Thursday, April 12, 2012

Be You at BU

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned.

I experienced this this morning. Our plan was to leave the hotel by 7:15, arrive in Boston by 8 (since it supposedly only takes a half an hour to get there), find a place for breakfast, and be at BU by 9:30. However, one major factor that did not fit into this agenda was the dreaded morning traffic. With the steady pace relative to that of a snail, we made it to BU at the gracious time of 9:15. So my mom and I tried to stifle the growling noises of our stomachs as we joined the other admitted students at the reception.

We got a folder with a BU pamphlet, map, and itinerary, as well as our own “guest pass” BU ID card that says Class of 2016. I was wondering how much these all cost to make since we get to keep the lanyard and ID, but just decided to be grateful for this cool complimentary gift.

The group traveled to a room under one of the housing complexes and we sat in for a chilled back Q&A info session with an admissions counselor and two sophomores at BU from two very different fields of study. The session was not specific according to major like at Syracuse and so we received less information on our subjects in comparison, but we did learn a lot about the cool things on campus, student life, food, dorms, and other generic college things at BU. The students were very friendly and informative. I asked them to give a positive and negative to living in the city. Their positives were both the city life and opportunities to discover and explore. Their negatives were city noise and mass crowds during major baseball game days. Many of the information we heard I knew already, but the personal stories added a nice touch.

We took a tour across the campus. A few minutes in, the tour and the greater Boston area was bombarded with heavy hail. This relentless storm did not stop the tour, and we ended up with quite a lot of ice on our clothes and hairdos. The hail then turned into a downpour and those of us lucky to have umbrellas tried to stay dry.

Basically, BU is on one huge street: Commonwealth Avenue. Most of the schools consist of a bunch of big buildings along one side of the street, with a couple schools across the way. Behind the street or across the street are various housing communities, most of which are in high rises. Also along this busy street is the “T”, Boston’s major form of public transportation; a shuttle specifically for BU students; a huge fitness center; an arena; a field; and tons of food places. The campus is not spread out randomly around the city like some colleges in San Francisco, back home. Instead, the campus is one large rectangle along a busy street, with the actual city city of Boston within walking and public transportation distance.

After the tour, we ate at the dining commons in West Campus, which is really just further down Commonwealth Ave. The dining common is buffet style which I was too happy about, and was then reminded by mom about the “freshman fifteen”.
So now for the perks of the school:
  1. It’s a large campus, close enough to the city life, but not spread out in the city.
  2. There is plenty of housing.
  3. There are ton of majors, classes, programs, and schools to try out.
  4. They have super cool clubs and intramural sports like broomball.
  5. Their school pride is through the roof.
  6. It’s easy to get around the city.
  7. The food is good.
  8. There are so many opportunities being that close to a bustling city.
  9. My program is very strong.
  10. There are constantly many events going on around campus.

I have to admit, I do really love this school. There were things that I didn’t find too positive, but they were few.
  1. Less help from peer advisers, counselors, etc.
  2. No true main green (though they count their “beach” as one)

Though this list is small, it is extremely important. The major factor I was basing my decision on was location of school. And Syracuse basically sits down with you and maps out your entire education, ensuring your timely graduation. It’s not the same at BU.

I do love both schools. It will take more research and more talks with students to decide on a school. I have until May 1st, but to be honest, that’s not a lot of time.

After the tour we bought a t-shirt for me and a pennant for my mom’s school. We then drove to the airport and flew on a very shaky flight from Boston to Salt Lake City, Utah, where I am currently stranded and blogging due to a delayed flight from bad storms in San Francisco. When will I ever get home?