A Summer in Review: Boston Edition

Smaran Ramidi CAS’25

The city of Boston is beautiful. Running across campus to get to your next class, you often see the skyline of the city in the background. But with so much homework, club meetings, and going to work, it’s often difficult to truly explore the city.  When I had the chance to stay in Boston over the summer, exploring the city was my first priority after work. So join me in reflecting on my summer in Boston.

Seaport:

 A so-called essential part of Boston to visit, Seaport became my second home as I went there every weekday to work. So while the glitz and glam was interesting at first, the overpriced food and long commute made it less fun overtime. While everybody should visit Seaport for its winter market and the Institute of Contemporary Art, frequent trips aren’t necessary.

South End:

 The South End of Boston is an amazing neighborhood. With a vibrant culture that traces its roots back to being Boston’s BIPOC community, the lack of public transit access to the city makes historical sense. So while it’s a bit of a trek to get over to the South End, the walk itself has a beauty in itself. With a very different vibe from the rest of the city, the pop-up summer SoWa market along with the year round indoor SoWa market, it was a great visit. The South End also houses the city’s art community with open viewings of many art studios and beautiful works. It might take a little bit more planning and time to visit the South End, but it’s totally worth it.

Cambridge:

 Between the sprawling campuses of MIT and Harvard, it’s difficult to see the beauty of Cambridge. While it isn’t the city of Boston, Cambridge is close enough and has its own charm. While it also takes a little bit more walking, you get the chance to explore a lot more local Boston spots. From the overflowing clothes of the Garment District to the graffiti alley in Central, Cambridge has its fair share of hidden treasuries. All it takes it just a little bit time to look past what we normally see.

Walking:

 Walking is not the name of a part of Boston, but my favorite way to get around in the city. Yes, Boston is indeed the most walkable city. In the rush of life, taking the bus and the T is our best option. But when you have the time, a good walk is all it takes to feel like you have control of everything once again. My favorite walking trip? Walking from Marsh Chapel to the North End.

Yes it took 2 hours, but it was the most calming experience of my summer. I took it with fellow Kilachand student Monet Ota. Together we set out to walk all the way to the North End with the motivation of a delicious cannoli to end the trip. A walk full of recapping our summers so far, a break on Newbury Street for mochi donuts, playing on the playground in the Boston Commons, and finally a delicious tiramisu cannoli. College is stressful, but then you remember having moments like this.

 Every tour I give at BU, I always make my group pause and look at the Boston skyline from Comm Ave. I always remind them that Boston University is in the city of Boston. But I forget that fact too, suck in the BU bubble. So after this summer, I’ve made a promise to myself to take the breaks I need to visit the city I came to BU for.

The Five Best Places to Study at BU

By Gabrielle Gewirtz CAS ‘24

As a new semester is getting underway, it’s time to revisit the best study spots on BU campus. BU is well known as a big campus, which can seem intimidating, but with this list, you are sure to find new places to help you crank out that paper that’s especially hard to write or just do some last-minute readings.

Questrom Starbucks

In my opinion, the Starbucks located in Questrom is the best Starbucks on campus. The coffee is great, and there’s usually good music playing. The booths are particularly comfortable to sit and camp out in, and it’s even more fun when you’re studying there with friends.

3rd Floor of Mugar Library

The first floor of Mugar is also a great study area but is usually incredibly crowded. The third floor, however, is usually less crowded and is a just as good, if not better, study spot. The rows of desks give you a bit of privacy while also being able to talk to the person next to you if you are with friends. Studying within the bookshelves also, at least for me, makes me feel more studious and gets me in the mood to do work.

1st Floor of CGS

This might seem like a weird spot, but the comfortable couches are too hard to ignore. I also really like the atmosphere; most people are also doing work, and everyone is usually doing something different, so this is a great space if you are working alone on an assignment.

CAS Think Tank

This is for all the people that need a quiet study space. The Think Tank is usually silent, and so this is a great place for people studying alone. There are a lot of outlets to charge any devices you have, and there are different seating arrangements (desks, chairs, couches) so that you can choose the spot that makes you the most comfortable.

Kilachand Common Room

This is not a quiet space, so if you need to be in absolute silence to do work, this is not the place for you. However, it’s always nice to go downstairs (especially if you are living in Kilachand) and study while also getting into conversation with whoever else is in the common room at the time. The close proximity to the kitchen is also really nice for eating snacks while studying.

I hope this list has helped you find new places to study, or even just new places to hang out. Good luck to everyone this semester!

The Life-Changing Power of Writing Lists

Emily Yoder CAS'24

As I began this semester, which, as a junior, marked the halfway point through my college career, I decided to evaluate the past two years. I’m studying abroad in the spring and realized that, after I leave campus for Christmas break, I won’t return to BU until I’m a senior, at which point I hope to be well on my way to completing graduate school applications. “Time flies” is a cliché, but all clichés are rooted in some reality and I decided to do some early semester critical thinking to maximize this last semester on campus before all of the responsibilities and life changes of senior year hit. I think that critically evaluating oneself during periods of change is a positive way to ensure that that change is for the better. I regret not making lists such as the one that I’m about to outline before my past two semesters at BU; doing this as a form of journaling taught me what factors are the most important to my mental health, happiness, and academic or professional success. So, enough background: here’s a guide to writing some easy (and hopefully relaxing) self-analytical lists as a form of journaling!

A Short Guide to Self-Reflection:

Make lists! Write out:

  1. What things made you the happiest last semester? Were they social, your
    hobbies, trying new things?
  2. What upset you the most last semester OR what negatively impacted you
    last semester? Were these things in your control? Were they patterns, or
    one-time, exceptional occurrences?
  3.  What worked well for you academically or professionally last semester?
  4. What didn’t? (Note: a really important part of this process is balancing
    everything going on in your life which, for most BU students, is a combination of academics and jobs, your social life, and your time outside of class otherwise. Don’t limit the lists to just one of these areas!).

Analyze those lists! Now that you hopefully have some bullet points about things that made you happy or unhappy and worked or didn’t work, make a new list from that material:

  1. Which positive things that you learned from thinking about last semester will you continue to do?
  2. Which negative habits you may have found will you drop?
  3. What can you generalize about yourself overall from these lists? i.e. “I’m the happiest when I maximize my social time” or “I need time to myself to recharge”

I hope that this little outline can help you think about your college experience so far (or maybe your high school experience if you’re a freshman!); I love writing but journaling can occasionally intimidate me, so I’ve found that listing things, for example moments I want to remember or that made me smile, is a great way to start reflecting about myself and write some things down without being overwhelming

Exploring Boston by Means of a Sweet Tooth

Brianna Spiegel (SAR'24)

Everyone says that college is transformative. From shaping identity, discovering values, creating life-long friendships, and preparing for careers, I can say that my experience in Kilachand and BU as a whole has definitely led me to accomplish those big things. But what about the small stuff? I have found that college changed me in unexpected ways, like becoming a foodie.

Now, I know this may sound silly at first. Maybe you’re thinking, don’t college students just survive on late night pizza? (And I’ll have to agree, there’s nothing quite like ordering Domino’s cheesy bread with your dining points). Or perhaps you’re thinking about budgeting - and it’s true, finding the spots to get the most for your money can be tricky. But living in Kilachand Hall, I had so many nearby options to choose from. Being on Bay State Road meant being walking distance to Fenway, Newbury, and more. And if something was a bit further away, my friends and I were just a block away from Kenmore station, where we could hop on the T and go anywhere in Boston!

Trying out new food places became a way to bond with my suitemates, neighbors, and friends in Kilachand’s living-learning community. From deciding on the restaurant, finding a way to get there, ordering and sharing the meal, and reflecting on all of the flavors and combinations, I found myself growing to love this process. Food transformed into a social and cultural experience for me; it was a way to explore the many diverse neighborhoods of Boston.

Because it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start, I wanted to recommend a couple fun experiences to try, especially for dessert - because isn’t that the best part of the meal? More than just the food, I hope that these ideas inspire you to plan your own Boston adventures and make memories along the way. I’ll also provide some suggested ways for how to get there from Kilachand Hall (91 Bay State Road).

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates - 220 Clarendon St

I remember when my floor’s Resident Assistant (shout out to Christian!) took us all to this lovely shop, and we tried its amazing hot chocolate. L.A. Burdick is unique in that you can order to suit your chocolate preferences: dark, milk, or even white hot chocolate! Also, don’t skip out on trying a few of their chocolate candies and truffles, which have really rich, complex and creative flavors.

How to get there: Take a left out of Kilachand Hall, then take a right onto Raleigh St. Once you hit the Kenmore T station, hop on the train and ride two stops on the Green Line inbound to Copley (from where it will be a 3 min walk). If you’re up for about a 20-minute walk, take the beautiful stroll down tree-lined Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Common, or opt to do some window browsing by walking down Newbury Street, Boston’s famous shopping area. Newbury and Commonwealth run parallel, so you’ll take a right onto Clarendon St either way.

Bova’s Bakery - 134 Salem St

My friend and I stumbled upon Bova’s in search of cannolis but wanting to avoid the infamously long line at Mike’s Pastry. We were amazed to see such a huge variety of pastries and cakes in addition to the classic cannoli that the North End is known for. I recommend getting a few with different fillings to share! Fun fact is that Bova’s is open 24/7, so perfect for those late night cravings. The North End, also known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” is definitely a must-visit site for anyone coming to the city.

How to get there: I recommend taking the T from Kenmore. Make sure to get on the Green D line inbound, and you’ll get off at Haymarket from which it will be about an 8 min walk. If you’re up for about an hour - but very scenic - trek, head down Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Boston Common. You’ll actually walk through the park, and continue onto Beacon St, taking a left onto Somerset Ave. Continue straight all the way to Sudbury St. Once you get to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a big intersection with trees and benches, you’ll cross and head onto Salem St in the heart of the North End.

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