A Beginner’s Guide to BU Dining

Rebecca Sarkisian (Questrom’23)

Going to college and living away from home for the first time can be hard, especially when you think about not being able to have home-cooked food. And while nothing can replace a home-cooked meal, BU Dining does its best to keep you well-fed so you can focus on making the most out of your college experience.

As a freshman in Kilachand, you’ll be living in a dorm-style residence, meaning that you’ll be required to have a meal plan. BU offers a variety of different meal plan options, each carrying a different amount of meal swipes and dining points. Meal swipes get you into the dining halls, while dining points can be used at to-go style on-campus eating options.

Since my freshman year, I’ve been on the Unlimited Plan. While it’s not the most common option, I’ve found that it’s the best option for me since I typically eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining hall. I also sometimes like to go to the dining hall in the afternoon when it’s less busy to study and have a snack, which my Unlimited Plan allows me to do without worrying about wasting a meal swipe.

The main dining halls on campus are Marciano, Warren, and West. Marciano is right across the street from Kilachand Hall, so it’s where you’ll probably eat most of your meals. Marciano features two floors of seating and food options with tons of natural light (and a view of Fenway Park on one side of the dining hall). In addition to dining hall staples like a salad bar, deli, and grill, there’s also a vegan station and a gluten-free station to accommodate different dietary restrictions.

The meals at the dining hall have a lot of variety, but my personal favorite days are the dining hall events. Each Fall, all of the dining halls have Lobster Night where every student gets a full lobster. The dining halls also have other events like ‘90s Night and holiday events like Thanksgiving, Spring Brunch, and Halloween.

If you want to add some variety outside of the dining halls, you can use your dining points at to-go locations across campus. At the George Sherman Union, you can find Starbucks, Panda Express, Basho for sushi, Greens & Grains for salads, Rhett’s for burgers and chicken, and CRBC for sandwiches, along with rotating menus at Open Kitchen and The Market. There’s also Einstein Bros. Bagels in the basement of CAS, and Starbucks and Breadwinners in Questrom, along with more locations around campus.

There’s never a lack of good food at BU, but you can’t forget that you’re in the middle of Boston with tons of amazing restaurants as well! Make sure you explore the city and see what else there is to offer.


Image © Rebecca Sarkisian 2022

College, Google Calendar-ing, and You

Emma Hartman (ENG'23)

To many people, Google Calendar is just one of the several apps that sits untouched taking up space on their crowded iPhones. However, to college students across the country, and to me and many of my friends in the Kilachand Honors College, Google Calendar is a revered organizational tool without which life would never be the same.

When you first get to college, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you want to do and things you have to do. You’ll have a new class schedule, new friends (and with those new friends, a million plans for lunches, dinners, nights out, nights in, study sessions and everything in between), office hours and tutoring appointments to attend, Kilachand co-curriculars, club meetings, and a million different events happening on campus to choose from at any given moment, from BU hockey games to art nights to musicals.

With so many responsibilities and so many choices, it’s easy for important deadlines and meetings to slip your mind. You don’t need to schedule your life down to the minute, but it can be helpful to write some of these things down in Google Calendar so you don’t forget! Here are some of the most helpful tips for staying organized with Google Calendar that I’ve gathered in my time at BU:

1. Put all of your classes, office hours, KHC co-curriculars, & important academic responsibilities in it.

Not everything has to go in your calendar, but there are definitely some things that should. Make sure to write down when you have class and office hours. It sounds like basic common sense advice, but trust me, it’s popular advice for a reason! In your first week of classes, you’ll also receive a syllabus for each class with info about homework assignments, lab reports, essays, discussion board posting, exams, quizzes, and more. No matter how good you think your memory is, once things get busy, these can be really difficult to keep track of. I like to put due dates and exam dates in my Google Calendar to ensure I don’t forget anything. It’s definitely saved me more than a couple of times…

Also, don’t forget to put KHC co-curriculars in your calendar. They’re talks given by guest speakers and you’re required to go to two of them every semester. Oftentimes, some of the co-curriculars conflict with classes, club meetings, studying, or even plans with friends. I use Google Calendar to figure out which of the co-curriculars are most feasible for me to attend at the start of every semester, which saves me from scrambling to fulfill the requirement at inconvenient or stressful times.

2. Write important details about each event in your calendar.

For all of my classes and office hours, I like to write down information like what building and room the class is in. This is especially helpful at the beginning of every semester when you haven’t settled into a routine yet or when you’re new on campus and haven’t really developed a sense of direction. It’s also helpful when you’re running late and can just glance down at your phone to see what floor and classroom you’re speed walking to. Additionally, I like to write down information about who “Lunch at 12:30” is with or what class the “2pm Office Hours” are for. It’s just easier when you’re glancing at your phone mid-day not to have to think too much about these things.

3. Check your Google Calendar daily!

It’s helpful to write down your schedule, but none of this will be useful if you don’t actually check your Google Calendar on a regular basis. I check my Google Calendar every night when I write out my next day’s schedule in my planner. I usually wind up finding info like a meeting that I scheduled three weeks ago is happening tomorrow or I’m reminded that I have an exam coming up next week so I should start studying soon.

4. Don’t always follow the calendar

I know firsthand that it’s really easy to overschedule yourself in college. Sometimes, some of the best experiences you’ll have happen when you break out of your daily routine. If your friend wants to hang out and get lunch, but you had planned on getting some non-urgent work done, it’s okay to push the work back to a later time. It’s good to plan, just don’t let the planning get in your way of enjoying college! Your Google Calendar should help you, but it shouldn’t ever control you.

Favorite Study Spots on Campus

Hannah Martin (CAS'25)

Throughout my first year at BU, I have discovered quite a few spots on campus. Since it is such a large university, there are tons of places available for study needs. Whether you need to collaborate, a silent study room, or an area with white noise, there is definitely a spot on campus that will work for you. In this blog post, I’m going to share my favorite spots to study, and give a little reasoning for why they work so well for me.

1. Questrom Starbucks

Questrom! The building itself is a wonder to look at, and there are a multitude of spaces to finally finish that essay you have been putting off for weeks. I am quite literally sitting at a booth inside Questrom as I write this blog post. Some honorable Questrom mentions include the Pardee Library, and the common room found upon the entrance of the building. However, Questrom Starbucks produces productivity out of me which I have never seen before! I somehow manage to complete all of my work in just one sitting at a comfortable corner booth. Perhaps it's the caffeine readily supplied for me from my Grubhub app, but I like to blame it on the atmosphere itself.

2. BU Beach

Okay, so maybe this is a very basic place to put in a top five list, but it's basic for a reason! Everyone loves BU Beach on a warm, sunny Boston day. I like to go here with a few friends, pick up lunch from the George Sherman Union, and catch up on readings at a picnic table. The location is pretty central, so it's easy to stop by in between classes as well. I like to study outside, which I know can be difficult for some, but this is the perfect place for me to be productive while still getting some time outside.

3. Kilachand 9th Floor

As a KHC freshman living in the Kilachand Hall, this is the most accessible study spot on campus for me. The ninth floor in Kilachand Hall contains two rooms of different studying atmospheres. There is a silent room, which is where I go if I have an exam to prepare for, and there are also collaborative spaces that I utilize for group projects with other students. There is a beautiful view of the Boston skyline, which is an immaculate aspect of the location. There is also a common room on the first floor of KIlachand Hall, which is nice for collaborative projects or discussions.

4. CGSA

Found in the basement of the George Sherman Union, this one’s hidden! The Center of Gender, Sexuality, and Activism is a great place to take a break from the chaotic city of Boston to get some studying done. It is an inclusive and welcoming space, and perfect for anyone! I like to start on bigger assignments here, as usually there are only a few people, and I can easily focus. The CGSA is also home to many different clubs on campus, and available for students to just take a break during the day, or hang out with some friends!

5. Yawkey Center

The Yawkey Center is my final favorite place to study. It has such an open atmosphere perfect for any type of studying. There are beautiful views of the city, the CAS writing program to assist you in any written work, and the CAS and pre-professional advising offices. In addition to all of these resources, the best dining hall on campus, Marciano Commons, is on the first floor! I like working on all of the floors in the Yawkey Center. However, I definitely favor eating breakfast at Marcianos and doing my work early in the morning to have the whole dining hall to myself and only a few others.

Throughout campus there are tons of spots to study, or just hang out! These are just a few of my favorites, and I think they deserve a bit of hype.

Studying Abroad As A Second Semester Senior

Richard Boylan (COM ‘22)

As a Kilachand student, senior year is an undeniably busy time. Between juggling KHC specific classes, the Keystone Symposium, major requirements, and making sure to complete that final HUB credit, adding the prospect of studying abroad to the mix can be overwhelming. Despite the challenges, my decision to study abroad in Los Angeles during my final semester is one that I do not regret. With BU’s numerous abroad programs there is any number of cities and countries you can study in, but figuring out the work, school, and life balance can be challenging so here are some tips:

1. Plan Ahead of Time

Even if you don’t know where you want to study abroad quite yet, once you’ve made the decision to build a study abroad experience into your time at BU, start talking to both your KHC and Major-specific advisors right away. Navigating graduation requirements and class sequences can be tricky and talking with your advisors can often be the easiest way to map out a plan for building a semester abroad into your schedule. Each study abroad program offers its own unique classes and opportunities, often including an internship. The Study Abroad Office even has its own site-specific advisors who can help point out the most popular programs and walk you through the benefits of each.

It’s never too early to start considering your options for studying abroad. As a Film & TV Major, I knew that coming into BU my freshman year, I wanted to spend my last semester in Los Angeles. Working alongside both my advisor at KHC and the COM advisors, I was able to create an academic plan that allowed me to not only study in Los Angeles but in London too and still meet all my requirements.

2. Don’t Overload Yourself

Keep in mind, that every study abroad program offers its own unique set of classes. Often study abroad programs offer culturally specific spins on major-required courses. Each program also offers a host of one-of-a-kind electives that give you the chance to explore your interests further and take classes not offered in Boston. In addition to class requirements, most study abroad programs also include an internship component. The prospect of interning for a professional company is undoubtedly exciting but having a regular work schedule in addition to classes can require more of a commitment than many students are used to.

With all these different requirements vying for your attention, it is important to find a way to manage your time. Keeping track of due dates, knowing which assignments to prioritize, and most importantly taking time to enjoy your new home is crucial to managing stress. Which brings me to my final point…

3. Take Time to Enjoy The Experience

While classes and internships are important, the greatest allure of studying abroad is getting to live in and explore a new city or country. No matter how long it may seem at first, the semester undoubtedly always goes by faster than expected and it would be a shame to miss out on exploring in favor of grinding out homework all the time. Personally, I like making a bucket list ahead of time and made one for both of my semesters in London and Los Angeles. Creating a bucket list with a mixture of touristy “must-see” attractions, more niche experiences, the best food places in the city, and any of your other interests can help you explore parts of a city or country that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

The BU Study Abroad Programs also regularly run site-specific experiences to help introduce you to the city and other students in the program. For instance, this semester the Los Angeles program hosted trips to Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Brothers Studios, and the Academy Museum in addition to several smaller study breaks. Most of these trips are free or heavily discounted, not to mention extremely popular, which make them one of the best ways to explore your new home in an affordable way.

Whether it be Los Angeles, London, or any of the numerous other study abroad programs that BU offers, the opportunity to live and learn in a new place is one that you should take advantage of no matter your class year.

7 Tips for Balancing Academics, Extracurriculars, and Mental Health in College

Emily Yoder (CAS’24)

My freshman year of college took place during the 2020-21 academic year, during which Boston University offered hybrid courses and most of my classmates were not on campus. Although the coronavirus negatively impacted my first year in college in multiple ways (virtual classes and club meetings, take-out only dining halls, etc.), one positive impact that it left me with was an improved understanding of what habits cause me to be my happiest and most productive. Spending more time than usual sitting in my dorm left me thinking about how I could motivate myself to make the most out of my freshman year, even under covid circumstances. I’ve collected some tips below that have not only stayed with me for two years, but have also enabled me to be involved in multiple extracurriculars, all while getting the most out of my academic experiences and having free time for my hobbies too!

1. Find a routine that works for you, and stick with it!

Productive and healthy routines aren’t one-size-fits-all! Experiment with wake-up times, meal times, and study spots until you figure out your favorites. If you’re not a morning person, forcing yourself to wake up at 5:00 am won’t automatically make you more productive! One of the best general life tips that I’ve received is that discipline succeeds when motivation fails; keeping a consistent routine has stopped me from procrastinating even when I haven’t necessarily felt energetic or motivated.

2. Schedule your free time!

As the semester speeds up, midterms begin, and then finals approach, it’s easy to not see friends for a week or abandon hobbies. Add blocks of time specifically for seeing friends, reading, or doing whatever relaxes you to your schedule, even if it seems that you don’t have time to do so. The busier you are, the more important for your mental health it is to force yourself to take a step back! You’ll come back to your work refreshed and focused. Scheduling blocks of free time also incentivizes me to stay on track while working because I know that I have something to look forward to later, even if it’s just reading in bed for a half-hour or going on a quick walk with a friend.

3. Cast a wide net with extracurriculars, and then narrow your focus!

Finding clubs and extracurricular groups that are a good fit may take some time. Go to SPLASH, reach out to clubs that grab your attention, attend their first meetings, and then look for others if they aren’t a good fit! As you begin attending meetings, you can narrow your choices down to your favorites, but it’s useful to initially join every mailing list that catches your eye.

4. Recognize and combat burnout!

Even though BU is a large school, it can be tempting to sink into the same routine each day and never try a new dining hall, study spot, or off-campus cafe. When signs of burnout begin to show (fatigue, lowered motivation, etc.) switch up your routine even in small ways: try a new Starbucks drink, do your homework outside, or try grabbing dinner with someone you want to get to know better!

5. Track every commitment and assignment!

My most important college habit has been consistently using a planner. Buy a planner or create an online calendar and write down every commitment, whether an extracurricular event, dinner with friends, or a meeting with your advisor, the minute that you commit to it. Create separate sections for normal homework, larger projects, and deadlines for quizzes and tests; assignments and events pile up quickly and it’s easy to lose track of smaller commitments! I also color code: yellow for academic/extracurricular meetings, purple for social commitments, blue for when I need to submit major assignments, and red for deadlines.

6. Work ahead!

I try to complete homework assignments two days in advance, so Wednesday’s homework on Monday, Thursday’s homework on Tuesday, et cetera. It isn’t always possible, but using this system has enabled me to spontaneously say yes to plans with friends, review topics with which I struggled, and begin larger projects further in advance! Additionally, if I realize that I missed an assignment, I have time to catch up before it is due.

7. Know yourself!

All of these strategies have allowed me to make the most of my college experience, but every person and every student is different and learns differently. Go through a process of trial-and-error to get to know what balance of academics, extracurriculars, and social life is best for you!

The Five Best Items on the Bay State Underground Menu

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.

Jackson

Looking Back as a Senior: Advice to My Freshman Year Self

By: Anna Natrakul (CAS ’22)

These are some things that I’ve learned throughout my time at BU, and I wish it wouldn’t have taken me this long to really embrace these tips!

Enjoy where you are right now

Be present in the moment without always planning for the next thing. Intentionally make time for moments of reflecting on how far you’ve come, whether this is by talking with an old friend, taking a walk, or journaling.

Sleep is NOT for the weak

Seriously, even if you might feel fine at the time, sleeping only a few hours per night is not something that you should be okay with or proud of. Create tangible sleep goals and hold yourself accountable!

Be more open to uncertainty

Don’t underestimate all the amazing people and opportunities that you will meet just by being willing to explore new things.

Say “yes” more…

Say yes to joining that club, meeting new people, and just in general putting yourself out of your comfort zone!

… but also know when to say no

Don’t put pressure on yourself to commit to things that you’re not excited about.

Spend some quality time outside every day

Yes! And don’t trick yourself into thinking that this isn’t “productive” enough for you (after all, being outdoors truly is productive for your physical and mental health).

It’s okay to live by a schedule, as long as your schedule includes time for you to relax

Regularly make time for the things that you enjoy but aren’t required to do. Try sleeping in, reading a book, catching up with family, or enjoying your favorite food.

Remember that you’re still learning

Soon you’ll look back and be amazed at all that you learned and how you grew in such a short period of time. Don’t be so hard on yourself and celebrate every small victory!

Be kind to yourself (seriously), and let your actions show it

Don’t only go out of your way to do nice things for others; also do nice things for yourself! And I mean REALLY treat yourself. Go to that symphony concert or ballet show you’ve been dying to see, go out for dinner after a difficult exam, take a break and have that movie night with friends.

By putting these tips into action, one thing I was able to do was create this painting of the Boston skyline (it’s the view from the 9th floor study lounge of Kilachand Hall) last summer. Making art has always been meaningful to me, but I hadn’t allowed myself the time nor space to truly enjoy it in a very long time. I hope that this advice can similarly encourage you as well!

Anna

Photo/Painting © Anna Natrakul 2022

Why Not Having a Solid Plan is OK

By Carolina Becerril (SAR'22/SPH'23)

As soon as I started out my college career, I knew I had a plan or at least I thought I did. I would go on to complete my four years as a premed student, take the MCAT, volunteer, get clinical and shadowing hours and create an excellent application that would guarantee me entrance into medical school. All in four years! Nothing crazy. Well, that very quickly changed as soon as classes started and I realized how coming to college was a lot more complicated than I expected.

I don’t say that to scare anyone coming into college but it’s something that we are all bound to realize at one point or another, and that’s ok. After my first premed course, I felt defeated to say the least. I felt like I needed to keep trying so I could stick to my plan, that if I studied a little harder, stayed up a little later and cared a little more, that I could do it and make it to medical school. At whatever cost. That also very quickly changed and did not work. By the end of my freshman year, I was more than discouraged and lost. I realized that my plan didn’t work and I didn’t have a backup one.

However, the summer of my freshman year going into my sophomore year very quickly changed my perspective on me not having a plan anymore. I got my first job at the Dean of Students office and my first research opportunity and glimpse into public health. I very quickly developed a passion for what would later become my major and main field. I met and made connections with different people that summer that completely changed my perspective and made me realize that I didn’t really need a plan, I just needed to do what was best for me.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I quickly changed my major to Health Science and began looking into the 4+1 BS/MPH program. I continued doing research for the majority of my sophomore year, took more public health courses and grew more passionate about the field. I applied to the 4+1 program Fall semester of my junior year, got accepted and began taking MPH courses that Spring semester. I continued to do research on my own while remaining premed and becoming deeply immersed in the public health field.

While these last few years have proven to be challenging and exciting at the same time, I have come to realize that admitting to myself that having no solid plan is totally ok! As long as we get to do what we love most. I have learned that remaining flexible and being open to different options to achieve your career goals is the most important thing I can do to be happy and successful. Most importantly, I learned that we need to remind ourselves to be a little less scared about uncertainty and embrace whatever comes our way, even if it doesn’t quite fit what we want as it might just work our way.

The Keystone Project: Choose Something Fun!

By Marissa Carty (CAS'22)

The best advice I got from a Kilachand Alumni was to choose a Keystone Project that was fun. The Kilachand Keystone is a unique opportunity to do a year-long project on essentially whatever you want, with funding and advising. Many students choose to use an honors thesis in their major as the Keystone Project. However, for students looking to take on a more creative or interdisciplinary project, the Keystone Pathway is an amazing opportunity to think outside the box and not be bound to the requirements of a thesis. Students have designed playgrounds, written screenplays, written business plans, and so much more. If a traditional research thesis excites you, then go for it! But don’t be afraid to take a chance and do a unique project. I am so grateful that I took a less structured, but extremely rewarding path.

I love creative writing, and it’s been a life-long dream of mine to write a poetry collection. What started as a blurry passion project I inconsistently worked on turned into a beautiful piece of research and artwork. With the help of Professor Preston in the Keystone Proposal Workshop, I developed research questions to guide my writing, connected with two wonderful advisors, planned my goals and timeline, and submitted my proposal. The idea of a senior project can be intimidating, but the Keystone Proposal Workshop helps you work through your ideas slowly with a lot of feedback and guides you through the process to set you up for success.

As a psychology major, I knew I wanted to write my poetry collection about well-being. So often when we talk about mental health, we talk only about mental illness. I decided to focus on flourishing instead. The two questions that guided my research are:

What factors contribute to well-being in young adults and how do they manifest in us today?

How can poetry and psychology inform each other to develop a broader, more holistic definition of well-being?

I conducted a literature review on the psychology of well-being and a contemporary poetry review to study scientific, lyric, and visual forms of poetry. Then, I began to write and submit 5 poems a week to my advisors for revision. I also got to travel to Copenhagen, the city with the highest rates of human flourishing in the world, for my research! My writing centers around themes of love, belonging, mindfulness, spirituality, nature, and therapy. I used 3 main poetic techniques, 1) documentary poetry which uses archives like psychology textbooks or therapy exercises and draws out the poetry in them through lineation or erasure, 2) imagining the story of someone who embodies a research statistic to reinsert the humanity into that statistic, and 3) writing from a purely experiential perspective of well-being that does not rely on scientific data. I currently have a manuscript of 90+ edited poems and a first draft of my artist’s note, which details my process and reflections on the project. 

The best advice I can give you is to think about your interests as early as possible and to choose a project you’re sincerely passionate about, rather than doing what you think you “should” do or what others expect you to do. You may never get an opportunity like the Kilachand Keystone again!

The author in Copenhagen.

Making the Most Out of College Visits

By Bridgette Lang (CAS'23)

After two years of virtual programming, many colleges are starting to offer in-person tours and events again. With so many colleges to visit and so little time, it’s important to make sure you get the most out of your visits. Here are five tips that will help you while visiting BU or any other school:

1. Make a pros/cons list

I probably looked a bit silly on my college tours, but after seeing another student do this, I decided to keep a notebook of the pros and cons of every school I visited. Start writing your list of pros and cons during the admissions presentation and then, immediately follow up after you’ve seen the campus. What did you think of the majors offered, housing, and extracurriculars? If you start making a list during your tour, you can easily reference what you wrote while writing your college application essays. It’s a lot easier to name what stood out about a school when you have a premade list! I also used this list when deciding where to enroll.

2. Sign up for a tour

You may be saying, “Duh! Of course,” because this tip seems like a no-brainer, but from speaking to my friends and family going through the college admissions process, not everyone takes a tour! You might be in a rush or only think you need to walk around campus, but taking a real tour can show you things you would have missed by yourself. Tour guides will show you parts of campus that you may just stroll by and not see. 

3. Get your tour guide or another current student’s email address

You’re bound to have questions later, and if you can’t find the answers, emailing your guide is a great option. It may seem a bit scary to go get their contact information, but you won’t regret it. You’ve already established contact with them, and generally speaking, it’s their job to help you. Whether you’re filling out an application or deciding what school to enroll in, your tour guide can give you a personal perspective of their experiences. 

4. Pay a special visit to your departmental building

If you have any idea of what you’re majoring in, check out the building or office that your classes will be taking place in. For example, if you’re studying business, you can swing by the Questrom School of Business, or if you’re studying political science, there will be a separate office just outside of the College of Arts and Sciences for that. You will likely be taking the majority of your classes in one building, so make sure you like it! Also, see if there are any bulletin boards or flyers. What are students in your major doing in their free time, and what kinds of events are offered? You might want to include that in your pros and cons list!

5. Visit the surrounding areas

After you’re done walking around campus, try to visit the surrounding areas in order to ensure you feel comfortable. One of the main things I paid attention to during my off-campus visits were if there were shops within walking distance. Would you feel okay traveling to this spot to get groceries, meeting your friends for coffee, or spending some time shopping? For some people, convenience and access really make a difference.


Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University Photography.