Jackson Wallace (CAS’22)
I first heard of Bay State Underground from other incoming Kilachand students in the GroupMe we used to get to know one another. It had opened not long before our first year and everyone was sharing what they knew about it. Apparently, the menu was fantastic, with a lot of options beyond what one might expect from a traditional dining hall. When I finally got to campus, Underground quickly became a lifesaver Wednesday evenings, when I did not have time to go to the dining hall before it closed. I looked forward to ordering on those Wednesdays before trying to finish my work at a decent time. After a few weeks, I quickly figured out which menu items were worth their salt and which were better avoided. I will now pass this wisdom on to you.
Fifth on the list is Underground’s fries. If you’re looking to get a little side when you’re going with friends, then these standard cut fries make for the perfect dish. The fries have a good balance of crispiness and are salted to perfection.
The next best item on the menu comes off of the dessert list. Although there may be better cheesecakes to be had, for the price Underground’s New York-style cheesecake can’t be beaten. The graham cracker crust is well-constructed, the cake itself is delicious, and sometimes it comes with strawberries.
The third best item on the Bay State Underground menu is the quesadilla. Specifically the one with chicken. I find that the plain quesadilla is not filling enough for dinner, but once you add some extras it becomes quite the meal.
The cheesecake is actually only the second-best dessert on the menu. The real treat is the warm brownie sundae. Sometimes, you are in the mood for something chocolatey and sweet and that is exactly what this menu option provides. They even put whipped cream on the sundae. The only thing keeping this menu item from number one on the list is that sometimes the brownie is not the finest quality.
With all that said, without a doubt, the best item on the menu is the chicken caesar wrap. It is delicious, it is nutritious, and it’s pretty affordable for what you get. If you check out Bay State Underground, be sure to give it a try.
By Jackson Wallace (CAS'22)
One of the greatest advantages of going to school in a large city is that there are so many activities to do and places to go. Whether you are looking for something to do close to Boston University, something that’s a little further into the city, or something in the surrounding area of Boston, there is somewhere to go.
For places that are within close walking distance of BU, the closest would be Fenway Park, which is about five minutes from East Campus. Periodically, there are student tickets to the games available for $9, which are a great experience for a group of friends. The more popular games are usually harder to get tickets for, but if you are a big fan of baseball it can be quite thrilling to watch the Sox play in important games. Another place that is a small walk from East Campus is Trident. Located on Newbury Street in the Back Bay neighborhood, Trident is a bookstore that also doubles as a cafe. They also host fun events such as a trivia night. One final location that is not too far from BU is the Museum of Fine Arts. BU students have free access to the museum with their student IDs. There is a lot of art at the museum and most people will tell you that you’ll want to go multiple times to get a full experience, plus there are frequent temporary exhibitions.
A little further away (i.e. requiring serious dedication to walking or public transit) is the North End neighborhood of Boston. This area of Boston is famed for its Italian heritage with numerous Italian restaurants and pastry shops. To get there, you’ll likely want to take the Green Line down to the Haymarket stop. If that makes no sense to you, don’t worry; you’ll pick up the subway lingo in no time at BU. A location out further still is the Harbor Islands. These require a ferry to get to but are beautiful to hike around on.
A final location that, while not located in Boston, is possible to get to by public transit is Salem, Massachusetts. Getting to Salem requires taking the commuter rail. Once there, there is plenty to do in Salem, from walking around the historic town to shopping. However, be warned that it gets quite crowded (and spooky) in Salem the closer it gets to Halloween.
By Jackson Moore-Otto (CAS’22)
For this blog post, I’d like to discuss research in the social sciences: both why I recommend it, and some of the unique benefits and challenges.
Even if you don’t plan on going to graduate school, undergraduate research provides a unique opportunity to work on issues of personal interest under the mentorship of an expert in the field. It’s also versatile: it can be done during the semester or over the summer, largely individually or as part of a much larger group, and as a way to learn about a topic or a capstone to one’s studies.
Research can also provide a chance to explore areas not covered in traditional coursework. For example, last summer I had the chance to conduct research on how the public involvement process, and local opposition, increase the cost of infrastructure projects. This is something I’ve long been interested in, but would have had little chance to explore in my coursework as an Economics and Mathematics major. This also offered me the chance to meet faculty in the Political Science department, and exposed me to another intellectual universe. Involvement in research was an intellectual springboard for me: it clarified my interests and increased my own confidence.
While social science research can be uniquely rewarding and impactful, there are some unique challenges. Compared to the natural sciences, it can be harder to find an existing project to attach oneself.
This is where Kilachand can make a difference. The close relationships forged with faculty--particularly through the first-year seminars--can provide a leg up in research, and in everything else.
By Jackson Wallace (CAS’22)
One thing that I wish I had known to think about a little more before I came to Boston University and Kilachand in particular is how to pick my classes, especially the first-year seminar. There are a lot of little things that one might not consider at first, so it can be important to sit down, think things over, and not just take the first cool looking class that comes to mind.
An aspect of particular importance is the Hub! Every class at BU comes with some Hub credits and you need to obtain a variety of these credits in order to graduate. So, before you pick a class, you should take a look at what credits you can get through the classes you’ll have to take in your major, as well as the required KHC classes. This way, you can start to get some trickier credits (looking at you, Individual in the Community) out of the way. Your seminar is an especially potent opportunity because a wide variety of classes with a range of credits are offered, many of which are much more interesting than Generic Class 100 you might take otherwise. That said, don’t be afraid to pick a seminar that you think will be cool even if it does not help your Hub (that’s what I and many others inadvertently do and we turned out fine), but it is good to keep in mind.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should prepare some backup classes. Sometimes, the class that you want to take will be all filled up by the time you register. Sometimes, the really interesting sounding class is not being offered this year. Or, most frustrating, you realize that the class is happening at the same time as a class you need to take for your major. So, it is a good idea to be prepared and have a list of classes you’d be interested in. Otherwise, you may get to registration day and find yourself scrambling to fill in a spot.
A final note to keep in mind is that you should try to make sure you have a good idea of why you want to take a class. There’s nothing worse than signing up for a class only to realize halfway through the semester that you actually detest architecture and want nothing to do with the class. To try and prevent this from happening to you, make sure you know what you’re in for, or at least have a system in place that can get you through tough classes. For instance, maybe you know the subject material is different from what you usually like to learn about, but you’re looking to balance out the other classes you’re taking. Or perhaps you have some friends who can help carry you through the class. No matter what, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you register for classes! And don’t worry, because you will have plenty of resources, from friends to faculty to Kilachand’s own advisors to help get you to that point.