Maria: Four Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

It’s hard to believe that three years ago, I was a scared little freshman on campus unsure of what to do with my life. How do I awkwardly make small talk with my neighbors in the bathroom? Would my professor hate me if I don’t go to office hours? Where is my 24-hour diner when I’m craving some greasy food at midnight? (Sorry, I’m from New York where late-night diners are a necessity in every town.)

This post inspired me after the COM (College of Communication) Open House in April when all of us COM Ambassadors came on stage, introduced ourselves, and said one thing we wish we knew about BU before we got here. The one lame, but true, thing I said was “I wish I knew how great COM was before I got here.” (I transferred from a psychology major in the College of Arts & Sciences to a journalism major in COM my sophomore year.) Well, chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already in COM or are interested in applying to COM, so you already know why COM is so great. So here are a few other things I wish I knew when I got to college:

1)    Get to know your professors and teaching fellows (TFs)

This is probably the one thing I really wish I knew the most as a freshman. If you establish a relationship with your professor or TF during your semester with them, they will most likely help you out during the semester giving you advice for their tests or essays and offering additional study hours. And although most of the classes you take freshman year are intro classes, one or two will be an intro class for your potential major. In the long run, having a strong connection with a professor or TF will truly when you need a mentor, letter of recommendation, or just someone to go to when you’re having a life or career crisis.

2)    The food here is actually pretty good

I’ll admit I was one of those kids who were obsessed with my future college as a senior in high school. I went on all those weird websites that ranked your college in every department: location, food, dorm life, even the parking situations. I always heard that BU had great food and distinctly remember one website giving the food an A-. It seemed weird to me that BU was one of the only schools I really saw that had a high food rating, but once I got here, I realized how accurate it was. The dining halls had miraculously delicious food and the food court had real places like Panda Express and a killer salad bar. And we live in an awesome city, so of course there’s amazing food places right off campus. With anything from “Brown Sugar” Thai food , “Chipotle” for your Mexican craving, or the North End just a short T-ride away, you literally can’t go hungry on (or even off) campus.

3)    Get to know the people on your floor and in your dorm

I lived on an all-girls floor in Claflin in West Campus my freshman year. To say it was catty is a bit of an understatement, but nonetheless I met some of my best friends on my floor. Unfortunately I didn’t meet many other people in the dorm, and found out that a lot of the friends I made later freshman year or sophomore year actually lived in my building. It’s great networking to meet people on all floors and it’s fun to mingle with people you may not see every day in the bathroom while you’re rocking your cute robe.

4)    The 57 Bus will save your life

If you don’t know what the 57 Bus is, it’s pretty much a hidden treasure on campus. The 57 is one of the city busses that starts in Kenmore, runs all throughout campus, stops at almost every block on campus, and continues down Brighton Ave. all the way to Watertown. It’s an awesome alternative to the T, which can run slow because it’s usually pretty packed (unless you’re on it at 5 AM or at random times of the day). But the 57 Bus drives as fast as a normal car, and let’s be real, Bostonians take driving to a new level in this city. And it’s cheaper; the T costs $2.50 while the bus is $2.00. Once you’re in college, you really appreciate the cheaper things in life.

I hope these words of advice are something you take into account as a freshman! Enjoy your weekend and the first few days of Fall!

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The COM Ambassador program is available to current and prospective COM freshmen. We are here to answer questions and help you learn all the great things that BU, COM and Boston have to offer. Be bold. Be creative. Be COM. @BU

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