New Student, Not So New-ton

I did my hair, threw on my dress, and took a picture of myself that would inevitably end up on my mother’s Facebook. It was time to make my way to Stuart House for a very important milestone. 

No, not for my first day at BC Law. It was Newton Prom, a coveted event for the Boston College freshmen that live on Newton Campus–and I was one of them. While I sit and review case briefs in the Yellow Room today, I can’t help but reminisce about the middle school-esque dance party that I attended in the same exact spot five years ago. 

I graduated from Boston College in May 2020 from the comfort of my living room. On March 11th, 2020 at approximately 5:20 pm, I received an email telling me I had four days to move out. My time at Boston College was cut short–by 64 days to be exact. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Fast forward through a year of attending Zoom School of Law, I clicked my heels three times chanting, “There’s no place like home,” and I was sent back to the Yellow (Brick-less) Room.

Transferring into BC Law certainly has been a homecoming of sorts to me. I have come back to campus where the buildings are familiar, but most of the faces are not. My first day at BC Law I had the same butterflies in my stomach that I had when my parents dropped me off on BC’s Newton Campus five years ago. My biggest concern: Will I make friends? I felt like a freshman all over again. I knew I would love BC academically–that was one of the main reasons I came back. However, it also dawned on me that I wasn’t returning with the same social status, or the same friend group. 

Being fully transparent, the first few days at BC Law, I found it hard to make friends. It was intimidating to start conversations with those who sat around me in class, as they were already chatting with friends they had made during their 1L year. I felt like maybe I didn’t belong and I was just a washed up alum who didn’t want to let go of BC.  Eventually, though, I gathered up the courage to break the ice. My period of feeling socially isolated ended when one of my newfound friends, without provocation, reassured me at a social gathering that I was invited because they were excited to get to know me and that they wanted me around, not because they pitied the transfer student. 

My commute to campus requires me taking a joy ride on the Newton bus. Everytime I step on the bus I am taken back in time. I often leave my airpods in their case because I find the Freshman commuters to be a source of entertainment. I enjoy listening to their chatter, what classes they have, how they met their roommate(s), and stories from their high school glory days. While it ages me, it simultaneously keeps me young. I remember when I was in their shoes running to catch the bus for 8 am Spanish class, sharing laughs about classic freshman mistakes, and making weekend plans. 

In a way, I am still going through those motions now, running to make class, laughing about sitting in the wrong classes, and meeting new people. But I have now been adopted into a “section” of some of the most friendly and welcoming people I have ever met. It reminds me of the community I initially joined during my freshman year, my first time on Newton Campus, where some of my strongest friendships to this day were formed. All those memories just reinforce the choices I’ve made that have led me back here. 

Receiving that validation from my peers that I belong here has only reconfirmed: There’s no place like home. 


Melissa Gaglia is a transfer student at BC Law and a brand new Impact blogger. Contact her at gagliam@bc.edu.

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