Friday, April 30, 2010

To Newton or Not to Newton?

That is the question. But according to the latest edition of The Heights, an independent student newspaper, the Class of 2014 will not have the option to choose whether they would rather live on Newton or Upper Campus. To be honest, I feel like this is probably for the best, as eliminating housing preferences means that incoming freshman will no longer have to deal with the anxiety of deciding which campus is the right fit for them. I remember last spring, when I was torn between the idea of living in a small community like Newton Campus, or enjoying the convenience of living on Upper Campus.

After a lot of debate, I ended up requesting to live on Upper. However, I was assigned to live in a double on Newton. When I received the news, I was devastated. I thought that living on Newton was going to be the worst thing in the world, even though I had been so torn between the two just a few weeks before. But as it turned out, I was wrong. Funny how often that has happened to me this year.

Newton has been great. Yes, it’s inconvenient to live a mile away from Main Campus, and yes, the buses do get annoying at times. But at the end of the day, getting on the Newton Bus feels like going home. I wouldn’t trade my experience living on Newton—good people, good atmosphere, good food, and slightly larger dorm rooms—for anything. Although everything didn’t work out exactly as I planned, I feel like it all ended up working out for the best in the end. So, keep my story in mind as you all receive your housing assignments this summer. No matter where you end up, it has the potential to be great.

Until next semester,


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Time

Hey Everyone,
So this weekend a lot of great things are happening. There's a Lose the Shoes soccer tournament for AIDS awareness. Yes, that means barefoot soccer and a lot of fun. You make a team of five to seven people, give a little money for a good cause, and play soccer! It's supposed to be gorgeous weather...or so the weather channels says, which can be deceiving. But also, one of my favorite events at Boston College all year long, it's Arts Fest! It actually started today with various creative performances. There are films, poetry readings, dance groups, comedy troupes, singing, artwork, and more. There's even free food! (Dessert presentations...last year there were free chocolate strawberries and it was absolutely amazing) Springtime is such a great experience on campus, with everyone out in the Dustbowl, in the Quad, prowling through O'Neill Plaza. It's a weekend of culture as the year comes to an end, even if it means finals are fastly approaching.
I'll be out in the sun anyway!

Hannah Wheeler
Class of 2012

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marathon Monday

Hi again,

Just a reminder, my name is Hannah Wheeler and I'm a sophomore international studies major in the college of arts and sciences. This past Monday Boston College celebrated the annual Patriots' Day with a day off from our studies. With no classes to attend, students flocked to see the famed Boston Marathon that passes right by the campus. Not only is it an inspiring event to cheer on thousands of men and women from around the country who have been training mercilessly for this day, but for many at BC, we had fellow peers running the race.

The Campus School of Boston College sponsors students to run the race by only suggesting that they raise money for the school. This means those interested in running don't have to have a qualifying time, only have to participate in fundraising and awareness of the Campus School. Just a little bit about the Campus School--it's a non-profit, private day school part of the Lynch School of Education for students from the surrounding communities, aged 3-21, with various disabilities. Boston College students can find many ways to get involved with it other than the Marathon, if running 26.2 miles isn't really your thing. The school is always looking for students to come and volunteer their time, just spending time with the kids. Just another way Boston College gives back!

Hannah Wheeler
Class of 2012

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Hi everyone,

Clubs and activities are a big part of any college student's life. Whether it be EcoPledge or Special Olympics, there is always some way to get involved. Many students who come to Boston College are heavily involved in clubs in high school, and want to continue with those clubs or publications here at BC. However, college will also provide you with the opportunity to branch out and do things you may not have done in high school, and that is what this post is about.

One publication that I have recently become involved in is Elements, the Undergraduate Research Journal of Boston College. Elements began in 2004, and since then has grown into what it is today. As a member of the editing staff, I will play a part in deciding which articles are selected for the journal. What makes Elements so unique is that all of the articles are written by Boston College students, so any undergraduate student at BC can submit a paper he or she has written for a class and it could be published in Elements. So, if you were involved in a literary magazine in high school, or if you were not, definitely consider joining Elements at Boston College.

That's all for now. Until next time!
Ali McDonald

Monday, April 12, 2010

And So It Ends...

Last Tuesday, forty-nine of my fellow freshmen and I celebrated our graduation from Boston College’s Emerging Leader Program. ELP, as it is fondly known, is just one of the many leadership opportunities available on campus for freshmen. Several other notable programs are the Mentoring Leadership Program through the Undergraduate Government of Boston College and the Shaw Leadership Program.

While I don’t know as much about the others, ELP is essentially focused on leadership development; it requires that its members attend weekly meetings, each of which is devoted to a topic that is in some way related to leadership. The program also has a community service requirement—each semester, every member is required to complete 10 hours of community service, in addition to the occasional group community service project in which everyone participates. Oh yeah, and ELP is the best (in my perfectly biased opinion).

To be honest, I’m not sure if ELP made me a better leader or not. But what I truly do appreciate about the program are the people that I met through it. Coming from North Carolina, I knew virtually no one upon my arrival here at Boston College last September. However, after the 2-day ELP retreat before the fall semester began, I already had found a community in which I felt welcome. Eight months later (where has the time gone?), I now consider some of these people among my closest friends. I cannot imagine my Boston College experience without them, or my freshman year without having done ELP.

ELP was a truly wonderful experience for me, and I encourage any incoming freshmen to consider applying for it (look for an application in the mail this spring), or one of the other leadership programs available here on campus. Getting involved in co-curricular activities is, in my opinion, what makes one’s time at BC truly worthwhile. You can take classes anywhere, but rarely can you find people as committed and passionate about such a diverse range of extracurriculars as here at BC.

Until next time,

Culture at the Click of a Mouse

Hi again!

I want to talk about a great service BC provides. Boston College has so many opportunities that it offers us as students. We have access to great classes and amazing professors. We have so many clubs to choose from. We have pretty enjoyable dining services. We have outstanding athletics. We have a GORGEOUS campus. In addition to all these outlets and activities to keep us busy BC also provides a place for lectures and speakers to come from around the nation and even the world to bring us a little taste of something outside Chestnut Hill.

We've had creators of different technologies, businesses, and ideologies, various political leaders, and more come to campus and give us a slice of the real life. And yes, we are busy college students, so say you have a class during a time that you really, really, really want to see a speaker, BC has got you covered. BC Front Row films and uploads various lectures around campus for us to see at our leisure. Just a warning, it can be a huge procrastination tool when the papers and the readings start piling up...but it's better than Facebook! So if you're bored or just want to check up on the type of speakers we get, check Front Row out!

Have a good day!

Hannah Wheeler
Class of 2012


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Course Registration

Hello everyone,

It's that time of the year again! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everyone is trying to figure out which courses they should take next year.

Don't worry, you won't have to do it alone. When you come to Boston College as a freshman, you will be assigned an academic advisor, who will help you with questions that you have about Boston College life. Your first registration experience will be during summer orientation, where summer faculty and your orientation leader will help you choose courses that you might be interested.

Once you arrive on BC's campus, you will be assigned a pre-major academic adviser, who will help you navigate course selection until you declare a major, at which time you will receive a new adviser in that field. For example, as an purposed English major, it wouldn't make much sense for my adviser to be in the Chemistry department, so once I officially declare my major, I will be reassigned an adviser in the English department.

Before I register for my courses, I will have a meeting with my academic adviser, who will help me figure out which courses I want to take, and make sure I am on track with completing my core requirements. Then, all of the registration is done online. You will receive a registration date and time, and you can register at any point after your registration time. The rising seniors will register first, followed by rising juniors, and then rising sophomores.

If you're not exactly sure what you want to take, don't worry! We have drop/add week at the beginning of the semester, which will allow you to try out courses and see the syllabus without having to fully commit to them just yet.

Well, I'm going to go relax outside on this beautiful day. Until next time!

Ali McDonald

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

Hey there,

It's been awhile, but just a reminder: my name is Hannah and I'm a sophomore here at BC. I wanted to talk about one of the many opportunities that Boston College offers that you might not think you need...but is greatly appreciated after participating.

I'm talking about the many retreat programs you can partake in. Recently, I decided on a whim to try out Halftime, a program created by a department of BC called Intersections. Don't get me wrong, I love being on campus, but sometimes when the work piles up and life gets too stressful and you're just dying for a change of scene, getting away from the daily grind can be more than needed. There are many locations and different weekends that Halftime is located but my specific section was in Dover, MA where BC owns a retreat center.

It was an amazing and refreshing experience and completely free. We were divided up into small groups where we just got to unwind and talk about anything that was stressing us out lately, what we thought about the paths (academically, career-wise, etc. etc. etc.) that we were leaning towards for our lives, and just reflect on what we've accomplished so far in college. It was comforting to just refocus and affirm that I'm making the right choices in life. It's that feeling that Boston College is really looking out for you and providing a community spirit that makes me love it so much here.

Intersections offers some other great programs as well. In addition to Halftime, there are other retreats offered by various groups on campus. There's the freshman retreat offered through first year experience, 48hours, to get you adjusted to your first year of college, Kairos - a religious related retreat that is pretty secretive but everyone loves after they go on it; sorry, I haven't been yet so I can't offer any input, but I've heard great things. Many clubs on campus also have their own retreats.

Before coming to college I never really thought about the importance of reflecting and giving yourself some time to actually let yourself think, but these retreats allow you to realize how much this can center you in the business of balancing life at college.

Until next time!

Hannah Wheeler

Thursday, April 1, 2010

ALC Showdown

I wanted to let everyone know about an amazing AHANA dance event, the ALC Showdown, that took place last weekend. AHANA stands for African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American, and it is an acronym that replaces the word minority on campus. The show was put on by ALC, or the AHANA Leadership Council, and showcased the AHANA dance groups on campus, including groups like the Vietnamese Student Association and the hip-hop group Phaymus.

It opened with an exhibition showing Lil' Phunk, a dance group of 6-13 year olds. Not only were they adorable, but they were amazing dancers. The show alternated between traditional and contemporary dances, with many of the groups performing more than one dance. A lot of the more traditional groups, like The Philippine Society of Boston College (PSBC), performed a traditional dance and two hip-hop dances. The show was had three hosts, all of whom were hilarious and put on small skits in between the acts.

At the end of the night it was time to announce the winners. The showdown was split into two categories, one for the best dance group and one for the best culture group. Synergy, a hip-hop group, won first place for best dance group, and Fuego, a Latin dance group, came in second, while Aero-K, the Korean Students Association's dance group, won first place in the best culture group and Masti, the South Asian Student Association's dance group, placed second in the best culture group. It was a wonderful show and I can't wait until the show next year!

Ali McDonald