arrival, and I text her at 10:15 to let her know that I’m heading down.
At 10:30, I get to Cityside. I survey the crowd and text Haley to give her a sense of what it’s like. Decent crowd, not too crowded, I type.
An hour later, my evaluation becomes entirely wrong. Dozens upon dozens of seniors—some I recognize from my semester abroad, some I identify from class, some I’ve never seen before—infiltrate Cityside and try to elbow through the growing mass of people waiting by the bar. It takes a bit of time, but eventually, everyone has a $3 Coors Light in their hand and an intoxicated grin on their face.
This is a Tuesday night for seniors at BC. It could also be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, too, depending on what all of our friends are doing—or whether they’ve decided to stay in or go to Boston or Harvard Ave instead. But those of us who spend weekend nights out on or close to BC’s campus—I consider Tuesday a weekend, and Cleveland Circle “close to BC’s campus”—enjoy a routine that we’ve come to love to hate to love over the past three years.
Next year, we probably won’t be hanging out in dorms or bars as seedy as Edmonds or MA’s, and we probably won’t be eating food as unhealthy as mozzarella sticks on such a frequent basis and at such absurd hours of the night. But it’s these seedy, absurd moments specific to our nights on the Heights—and all of the time we spent reluctantly coming to love them—that we’ll miss the most when we graduate.
“I’m going to miss the weirdly intense life discussions that can only come after a night full of beer, dancing, and fried cheese in the loud din of Lower,” Maggie told me when I asked what she’ll miss the most about nights at BC. I chuckled at her response. I, too, will miss rushing into the dining hall with friends at 1:50 AM, panicking because we’ve convinced ourselves that they’ve run out of mozzarella sticks at Late Night.
To an outsider, these mozz sticks might be insignificant—they’re just mozz sticks, after all. To college seniors, though, they represent another attempt to strike a balance between youth and adulthood, two sides of our identity between which we’re constantly toying. If a well-balanced meal of grilled chicken with a side of vegetables is for an adult, then a severely unbalanced meal of mozzarella sticks with a side of French fries is for a child.
Our decision to indulge in the unhealthiness of Late Night is our decision to remain young and irresponsible—and, even more so, to be revered for it, in the way that my roommate Missa said she’ll miss: “[I’ll miss the] random cultural appreciation for shot-gunning 12 mozzarella sticks if it’s past 2 AM.”
When I asked my friend Emily what she’d miss the most about a night out at BC, she said she didn’t want to give me a cliché answer. “I’m sure people probably said the Mods,” she told me, “the Mods” being an example of what she considered “cliché.”
The Mods are dingy. All the red paint could use some touching up, and the attempt to liven up the exterior landscaping with lush bushes is thwarted by the presence of large, intimidating mousetraps. On weekend nights, the Mods transform into BC’s version of a grimy frat row at a state school: Each Mod becomes jam-packed with hopeful underclassmen looking for something fun to do and something cheap to drink.
In hindsight, aimlessly wandering the Mods as a freshman on a Friday night wasn’t that fun. It was often cold outside, and we were often disappointed, as domineering seniors would stand at front doors and ask us “Who do you know here?” before shooing us away.
However, it’s this contrast between the Mods’ drabness and exclusivity that has appealed to us over the past three years. When we were freshmen, the outside of the Mods was nothing special, but the inside was intriguing and mysterious, filled with people way older than us who were having way more fun than we ever thought we would have.
With each passing year, living there, partying there—hell, simply being there—became a more obtainable goal. Now that we’re finally seniors—now that we have best friends who live there, now that we’ve hosted pre-games for our culture clubs and barbecues for our sports teams there—the most important thing they represent is that cliché-ness that Emily mentioned earlier.
On any night in the Mods, we’re guaranteed—in true cliché fashion—to see the same people over and over again. It might seem repetitive and unexciting now, but we won’t realize how lucky we were to have had this luxury until we graduate and find ourselves sitting among strangers in a bar in an unfamiliar city, or having lunch by ourselves in our new office.
The people we run into on campus now are the people we’ll long for when we want something familiar in the real world. They represent our college experience. They’re the people we’ve had crushes on. They’re the people who’ve comforted us when we’ve cried. They’re the people who we’ve had deep life chats with, who we’ve done homework with, and whose families we stayed with over Christmas break because ours live too far away. They’ve supported us, cared for us, and seen us grow. And once we leave, we won’t run into them as easily as we do now.
Fellow senior Bryan told me this is something he’ll miss when he graduates: “I’m gonna miss going out during the week and knowing you’ll be seeing a ton of BC kids that you’ve spent the past 4 years with.”
Those confusing freshmen year nights in the Mods might have sucked at the time, but as seniors, we can look back on them and laugh, and we can encourage underclassmen that they, too, will earn the right to patrol the doors of the Mods one day.
Strip Mod resident Sal told me he’ll actually miss those freshman year nights the most when he graduates: “Me and my roommate would leave Newton having absolutely no idea where to go out for the night. Some of our best nights were just wandering around, and sneaking into off-campus housing or upperclassmen dorms. The thrill of doing that is something I’ll miss dearly.”
Back at Senior Night at Cityside, the DJ blares 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” from the large black speakers overlooking the dance floor. There’s a loud group of girls taking selfies in the corner and an iPad set up underneath the large plasma screen television on the wall. The iPad, I discover, is a makeshift photo booth, and hosts are encouraging us to wear fake glasses and fuzzy scarves to take ridiculous pictures.
My friends and I happily comply with the silliness. Since the so-called cliché-ness of a night out on campus applies to nearby bars as well, we know almost everybody here anyway, so we aren’t trying to impress anyone. That’s something Haley told me she’ll miss when she graduates. “Part of what I’m gonna miss about going out is being with friends, so I can be so apologetically shameless in whatever I do and be a total goofball, dance like a complete nerd and not care.”
Now, it’s almost midnight, and I’m half dancing, half frantically texting Bryan and Dori, his roommate and best friend since freshman year, to tell them to come to the bar. A night out at BC isn’t complete unless you wonder why your friends aren’t out and bother them about it because you know they’re so damn close by.
To my left and right, I recognize a couple of guys that my girlfriends have hooked up with, and I laugh because I know my girlfriends are also at the bar tonight. Suddenly, in front of me, I see a guy that I’ve hooked up with, and my heart stops. These are small, potentially uncomfortable moments, but they’re also laughable ones that could only happen in a college bar, where we have an abnormally high chance of running into anyone we’ve interacted with over the past four years.
The world might be small, but the college world is even smaller—and it’s a world that I’ll miss.
For the next half hour or so, a club soccer team celebrates their intramural championship win with rounds of shots by the bar, and I chat in the corner with Maggie and our friend Dylan, who told me that when he graduates, he’ll miss the frequency with which he can have these kinds of nights: “I’ve realized that if you go out Tuesday and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, then you’re going out more days of the week than you stay in…Probably gonna miss that.”
I’d like to add that the ability to do this—to stumble into class with crusty hangover eyes, sweatpants, and an overall feeling of disgust in the middle of the week without getting fired—is something I’ll miss, too.
At 1:30 in the morning, Haley texts me to tell me that she went to MA’s but is leaving in 10 minutes to buy Pizza Rolls at 7/11, and I know the end of the night is upon us. Some people share “that moment when you look over at your friend and you both know without saying anything that it’s Roggie’s time,” a moment that my 48HOURS roommate, Rock chief Kate, said she’ll miss when she graduates.
Some head back to their rooms to “drunk eat and joke around with friends and roommates,” something my fellow Asinine member Deirdre told me she’ll miss next year.
Some think about the next morning, when they “assemble the members of our Mod…and talk about what we each did/fill in each other’s foggy memories if need be while all laying in bed together,” a weekly event that’ll be missed by another Strip Mod member, my best guy friend Nick.
Soon, the bar is almost entirely cleared out, leaving us one Senior Night closer to the inevitable separation. Tonight, some realize that this impending goodbye is approaching and refuse to let the night end, so they prepare for the second half of their evenings, in the way that Dori said he’ll miss: “I’ll miss the walk/Uber/stumble back from wherever we spent the night. The thing about going out is that you plan events with a group of people and always end up leaving said event with the people you’re closest with. Recounting the night, extending the night, laughing, whatever. That’s the best part about going out and spending time with your friends, you get to come back and turn what could have been a memory into a story.”
“It’s like a complement to life,” he told me. “You might have plans to meet up with friends at different times, but when it’s time to go, you want to go together.”
We may soon have to say goodbye, but we’ll feel connected when we reflect on all of these seemingly trivial—sometimes unhealthy, lost, repetitive, awkward, or hungover—moments at BC. Next year, when we trudge through long weeks of deadlines, bosses, and early morning commutes, we’ll reminisce on our time spent growing and learning and loving—all with the people who the matter most, in the place that matters the most.