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First Week Tips for Freshmen

The beginning of freshman year is one full of excitement, anxiety, new faces, and lots and lots of introductions. For many, coming to Boston College represents a number of firsts; first time being away from home, first time having to make your own decisions, first time living in a city, first time going to a co-ed institution, first time meeting people from all over the country. Whether BC is thousands of miles away from your hometown or fifteen minutes away, it is completely normal to feel nervous about being away from home, making friends, and finding your place on the Heights. Hopefully these tips help to smoothly somersault you into the school year and the splendor that is Boston College.


1. Get to know your roommate! – Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend, but she also has the potential to be your first friend, so use that to your advantage! Just make sure that while you two are getting to know each other that you also go over things such as your schedules for the semester, whether you are a light/heavy sleeper, and what times you usually go to bed. It sounds silly, but learning these things ahead of time will save awkward moments later in the semester when you can’t stand that your roommate makes so much noise getting dressed in the morning because you are such a light sleeper!

2. Leave your door open – The first few weeks of school, make sure to prop your door open when you are in your room just hanging out! Many RA’s make it mandatory for you to keep your door open when it would not be a distraction so that you can meet your floormates. The best, and most convenient, friends you can make are the ones on your freshman floor! So… just listening to music in your room while still trying to set up your room? Leave the door open so people can pop in and introduce themselves!

3. Join a group! – The best way to make friends on campus is to join a group that interests you! Comedian? Join Hello… Shovelhead! Irish Step Dancer? Try out for Boston College Irish Dance! Singer? Try out for one of the many a capella groups! The possibilities are endless! Make sure to attend Student Activities Day, Friday, September 7th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. down Linden Lane.

4. Make the most out of freshman classes – During freshman year most of your classes are full of only freshmen. Take advantage of the fact that everyone else is in exactly the same boat as you! So introduce yourself to the people next to you, because most likely, that will be your seat for the rest of the semester!

5. Lonely lunches? – My biggest memory of freshman year is not knowing anyone’s lunch schedule yet and having to ask to sit at random tables during lunch. While I was nervous and apprehensive to approach tables of people I didn’t know, I knew that mostly all of the people in Mac were freshmen as well. So don’t worry about being nervous sitting with a group of people at lunch, you will be welcomed graciously.

6. Stay in touch with home – While you may get overwhelmed with making friends at BC, make sure to keep in touch with your friends from home and see how their weeks are going! Make sure you call home as well! Mom and dad will appreciate it.


1. Read the syllabus! – Syllabus week has the reputation for completely being a joke, but many times that syllabus contains a lot of information in it, like when all your tests are, how much each test is going to be worth, and any group projects you have to do. Write all the dates in a planner now… it will save a lot of time later.

2. Don’t like the classes your in? Add/Drop to the rescue! – Signed up for a class because your academic advisor forced you to during orientation? Found out one of your friends is in a different First Year Writing seminar class at a time that is free in your schedule? You have until September 12th to have your schedule completely settled, so see if you can get into that class with your friend! Not able to get into it? No worries, that just means more friends to make in your own class!

3. Lost going to class? – Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, just don’t stop in the middle of the quad and turn around. Play it cool. Pretend like you know where you are going. Confidence is key.

Just For Fun:

1. Don’t use a tray in the dining hall – Ever.

2. Don’t wear a lanyard – Ever.

3. Don’t run for the bus – Ever. Just kidding. It’s going to happen. Just try not to. It’s not worth it.

4. Save heels for special occasions – No one really wears heels going out, so save your ankles and your shoes. The Mods and off-campus houses get too sticky to risk a brand new pair of heels. Make use of the still warm weather to get a few more uses out of cute summer sandals!

5. Learn the lingo!
a. McElroy Dining Hall = Mac
b. Corcoran Commons = Lower
c. The Plex = the gym
d. Maloney Hall = formerly known as Campanella
e. The Mods = red temporary housing complexes on lower campus, the epitome of senior year

6. Be wary of the off-campus party favorite, jungle juice! – Oh so delicious, yet oh so dangerous. Remember, moderation is key. Know your limits and always have a buddy.

7. Focus on finding friends, not a boy. – It’s only the first week of school; focus on yourself and becoming familiar with the school. You have plenty of time for boys later in the year. Plus, hooking up with kid that lives down the hall may seem convenient at the time, but it just makes for an awkward mess for the rest of the year.

8. Mod hopping? – At least look at the names on the door before saying you know Mike. Chances are they will let you in if you say one of the actual residents of the Mod, regardless if you actually do.

9. The Reservoir – Are you a runner or jogger? Take advantage of the beautiful reservoir! Much better than running on the treadmill at the sauna that is the Plex.

10. HAVE FUN!! – Freshman year is so exciting and it just keeps getting better from here. With three years already under my belt, I wish I could rewind back to freshman year, so make the most of it!!

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Bridgid O'Brien is a senior at Boston College studying psychology. She has been a member of the Boston College Irish Dance Team for the past three years and has been Irish Dancing for fourteen years. She works as a fifth grade teacher's aide in one of the urban Boston middle schools and interned this summer at Massachusetts General Hospital working with children with autism and Asperger's disorder. Bridgid loves working with children and plans to continue onto graduate school for clinical psychology. Bridgid is excited for the year ahead and so excited for what the future holds!
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