Welcome to Boston University and welcome to Boston! You’re about to experience college in one of the coolest cities in America and arguably the best city to be a student in the world. There are 35 colleges in Boston and each university is its own little world. You’ll come to find that the BU bubble is real. Our school has hundreds of clubs, sports teams, student organizations and opportunities to get involved with our BU community of roughly 32,000 people.
But let’s be honest, going to college is already incredibly intimidating and the fact that BU is such a big place may add a layer of fear for some. In addition to adjusting to life in Boston, you’re going to be adjusting to a life where your professors don’t know your name, where you might have a 25-minute walk from your first class, a fight for a seat in Mugar Memorial Library and difficulty deciphering acronyms like CSC, FYSOP and PLB. BU is a big, impersonal, fast-paced learning environment. It’s gray, brutalistic architecture makes it somewhat gloomy during the winter time and you will develop a love/hate relationship with the MBTA Green Line.
The most important thing to know when beginning your freshman year at BU is to know what you’re getting into. This school has marvelous minds, beautiful nooks to study in, countless opportunities both in and out of the classroom and, as mentioned before, dozens of organizations to be a part of. The people you will meet will be some of the smartest, most driven individuals in the world and you’re certainly going to make lasting friendships. As a freshman, you have the entirety of BU at your fingertips, so go nuts. Join every club, do every activity until you find a good fit. In a community of 32,000, you’re probably not going to make an impression on every student. But you can make a lasting impact on a club or organization with your creativity and leadership skills, so lean in and get involved.
At a school as big as BU, making an impact is scary but not impossible. It’s only going to happen if you put yourself out there. Your professors are not going to seek you out, so ask questions and go to office hours and develop relationships. You really have to learn how to take initiative — this will benefit you in the long run.
One of the most practical things you need to do if you’re moving to Boston is to dress for the weather. Our climate is incredibly unforgiving and weather changes rapidly. Invest in a good pair of boots, a winter jacket and a good raincoat, and you should be set. Certainly be aware of how the weather affects your body. BU students come from all over the world and are often shocked at the harsh temperature. Seasonal affective disorder is real, so take advantage of mental health resources BU offers and start planning now about how this might impact you.
Put yourself out there, do your laundry, try to be a good roommate and enjoy Boston. You have an opportunity to come into an environment with a clean slate, so take advantage of that as well as every other opportunity on your horizon.