First Impressions of Boston College

Boston College is situated in Chestnut Hill, just a couple of miles outside Boston city. This leafy suburban setting was an interesting change for me coming from Trinity. I pass the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, more commonly referred to as the ‘Res’ on my way to college. At just 8am in the morning, the pathway was already flooded with students eager to squeeze a work out into their morning routine. I quickly learned that very many BC students live up to stereotype that I had read prior to my arrival; health conscious, driven, well-rounded and involved in as many aspects of college life their schedule allows.

My first day of orientation at Boston College right in the middle of the Freshman move-in period. Everywhere I looked I saw parents fussing over their youngsters and heaving cardboard boxes from the trunks of their cars. The school spirit was so apparent from the get-go. The marching band was practising outside on the law opposite the Alumni Stadium, the notorious Million Dollar staircase was decorated with yellow and red ribbons (the college colours) and every second student I passed proudly sporting BC paraphernalia.

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Gasson Hall at Boston College

Boston College is famous for its beautiful collegiate gothic architecture. Gasson Hall is the most memorable building on campus. One of our orientation day coordinators explained that the light in the bell tower represents both an invitation and a challenge to serve the light of God. It reminded me of the Campanile in Trinity because it features so heavily in BC related Instagram posts.

Certain cultural differences between Ireland and American were brought to my attention. Everything is a lot less formal, students wear baseball hats indoors, eat food in the middle of class and regard Professors as though they are equals. There are also some seemingly nonsensical quirks associated with the BC student lifestyle like the fact that all the dining halls have nicknames ‘Lyons’ is known as ‘The Rat’ and Corcoran is exclusively referred to as ‘Lower’. There is an extensive application process if you want to be a member of any of the volunteer organisations and the use of dining hall trays is completely socially unacceptance.

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Olivia McAleese at Boston College

All things included BC has an incredibly welcoming and positive atmosphere. The Jesuit ethos which praises ‘Men and Women for Others’ is very apparent in the way the students conduct themselves. There are so many incredible opportunities and experiences available to me here in every aspect of my life. I’m excited for what the rest of my stay has to offer.


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