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BU is a college whose "campus" is spread along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. For me, it was the perfect mix of a college experience, and a city-integrated university. Having come from a smaller town, Boston was a great place to attend school. As a city, Boston is a comfortably sized, moderately populated, entertaining city that was fun and exciting to explore during my four years there. With the newly built Agganis Arena, many huge music acts as well as sports team land on the BU campus during their tours through the country, making it a great place spend a Friday night for BU students and Bostonians alike. The on- campus housing is impressively beautiful, particularly if one stays on campus until their junior or senior years, when one becomes eligible to live in the new high-rise of 10 Buick Street. I lived in 10 Buick for a year and still have yet to find another apartment that rivals it in terms of comfort and it's unmatched view of Boston along the Charles river. The largest complaint overall is the price of tuition. At $40,000 and rising, it can be an added burden that sometimes can raise question marks when places such as the Fine Arts Building or the College of General Studies suffer from long-overdue ned of renovation. However, that voice is being heard to some extent - on a recent trip back to BU, I saw changes being made not only within those colleges, but across campus. It is definitely a college for people wanting a more city-integrated experience within a large university.
Best thing about BU is the campus -- once the beautification project is done, it will be arguably the best urban campus in the US. The campus is what makes BU unusual. Worst thing is that we don't have football, so when the ice hockey team sucks (like it does this year), there's nothing to root for. BU's administration has taken great steps in recent years to be more in-tune with the student body -- they've added cable to dorms, added nice housing, built a fantastic gym, and revised the guest policy for dorms. Definitely on the up-swing.
Academics. If there was just one thing I would like to change I would name it, but there are too many: bureaucracy, in bed with corporations, don't care what students do or think, more condoms on campus. There are thousands of things. Probably it is too large, but it is fine for me. They don't react. I spend most of my time in the library. Allston is a college town. BU's administration would be best suited to resign and have anyone else take over. Biggest controversy is the terrible administration. What is school pride. Is there anything usual about anywhere. I remember everything. Most students hate the administration.
One thing I will never forget about BU happened last year during finals time. During finals, the Mugar Library is open 24/7, and many students take advantage of this time to get some actual studying done. For me, I can't study at home, especially now that I live off campus and I'm 21--far too many distractions. I was here until the early hours of the morning several times, and I started to notice a certain girl who was always in the same spot on the second floor. She always looked disheveled and nervous, flipping through notes frantically, making flashcards, highlighting textbooks, etc. It was on about my third night in the library during finals period that I noticed the smell. There was a cloud of odor around this poor girl that was like gym socks and wet hamster. As I left at around 2 that morning, I saw some purple fabric poking out from underneath the table where the smelly girl had formerly been sitting--she brought a sleeping bag, and spent literally 24 hours a day during study periods in the library! It wasn't like she had chosen a particularly inconspicuous spot, either; she was right in the middle of the main hallway! I understand trying to get some studying done, but is it really necessary to camp out in the library? BU is really not THAT academically challenging. At least she could've bathed...
The best thing about BU are the academics and the amount of resources available to the students. Although it is difficult to find out about all of the resources available to help students (school, job search, etc.) they are very helpful. The worst thing about BU is that there is not really a sense of community. There are a lot of students and a lot of girls. There are a lot of different people, so it could be difficult to find your "niche". When I tell people I go to BU, generally their response is "Wow, you must be really smart!" There is very little school pride. There is no football team, however BU hockey is very big. The most frequent student complaint is that there is not enough going on and people feel isolated.
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Best thing about BU is its size in the sense that you can really try out anything. I would do a complete overhaul of the classes that are designed to grade more on the format of an answer rather than the content. Certain classes are run where they clearly don't know how to utilize your time, or they don't really test you on material (they'll ask really stupid, trivial questions instead). The problem is they aren't isolated to one department. They're scattered and can even only be part of an otherwise decent class. I was expecting BU to feel too large, but it's actually not because of all the subdivisions within the entire massive community. People were more impressed than I was when I said I go to BU. I feel proud to attend BU, and people definitely respect the international relations and premedicine programs. If I'm on campus, I'm either in my dorm studying and relaxing or in class. Crunch times I go to Mugar Library, which instantly makes me buckle down and study like a demon. Boston is a college town because there are college students everywhere, but when you go into the city,it also doesn't feel like one because despite the kids your age, there are even more people who aren't and who are just going on with daily life. Charles River campus feels a lot more like a campus than a lot of people say, just because the majority of buildings are BU buildings and nobody else has business walking down those sidewalks besides BU students. It's technically open, but the sidewalks still fill with BU students going to class every half hour. I would change the way the administration is run. A lot of times it feels despite the ridiculous tuition that very little of the money comes back to the students (ex. my physiology lab required us to buy latex gloves for dissection days, which feels like giving your little brother a $20 to go get you ice cream and him coming back with 10 Pokemon cards and saying the $20 wasn't enough). That said, despite being bulky and slow and bureaucratic, stuff does get done. Eventually. We recently had a change in guest policy, which made the rules for having even other BU students over somewhat less psychotic compared to the guest policies of pretty much anywhere else. Biggest recent controversy probably was the change in guest policy. It was a big change, and it relaxed a lot of things. The students were more than overjoyed, but there were a couple instances of people being assaulted in dorms. Whether it was actually more frequent this year since the change went into effect, I doubt it. School pride depends on your social group. A lot are completely apathetic, some take pride in what they do through BU, others are fanatics, and these people tend to paint themselves red and go to hockey games. Our guest policy is still unusual. Our "campus" is unusual. The frat parties out in West I guess you could say are unusually crowded and sketchy and "dry up" quickly. Most frequent student complaints are usually to get more money to come back to the students. And because of the guest policy, there is a tangible air of distrust and hostility between a lot of students and the administration.