May 1st: Decision Day. Around the country this week, thousands of high school seniors will commit to colleges to attend this coming fall. Each anxiously weighs his or her college decision. Financial aid spreadsheets, glossy tour book brochures, and course catalogues litter dining room tables across America. Each student asks, “Finances aside, why should I choose ‘X’ school over the others? Why is it the best choice for me?”
The answer to that question varies greatly between colleges. Some schools tout post-graduation job prospects and medical school acceptance rates. “If you enroll at our school, you will be on the path to your dream career.” For others, it is the promise of intellectual acuity. “We will teach you how to think.” Still, other schools attract students with storied athletic programs, impressive student organizations, or new residence halls. “Our basketball team has made the Sweet Sixteen the past five years.”
None of those reasons are bad. Actually, academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities are all pretty important factors to consider when choosing a school. Boston College shares many of those same attributes that I just described (Still working on those basketball stats...).
However, I would argue that Boston College has an added attraction— if you choose to come to BC, you will become more human.
According to its mission statement, Boston College embraces a “worldview that encounters God in all creation and through all human activity, especially in the search for truth in every discipline, in the desire to learn, and in the call to live justly together.”
Boston College’s Catholic, Jesuit identity encourages students to “seek God in all things.” It is through a liberal arts education that students gain a greater capacity to find God in our world— to appreciate beauty, feel indignation at injustice, to become more capable of love. “Men and women for others” is not just a mantra, but a challenge for graduates to be ambassadors of justice and love.
“Seeking God in all things” happens in fleeting moments in lecture halls all around campus. It happens when students learn the beauty of a mathematical proof, or when an economics professor assigns a case study on the South Sudan refugee crisis. It happens in a Perspectives class when students of different faiths and backgrounds have a conversation about a given piece of philosophy.
“Seeking God in all things” also comes in moments outside of the classroom. A student is better able to see love through the kindness of a roommate. Another student is encouraged to take up advocacy work post-grad or volunteer after hearing about an unjust event in the news. A pack of students stop to photograph of Gasson Tower in the beautiful sunset. A group of students experience overwhelming love and heartbreak while on an Appalachian service trip.
So, if you are a high school senior who just happened to pick up this paper in the Chocolate Bar, I recommend you take a chance and choose Boston College. Not only will you grow intellectually, make lasting friendships, and attend some exciting hockey games, but you will also become more human. And you will forever be better for it.
As a final note, thank you to the readers of The Torch these past four years. I have loved writing here. To my fellow staff members— wouldn’t want to sit in Carney, eat pizza, and copyedit with anyone else.