Junior Year: Exploring My Own Campus

Lately, I’ve found myself staring out the window of my Stuvi1 apartment out onto the Charles River and being surprisingly awestruck at the recurring realization that I’m living in Boston. I know this might seem like an obvious fact – I mean, duh, I’ve been a student at Boston University for over two years – but it’s not the location that takes me by surprise as much as it is me remembering that an entire city lays right outside my door. Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily obligations of being a student and get stuck in that “BU bubble,” forgetting that Fenway Park is within walking distance and Faneuil Hall is only a short Uber ride away. The truth is, I’m not sure that I’ll stay in Boston during post-grad life, and more than likely I’ll probably migrate back to my roots in metropolitan New York City. So why waste these four years in this incredible, historic, and endlessly entertaining city sitting up in my Stuvi1 apartment just staring down at the view? It’s time to start exploring this campus I call home.

First off, let me say that I’m a big advocate of going on adventures by yourself. It’s a great time to decompress, relax, and really take in your surroundings without distractions. I’m also a big fan of walking everywhere, since it’s a lot easier to enjoy the journey when I’m on foot, instead of sitting on the T and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.

In the past few weeks, I’ve made a habit of walking from my last class of the day into Brookline for various errands, including a much-needed manicure. It’s about a 40-minute walk from my class in East Campus to Coolidge Corner, and most of the walk is through a more residential area. Sounds boring, I know, but a lot of the apartment buildings are actually really gorgeous, and some even have a garden of flowers out front. Especially this time of the year, with the leaves falling and the colors of autumn coating every landscape, residential Brookline has a nice, cozy charm to it. It’s also a great escape from the honking, traffic, and hordes of students always bustling on Commonwealth Ave.

I even discovered a little oasis in Brookline Booksmith, a haven of good reads, adorable trinkets, and cozy home décor. After peeking into the shop on one of my walks, I brought my roommate to the bookstore, where we both spent a good half hour reading through the synopses of various novels. It was little things like this trip to a local bookshop that reminded me that there are so many places that I’m lucky enough to have within walking distance of my home on campus.

This past semester, I’ve really made an effort to get out and take advantage of my city campus. On the weekends I’ve tried to replace sleeping in until two in the afternoon – which, I’ll admit, I did almost every Saturday of sophomore year – with adventures into Boston either with friends or on my own. Between going to the Halloween Pet Parade in Faneuil Hall, grabbing lunch at by Chloe in Fenway, and even going to the first Red Sox game of my college experience, I’ve really branched out of the confines of BU’s campus to enjoy the real reason I came to school here – the city.

Whether your campus is in a city, a suburb, or a rural community, taking the time to explore everything around you during your college experience is something you won’t regret. It’s taken me until junior year to start taking advantage of being a student in Boston, and I’m definitely not going to waste any more time forgetting about the endless things there are to do in this city.

 

Maybe it’s the view from my room, or maybe it’s being more than halfway through college that’s inspired me to take a look around. But either way, I’m happy it’s starting to settle in how lucky I am to call Boston my home away from home.