Advice: From Senior Me to Freshman Me

Marie Kimball (CAS’23)

Stuvi 1 in the spring

As I embark on my last semester here at Boston University, I’ve of course been thinking about the future. In between classes, I’ve been scrambling to apply to graduate school and figuring out work for the summer. However, the past has also been on my mind. Almost four years ago, I began my journey at BU – it’s unbelievable how fast the time has flown. I think that no matter what happens during your undergraduate career, including a global pandemic, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to reflect, here are some things I wish I could go back and tell my freshman-year self.

1) There are only 24 hours in the day! Make sure taking time to relax takes up an hour or two of those 24. Every semester, I’ve found myself rather busy with classes, work, friends, sports, extracurricular activities, and studying. With such a busy schedule, it’s convenient to maybe eat lunch on the go or stay up an hour later some nights. I wish I could go back and tell myself that taking these shortcuts just make you plain tired and put you in an even worse spot to take on your day. I wish I would’ve been more intentional about making sure I took time to refocus so that I could really make the most of my day.

2) Explore Boston – the green line is right there! With so much going on all down Comm Ave, I never made it into the city as much. I regret this, as some of my favorite memories are from adventuring through Boston. Faneuil Hall is a few stops away with tons of shops, restaurants, and plenty of walking space. I loved going there for breakfast with my friends. The theatre district is vibrant and always bustling with people. I had the opportunity to see Wicked and it was incredible! Finally, even though its more of a commute, the Seaport is gorgeous. The Institute of Contemporary Art is there, along with plenty of good food and beautiful views.

3) Rely on the people around you! BU is such a supportive community. Kilachand Honors College in particular is a community of such friendly, passionate, and thoughtful people. I wish I could’ve told my freshman self to check in with my advisor a few more times or to attend a few more Kilachand Teas. Everyone is so driven to accomplish their goals and just as enthusiastic about supporting their classmates. It’s just a great group, and I wish I would’ve hung out with everyone a bit more.

4) Think about your interests! I think that sometimes while I was completing assignments the thoughts in my brain consisted more of, “This is due in a few days. Try to power through as much of this tonight,” and less of, “What do I think of this topic?” and, “Is this something I’d like to continue exploring?” I think after reflecting on everything I’ve learned over the years at BU, I’m able to sift through and find the nuggets of information I was notably passionate about and interested in. However, I wish I would’ve taken a few extra seconds in the moment to think about whether or not what I was learning was something I would’ve liked to follow-up with more seriously. Thinking this way would’ve made figuring out the next steps after undergrad a bit smoother.

5) Finally, be proud of yourself! Everyone works so hard here at BU to accomplish their academic and professional goals and everything in between. One thing I’ve truly loved about going to BU and especially about being a member of the KHC community is that everyone is really putting their best effort forward. Almost everyone I meet is pretty awesome and pretty humble about it too. I wish I would’ve reminded myself more often that I should be proud of all of the ways I was growing academically and personally. Being an undergraduate at BU is a busy, fulfilling, challenging, fun, incredible ride – freshman-year me should’ve stopped to look around and appreciate that a few more times and given myself a pat on the back.

I hope that as you think about attending BU and KHC that this advice helps guide your decision. One thing I know I wouldn’t tell my freshman-year me is that I made the wrong choice. My time here at BU and KHC has been amazing, and I’m so excited to talk about this opportunity with anyone who would like to learn more about it. Feel free to reach out to me to chat about the BU and KHC experience!

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