Frosh Week Recap

Back when I first heard about Frosh week, I didn’t really know what it meant and even though a few examples of activities were given, I couldn’t actually imagine what it was like. My fellow Froshies have probably writen more than enough entries throughout the week to make this blog a more valuable source of information on Orientation week, so any prospecting student can now get a better idea of what to expect. That being said, I will add my own commentary of it, to sum it all up, and maybe even give you a different perspective. So here is Frosh week, the good and bad, the myth and reality.

Frosh Groups

Frosh week begins with group registration. Since the incoming class is so large activities cannot be organized for everyone to have fun on such a large scale, so we are divided into 20 groups. You get to pick which group you are in and this takes place on campus, where all the groups gather at tables, with leaders trying to convince you to join theirs. It doesn’t really matter which one you chose. All groups will offer the same service: a week of non-stop fun and (this is important) free beer. Once you join a group, be sure to love it like a religion. Frosh week is a competition between the different groups and you will be fighting your team’s pride for the next week. Prizes to win are various, including a keg party and dinner at the principle’s house.

Frosh Events

Since Frosh is a competition, it also requires the presence of a large number of judges, who will be attributing points to teams based on what they can accomplish during special Frosh events.

You’ll get events such at the opening night Pep Rally, the judges’ campus tour, the night-time Scavenger Hunt and field day, which all involve worshiping the judges and submitting to their will as they give you all kinds of crazy things to do so you can win points for your team (depending on how good you are you can get 1, 2 or 3 points for each mission). Be reassured that everything is done in good fun, and that while some things are daring, no one will be forced to do anything and at no point is anyone humiliated. Then, if you’re willing to go the whole distance more power (and points) to you.

Another remarkable but different Frosh event is Airbands, in which each group performs a dance in front of the judges, trying to impress them. An award will be given to the best group on the final night.

EWP

Besides all the fun, Frosh week is also about getting you started on your school year and so you’ll also get some events of a more serious nature. Anyone who is planning on staying at BU for more than a year (non-exchange students) must pass a test called the English Writing Proficiency exam (EWP) before they graduate. You will sit this test after move in weekend, before you have taken any classes. This is about making sure you know how to write a basic paper in English. It is not meant to trap you. Consider it this way: if you’re good enough to pass the test, no worries; if you fail, then you will be able to get the help you need to improve your writing skills right away, so that you know how to write your papers later in the semester. The actual exam subject gives you about five essay topics, in the form of questions. Pick the one that inspires you the most and discuss it, like you learned to do in high school.

Academic Orientation and Registration

On the next day, you get Academic Orientation in the morning, where many important people from the school’s Academic board (Principal, VP, Dean of Education etc.) will talk to the incoming class, before representatives from each department take their respective students to a classroom to give them specific information about their majors and profs. As always with BU, this is done in light-spirit and good humor, so even if it asks you to get up before noon, you don’t need to worry about it being boring.

In the afternoon of the same day comes Class Registration, where you get to choose your classes in person. Go to the gym at your registration time, where you will find a table for each department, and the corresponding heads and profs there to talk to you. It is in your best interest that you check the Academic Calendar before coming to BU, to see what classes are required in your program, and what other classes can interest you. Depending on your program, you may be pre-registered in some classes, but that was not my case, so I was free to choose what I wanted (I’m an English major). Match your classes of interest, with the semester Timetables, to create a mock-up schedule and make sure none are overlapping. Once you get to the gym, this will make things easier and then it’s mostly a lot of waiting, so be patient.

The following day, classes will actually begin, so be ready. You don’t want to start off the year by missing a class, nor to forget that you came to study. I’ve only had three classes so far, so I’ll comment more on how classes go at BU in a future post.

Speakers

We had a few lectures throughout our Frosh week. The first was in opening night, where an alumnus came to tell his inspirational BU story. The second, later in the week was the infamous “Sex With Sue”. Coming from France, I had never heard of Sue and her TV show, so imagine my surprise at this 70+ year old woman, talking to us about sex. Sue Johanson makes it her mission to talk about sex in an open way, and tell us everything that sex-ed never told us… the interesting stuff. It had the value of being true to her word, in that we all left thinking: this is what they should have said in high school. Plus, it’s a little old lady, who has a devilish sense of humor; what’s not to like?

Concert

Each year, a concert is given on the Quad, to kick off the year in musical style. This year’s guests were Juno award winning Arkells – ­ if you haven’t heard of them, look them up, because they are surely one of the most relevant acts I have listened to in a while. Rocking to their great music, the Frosh class had a blast!

There Is Life After Frosh

I want to close up with a less spoken part of Frosh: what happens beyond it. Most of us have just had an amazing week and are sad to see it come to an end. That being said, I think the idea that Frosh is going to be the best week of your life is an overrated one. To me that seems to say that the University experience (and life in general) is all downhill from here, when in fact it’s the opposite: Frosh will only be what leads us into this amazing college life we get from BU, and if you feel that Frosh was the best week of your life, I challenge you to keep that statement true throughout the next four years, let alone the rest of your life.

I also want to stress that there is no harm in skipping Frosh festivities. Being in the International student crowd, a lot of people I know are not directly out of high school and have already had similar orientation week activities in the past. So, while we went to most events cheering the team and partying like there was no tomorrow, some of my favorite moments in the week also happened during what I like to call counter-Frosh – moments when we decided to stay in and watch movies, or just hang out in someone’s dorm room for a few hours. While I can definitely be the life of the party every now and then, I do get tired of it on repetition and if you’re anything like that, be sure that you’ll find others to chill with on any given night.

That closes up my Frosh recap, which I hope was enough to give you an overall panorama of what Orientation week is like. I think it’s safe to say that no matter who you are and what your background is, you will be sure to find your place at BU during Frosh week.

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