It gets stranger and stranger coming back to Boston College every year. Faces change, buildings are renovated, and people move off campus or go abroad for a semester. Over your four years, you move from being the twerp to the big man on campus, and you see your friends in other classes go through the respective changes as they climb the ladder above you or beneath you. As you move through BC, you start to meet upperclassmen and eventually see them break through to the real world, leaving behind legacies and friends that continue to shape the school’s spirit over time.
There are also a lot of dynamics at play in each year of school. The freshmen are imbued with this outrageously fun, uplifting energy when they first arrive at BC. They jump at the opportunity to meet new people and join as many extracurriculars as they possibly can. Eventually this outburst subsides as the freshmen fall into routines and start studying for midterms and finals, but they still mostly hold the flame that was ignited when they got to campus. While they may be weary and tired from the long academic school year, ready to spend a well-earned summer with family and friends, give them a month or two back home and they’ll be more than ready to jump in for round two.
Though incoming sophomores may lack the ecstatic vigor that characterized their first few weeks at BC, they come back to campus refreshed, reminding themselves that they are still in the early days of their BC experience. This year, holding a certain familiarity that freshman year lacks, goes by in a flash. By the time you know it, it’s May and you’re trying to find a place to hide all your crap from your room for the next four months.
This is where things start to get interesting and scary: the halfway point. Even when you comb through your days at BC, remembering each and every second of your time here, it’s still hard to imagine entering the second half of college.
I’ll stop my personal overview of the BC experience right about here because this is as far as I’ve gotten. While everything above definitely does not apply to every student, I think enough people feel the same way to make a point out of these feelings and situations. I don’t consider myself much of a sage or very wise, but looking at my BC experience, I have a suggestion for underclassmen, especially the aspiring artists among you.
Take advantage of the energy that courses through the veins of BC in these first couple weeks. Freshman artists, play your music, paint, draw, and write outside, among others. Share your work. Talk about your interests. Leave a poster in your study lounge saying you want to start a band. At some point, the academic year will start to impose itself upon your schedule. You will fatigue, to various extents. So, if there’s one piece of advice I have to you, it’s to make the absolute most of this month.
As an arts & review editor, it’s been strange to see the upperclassman talent leave this school. I’ve seen some very good musicians, artists, and filmmakers leave this campus and it can be a bit startling to see them all go at once each year. Eventually, however, I remind myself of that ageless phrase, “Out with the old and in with the new,” and I realize that the incoming freshmen and sophomores have just the same potential as all the great BC artists who came before them.
So, in a few closing words, I suggest to this year’s freshmen—in particular those of you who are artistically inclined—to show this school who you really are and what you can do. That’s exactly what all of the artists that have rolled through this school before you have done, and that’s precisely what those who come after you will do, too. I can’t help but think in writing this of all of the regrets I’ve heard from upperclassmen about not trying out for this or that a cappella group or play, and I hope that, keeping these words in mind, a few of you will be inspired to step out of your comfort zones and see what the BC arts community has to offer you.
Featured Image By Chris Fuller / Heights Editor