Our Fave Five Things in Kilachand Hall

Caroline Perna (SAR’25) & Veronica McKinney (CAS’25)

#1: Chrissy

On the first floor of Kilachand Hall are the staff offices, which enable students to build relationships with staff and administration. When you first walk in, you’ll see Chrissy standing behind her desk with her welcoming smile. Chrissy is one of the newest additions to the Kilachand Staff, and she is always a light that brightens our days. Throughout our freshman year, we have had the joy to get to know Chrissy.  She is an awesome resource if you ever need to talk, get advice, or if you need a hug. Over the last few months, Chrissy has become a “mom” for us since we are physically far away from our families, and we have a lunch date with her every few weeks. Make sure to pop in and say hi, and tell her that Caroline and Veronica sent you!

Caroline & Chrissy selfie
Veronica & Chrissy twinning (accidentally)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Kitchen

We are lucky to have a fully functioning kitchen on the first floor of Kilachand Hall (one of the only kitchens easily accessible to freshmen at BU)! The kitchen is an awesome way to bring people together to cook, bake, and hangout! Our favorite cooking experiments have been: chocolate chip banana bread, brunch eggs and crepes, and a surprise birthday cake for our friend Tanvi! Although you have to provide the food and cooking dishes, the kitchen is recently renovated, right downstairs, and easy to use. You should definitely take advantage and show off your cooking skills! (Warning: don’t use anything you find in the fridge…)

Tanvi’s partially eaten birthday cake
Banana bread in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hangout sesh
The beautiful kitchen

#3: Coffee & Snacks

In the offices of Kilachand Hall there is a lovely coffee machine (with more than 60 different possible drinks) and a box of snacks. We make sure to stop in the office nearly every day to get our yummy drink, or chips, or chocolate, or granola bar, or cookie… the options are endless. This has been a really convenient (and free) option to get some fuel for the day!  (And we were especially grateful for the steaming hot chocolates on the coldest Boston winter days.) Chrissy stays vigilant on keeping the snack box replenished, and she looks the other way if you want to stock up on some snacks for later… 😉 If you ever have the chance, you should definitely use this (did we mention free?) pick-me-up station. (Bonus: you get to see Chrissy while you’re there!)

Our favorite little coffee machine
Coffee fixings and the snack box
Veronica & Nora
Chrissy & Rick with the popcorn machine

#4: 9th Floor Study Spaces

On the top floor of Kilachand Hall is a common area and quiet study room!  The main entrance area has a dance floor and stage because Kilachand Hall used to be a Sheridan hotel.  There are tables all over for you to work or hangout with friends, and a TV is available if you want to host a movie night!  If you need to actually get some work done, there is a VERY quiet study room (where you can literally hear a pin drop).  Kilachand Hall renovations are starting this summer 2022 (more information is up on the website), so the 9th floor will be upgraded with brand new classrooms, study spaces, and windows to overlook our stunning view of the Charles River.  (Around sunset, the whole floor is aglow in warm lighting that is perfect for selfies!)

9th floor friends enjoying a late night snack!
9th floor open space

#5: 1st Floor Lounge

Our recently renovated first floor lobby and common room is one of the most active places in the building! During the day, students will work in between classes, and in the evenings, the room is even busier!  While working, you may enjoy some nice ambient music from the public piano, or the aforementioned snacks and drinks from the front office.  If you need a quick study break, board games are available for anyone to use, and the blue couches are surprisingly comfortable if you need to take a power nap!  Our monthly Kilachand Teas are also hosted on the 1st floor, where you can get free drinks and food (our personal favorites are the chocolate covered strawberries and chips and hummus!).  Co-curriculars and events like the open KHC Closet (pictured below) are often held on the first floor because everyone coming into the building will pass by!

Friends studying on the first floor
KHC Closet

In conclusion…

WE LOVE KILACHAND HALL 

and all the fun people, places, and memories made here! <3


Photos © Caroline Perna & Veronica McKinney 2022

Four Core Memories in Kilachand: Freshman Edition

Iffany Zou (CAS'25)

I’ve just about completed my first year here at Boston University in the Kilachand Honors College and to say I’ve loved it is an understatement. Through Kilachand, I have created so many unforgettable memories. However, my memory is bad, so before I forget, I’d better write a few of my core ones down:

1. Hiking Monadnock 

In chronological order: first up we have hiking Mount Monadnock. It was October 23rd, 2021 and I had just met the group of boys from down the hall. Because of Kilachand’s living and learning community, I encountered what became a tight knit group of friends. A zipcar, a collaborative playlist, and a few breakfast sandwiches later, we were off to the misty mountains. What I love about Boston is that you can get the best of both worlds: you live in the city, but you aren’t too far from the exact opposite. The two hour drive and the lack of sleep was completely worth it. Once we began the hike, we could barely stop. Each spot higher than the previous one unveiled a more and more beautiful view. If you love a good hike, I definitely recommend Mount Monadnock in October. At one of the peaks, we could see miles of orange and auburn leaves and this is a view I will never stop missing. We sat there a while, unable to fathom the breathtaking view. Just look at this photo…Boston might be the place for you!

Iffany1

2. Friendsgiving

On November 20th, 2021, my friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving with a home-cooked dinner at Jacob’s. All of us gathered around the kitchen counter was truly a sight to see: Dan reaching over me to grab the string beans, James playing with the fire on the stove, Shea mashing an absurd amount of potatoes, Jacob showing off his card tricks, and everyone singing, screaming, and laughing. It was only a few months into our first semester at college, but I was immensely grateful for the people I had met. As the night went on, my homesickness finally began to ease.

Friendsgiving

3. Fancy Marciano Dinner

One day of no particular occasion, my friends and I decided to have ourselves a fancy dinner at Marciano Commons (the best dining hall on campus). We dressed up, brought a bed sheet/tablecloth (same thing), and claimed one of the circle tables. We had a three course meal, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. The night was so fun, we decided this was only going to be the first of many themed dinners. Next up: Adam Sandler Night (stay tuned)!

Iffany3

4. Ultimate in the Rain

In the middle of second semester, my friends and I really started taking advantage of the warmer weather. On Tanvi’s birthday, we gathered everyone together on a rainy Thursday night to play a big game of ultimate. We ended up staying out for hours playing ultimate, volleyball, soccer, and football. It was extremely slippery and multiple of us did fall, but I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it again (go team river rats!). On our walk back to Kilachand Hall, we jumped in puddles, sang Pitch Perfect, and continued to throw the frisbee around. By the time we got back, we were wet, sweaty, and a little bit muddy. We ended the night in the Kilachand 1st floor common room eating Veronica’s homemade cake and wishing Tanvi a Happy Birthday (Happy Late Birthday, Tanvi)!

Iffany4

It sounds cheesy, but these are the memories I know I’ll always hold close to my heart. Thanks to Kilachand, I’ve had an amazing year with a beautiful community. And thanks to this blog, I was able to share the best bits with you (and I’ll actually be able to remember it!).


Images © Iffany Zou 2022

What I’ll Miss When I Graduate

By Morgan Donohue (CAS'22)

1. Being a short walk from just about anyone and anything

One of my best pieces of advice is that Google Maps lies about how long it takes to walk somewhere. On campus, your furthest walk will probably be no more than 20 minutes. This made getting to class, stopping for lunch, meeting up with friends, and studying so convenient, because your destination was never too far away. If something is a little far, the weather isn’t fantastic, or you’re looking to go off campus, the T runs right through campus and you can hop on with your CharlieCard. If you want to go even further away, there are several ZipCar locations around campus that make quick daytrips very convenient. I will definitely miss the proximity of all of the places and people I’ve grown to know and love over the past four years.

2. The Kilachand advising office

Being in Kilachand means that the Honors College offices are right on the first floor. This is where you can stop by for meetings with your Kilachand advisor and other members of the administration. Your Kilachand advisor is there to help you navigate your way through Kilachand and the Hub, but they are also there to support you as a person. I will absolutely miss going to the advising office just to chat, and having a dedicated advisor who was there to help me along the way.

3. Bay State Road

morgan1

When I visited campus for my first open house, there was no parking close to Kilachand, so my family had to park and walk back, all the way down Bay State Road. And boy was it worth it. Bay State Road is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful streets ever. It is gorgeous in the fall when the leaves change color. It is picture-perfect in the winter when it snows. It is beautiful in the spring when the trees start to blossom again. Even if you’ve had a busy day and you’re exhausted, it’s hard to walk down Bay State Road and not enjoy yourself. I am going to miss running down the street in the mornings and admiring the gorgeous buildings on my walks home from class.

4. The Dog Pound

I was never a huge sports watcher, and I am still not, but I will make an exception for BU Hockey. I absolutely loved everything about hockey nights, eating dinner a little early so you can get the good seats, learning the chants, hearing the BU Pep Band, and getting Raising Cane’s afterwards. With a Sports Pass, you can get tickets to any home game you want, and I highly recommend heading over to Agganis Arena for some hockey. I am going to miss putting on my hockey jersey and cheering in the stands, but I hope to come back and catch the 2022 Beanpot Champions at another game.

hockeymorgan

5. My on-campus housing

I lived in Kilachand Hall my freshman and sophomore years, and I absolutely loved my room. I loved having a bathroom in my room, being across from the Marciano Dining Hall, and living close to the Kenmore T station. This year I am living in South Campus in on-campus apartment-style housing, and I love it! I get to cook my own meals, so I am learning new recipes all the time. I live in a brownstone, so I have those iconic bowed-out windows that get plenty of sunlight. Living on campus kept me close to my classes and my friends, and I was able to make dorms and on-campus apartments into comfortable homes during the school year. I am going to miss all of that, but especially my current apartment and its view of Beacon Street.

morganroom

6. Student discounts

Your BUID comes with a lot, and I mean a LOT, of perks. With your @bu.edu email address, you can get access to discounts for digital subscriptions like The New York Times and Spotify+Hulu, software packages like Microsoft Office and MatLab, and many online clothes retailers offer discounts after you verify your student identity. You can also get free or discounted admission to museums like the MFA and the Institute of Contemporary Art if you show your BUID or order online with promo codes. I am going to miss the savings, but mostly I will miss the easy opportunities to go and experience something new without a huge price tag.


Images © Morgan Donohue 2022 

What is Keystone? Takeaways from a Current Student’s Perspective

By Anna Natrakul (CAS ’22)

As a Kilachand student, you start hearing about the senior Keystone Project from the time you arrive on campus (or probably even before that). I was always excited about the idea of Keystone but did not truly understand the essence of the project until I started working on my own. As a current senior in the midst of my Keystone journey, here are some takeaway points that I hope will clarify what an amazing opportunity this is, and also get you excited about your own Keystone! 

  • Keystone is indeed a “senior project”, but not in the traditional senseWhile you gain important skills and meet certain expectations (setting a project timeline, justifying your needs for funding, collaborating with faculty, creating a deliverable, etc.), a major theme of Keystone is the agency of the studentYou have complete control in terms of shaping the project, from choosing your “pathway” to the nature of your work. You want to do Honors in your major departmentGreat. You want your deliverable to be a scholarly paper based on your ethnographic fieldwork? Amazing. You change your mind and want to create a book of poetry about your own experiences conducting the fieldwork instead? Also amazing. Although having all these choices can seem daunting at first, making your own decisions is ultimately part of what makes the experience so special. 
  • You get to choose your faculty advisorYou might send cold emails to professors you have never met or approach the principal investigator in the lab that you have worked in for years. And the way that you make this decision is… whatever feels right for your project!
  • You do not have to do a project within your specific major or collegeWhile my own research background habeen grounded in biochemical lab techniques, I chose to do a clinical data analysis project in the BU School of Public Health for my Keystone. I have limited experience in this sphere, but I am extremely interested, and my faculty advisor has given me helpful resources (e.g., relevant literature and tools for learning R) for learning along the way.  
  • You are thoroughly supported during the entire process. The Keystone process is built so that your KHC instructors and peers offer valuable insights along the way. When I was first reaching out to potential faculty advisors, some of the most helpful suggestions came from the peers in my KHC course that semesterThe KHC coursework also gives clear guidance and sets you up for organizational success, so that you do not get hung up on meeting rigid requirements. Instead, you get to focus on developing an impactful body of work that will make you proud! And to help you navigate roadblocks, changes in plans, or whatever questions you might have, you have a full team behind you. 

For more official descriptions and pertinent information, be sure to check out the Keystone Project section of the KHC website!  

My Experience with KHC Co-curriculars

By Jan Bhatt (CAS'23)

As an ambassador and peer mentor, the most common question I’ve received is about what KHC co-curriculars are, and what my co-curricular experiences have been like. So I’m going to talk about my favorite co-curriculars today! My freshman year, we were required to attend 3 co-curriculars per semester, which has since been reduced to 2 per semester. My favorite experience was the book reading and lecture with Angie Cruz. She is one of my favorite authors. We read her novel Dominicana in my KHC studio freshman year, and ever since she has become an author that I highly admire and relate to as an immigrant myself. She read excerpts from her novel and talked abundantly about her experiences as an immigrant and as an author, and it was incredible to have the opportunity to ask questions to and directly hear from someone I look up to. She is an inspiration to me and this KHC’s co-curricular event was a dream come true. 

The most memorable, impactful and knowledgeable conversation that I have ever had was also during a KHC co-curricular. The co-curricular was about Dawnland, a documentary celebrating the Native American community and highlighting the atrocities committed against them in the past that we also had the opportunity to watch during Studio freshman year. KHC hosted the makers of the documentary and held a Q&A about the film. It was incredibly illuminating, as the talk allowed me to better comprehend the range of perspectives of people from the Native American community, and internalize the fact that I and every non-Native American person in America is on stolen land. I still have a poster that they gave out by the end of the co-curricular hanging on my wall, I have been bringing it with me from home to my dorm room, back and forth ever since the event. It reads “You are on indigenous land.” It challenged my perception of the world by highlighting how successfully the Native American identity has been erased from this country, and helped me to reflect on and reduce my own ignorance and lack of understanding regarding the issue. 

Overall, every KHC co-curricular has taught me and exposed me to new interdisciplinary perspectives, and I am so grateful for the learning opportunities that they have presented to me.

KHC: Preconceptions vs. Reality

By Marie Kimball (CAS’23)

A few weeks before freshman year, there wasn’t much on my mind except going to work a few times a week and spending time with my friends. Sure, I was heading to college soon, but it hadn’t totally dawned on me that my life was about to change in a pretty big way. I only had a couple preconceptions floating around my head that would worry me occasionally. And don’t get me wrong – I knew that Kilachand was the best choice for me, and was very excited, however I had some preconceived notions about the stereotypical honors program that were bugging me. The best part is that soon after I got to school and to Kilachand, I realized that all of my preconceptions about honors programs never came to fruition. Kilachand stands out – I’ll explain why.

First, I was worried about a lack of balance. In other words, I understood that at Kilachand I would probably be completing a heavier workload than the typical student, in the amount and content of the work. I feared this would leave me with inadequate time for everything else, like socializing with friends, hitting the gym, taking alone time, and of course, sleep. After a few weeks in, I realized that this would not be the case. Sure, the workload of the typical Kilachand student is a bit more and a bit trickier, however it is manageable. As a junior now, I’m in two clubs at BU, have a part-time job, spend lots of time with my friends, get alone time, and get eight hours of sleep a night. Kilachand academically challenges its students in a healthy, efficient way. I’ve learned so much all the while maintaining my sanity and enjoying my college experience. Kilachand enhances my college experience, no doubt about it.

Second, heading into school I understood that Kilachand is a community, and that I would be spending a good amount of time with the other students in my grade. A worry creeped in that the environment might be competitive and cutthroat, like what I have heard in the news or seen on TV about honors programs. I like being challenged academically, but not at the expense of my well being. Learning in a toxic environment is never ok. Boy, was I wrong! My Kilachand friends and fellow classmates are collaborative and passionate. I am not only comfortable in my Kilachand classes, but also, I truly enjoy them. Kilachand classes are often my favorite each semester. My classmates are thoughtful and funny, and professors are supportive and quite accomplished.

Basically, over the past couple of years my Kilachand experiences have proven my prior preconceptions of an honors college experience downright wrong. From day one, the professors, advisors and students of Kilachand have enhanced my education and overall BU experience, and for that, I’ll always be grateful. To sum it up, Kilachand is the best!! Feel free to reach out to me to chat more about this or any other part of the Kilachand and BU experience.

6 Tips for a Double Major or Dual Degree within KHC

By Aiden Cliff (CAS/Questrom'23)

Hello everyone! First and foremost, I want to congratulate all of you on your admission to BU and KHC. My name is Aiden Cliff and I am a Peer Mentor, Kilachand Ambassador, and KLAB representative in the class of 2023. I am a dual degree student in the BA/MA program for economics within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and a Business Analytics concentration within the Questrom School of Business (QST). Kilachand attracts the best, brightest, and most ambitious students from around the world. Naturally, some of you want to take your education to the next level and pursue either a dual degree or a double major. While these programs are not for everyone, I wanted to share my experience as a dual degree student within KHC and give you a few tips on approaching these rigorous programs.

One important thing to keep in mind when reading this blog post, and while at BU, is the language that the University likes to use. The double major program is for students working towards two Bachelor’s degrees within the same school or college. An example of this would be a student studying both Chemistry and Biology within CAS. The dual degree program is for students pursuing two Bachelor’s degrees from different schools or colleges. This is what I am personally doing since I am studying Economics in CAS and working towards a separate Business Administration degree within QST. Usually, a double major will have fewer requirements than a dual degree since many programs within the same college have overlapping requirements.

1. Be sure this is something you want to pursue

Taking on a second major or even a minor can add a lot of coursework on top of an already rigorous academic program. Getting one college degree, especially from KHC and BU, is already such an accomplishment. You shouldn’t feel pressured to try and double major if you really don’t want to. Adding on this coursework could make sense if you want to go into a certain field where you would be at an advantage having two degrees or if you are really interested in the classes. I would not recommend taking on these extra academic commitments if you’re just looking for something else to fill your time or you really can’t see yourself enjoying your classes. You can always add a minor to explore that interest without as much commitment!

The choice is completely up to you and definitely is not something you need to make right away. There is a wide variety of majors you can select at BU and a lot of students don’t even know which one to pick, and that’s completely okay! Feel free to use your first few semesters to take a wide variety of classes you’re interested in and you can get a better feel for if you’ll want to double major from there. You don’t need to declare a dual degree until the end of your sophomore year, so you will have plenty of time to see what the right fit for you is.

2. Come in with credit if you can

Taking on two degrees at once obviously comes with a lot of other academic responsibilities. By being able to skip a few classes, either through AP, IB, or other college courses, you could be at a big advantage when it comes to scheduling. If you reported your test scores to BU, all this information should be on your StudentLink under the Academics tab and External Credits and Test Scores. You can then see which classes BU has already given you credit for, and therefore won’t need to take during college.

Coming in with a lot of external credits can make adding an extra degree a lot more feasible since you will have more space in your schedule. If you don’t have a ton of credit already, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a dual degree; it just may mean you need to take a few courses over the summer or have less space for electives.

3. Utilize the increased credit cap

Another perk of Kilachand is that you are able to take up to 20 academic credits per semester plus an additional 2 non-academic credits. The normal BU student is capped at only 18 credits total for the semester. This means you can take up to 20 credits without any paperwork or anything like that. This is considered "overloading" and is what I have chosen to do. It is a really easy process and you just add all the classes as you would normally.

By overloading, it will be a lot easier to complete your dual degree on time. While this is no easy task, you are often able to plan your schedule so that the semesters you need to take an increased credit load, your classes will be a little bit easier. For example, overloading with a STEM heavy schedule and a lot of lab components would be significantly more time-consuming and difficult than adding an intro-level humanities elective to your plan of study.

If you wish to do more than twenty academic credits, it would be extremely difficult. That's where the paperwork comes in, along with a litigation process to actually get approved. If you do get approved, BU will charge you a little extra per credit and the workload would be tremendous. I don't know anyone who has tried to do this and I really wouldn't recommend it. By taking 20 credits, you will already be ahead of the average BU student and will definitely finish your major requirements at a swift pace. I would just like to remind you that Kilachand students are not able to graduate early, so if this is your intention to overload I would once again not personally recommend it.

4. Make a written course plan

This is essential for any college student, but is especially important for dual-degree students. Being able to lay out all your classes and keep your requirements in line can be a really tricky task, and impossible to do in your head. I recommend making a spreadsheet mapping out a rough idea of what you want each semester to look like at BU. A lot of the requirements for each major are available online and this can be really helpful when it comes time for registration or advising appointments.

The key parts are your requirements for your major(s), KHC, and the HUB (BU’s version of general education requirements). Making a course plan can be a really helpful tool to see if a dual degree is even right for you in the first place. A lot of students want to spread their reach and go for the dual degree, but just don’t physically have space in their schedule and this can show that clearly. You don’t need to make one of these right away and whatever you put on here can definitely change throughout your time at BU. Consider it as kind of a rough guide as soon as your plans and major choices get more solidified. I did not make mine until the first semester of sophomore year, when I had a more concrete idea of what degrees I actually wanted to pursue. I will be happy to share the planner I personally use with anyone who reaches out to me if you want a better idea of what an example actually looks like!

5. Meet with your advisors often

Making this course plan is only the first step! You also need to meet with your advisors every semester. Academic advisors in college are like the equivalent to guidance counselors in high school (but better!). These are the people you should go to if you have any questions about academics or anything at all about college. The biggest difference is instead of having only one counselor for everything, you will have a separate advisor for each academic commitment you take on at BU. For example, I have one advisor for KHC, one advisor for my Economics degree, and a third advisor for my business degree. The reason for this is because each advisor is meant to be a specialist in their department and they are all amazing.

I can speak specifically for the Kilachand advising team in saying that they are truly amazing people. They are all really down-to-earth, very knowledgeable, and easy to have a conversation with. While you will be “assigned” to one advisor within KHC, you are definitely not limited to that one person. I encourage you to introduce yourself to the entire Kilachand advising team, there's always someone in the office on the bottom floor of KHC to share a coffee or have a snack with.

Having a good relationship with your advisors is one of the most important parts of college. Not only can you get a lot of good advice and academic information, but your advisors will be approving your dual degree enrollment and other academic forms throughout your college career. I have had a lot of great conversations with all of the Kilachand advisors and they have helped me more times than I can count.

6. Take time for yourself!

It can be so easy for any student, especially a dual degree student within KHC, to be caught up in academic work all day. While college may bring a lot of new responsibilities and coursework, I can not emphasize enough how important it is to take time for yourself. Your mental health is extremely important and it’s vital to find outlets to destress and enjoy your college experience!

This looks different for every student, but for me, I am able to destress by finding a non-academic club to take my mind off of my studies. There is a wide variety of clubs you can join at BU, but I was able to find my escape on the Club Roller Hockey team. Being able to have a few hours of my week blocked off for athletics and socializing with teammates makes me a lot happier in general. I was also able to find that I am better able to focus on my work when it comes down to academics since I have more motivation overall.

If athletics aren’t your thing that's completely okay! I also spend a lot of time on the Esplanade which is an awesome city park complex attached to BU where a lot of students go to socialize and find time for themselves. The Esplanade is a great place to take a walk, have a picnic, or throw a frisbee with some friends on a sunny day. I always enjoy going up to Longfellow Bridge and appreciate one of the best views of the city when I have a lot of work to do. This helps me mentally reset and ready to start doing some work. Also, feel free to check out Charlie McMahon’s blog post about exploring Boston for some other great ideas to destress around the city.

Hopefully, this helps! I just wanted to share my experience as a double major across colleges within CAS and QST. While all majors, and especially dual degree programs, are extremely different, a lot of this information will be relevant no matter the degree(s) you are pursuing. Just be sure to take time for yourself and enjoy life along the way!

I would be happy to continue this conversation, or others, with anyone. I can also speak a lot about the academics in Economics or business, picking your classes, club sports, exploring Boston, finding a roommate, or anything else you could think of. Feel free to reach out to me (acliff@bu.edu) if you have any questions at all and I will be happy to answer them via email or schedule a zoom call.

De-Mystifying the Keystone Project: Deciding on a Topic

By Nikita Sethi (CAS’21)

The Kilachand senior Keystone Project offers students free reign to craft a project in a subject they are interested in with the resources of Kilachand to back them up. For the first two years of my time in the Kilachand Honors College, I had very little idea what I was going to do with this opportunity. I did not have too much experience in my field outside of my classes, and spent most of my free time in choir practice or working. The summer after my sophomore year, I happened to pick up a book called “The Privileged Poor” by Anthony Abraham Jack. In this book, Dr. Jack outlines the ways that the lived experiences of low-income students at elite institutions are affected by their status as low-income. Reading that book, I recognized a lot of the things that I had been struggling with in my first two-years at Boston University. This was research about me, about my experience, and I needed to know more. I rushed down to the Kilachand office and told Eric and Danny all about why this subject was important, and why more people needed to know about it. The two academic advisors laughed a little bit, as they both had graduate degrees in the subject I was just beginning to become interested in, but they both lent me books from their personal libraries that covered the subject. The rush of excitement I felt in researching the issues that had plagued my undergraduate experience was initially just for my own personal research, but by the end of the summer, I realized that I could contribute to the body of work on this subject through my Keystone Project. And that’s just what I did -- I am currently in the last semester of completing my project entitled, “The Lived Experiences of Low-Income Students at Boston University.” I have been using the resources that Kilachand provided to interview low-income students on campus and create a podcast about their experiences. In the end, for me, the correct path for my Keystone Project was to just lean into the thing that I spent the most time thinking about in my four years. If I could give advice to incoming freshmen about the Keystone, it would be to not sweat it too much -- just pay attention to the things you are passionate about.

Kilachand First-Year Seminars

By Jan Bhatt (CAS’23) and Michelle Roos (CAS’23)

Hey y’all!!

My name is Jan, and I am an English major on the Pre-Law track! I’m going to talk about my experience with freshman KHC courses as a humanities major, and my friend+roommate Michelle is going to touch upon her experiences as a STEM major. Please please please feel free to reach out to either of us if you have any questions or want to chat!

During my first semester, I signed up for a KHC seminar course called Global Shakespeares: Text, Culture, Appropriation. This was designed like an English course, which as an English major I thoroughly enjoyed. However, for the second semester, my advisor (go Eric!) suggested that I sign up for a course that is different from my major, and I signed up for a chemistry seminar called The Material World. This is the course that I’m going to elaborate on because it was very helpful, not only because it helped with HUB requirements, but also because I was able to learn and retain very important information revolving around climate change and resource depletion. I still remember the few cases that we studied in that class, and I love bringing them up when talking about accountability of large corporations. It was taught by Professor Linda Doerrer, who is a very fun, easy going and interesting professor. I enjoyed speaking with her and learning from her, especially due to her ability to simplify advanced concepts of chemistry. I am very grateful for the two Studio courses as well, because it enabled us to converse about the ongoing global humanitarian issues like immigration, racism, etc. It gave me a platform to participate in regulated, academic conversations about issues that are relevant to the current socio-political climate. I took both studios with Dr. Amanda Fish, who is absolutely wonderful, and is willing to be helpful to the best of her ability. The work-load seemed like a lot to me in the beginning, but that is mostly because I am a massive procrastinator and left the assignments to the last minute.  I eventually got the hang of time management and not leaving most of my work to the last minute and it helped me a lot! So that would be a portion of my piece of advice: time management, and communication. Reach out to your professors if you are confused about the assignment, if you need an extension, or if you need extra help! Nine times out of ten, the professors are more than willing to accommodate and help you out! To summarize, my experience with first year KHC courses, minus some hiccups (mostly caused due to my personal shortcomings), was overall incredibly positive and rewarding!


Hi! I'm Michelle, a neuroscience major and chemistry minor in KHC. In the fall of my freshman year, I took the same Shakespeare seminar as Jan, where we were given the opportunity to read and analyze a wide range of adaptations of Shakespeare's classic works. Last spring, I selected another first-year seminar entitled “Whose Schools: Power, Equality, and Public Education”. In this class, I found it insightful to learn not only of the inequalities in Boston Public Schools, but also how the education system ties into larger, systemic, socio-economic issues. In addition to these seminars, I also completed two semesters of Studio during my first year at KHC. I liked how most of the writing assignments for this class were relatively open-ended, with the opportunity to construct a research paper on any topic given in the second semester. I chose to write about the treatment of individuals with psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders under the U.S. healthcare and criminal justice systems; this paper is only one example of how a KHC class enabled me to consider the information relevant to courses in my major under a new light.

I am grateful to KHC and the academic advising I have received (shoutout to Amanda!) for encouraging me to take interesting classes that I would not have otherwise taken. These classes have allowed me to expand my interests and gain an interdisciplinary perspective of many of the world's most challenging dilemmas. As a STEM major, I often find it more comfortable to stick to hardcore science courses than to grapple with the tough questions that are presented in KHC classes. Nevertheless, there is something especially rewarding about completing a difficult paper or engaging in a class discussion that I do not experience in my STEM classes. By forcing me out of my comfort zone, I believe that the courses that I have taken and will take in the future in KHC will allow me to emerge from college as a more well-rounded individual who is (hopefully) more prepared for graduate school.

Kilachand Hall. Credit Jan B.
Kilachand Hall. Credit Jan B.

How to Pick Your Classes

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.