By Belén Cusi, Staff Writer

Do freshmen say the darndest things? Actually, I have no idea. As I strolled up and down Commonwealth Avenue and stalked the smoking area outside Warren Towers, not only could I not hear a thing of freshmen’s passing conversations, but I started thinking of all the things I’ve realized since MY freshman year, and how I wish someone had graciously been willing to fill me in on their upperclassmen secrets. So here I am, at your service.  I’d like to share some of the things I wish I had known when I was young and fresh-faced (okay I’m still young; fresh-faced, not so sure).

My top 10:

1. Get to know Boston. Don’t be afraid to stray beyond campus limits into the different neighborhoods. They have so much to offer! The shopping on Newbury Street is a given, but stay on the Green Line a little longer and check out the theater district, the beautiful Boston Common, and the Boston Harbor. Side note: the Freedom Trail downtown shouldn’t be reserved only for visits from out-of-town; it’s gorgeous and you’ll learn so much about Boston’s rich history.

2. Don’t be afraid to eat alone in the dining hall! It’s totally fine, I promise. You might even make a new friend. Or you eat  by yourself, which, spoiler alert, is kind of great sometimes.

3. Be meticulous about your schedule, picking your classes and choosing your professors. Even within your liberal arts requirements, find something that interests you, such as the physics of music or the history of rock and roll. (Yes, there really is a class on rock and roll.)

4. Be grateful to your professors. They’re humans, too. And for the most part, they’re really passionate about what they teach and want nothing more than for you to be excited, too. They also don’t bite, so e-mail them with questions, concerns or whenever you’ll be missing class. They’ll appreciate it.

5. Get a bike. I promise you won’t regret it. No traffic and no waiting for the T. Plus a little exercise for the legs. Need I say more?

6. Get a monthly T pass … and use it. Take the Blue Line to Wonderland and spend an afternoon at Revere Beach, or ride the 1 bus on Massachusetts Avenue down to Harvard Square and have L.A. Burdick’s famous hot chocolate.

7. Ask a lot of questions. In class, out of class, speak up and speak out! You really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Meet with your advisor, develop a relationship with them, and refer to them before registering every semester. By your junior or senior year, you’ll be clear on what classes and electives you need to take so you can learn the skills you’ll need for your internships and jobs.

8. Explore the different study lounges on campus. The new Marciano Commons is amazing, no further explanation needed.  The George Sherman Union basement is chill and perfect for meeting a friend or burying yourself in a book. The third floor of the GSU is also a great, sunny spot to spend a few quiet hours. And don’t underestimate good old Mugar Library. The basement is a hidden gem (disregard the slight muskiness) with large tables and a few couches that, is usually empty and makes for great studying. You can find the rest of them yourself! Find your own special spot, there are tons.

9. The river. Oh Charlie, my steadfast and devoted partner for the last five years. He’s beautiful, and the Esplanade is the perfect place to spend a crisp, clear fall afternoon. Head down to the docks with your closest friends and a camera and watch the sun set over either of the B.U. or Harvard bridges.

10. Don’t take life too seriously. Mistakes and wrong choices are the best way of discovering yourself, and it’s never too late or too soon to start over. Have fun, be responsible and do things and meet people you never could’ve imagined.

There you have it. I didn’t mean to get all sentimental or gushy, but I mean every one of those points. Take them or leave them, your experience at B.U., in wonderful Boston-town, will be what you make of it.

Until next time,