Lindsey: It’s Still Hot Out.

Welcome to Boston. The city where it can be 61 degrees and pouring one day and 80 degrees and sunny the next. Between your light fall jacket, heavy winter coat, t-shirts, sweatshirts, raincoat, sweaters (the list goes on, and on, and on), you need a lot of different garments to survive out here in New England. One thing I’ve been trying to figure out for the past three years is how to pack for school. 

As a notorious overpacker, I’ll be honest, I still haven’t mastered it yet. However, this year, I made a conscious effort to pack only what I needed and leave behind the unnecessary things. Here are some of my tips and tricks for packing to live in Boston weather:

Bring shorts, but not too many. 

Like I mentioned in the title of this article, it’s still hot out. But, the truth is, no one will notice if you’ve been wearing the same three pairs of shorts for the last four weeks (as long as you wash them). Just pack a few pairs of shorts, because unfortunately this weather is not lasting long. 

T-shirts are your best friend. 

Probably right now, you are sweating through two t-shirts a day as you walk to class like the rest of BU students. That’s fine because you need a lot of them. If there is one thing to overpack, it’s your t-shirts. Even after the weather cools down, classrooms turn up the heaters and it can get very hot inside (#layer). 

Your parents can mail you things. 

Also, if you just really feel like you don’t have enough summer clothes for now, have your parents mail you stuff. This is how I survived my first two years. And then, I mail back the clothes once I’m done wearing them. 

I hope you like jackets.

You need a lot of jackets. And, you’ll accumulate overtime (especially if you’re from a warm weather state, like me, and never have lived in the cold before). I like to bring a light jacket (like a jean jacket) to wear during the first month of school, a raincoat, a light down jacket for the fall, and of course, the heavy duty winter coat that you could survive in Antarctica with if you needed to. (Tip: Get your Antarctica-level coat during Black Friday over Thanksgiving! You won’t need it until December, usually.)

Buy storage zip pouches. 

Your dorms have little to no closet and drawer space, so having clothes for every season is hard to fit. If you decide not to bring home clothes over break, put your summer clothes in a storage bin or zip-pouch thing (they sell them at Bed, Bath, & Beyond) and store it under your bed. This way you have room for all the important stuff — those bulky sweaters. 

Although the fall weather and soon winter weather is fast approaching, enjoy this beautiful weather while you can and get some Vitamin D. Feel free to email me at lindseyr@bu.edu with any questions 🙂 

Lindsey: Public Transportation for Dummies

Living in a fast-paced city like Boston, there are countless places to go and multiple ways to get there. Coming from Los Angeles, a city plagued with 24/7 freeway traffic and a poor public transportation system, the last thing I knew was how to get on a subway. Boston’s subway system, the MBTA Commuter Rail (we say “the T”), runs straight through BU’s campus. This looks very convenient, but being train illiterate, it was one of the most intimidating aspects about BU for me during my first month at school.

Uber is efficient and requires no effort, but your bank account will be going into an extreme decline if you fail to learn the cheaper ways of getting around Boston. Here are the main things you need to know:

  • The Boston University Bus

The bus is convenient if you know when it’s arriving. Get the BU app, and you can see the buses’ active locations and an estimated arrival time for each stop. The bus goes from Stuvi 2 (in West Campus) all the way through Kenmore Square. And the best part is: it’s free!

  • The T

What it is: The T is broken down into 4 subway lines: Red, Orange, Blue, and Green. The Green line is the largest and is broken down into the A- E train. The Green line, is what runs through BU and is called the B train (for Boston College).

  • Pro-Tip: When the train says it is going toward BC, that is toward West Campus, and if you want to go toward Kenmore Square, the destination will say Lechmere

Where it goes: All around Boston! You can get to most parts of Boston on the T, BUT it does require you to switch trains, for example, going to Cambridge. That is intermediate level navigating (which I am still working on), but I’ve done it and it’s a great, cheap way to explore Boston. My favorite place to go is Newbury St (Hynes Convention Center Stop) because it’s about two stops away from BU!

How to get on it: Buy a Charlie Card, which you can get at Star Market on-campus or at any train station– Kenmore Square is closest. Each trip you take costs $2.25, and you can easily reload the card at any station or buy a one-time ticket.

When do you know it’s coming: You could walk outside and look, but save yourself from frost bite. I suggest getting an app like ProximiT which gives you a live ETA for each train and which stop it will be at.

The T also offers a bus system and a train system, but I’m only a sophomore…. I haven’t mastered that yet. Once you buy a Charlie Card and study the train map, you’re ready to venture into Boston—take advantage!