Do you remember when you arrived at BC freshman year? Everyone you met was a fresh face with a new name that you wouldn’t remember until you met them for the third time. You didn’t know where any of the classrooms were or how late you could sleep in to get there on time. You trusted all of the food in the dining halls because you just didn’t know any better.
That’s what it’s like to be a transfer student. It’s all new and exciting and everything you wanted the college experience to be the first time around. The big difference? This time you’ve got something to compare it all to.
I’ve just about survived my first semester as transfer student at BC, and I’ve got some notes.
I know you might think the whole “stairs” concept is overrated, but if you look past the sweat dripping into your eyes, you’ll see just how ingenious the whole system really is. With virtually every academic building being hosted on Middle Campus – along with various dining halls and libraries – there’s no need to spend valuable time trekking back and forth across campus from one class to the next. Take it from a girl who spent all of freshman year backtracking her walking routes through the Oregon rain: Middle Campus is a blessing, even if it is surrounded by a fortress of stairs.
I can’t lie to you. I prefer quarter system, and I always will. Three quarters means 12 classes a year without having to take the (insane) 5-course load BC pushes on its students. Ending in May is a glorious thought, but 15 weeks straight of the same classes? I’d take three sets of finals over the amount of material covered from that many lectures.
The Work Hard-Play Hard Vibe
You’ve heard it before. You live it. You’re incredible, and I’m awe-struck. Never in my life have I met a group of adolescents so driven and focused, yet so capable of letting it go. Maybe it’s a private school thing, but before coming here I knew only two types of college students: over-achievers and slackers. Somehow, you have all managed to be both simultaneously. That’s a compliment, I promise. You know just how to encourage your classmates to push through all these challenging classes, and you know when enough is enough.
… Get air conditioning in the Plex, then we’ll talk.
Do you even go to BC if you aren’t “involved around campus” (and probably on the E-Board of at least one club)? Hark, fellow loners! I, too, despise nothing more than the word “extracurricular.” I won’t say that I don’t admire all of you who have dipped your fingers into dozens of pies. I do, however, want to point out that some interests don’t require a weekly meeting and an extra line on your undoubtedly already flawless resume. Or maybe I’m just calling the kettle black here.
You have three years of housing. Three years! On-campus parking might be a nightmare to qualify for and a waking-hour trauma to pay for, but who needs a car when you can roll out bed and into your class (quite literally if you live on Upper)? Here’s a little perspective: you’re lucky to get one year on campus as a transfer. Cherish your dorms, I’m begging you.
The BC Community
This is what it all comes down to in the end. I knew that in transferring from a school of over 20,000, the sense of community would feel greater. What I wasn’t expecting was the warmth that BC radiates. I’ve only been here a single semester, and I can only imagine how much more there is to learn. So, I thank you for welcoming me in and for letting me join you while you discover it too.
The only advice I have to give back: Let your vulnerabilities show. Maybe you really do have it all together. Maybe you are perfect. The only thing I know is that I’m not, and I could use some company.
Also: I still have no idea what “Agape Latte” is.
Photos Courtesy of the Author