“MICHELLE. WE GOT UPPER!!!!!!”
That was the text I got from my roommate, during the exciting, and frightening, first week of August when our freshman room assignments were e-mailed to us. People had been waiting all day to hear what room they were in, but more importantly, where that room was located.
I remember the assignments came out at around 4 o’clock that day. I, and pretty much the entire freshman class, had been clicking the refresh button on my e-mail page since about 9 o’clock that morning.
This was it, time to find out whether or not you had drawn the short stick and landed with a forced triple, a creepy roommate, or worse, a room on the dreaded Newton Campus.
My internet had been going in and out all day and I didn’t have an opportunity to check the room assignments when they were finally e-mailed, but I looked at my newest text, and with an ecstatic squeal I yelled to my mom, brother, and just about the entire neighborhood that I had been placed on UPPER!
But the thing about being on Upper is that the more your fellow classmates complain about Newton, the more you create this notion that Upper is so much better, the perfect place to live even. Your expectations are so high that the real thing can never live up to them. Upper, most definitely, has its problems.
Let’s start with the obvious, the stairs. There are 65 (count ‘em) stairs to get from Upper Campus to McElroy commons. That means if you want to get some food, check your mail, or even fill up your water bottle at the nearest water fountain, you have to climb up and down a total of 130 stairs. You practically need another meal after you get back to your dorm. And on Saturday nights, forget about wearing heels to go to that party on Lower campus, unless you have some serious blister band-aids. And, once you’re at the top of these stairs, the journey continues, as most people on who live on Upper need to walk a bit more to get to their dorms. The closest dorm to the stairs is the all-girls Kostka, and for um… other reasons, the Kostka girls that I’ve talked to aren’t exactly overjoyed to be living there.
Another less than ideal aspect of Upper Campus is its connected dorms. These include CLXF (Claver, Loyola, Xavier, and Fenwick) and Fitzaga (Fitzpatrick and Gonzaga). Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to live with so many other freshman, but these connected dorms have one main entrance, so if you live at the very end of the dorm, you’ve got a long way to walk before you get to your room. I’ll admit, I lucked out with this one, but I certainly know some people who didn’t.
And when you go to Lower campus from Upper, you always have to take the Million Dollar Staircase to get to your dorm. No matter what. While Newton kids have a bus stop right on Lower campus, we don’t. So after a meeting in Rubenstein, or a fun football game, or nice workout at the Plex, you get another workout, willingly or unwillingly, from trekking up the stairs, through McElroy and up the Upper stairs, just to get back to your dorm.
But when you really think about it, we on Upper have nothing to complain about. We have basketball courts, and the O’Connell House, and dorms that are actually on Chestnut Hill campus. We have to remember just how lucky we are, all of us Upper-ians and Newton-ites, just to be here, because it means we get the chance to be at Boston College. And that is an opportunity that is so clearly incredible, you can see it even from a 10 minute bus ride away.