What’s the culture like here?
@youngcatlady This is third hand info (from 3 visits and from BC alumni and parent friends). BC has a great culture with lots of school spirit. The kids there seem to love it. It has a nice mix of academics, D1 sports and campus activity (like Duke, Vandy or Northwestern). Also a nice mix of liberal arts and pre professional academics. We liked it a lot. Good luck.
I graduated from Boston College in 2015. BC culture is a mixed bag. Yes, there is a lot of school spirit. There is a good balance of academics and partying. However, like most schools, there are varying opinions about BC and many subcultures on campus. There are plenty of the classic preppy/bro-y students that seem to care more about partying than academics, and can come across as more superficial. There is a pretty big hook-up culture, and dating can be difficult (though it gets easier as you get older). There are plenty of students who can be hypocritical in their approach to community service or religion - happy to serve in Appalachia for a week but come back to BC and treat their fellow students like crap, or go to mass every week but do the same. The culture can be incredibly subtly competitive. For example, you won’t see any of the sabotage you might find at other universities, but most students are pretty hardcore about being involved on campus and thus, even volunteering opportunities can be difficult to get a spot in at first. Unfortunately that means many students are so over-involved in activities that they can’t contribute fully to any one thing. There can also be weird social rules. For example, no one uses trays in the dining hall. There isn’t actually a reason for this. You just figure out that using a tray automatically identifies you as a freshman and figure out to stop using one until you become a senior and stop caring. There can also be a tendency to be resistant to acknowledging there are problems with racism, sexism, and homophobia on campus (like on any campus). Many students love BC almost to a fault.
That being said, most of the above you will realistically find on any campus. The key to enjoying your time at BC (and any school really) is finding your niche. I met some extraordinary people at BC who challenged me. I found people who shared my interests and passions, and who genuinely wanted to make BC, the world, and themselves better. The preppy/bro-y/party culture wasn’t my thing, and I became a lot happier at BC when I realized there were other people who felt the same way. The older you get at BC, the more you realize most people like smaller parties with friends rather than hanging out with a bunch of strangers in the mods. Some people still like that, and that’s ok, too. I felt a lot of pressure as a freshman to go to parties and have the “typical college experience”. This can be hard at BC because there aren’t frats hosting parties, and a lot of seniors can be hostile to freshmen who try to crash their mod (senior housing at BC, like little houses in the middle of lower campus). If you go to BC, the best advice I can give is to find people who share common interests, don’t feel like you have to be best friends with the people on your floor/your roommates the first week, and don’t worry about fitting in to the prevailing culture. Don’t feel stuck with people you don’t get along with. The campus is big enough that you’ll always be making new friends through activities/whatever. You will meet people there that you hate, but you’ll also meet people you absolutely love and learn a ton about yourself. The experience at whatever college you go to is 99% what you make of it.
That was long, but I hope somewhat helpful. There is good and bad about BC culture, like any school.