Words to the Wise: Culture Shock’s Complete Guide to Your Freshman Year at BU

| August 18, 2014 | 0 Comments
Welcome to BU, Class of 2018! This Culture Shock Guide, put together with love for you from our staff writers, is here to provide you with our advice on how to make your time here at BU everything you want it to be. We can’t wait to welcome you to campus!

Where to Go

photo (4)Whether you’re feeling alone and like you need an ally or you’re feeling alive and like you need an alloy through which to conduct your energy, go to the Howard Thurman Center. Go there to get a cup of tea; go there to say hello. Go there to find community and go there to search, to find, and to grow. -Mackenzie

There is a wall on the corner of Granby and Bay State Road that is covered in leaves during the fall and the spring. The benches near that wall are my favorite to sit and read on when the weather is nice. If there’s even a slight breeze, the leaves on the wall ripple out in waves, becoming a mesmerizing ocean of gentle green. Though the leaves fall off the wall in the winter, that just makes the arrival of spring a little more heartwarming. -Cecilia

The secret planetarium in the CAS. On Wednesday evenings you can go up on the top of the CAS and look at planets with their telescopes. Planets are cool. -Emmy

What to Know

photo credit: Bart Hanlon via photopin cc

photo credit: Bart Hanlon via photopin cc

Most important thing to know at BU: if you want to get to class on time, learn to jaywalk. -Sam

You’re in the heart of Boston. Go do Boston things and don’t be afraid of looking like a tourist. It would be sucky to look back at your college days and realize you know nothing about Boston. Don’t be afraid to go alone. Nobody notices/cares if you’re at the MFA alone.  -Emmy

Hockey is BU’s biggest sport and even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, the games are a fun social thing to do on Friday and Saturday nights. The warming feeling of uniting with your school over the cold ice and the excitement of clapping along with the band can’t be beat. Go watch the Terriers beat BC, go to the Beanpot, and go to Cane’s to both celebrate victories and mourn losses. - Mackenzie

Read (or maybe even write for!) Culture Shock. -Cecilia

Classes You’ll Love

photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy via photopin cc

photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy via photopin cc

Everyone should have a chance to explore the universe. Alien Worlds with Professor Andrew West takes you deep into space and gives you the freedom to venture among the stars. -Emily S.

If you’re in CAS, you’ll need some general science requirements. I took ES140, Natural Disasters, with Lawford Anderson, or Dr. A, as he calls himself. He is the most enthusiastic and energetic professor I’ve met, and he’s not young either. I was in a huge 150-person lecture with him, and a year later, he still remembers my name when I see him. He’s incredible. -Kate

Comparative literature courses allow you to read the world from your dorm room. Take any of the department’s introductory courses (class codes are XL222-XL225) to learn about literature of the West, Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia from brilliant and passionate professors. The classes are small and the readings are always eye-opening. -Cecilia

Use your Writing 100 and Writing 150 classes as opportunities to explore something you want to learn more about or to pursue a passion you have outside of your major. My Writing 150 class on the American Dream inspired me to add a dual degree in American Studies. You might not know where you want to go until you take a step somewhere you’ve never been -Mackenzie

DOs

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

Seek purpose aggressively. There are tens (and possibly hundreds) of thousands of your dollars going toward BU finding and giving you amazing opportunities, but you can’t appreciate them unless you know how you want to create your world, and what you want it to look like. -Sheridan

Freshman: as corny as it sounds, stay true to your heart. Don’t try to alter your personality just to be part of someone’s life for a couple seconds. You can’t be friends with everyone, and while it may seem like your circle is shrinking, the people that matter will be there at the end of the day. -Sam

Be stressed.  Feel uncomfortable and lost. That’s all a part of starting college and finding your niche. Call your family, talk with your friends, and cry to them. Freak out. It’s all good. -Andrew

Your years here set the foundation for your future. Take a breath—that should motivate you, not scare you. So if you hate your part-time job, quit it. If you can’t stand your major, change it. If you’re tired of your friends, find new ones. Spend time honing your skills, yes, but also your values, because in the end, it’s more important to know who you want to be than what you want to do. -Sheridan

DON’Ts

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Don’t ever go to the Halloween, Christmas, or any other holiday and themed frat parties in Allston without an article of clothing warm enough to survive a blizzard. Trust me. You don’t need to be a scientist or meteorologist to understand this. -Andrew

Despite the stress of classes, don’t forget to laugh, to climb fences, sneak burritos into movie theaters, contemplate the CITGO sign, cry, and play in the snow with your friends. -Emily S.

I would not recommend purchasing Microsoft Office from BU. When I replaced my hard drive, the Sphinx that guards IT not only refused to reinstall the package (despite my receipt) but also would not let me re-purchase the software citing his allegiance to Satan. -Jeff

Never do anything that you don’t want to do. Maybe everyone’s going out to that party, and you don’t want to be lame or whatever, but you know deep in your heart that you would really enjoy staying in your room watching television instead of going out. Don’t go out. College is your time to do what you want, what you really want. Just listen to yourself. -Kate

When you’re studying for midterms/finals in one of those cubicles in the library, do not put your drinks on the top section of the desk, as it could easily fall and spill its contents all over your laptop/papers/textbooks and ruin your week. No, I’m not speaking from personal experience. -Mike

Freshmen should never speak unless spoken to. Just kidding. Please don’t put that in the blog post. I’m a terrible person. -Emily S.

Any questions or advice you’d like to share? Leave a comment. See you soon, freshmen! 

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