The last month…exams, partying and goodbyes

I have now reached the end of my stay at Boston College and already I feel sentimental. The last month followed like the rest of the semester and flew in before my eyes. At times you struggle to see where the time goes but when you sit down and look at all the things you’ve done, all the friends made and memories shared you begin to realise that the year didn’t just passed before you. I just enjoyed it so much I didn’t want it to end so soon.

Since my last post I feel like I haven’t stopped moving. After returning from Montreal in Easter the last few weeks of class came in quickly, with my final lot of midterms passing without too many problems. My parents came to visit which was nice to see them and show them around, especially since the weather had started to get really nice. I learned fast though that a week of 25 degree weather can be swiftly followed by a week of 5 degree weather. Winter likes to hang around obviously.

One of the best days of the year was the day of the Boston Marathon – ‘Marathon Monday’. It’s a school holiday and the festivities begin early. BC campus is on the marathon route at mile 21 so the students go out to cheer them on around midday after having been drinking since breakfast. Everyone gets really into the spirit of things and its one last big blow out before people start to get serious for their final midterms and exams. Definitely one of my best days at BC, even if I was in bed by 4pm. The Fray came to BC for spring concert which was cool. I was pretty impressed that throughout the year BC managed to get Akon, Mario, Girltalk and the Fray to perform on campus. Kind of puts UK Unis to shame. With the weather getting better people began to fill the green areas around campus with games of ultimate Frisbee and American football. I even joined an ultimate Frisbee team. My abilities were mixed at best, but still good fun and I would encourage future Glasgow students going abroad anywhere to get involved in some intramural or club teams if you’re into sport. It’s definitely a good way to meet people.

Exam week this time around was a little less stressful. Having now known what to expect from first semester I felt more prepared to take on all my exams in just one short intense week. Again, we hardly got any study days. I think it was a measly 3 this time, marginally better than the 2 we got in December, and that was only because it was a weekend! Because you do midterms etc through the year the exams are only worth 20-35% on average so its not as big a cram and panic session as Glasgow exams are. We have already been given our grades and I managed to do fairly well over the course of the year. The quantity of work was certainly more, but the standard you had to achieve for good grades was manageable as long as you apply yourself. And trust me, there is still time for loads of fun!

The end of exams meant the end of the semester was just around the corner. I had friends coming over from Scotland to travel with me for a couple of weeks before I returned home. I had mixed feelings, both looking forward to summer and sorry to be leaving BC where I have had so much fun this year. Parties were plentiful and it was a great way to blow off steam after exams and end the year on a high. All BC students staying on campus have to be out of their accommodation the day after the last exam. A little harsh I felt. Seniors get to stay another week – ‘Senior Week’ – and they have loads of activities throughout the day and night before they graduate. Its sad to see the seniors leave BC and say their goodbyes to each other. A lot of my close friends were American seniors, especially this semester. The exchange students can relate to them as we are both ending our time at BC and so there were a lot of goodbyes exchanged between us. It was certainly strange saying goodbye to people this semester. I did it at Christmas but then I knew I was returning to see a lot of them again in January. This time, while I know I will see people again, whether sooner or later, others you may never see again. People you spent every day with for the last 9 months. People who made me feel welcome and a part of the BC community. These people made my time at BC what it was.

Whilst goodbyes are sometimes hard, it usually only means you have a lot of great memories of time spent with those people. I’m already planning to go back for a visit before next term starts at Glasgow. That in itself should be reason to persuade anyone thinking about an exchange, especially one to BC that it’s the right decision. I remain hugely passionate about the international programme, both at Glasgow and especially BC. Please go so you can experience all the things I was fortunate enough to do, and so that you can form your own memories of a one of what I guarantee will be one of the best years of your life.

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