Mini-Survival Guide to BU

Students walk along Commonwealth Avenue near Marsh Plaza on campus. PHOTO BY SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Students walk along Commonwealth Avenue near Marsh Plaza on campus. PHOTO BY SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By Michelle Jay, Multimedia Editor @michelllelynn
and Samantha Wong, Blog Editor @samzwong

Congratulations on being admitted to BU! To ensure your survival, here are 10 tips that should make your life easier as a student.

1. Look out for crossing objects when you cross the street.

Yes, objects. Cars, bikes and Ts, oh my! Remember what you learned in kindergarten and look both ways.

2. Always check the weather online before leaving.

Don’t just look out your window. Looks can be deceiving. Always err on the side of caution since the weather can change at any moment. Welcome to Boston.

3. Timing is everything.

Whether it’s taking the BU Shuttle or T, trying to eat in the dining hall or grabbing Starbucks between classes, plan ahead. You’ll have a mostly empty (read: comfortably snug) bus or T, time to grab some food from the dining hall or swing through Starbucks AND be on time to class if you do. Waiting last minute or not planning ahead almost guarantees not getting food or caffeine or being that kid who’s ten minutes late to class.

Bonus tips for the T: If you are commuting from East Campus to West Campus or visa versa, know the prime T times. If you try to take the T inbound from West around 7:30 a.m., it can result in very uncomfortable situations (i.e.,  being squished in or not being able to get on because it’s too full then having to wait in the cold, rain or snow for the next one, which could take time). Same thing goes for taking the T outbound from East at 7:00 p.m.

If taking the T or MBTA bus is an everyday thing for you, consider saving both money and time digging around for change. Buy a Semester T Pass. The MBTA website lists $2.50 for every T ride and $2.00 for every bus ride with a Charlie Ticket (the paper card). If you have the Charlie Card (the plastic card), each ride ends up being 50 cents cheaper. But, having the Semester T Pass means unlimited hopping on and off during the semester and never having to remember to refill your card.

4. Be nice to the security guards.

They are your friends. Treat them with respect and they’ll remember you for it. Especially on the weekends.

5. Figure out what your eating habits are and then change your meal plan accordingly.

Keep in mind that Dominos, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Pinkberry take your dining points too. That’s basically saying free pizza, coffee and fro yo. That in ADDITION to the GSU which takes dining dollars anyhow.

The Citgo Sign is a Boston landmark, located in Kenmore Square. PHOTO BY SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Citgo Sign is a Boston landmark, located in Kenmore Square. PHOTO BY SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

6. CAS is a long building.

Use it to your advantage, especially when the weather doesn’t agree with what you’re wearing.

7. FitRec is not solely for the athletes.

Current students can go in and out of FitRec at their leisure when the gym is open. Not only is the gym huge but wonderfully equipped. Go abuse those gym privileges.

8. Follow BU offices and organizations on Twitter.

Nearly every college, department, organization and office at BU has a Twitter. Though you’ll get emails for important things (like classes being cancelled), following them means finding out more than that. They’ll tweet about activities happening, promotional offers going around (who doesn’t enjoy free ice cream or free Arizona?) and more. Some professors even post tips for exams on Twitter, but they’ll definitely let you know if that’s the case. Check out our handy Twitter list to get started.

9. Make smart decisions when exploring after-hours.

Being a young adult in a new place also comes with the tendency to explore the neighboring areas.With great power comes great responsibility. Make sure that if you’re unfamiliar with an area you’re with someone you trust and/or someone who knows where they’re going. Make sure that you have numbers you can call in case of an emergency (i.e, your RA, your roommate, your parents, etc.) There are also emergency numbers listed on the back of your student ID.

10. Get off campus and explore Boston!

You go to BOSTON University. Unlike a certain other college in Boston (er . . . Chestnut Hill), you are actually in the city. Take advantage of the convenience of living in a city that’s not too big but not too small; it’s just right. Need ideas? Check out the top 10 places freshman should do in Boston. Remember if you get lost, follow our North Star: the Citgo Sign.

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