It’s been a little over two years since the Class of 2019 received their acceptance letters to Boston University and finalized their decision to join the College of General Studies.

Around 300 of those students were admitted to the CGS January Boston-London Program. This program would allow the students to take their fall semester off and later make up for it the following summer in London. There was a sense of hesitance among many of these students — and I was one of them.

When I found out that the only way I would be able to go to BU was if I took a semester off, I was somewhat confused. I took some time to think about this opportunity, weighed it against my other acceptances, and finally decided that this program would be a wonderful fit. I not only got to take a semester off, but I also got to study abroad during my first year of college. Who gets to do that?

The first semester in the spring of 2016 was a bit nerve-wracking at the beginning. Many of us had spent our semester off working or traveling, or even taking classes at local colleges. Around 300 of us were tossed into the school where people in our dorms were already best friends and everyone already knew their way around campus. Luckily, the friends I made during the first few days of classes are some of my absolute best friends now.

For CGS students, Capstone means the end of an era. PHOTO BY CLINTON NGUYEN // DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

For CGS students, Capstone means the end of an era. PHOTO BY CLINTON NGUYEN // DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Through all of the rhetoric, humanities, social science and natural science classes, CGS provided a foundation for most students to continue into their chosen major. From time to time, some of us were annoyed with the classes that we were taking, as they didn’t really seem to apply to our intended major. Some say that CGS threw off the pathway to their major, which is completely understandable, but advisors always helped to work through any conflicts or issues in order to make everyone’s experience here at BU worthwhile and memorable.

Throughout our time in CGS, there were mentions of this thing called Capstone project. This 80-page paper, works cited and appendices included, would be the ultimate test of teamwork. From scheduling, drafting and writing, Capstone put teams to the test to meet deadlines and create a work that would best exemplify their proposal to better an issue in the Boston area. Now that all Capstone papers have been handed in, it’s safe to say that I am happy that it is over. It was probably one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had here at BU, but nonetheless my group came out of it with a paper and proposal we are proud of. It’s an incredible feat to say that we are finally done with this huge project that the last two years lead up to.

It’s strange to think that after Capstone oral presentations, I will be halfway through my time here at BU. The last two years have been absolutely wonderful, from doing three semesters of college in one year, to studying abroad, to writing for The Daily Free Press, going to concerts and finally finishing Capstone. CGS made it fly by and definitely provided a lot of memories that I am forever grateful for. I have to say that the grueling climb to the fifth floor will definitely not be missed. No matter how much crap CGS gets from students in other colleges, it sets you up for success.

I’m ridiculously thankful for the CGS Boston-London Program. Not only was studying abroad a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it was also a life-changing experience that will always hold a special place in my heart. I made friends in this program who I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. I made connections with professors who are extremely passionate about not only what they teach, but also who they teach.

I never thought that I would say this, but I’m going to miss a lot about CGS and the sense of community that it brought to the first two years of my college career. It was an experience that will be forever engrained in my college experience. It’s a bittersweet goodbye, but nonetheless we’re onto bigger and better things.