Orienting to BU: The Complete Collector’s Edition

September 4, 2011

by

The Orienting to BU series is a lot like your favorite television supervillain. You keep thinking you’ve gotten rid of the cunning creature, but it keeps coming back every time.

For those of you who are new to the ball game, Orienting to BU has been a semi-regular column running throughout the summer months that aimed to enlighten the Class of 2015 about the trials and tribulations of the collegiate experience. All the information is still relevant (and obviously entertaining) to students now, hence my grand return to revisit our topics one last time (or is it really?).

Bringing the Bling

As much as Flava Flav would be lost without his enormous time pieces, the college freshman would definitely be as confused without some necessary pieces of bling covered in this article. Orienting to BU‘s very first installment talked about necessities ranging from Febreze to duct tape to a sturdy raincoat to shower sandals. Above all else, please bring the shower sandals.

In hindsight, I could also recommend the utility of Command hooks, the environmental responsibility of a recycling bag, and the complete mandatory nature of silverfish-stomping shoes if you live in Warren.

Warren Towers. Photo by Patricia Bruce.

Making Dining Plans—Easy as Pie

In my time coordinating with freshman through the First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) and other student organizations, I can personally attest to how much freshman ask about the whole dining hall dilemma. OtB’s second installment covered that messy issue. The distress of dining points, mess of meals, and confusion of not-always-so-convenient points can easily lead to many meal plan alterations. This article attempted to explain how much food options and life scheduling can really impact whether or not your meals are mostly pizza or Panda Bowls.

Hitting the Pavement

BU is a very large, intimidating place. There can also be nothing more distressing than finding out that two back-to-back classes force you to travel from the College of General Studies (CGS) to Kenmore Square somehow miraculously within 10 minutes.

Since the article, two things have changed on campus in regards to travel. First, the B.U.S. (Boston University Shuttle) has been replaced by a larger, Disney World-style shuttle. Maybe it has something to do with the old B.U.S. doing this.

Also, the BU campus has experienced the addition of several rental bicycle stations that offer quick transportation willing to those with money and enough skills to navigate Commonwealth Avenue.

Unpacking Heat

Admittedly, most people (including freshman) have probably already moved in at this point, and the recommendations offered in this post are mostly expired. It does, however, offer a unique, philosophical reflection of the gravity and chaos of move-in day.

The Safety Dance

For those of you not from a city, BU can be an intimidating place. For those from another city, BU can actually be an upward step in terms of safety. The campus’ linear design, the prevalence of police and escort services, and the enormous student population can make for a comfortable nightly navigating routine. The initial article sought to inspire enough comfort to calm nerves, but not too much as to encourage unsafe decisions. Play your cards right, and you’ll never have to worry about your big city, Broadway dreams not coming true.

Close Quarters

You’ve probably already met your roommate at this point. He seems nice. Sure, he’s a little anti-social and gives you an odd look or two, but that doesn’t mean anything. And look! He feels comfortable enough with you to use all of your stuff. How sweet, you guys will probably be besties forever and ever.

Or not. Read this article and arm yourself with knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, you may have a fantastic experience. But don’t let early-semester optimism blind you from acknowledging what’s actually there. Explore open communication and, for the love of all that is BU, make a shared list of rules. Do NOT skip this step.

Get a Social Media Life

This stunning piece was guest-written by the Social Media Queen herself, Meghan Ross. To fully grasp the experience that is BU, it is important to wholly and completely shackle yourself to the Internet through a variety of social media. From Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and more, there are plenty of places to get the latest news on BU everything. Heck, Twitter users scored an advantage in early knowledge of a snow delay this past year.

I mean, what else would you be doing in your free time? Something that increases your waning attention span? No way. #BUstudentproblems

The Glass is Half Full

Finally, we have our most recent installment. This was the point in my life where I decided to throw all of my writing credibility down the toilet in order to spout out a bunch of cliches about having the right attitude.

But here’s the thing, those cliches are right.

You can only get out of BU what you put into BU. And if you don’t put anything into BU, then why are you putting up with those crazy, impending student loans? I fully intend to be the most well-educated, well-cultured homeless person to ever hit Boston as soon as I graduate.

Just what I always dreamt of growing up to be.

The End (For Now)

Well, this concludes (at least for the time being) this zany journey to educate the youngin’s about this wild world of Boston. Hopefully the information has proved to be useful or, at the very least, entertaining. Put this advice to the best use, and even you too can be an extraordinarly well-versed homeless recent graduate on the streets of Boston.