Imagine this: it’s your freshman year of college. You’re going to a new school, making new friends, starting new classes; basically, starting over. Now, imagine that you’re doing all that in a different country across the world, a country that speaks a different language than where you’re from.
That’s what happened to freshman Ariane Vigna when she started at BU this year. Except you’d never know that she was going through all of those changes. She’s one of the most poised freshmen I’ve ever met.
Originally from Paris, France, Ariane attended normal French schools — which is how she learned to speak flawless English (that and the internet) — until her senior year, when she transferred to a smaller school which she said “felt more homey,” with very caring teachers who cared about everyone’s well-being.
In France, there are three curriculums students can study: science, economics, and literature. As she’s currently undecided between a journalism and political science major, it was a surprise when she told me that in high school, she was on the science track. That’s part of the reason she wanted to move to an American university — here, “you have more options,” in addition to, “American people are more positive and have like a strong work ethic and work in teams rather than compete against each other, which can sometimes be the case in Europe.”
When asked how she ended up choosing BU out of the thousands of schools here, Ariane said that she knew she wanted to go on the east or west coast, so she looked at schools primarily in Seattle, LA, NYC, and Boston. She decided that she would be able to get more professional opportunities from BU, which was a big reason why she ended up here.
She’s certainly forging a successful path for herself at school already. She’s a writer for Her Campus, an admissions ambassador, and she’s a part of Students for Reproductive Freedom, a club that’s currently working with Planned Parenthood to install condom vending machines on campus.
Outside of her school extracurriculars, she has a blog that she’s had since 8th grade called, happiness shipper. It started when she felt misunderstood when she was younger and wanted an outlet where she could talk to people who had similar interests to her about products she liked. You can read some of her work here.
She’s also making her way around her new city in America. She loves going to the harbor because seeing the ocean is “a great stress-reliever,” going to Government Center, and going to Caffeine Nerd coffee shop (where many Europeans go) which she likes because she gets to hear many different languages.
If you ever want something to talk to Ariane about, here are some of her favorite things: Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, the Netflix show Peaky Blinders, Grey’s Anatomy, her dream job (working for Anderson Cooper 360), or her icon, Miley Cyrus. Miley is “careless, but in a way that doesn’t hurt people,” and supports the LGTBQ+ community and homeless youth, which is why Ariane looks up to her so much.
We ended our conversation with Ariane telling me her favorite quote: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid.” When she’s scared, she likes to remember this to remind herself that she can do anything.