A Drop in the Harbor: Cementing My Love for the City

The day started off like every other Monday. There I was, sitting at my usual side table in Bapst, with a cup of Special K and a coffee to my right and a stack of unread articles to my left. I stared blankly ahead, trying to block out the sound of the girl aggressively highlighting her theology homework across from me.

It wasn’t working, so I changed tasks to something that requires little concentration: Spanish vocab. I had made it nearly halfway through the quizlet when a shadow reflected onto my computer screen. I looked up to make eye contact with a dad in khakis and a neatly tucked polo. He was holding a fancy looking camera, and it was pointed directly at my face. Before I could react, he pushed his finger down on one of the buttons, emitting a soft click that permeated through the silent library.

As soon as he took the picture, the dad quickly scurried back to the tour group filing through Bapst’s second-floor entrance. The entire ordeal happened in less than a second, and he was probably just trying to take a picture of the stained glass window behind me, but I felt personally targeted in the moment. I looked from the aggressive highlighter back to my vocab and sighed. I needed a change of location.

Last year, I was one of those prospective students. Luckily, my parents are not into flash photography, but there were still embarrassing moments. One of the most notable happened off campus, at what might be my favorite place in the city: the Boston Tea Party Museum.

Located on the Harbor, the museum is every history nerd’s dream. Created to memorialize the Boston Tea Party and Revolutionary War, there are historical interpreters, interactive exhibits, a gift shop filled with colonial memorabilia, and a restaurant where you can sample the tea thrown overboard by colonists in 1771. But best of all, the museum is connected to a fully restored 18th century ship that you can dump tea off of.

Sounds too good to be true, right? There’s only one catch, you need to buy a ticket to get onboard. I was not aware of this before going, and I was not about to drop $30 to toss my tea in the harbor. So, like the colonists, I staged a rebellion. When no one was looking, I quickly crossed over the rope, boarded the ship, and dumped my tea. The act cemented my love for the city, and in that moment I decided I had to go to Boston College.

“I’m going to dump tea into the harbor before every exam, for good luck,” I told my dad as we walked out of the gift shop.

He rolled his eyes. “Good luck with that.”

“No, I’m serious.” I said. “I’m doing it.”

Unfortunately, that summer I soon forgot about my promise. Fall semester rolled by and I never made my pilgrimage to the Harbor. But that Monday afternoon in Bapst, I decided it was time to go back. When I dropped my tea into the harbor for the second time, I couldn’t help but reflect on the year that had passed. Maybe I’ll just go once a year before finals from now on. If you haven’t been to the museum yet, go. It’s not too late to drop tea in the harbor before your first final. It will bring you good luck, I promise.

Featured Image by Anna Tierney / Heights Editor