Emma: London vs. Boston: Important British Life hacks to Know Before Studying Abroad Across the Pond

Let’s get the formalities out of the way here, people. I know, if you’re considering going abroad and/or have read your way through this blog, you’ve seen various tips on applying and making the most out your experience. That said, I just have to repeat really fast how incredible going abroad can be. Lucky for you, COM makes it very possible.

Now that we have that covered, I’m here to offer up some advice to those who’ve just been accepted to the London program. First off, CONGRATS, you’re going to have the experience of your lives (sorry, I know, we’ve covered this. Last time, I promise). Anyways, in many ways, living in London is like Boston. You’ve already got the city life know-how’s down for the most part, and you already speak the language, so that adds an extra layer of comfortability.

That said, there are some things about London that are very different than the US, things you wouldn’t necessarily expect or know before coming here. Lucky for you, I’ve been noting some of these things down, and organized the top 50 into a nice, neat list for your scrolling pleasure. I’m sure there’s more than 50, but I’ll cap it at that as to not overwhelm you. Plus, it’s no fun if I ruin all the surprises.

London-bound friends, enjoy! And just make sure you know your lefts and rights before you get here.

  1. You probably already know this, but the British drive on the left side of the road. I’m only repeating this because it WILL confuse you and I do not want to see you get hit by a black cab.
  2. On that same note, pedestrians do not have the right of way. Don’t expect cars to stop for you at crosswalks unless the walk sign is on
  3. Check the pound-to-dollar ratio DAILY. London is very expensive and it’s easy to get suckered into paying $5.50 for a tiny coffee if you aren’t paying attention
  4. Speaking of coffee, your regular drip coffee is few and far between. Time to get really into espresso or do the budget approach (like me right now) and adopt a fond appreciation for instant coffee
  5. Street signs are usually attached to buildings, so be sure to look up when you’re looking for where to go
  6. If you think the squirrels in Boston Common are bad, just wait until you meet the giant pigeons and swans of all London parks
  7. Trash cans are basically mythical creatures, that’s how few of them there are
  8. Eggs: they are NOT refrigerated, and will likely be orange BUT they are delicious
  9. London is BIG, much bigger than Boston. Always check to see if where you want to go is a walkable distance first
  10. Restaurant service is much more relaxed. It’s usually on you to ask for the check
  11. Tipping is different than is the U.S. Tip what you’re comfortable with, but typically for dinner service, the standard is 12.5% (but be sure to see if your bill already has it included)
  12. It is never one weather pattern all day. ALWAYS have a raincoat/umbrella on you
  13. “Everybody Loves Raymond” is always on TV here for whatever reason
  14. Fries = chips and they are NOT as good as American fries (luckily, McDonald’s serves regular fries if you need a fix)
  15. The tube is awesome, but the etiquette is different than the T. Prime example: no one talks on the tube. As my marketing professor said when I asked her about it, “It’s just not done, darling.”
  16. Personal opinion: the peanut butter here is terrible
  17. When you walk into a building from the street, you are on the ground floor. What we consider the second floor is the first floor
  18. Oftentimes, you have to order drinks and food at the bar directly
  19. Not as many places are open late, so plan your late-night snacks accordingly
  20. Sometimes, you have to pay to use public restrooms (always have change on you)
  21. BU tip: washing machines are EXPENSIVE. Not saying to wait until you’re down to your last lone sock, but definitely wait until you have a substantial load
  22. Tea and scones are amazing in every capacity, I promise
  23. Coin and bill size is confusing. Example: the pound is significantly smaller than the 2 and 50 pence coins
  24. Emergency exits are green
  25. Lights turn yellow before they turn red AND green
  26. Cadbury is better than Hershey’s. This is a fact. Also, be sure to try a Cadbury McFlurry, it will change you
  27. If there’s one H&M nearby, there’s probably 6 others within a one-mile radius
  28. The British appreciate pastries at every meal and it’s awesome
  29. British people are quiet, but awesome, especially people who work on public transport
  30. Train language is very different. On the T, they’ll yell at you to get behind the yellow line. On the tube, it’s “please mind the gap”
  31. Be mindful of how much history is behind Britain every day, it’s really so cool
  32. Curb = kerb, tire = tyre
  33. Z = zed, a line = a queue
  34. The “@” button is in a different place on keyboards
  35. The British JUST got cookie dough. Currently being marketed (only) at Whole Foods as “an American delicacy”
  36. Uber may or may not be here when you get here
  37. Convenience stores are not always super convenient
  38. It never gets too cold here, but 70 degrees will feel hot
  39. Mail boxes: they look like large fire hydrants and are actually called post boxes
  40. Paper size is bigger (use A4 when formatting)
  41. The food here has few to no preservatives, which is great, but just buy what you need at the store because it goes bad fast
  42. Usually, grocery bags cost 5 pence each, so save money and bring your own
  43. Take-out = take-away, and usually prices between eating in and taking away are different
  44. Imperial College, which is right next to BU’s buildings, has the best farmer’s market on Tuesday. Would 100% recommend hummus from The Bow Belly
  45. I have yet to go to Nando’s *gasp* but that is a very big, popular chain here
  46. Tesco = Cit Co., Sainsbury’s = Star Market, Waitrose = bfresh, Whole Foods = Whole Foods
  47. Strikes are a big thing here, so always read up on the news and plan your trips accordingly
  48. London’s main airports for travel: Heathrow (you’ll be flying in here most likely, but you probably won’t travel to and from it as much), Stansted, and Gatwick. All of them take significant time to get to, so plan trips accordingly
  49. Citymapper and Sky Scanner are god-sends
  50. Always always use a private browser when searching for flights/trains/hostels (saves you $$$)
  51. BONUS: T.J. Maxx is T.K. Maxx, and the one by campus does not sell homegoods, like towels (you can get cheap towels at Sainsbury’s. Avoid being like me, who did not know this, went to buy one Marks & Spencers the first day, and ended up being stuck with a beach towel for the rest of the semester)

Sam: How I Discovered What I ***DON’T*** Want to Do (And How You Can Too)

Me— 18, naive, senior in high school: “I will attend Boston University’s College of Communication, and I will be a world renowned journalist!” 

Me— 20, still naive, sophomore in college: “I have absolutely no desire to go into journalism, but good thing I love advertising! I’m going to be a copywriter at a big-city agency!”

Me — 21, STILL naive (and questioning if I will ever grow out of it), 3 months before graduating: “I. Have. NO IDEA. What I want to be.”

I wish I was the kid that came out of the womb knowing I was going to be an anesthesiologist, or the one who after watching my first episode of Law and Order: SVU was already on track to law school. But alas, senior year of high school I was amongst the vast majority, unprepared for my newly deemed adult-status and unaware of what my future would hold. I decided that my love for writing would have to get me through, so I chose to study journalism and dreamed of being the next Ann Shoket (former editor in chief of 17 Magazine, which I was a proud subscriber of). However, not too long into COM 101 I realized that loving something and being decent at something were two very different things, so I moved on, searching for the next path that could take me to my desired future of fulfilling contentment.

If I knew anything about my future, it was that I wanted to do something creative; I fluidly moved on from journalism to advertising, and thought I had found my next dream job. I took creative courses and joined extracurriculars, trying to hone my new passion for copywriting and design. However, this was only the beginning of years of “guess and check” where I tried to force myself into loving something that I didn’t in turn love. Between classes, internships and everything else, I found out exactly what I do not want to pursue as a career. 

So now I’m here, the future looming over me like a cloudy crystal ball, with no idea of what I want to do and a million ideas of what I don’t. But instead of feeling as though my trials and errors were wasted time, I am grateful for the failures that I have experienced that have helped develop exactly who I do want to be. I have found that learning what I don’t like to do helps narrow down everything that I enjoy. So while I may not know what will come in the new year, I do know with great confidence that I will not go to law school, join a team at a big-city agency, become an anesthesiologist, or work as a renowned journalist any time soon. 

Nick: The Power of Friendship

As I sit on the third floor of COM and await my next FPS reservation, it’s easy to get nostalgic about the last three years. Being a senior is a weird feeling, and I’m not sure it has set in quite yet. On one hand, this is the first time I’ve been on campus since last fall, and I’m eager to reconnect with old friends and make the most of every remaining second I have in college. On the other hand, you’re basically forced to have one foot out the door so you can prepare for post-grad life and, gulp, the dreaded unknown that is the real world.

When I look back at my BU career to this point, many things stand out. My on-air experience through BUTV10, my time onstage, long nights at the Daily Free Press office during the fall of my junior year, getting up at three in the morning for Meet the Press every Sunday last spring, to name a few. COM has given me so much in the way of practical experience, but that’s hardly the most important thing. What I remember most about these years are the people I’ve met, the mentors who have helped me along the way and the lifelong friendships I’ve forged.

Jane and I produce Offsides, and I have COM to thank for bringing us together. She's been there since day 1 freshman year when we didn't even know how to read off a teleprompter

Jane and I produce Offsides, and I have COM to thank for bringing us together. She’s been there since day 1 freshman year when we didn’t even know how to read off a teleprompter

Sure, I’ll remember Offsides, BUTV’s only pro sports talk show, and the progress my fellow producers and I have made to improve it, but I’ll remember the people first. Nick Picht, who produced Offsides my freshman year, went from being an intimidating senior to one of my closest friends and mentors. He took me under his wing and has advised me throughout my college career. I couldn’t be more grateful for that, and I hope to be that same person to another freshman. I also got a job at the Boston Globe sophomore year through another Offsides friend – build these relationships and your network will grow along with your friendships.

My time onstage has been memorable and fun – it’s an important outlet amid all my other career-focused activities (so much so that I’ve decided to give another go this semester). But once again, it’s all about the relationships. I decided to do BU On Broadway’s American Idiot sophomore year with my best friend, and I left the process with 20 additional best friends. College can be rough, and having a support system to turn to is crucial – it doesn’t matter where you find it, but it matters that it’s there.

Ah, the Daily Free Press. BU’s independent student newspaper has shaped my college experience and given me unmatched journalistic experience, but I never would have stuck with it had I not been surrounded by such wonderful people at the FreeP. I met my roommate there, and plenty others who I’m certain will remain in my life long after we’ve entered the esteemed realm of COM alumni. The long hours and UBurger trips were tough on me, but my friends kept me going. Someone once asked me if COM kids are competitive. From what I’ve seen, COM students are motivated to pursue similar goals, and they’re eager to see their friends reach and surpass them.

 Long hours at the FreeP office flew by with these goons by my side. Justin, Nick and Jon were my FreeP sports partners-in-crime first, but over time became some of my best friends at BU

Long hours at the FreeP office flew by with these goons by my side. Justin, Nick and Jon were my FreeP sports partners-in-crime first, but over time became some of my best friends at BU

My internship with “Meet the Press” in the spring was transformative in ways I could’ve never imagined. I met senators, members of Congress and governors, but the group of friends I made through the BUDC program is one of the biggest reasons why I enjoyed my semester there as much as I did.

I’ve been asked on tours, “What’s it like to go to a school as big as BU?” And I always come back to the same answer: BU doesn’t seem that big if you find your niche and surround yourself with a network of support. Then, not only does Comm. Ave. start to seem smaller, but COM does as well. And COM is such a tight-knit community anyway because of its size. The people you meet here will not only be your peers, your camera operators when you need to a standup and your editors, they will be lifelong friends.

Sydney: Summer Study Abroad in Dublin

I had the amazing opportunity to spend this past summer studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland through the COM Internship Program.

We lived on campus at Dublin City University’s All Hallows Campus. This was my view when I left our dorm building.

We all took one class and were placed into an internship. My class was about contemporary Irish society. My internship was at a casting company called Ali Coffey Casting. I was in charge of scheduling and booking actors for castings, as well as managing the waiting room. I was able to meet a bunch of locals and hear about their lives in Ireland!

My internship was located in central Dublin right up the block from the famous Temple Bar.

A university you may have heard of, Trinity College, was nearby. So was Grafton Street! Fun fact: Even though Ed Sheeran mentions Grafton Street in his song Galway Girl, the famous street is located in Dublin. It’s a popular shopping area.

Studying abroad is an amazing experience! For one, you make great friendships that will last beyond your time there. You can travel with them to new, beautiful places and create once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

I traveled to many spots within Ireland including Galway, Cork, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney, Belfast and the Giants Causeway.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway

Galway

Galway

Galway

I also traveled outside of Ireland to Brussels, Belgium, Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England! Once you’re in Europe, traveling is easy and pretty affordable if you book far enough in advance. Memories made and experiences with friends are worthwhile.

Brussels

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

London

London

London

London

Moral of the story: If you have the opportunity- study abroad!! I personally recommend a summer in Dublin. 

Rachel: Joining One Extra Curricular Can Change Your College Life

My first year at BU, I didn’t join many clubs. Then, my sophomore year I joined BUTV10, the Daily Free Press, the COM Ambassador Program and BU’s Chapter of PRSSA and went full COM. Not only were these clubs great experience, but I made a lot of really great connections and friendships. One of the best decisions I made in my college career was joining PRSSA.

PRSSA is the Public Relations Student Society of America, which is a preprofessional organization that focuses on enhancing the educations, expanding the networks and launching the careers of communication students. I originally joined PRSSA to learn more about public relations and maybe get an internship. Two years later, I’ve been to Seattle and Pheonix for PRSSA National events, I’ve had six internships, I have friends all over the country and I am on the planning committee for the largest gathering of public relations students in the country, the PRSSA 2017 National Conference (PRSSANC).

My active involvement in BU’s Chapter of PRSSA gave me the opportunity of a life time. I went to every weekly meeting, joined the digital media team writing blog posts and got involved with the Chapter’s nationally affiliated, student run public relations agency. I made connections and became someone that people recognized. I wasn’t on the e-board and had only been involved for one semester, but when word came out that Boston was the next city to host PRSSANC and our Chapter started to form a committee to write the bid to host the Conference, they asked me to join the committee and help write the bid that ultimately earned us the opportunity to host the Conference this year.

Now, in less than a week, I will be working along side three other BU seniors to facilitate a huge, four day event where I’ll be interacting with CEOs, CMOs and other high level executives. PRSSA gave me the chance to work on the event of a lifetime and gave me the skills to manage the event and interact with professionals with confidence.

Hali: Hali’s Guide to Staying In

The past two Friday nights, I have stayed home and done laundry. Exciting, right? Well, for me, yes. 

I used to be devastated when I didn’t have plans for the weekend. Now, I understand the importance of reserving free time. It’s only been a few weeks, but this fall has been the most challenging semester I’ve had so far in college. During the week, my days start at 9 AM, and I’m usually not home before 10 or 11 PM. After five days of classes, interning, and working multiple jobs, all I can think about on Friday is going home, changing into my comfiest pajamas, and rewatching at least five episodes of Sex and the City. Thinking about staying in this Friday? I’ve provided my recipe for the perfect night in.

#1: The Attire

It’s fun to wear trendy clothes to class. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you perform well, right? Of course.

But a girl can only wear high-waisted skinny jeans and heeled boots for so many hours. The best part of my day is when I get to come home and change into sweatpants and an oversized cardigan. The best thing about the weekend? You can literally keep this comfy outfit on until Monday morning (you might want to consider taking it off to shower at some point, though).

#2: The Activities

“Activities” might not be the right word, because most of my night-in plans involve staying pretty still. Options include: movies (of course), online shopping, baking, manicures, face masks, etc. My Friday nights usually include all of the above. 

The point is, your night-in activities should consist of whatever makes you happy. Last weekend, I stayed in and cleaned my kitchen. And guess what? I enjoyed every moment! 

#3: The Food

I usually sort this one out before Friday even arrives. A pre-Friday night trip to the grocery store is a must if you want to make the most of your treat ‘yo self experience. Feeling creative? Make yourself dinner! Feeling lazy? Even better! Pick up something to go. Feeling even lazier? That’s what Uber Eats is for! 

Just as important as dinner are the snacks. Whether your plans include watching a movie, reading a book, or Facetiming your mom, you need adequate fuel to give you the strength to spend several hours lounging in bed. 

#4: The Finale

The best part of a Friday night in? Bedtime. As soon as the clock strikes 10:30 PM, sip your last bit of chamomile tea, take your melatonin supplement (thanks, Target vitamin aisle), and head to bed! 

Have you had a tough week? Live your best life this weekend from the comfort of your own home (or apartment, or dorm). 

Josee: For the Person Who Wants to Do It All

For your standard overachiever, attending Boston University feels like a kid in a candy store. Everywhere you turn, there’s another club that piques your interest or an event you want to go to. Each time you meet someone new, they do something really cool that you want to try. A friend’s social media post will present you with a new place that you need to explore.

Now, you’re living in Boston and there’s no shortage of things to see, people to talk to, and opportunities right on your doorstep.

But, just like when you ate all your Halloween candy in one night the stomache ache of consuming too much leaves you tired, uncomfortable, and a little bit sick to your stomach.

I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t put yourself out there and make the most of your time here at BU. Now’s your time to live your best life and make some wicked cool memories that will last a lifetime. Just make sure that you take the time to take care of yourself along the way.

In my case, I’m like a shark. I always have to be moving and up to something. My google calendar looks like a rainbow threw up all over it and I absolutely love it. But it’s also important to schedule time for yourself to recuperate, reinvigorate, and reset for the next day.

Freshman year, I filled my schedule to the brim with activities, classes, and social upkeep. I thought i was burnt out in high school but didn’t realize exactly how much harder it is when you have to take care of yourself. I worked myself sick by the end of both semesters, ending up in the hospital, countless doctor’s offices and even missing a final each semester because I was run so ragged. That’s where self-care comes in.

Besides your resources within the school and your friend group, making time to treat yourself is a great way to take some time to breathe. Here are some tips for Self-Care success

  1. Schedule it in  – If you don’t set time aside, there’s a chance you’ll just skip it. So make time specifically for yourself.
  2. Sleep – Pulling an all-nighter is one of the worst feelings ever (preceded only by missing the BU Bus by a hair). A (semi) regular sleep schedule can help your body with a reliable recharge to face the next day.
  3. Food – Whether it’s a fancy dinner in the North End, a quick bite at by CHLOE, or a pint of ice cream after a long day, eating things that make you happy and eating regularly can really help with energy upkeep and surviving through the mid-week slump.
  4. Workout – Release those endorphins one way or another with a run down the Esplanade or a Kickboxing class at FitRec. Spending an hour or two only focused on exercise can provide a quick removal from work.
  5. You do you – If you need a night to stay in when your friends are going out, do it. If you need to take a day off for mental health, go for it. Discover the things that make you happy and make them a priority because you are a priority.

So that’s my two cents for now. If you want specific suggestions, feel free to tweet me @JoseeMatela!
Peace and love,
Josee

Sophia: Why I’ve Seen “It” in Theaters Three Times (and may even go again)

To be mainstream, or not to be mainstream. That is the question.

As a communications major (and especially as a journalist), I am enthralled by this inclusive, all-encompassing, addicting world we’ve created on social media. Gen X and Baby Boomers are constantly stumped by Instagram and Twitter, citing them as silly and egotistical. But we’re really not that hard to figure out! Every choice that millennials make can be traced back to one underlying desire: inclusivity.

It’s the reason we buy Kylie Jenner Lip Kits, post incessantly about current events, tag our friends in memes and Snapchat every part of our weekends. Some call it mainstream conformity and mindless following, but I don’t think that’s it at all. It’s not that we devalue individualization — it’s that we’ve created this web of people, people who share the same humor and desires and political views, and it’s an absolute thrill. It encompasses more than just our immediate circle of friends — it encompasses every millennial who has a computer, a Twitter, a voice. And it’s incredible.

It’s why people hop on board so quickly when shows like “Game of Thrones” go viral, or start hashtagging #TakeAKnee when the National Anthem gets sung during the Patriots/Texans game. We are all eager and excited to be a part of this culture, this movement that we have created on our phones in between classes and fostered in every group chat we’re in. We’re all a part of this grand, collective something on social media. It’s not definable, and it’s not quite tangible, but everyone feels it bursting from the ends of their fingertips as we type quickly, deliberately, clumsily, not quick enough.

“It” is another one of those cultural phenomenons happening right now, but this one is special. Just like “Game of Thrones,” it’s success is based off of the fact that it thrives as a cross-generational adventure. I can remember so vividly my Dad reading Stephen King novels on the beaches of Cape Cod, a native New Englander finding pleasure in between the pages of someone who shared such a similar upbringing to himself, and I can remember the first time I read the pages of a King novel myself, the book “11.22.63” sitting heavily in my hands. And although there are things about his generation I will never understand, and things about my generation he will never understand, “It” is where we come together.

So, why have I seen it three times? Because of the soul of this film: the Loser’s Club. These kids, these kids, these kids. The boys (and Beverly, of course, played by Sophia Lillis) are not only hilarious and awkwardly adorable, but the Loser’s Club is jam-packed with a group chemistry so special it’s unmistable. As someone who spent her entire upbringing hanging out as the only girl with her older brother and his friends, this cast’s humor, friendship and weirdness resonates with me hardcore. And I’m sure it resonates with others hardcore, too — running around outdoors, summertime freedom, mischief and trouble-making, childhood crushes and timid first kisses. But these themes are timeless and faceless. There is a reason why both my Dad and I can find common ground in the land of Derry, New Hampshire, the film’s setting. There’s something more to “It” than just hilarity and nostalgia — it’s this feeling that, no matter what, we’re all in this together.

That is why we are addicted to films like “It” and talking about films like “It” and blogging about films like “It” and re-watching films like “It.” We are a generation of inclusivity, relatability and discussion. We are a collective voice, a voice heard over social media and through our earphones, and our culture feeds off of this cohesive, collaborative, fluid network of the people like us. And we invite everyone, no matter what generation, to join in on this web of something that we’ve spun.

So, to quote Richie (Finn Wolfhard) at the film’s climax, “Welcome to the Loser’s Club.”

Grace: Pros and Cons of Dual Degree and How to Decide if it’s Right for You

For those of us who struggle with decisions harder than most, Boston University offers a dual degree program. Open to students with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above, this serious program allows students to graduate with degrees from multiple colleges.

I applied for the program during the second semester of sophomore year, and am now pursuing degrees in Advertising and International Relations. Deciding to pursue two degrees was a big decision; the course load is a serious endeavor which requires careful planning beforehand. However, the dual degree program has also given me immense opportunities.

Since declaring dual degree I have interned in the Advertising/Public Relations department at Boston Ballet and at the United Nations Association of Boston in its Programs/Development department. Both of my bosses told me that my pursuit of two degrees made my application stand out, and that they were impressed with my work ethic.

I would highly recommend the program to any student who is ready to put the effort in. Although challenging, the program is designed to allow hardworking, organized students make the most of their time at BU.

Here is a list of pros and cons you should consider before applying to the program:

Pros:

  1. You don’t have to choose between two interests; you can pursue both to their full capacity.
  2. You are graduating with two degrees for the price of one!!  
  3. Employers will be impressed with how hard you worked in college.
  4. You can bring two different types of fields together and master them both; this opens up double the job opportunities following graduation.
  5. Oftentimes, prerequisite classes can count twice; this facilitates the program and makes it easier to complete the requirements on time.

Cons:

  1. Once you fulfill your general education requirements, you don’t won’t time to take many electives.
  2. If you don’t come to BU with much AP/IB credit, you may have to enroll in summer classes or overload in order to fulfill the credit requirement.
  3. You have to work hard to maintain the minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (you should be doing this anyways, though!!).
  4. During registration, you may have to wait to select your courses until the normal students from that college are already done.
  5. Classes for both degrees are not always offered abroad; therefore, you must plan ahead if you know you want to study abroad.

Applications must be submitted after the completion of freshman year, and no later than the first semester of junior year. The program requires completion of a minimum of 36 classes (144 credits), maintenance of good academic standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in order to graduate.

For more information, visit http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/dual-degree-program/.

Christy: The friends you make in college

Welcome to the fourth week of classes! Crazy, right? Now three weeks have passed me by, and I only have 11 weeks left at Boston University. My time here has been transformative, to say the least; BU and the College of Communication have opened so many doors for me, and I know I am equipped to tackle whatever life throws at me when January comes around. Because of this confidence, I gained through both my education and experiences at BU, I have come to terms with the fact that I will be leaving this wonderful city in a few short months. What I haven’t come to terms with, however, is leaving my friends. 

Thinking about my friends made me realize how much I have learned about friendship over the past three and a half years. Going to college, many people have the perception that their college friends are are going to be their friends for life. I believe I am lucky enough to have found some of these friends for life, but not without a nice blend of happiness, sorrow, confusion and gratitude. 

The friends from day one

It’s okay to not remain friends with all your friends from the first few weeks of school. The first few weeks are an adjustment period, and everyone is trying to find people to surround themselves with. I remember thinking everyone I was friends with my first semester will be my best friends for the following four years. However, it’s inevitable that not all of these friends will remain in your life for four years.This notion is hard to fathom as a freshman because you don’t realize how much you are going to grow in four years. Unfortunately, this growth may not be together because as you find your niche, get involved in clubs and meet new people, these freshman year friends will begin to taper out. Losing a friendship is hard, but it makes you stronger and helps you re-evaluate both what kind of friend you are and what you need in a friend in return.

That’s not to say that none of your friends from the beginning of freshman year will be an active part of your life when senior year comes around. I have been fortunate enough to have a few friends that I have been friends with since my first semester, one of which I actually met before the semester even started through BU’s First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP). I can not emphasize how much these friendships have meant to me; they have been a great source of happiness and support to me, and they have seen me at my absolute worst and best. If you are lucky enough to have at least one friend from day one, you are the luckiest person in the world. 

The friends along the way

As I previously mentioned, you will foster friendships with people you meet through campus activities and jobs. During my sophomore and junior years, that’s how I gained many of my friends. At first, I was hesitant because I was caught up on the ideas that I already had friends and did not need new ones, and that the new groups I joined did not want to add a new friend to the mix. These notions are absurd. Once you open yourself up to new friendships and opportunities, so many doors will open. Suddenly, my circle of friends began expanding, and I had various groups of friends in addition to my friends from freshman year. The timeline in which I met these friends does not matter because each friendship is unique and holds a special place in my heart. Friendships I made junior year hold the same merit as friendships I made senior year. Some of these friends are even friends with other friends of mine from different groups (independent of me), which makes the friendships even better!

The friends you made a little too late

Finally, you will probably meet and befriend amazing people during your last months at school. There are some people that I am meeting for the first time and others that I have always been friends with but finally getting closer with. Seeing these friendships form is bittersweet because of graduation. But, the fact that I am graduating is not deterring me from forming these friendships. They are turning into great friendships that I want to pursue, even if there is not much time together left in the same place. Regardless of the situation, everyone should surround themselves with friends that make them happy!