improve

Missing the Mark: How to Improve Boston University

February 13, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

            I love Boston University.

BU's beautiful east campus

BU’s beautiful east campus

Ever since I stepped foot on the BU campus for the first time—back in December 2012—I knew that I wanted to be here. I even became a certified Admissions Ambassador tour guide this semester, so that I could share my love for BU with prospective students and their families.

But even though I am unfailingly proud to call myself a BU Terrier, there are inevitable downfalls to the university that could be improved upon—just as there for any college. These shortcomings are important to bring to light, and it is useful to discuss them, not to bash Boston University but to see what can be done better.

 

1. Cost

College is costly!

College is costly!

This problem seems obvious and universal. Would any student at any university deny that college is expensive?

Probably not.

My qualms with the cost to attend BU are not academic or tuition based. I feel that I am getting a top-notch education, and I believe that the tuition costs reflect that academic quality. Rather, I find the other expenses—housing, meal plans, random fees—to be more costly than they should be.

BU provided me with a surprisingly great financial aid plan. I can speak only from my own experience, but the majority of what I am actually paying for—with a student loan, of course—is my dorm room and my meal plan. My tuition was largely covered by scholarships and grants, so what I am left to pay for on my own is an outrageously expensive and infuriatingly cramped dorm room—or what I affectionately call “the jail cell”—and a dining plan that I despise using.

And let’s not get into the cost of one meal swipe at the BU dining halls. Every time you use one of your precious, limited swipes to get dinner, you have technically spent almost $15 for that meal—an absurdly pretty penny to be paying for every single dinner.

Lastly, every semester you are charged a bundle of random fees such as the Student Activities fee, even if you don’t participate in student clubs or activities, or the Health and Wellness fee, even if you never use the Student Health Services. These fees, while not more than $100 each, really add up.

 

2. Dining Options

A BU dining hall

A BU dining hall

            The food at the BU dining halls is not my favorite—and that’s fine, except that as a freshman, I am forced to eat it, and as a sophomore, I can only escape eating it if I get lucky. Every student is coerced into signing up for a dining plan, unless you live in apartment-style housing with a kitchen. Apartment-style housing is nearly impossible for freshmen, and highly unlikely for sophomores, as most juniors and seniors, who get first priority, opt for apartment-style.

Additionally, BU, in my opinion, does not offer the student enough restaurants to use Dining Points at. Dining Points are a part of the student’s Dining Plan package, and act as regular money to be used at certain designated restaurants. I love having Dining Points—except that I can only use them at a handful of places. I sincerely hope that BU one day expands their Dining Point acceptance.

 

3. Transportation

The BU Bus

The BU Bus

            BU offers a really spectacular bus service—The BU Bus—which is free for BU students, and makes several stops throughout campus, even to the far-away medical campus.

The only problem is that these buses are not frequent, nor reliable. The actual timing of a bus’s arrival never syncs up with the prescribed bus schedule, which can make it difficult to get to classes or meetings on time. There are also usually only about 2 buses making the rounds, so rather than a bus coming every 10 minutes, as BU claims they will, you are often waiting at least 20 minutes or more for a bus.

 

Hopefully my ranting tone has not convinced you that Boston University is a terrible place to live and learn. I will always be proud of my school—regardless of its shortcomings!

To Prospects of Life and an Alive Campus Farewell

February 5, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Events, Health, Infographics, Love, Reviews, Sports, Style, Tech, Travel

Hello Camper,

Aim and shoot for beyond the stars…

Alive Campus provides an awesome experience for individuals receiving and sharing information about their colleges. It provides an avenue for incoming freshmen, transfers and overall prospects to view an institution in light of the person-student. It is better than a commercial about an institution that attempts to sell the environment to the student. Still- the able, productive and willing student will learn to use an institution as a useful platform: Students excelling in academics and sports will be able to promote their selves through the institution or their merits for their personal reasons. College may be an expensive or inexpensive experience but SallieMae is always willing to assist the educational process toward their profitable return.

Every collegiate institution will vary by academia, cultures, privatization, religions, regulations and traditions. My attendance from Lock Haven University to Centenary College has been a fulfilling and tremendous rollercoaster of experience. El Torro and Kingda Ka in a blizzard cannot compare with my college tumbling experience. After completing then paying for one class and test I will have the opportunity to graduate from Centenary College in May, elated.

It has been a great experience writing for Alive Campus. It will no longer be my place to discuss Centenary College’s environment as I improve away from it. I do have bits of advice for individuals seeking to attend an institution or transfer from an institution. The future is changing dramatically with the variety of institutions available; chiropractic, culinary, dog training, masseuse, music and etc. type of schools exist for individuals seeking a particular career path of growth.

Do not rush any decision about the future. If you feel an inclination toward a different direction for your life then find the avenues prospering in the direction of your inclination. If you are unsure about attending a large university then attend a community college to save money and receive half (or more) of the credits at a four year college. You will have enough time to think and prepare financially for the future ahead of you without risking valuable time especially since community colleges are very affordable avenues. The one class I am taking at Centenary is more than my co-worker’s semester tuition at a community college.

Don’t let others make decisions about your life either: If they’re not offering financial backing and a place in their home with their advice about your future then take their advice like an open wound with a grain of salt; take careful thought thinking about the next steps in your future. Don’t rush your life. Advice is another option to think about especially when various walks of life will have advice readily available for a variety of purposes. Be patient thinking about decisions, and even more patient making those decisions, to enhance your life in the long run.

I hope the future progresses well for every individual!

It will progress well if you take your time for its true value.

Time is not money: It is your life.

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

www.kdufresne.me

Thank you Radek Janowski and Alive Campers for being amazing and useful!

How I Would Improve My College

April 6, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Events

Effeciency Graph

 

 

College is a place that unites everyone from all ages and all different backgrounds. College can be extremely stressful or extremely liberating with bright opportunities just around the corner. People figure out what they want to be and who they don’t want to be like. What you do in college shapes the rest of your reputation in life as a contributor in today’s society.

If I could change a couple of things about colleges or my college in general, they would be,

  1. The parties.
  2. The social school activities
  3.  The stressful schedules

The parties are something that not everyone gets to go to, and if you do, then you know that college parties can get out of hand. Smoking, drinking, and acting crazy can not only hurt you, academically and socially, but it can hurt others around you, and it can change what they think about you. Apart from these parties being dangerous because of the alcohol and substance use going on during the activity, they are harmful to your scores. As I said before, what you do in college shapes your life, so, if you “socialize” too much, then you will not do so well in school. While you’re in college you need to focus on the future and make sure that you build a healthy and happy future for yourself, and you family. Partying can take this away completely or minimize your chances of obtaining this goal.

The social school activities can range from a football game to a college gardening event. The school always does a fantastic job except for one thing. Usually, during these activities where the school is responsible for anything that goes wrong, something usually does and its mainly the alumni’s fault, not the faculty or the administrations. Something goes wrong because apart of the school being responsible, they put the clubs and alumni in charge of the entire activity. Those people can do a great job and plan a great activity, but there are always going to be people that like to intrude and ruin things for others, If a batch of students go to a football game and they begin to shout rude things at the opposing team, (which usually happens) they can ruin the experience of seeing a good ole fashioned football game for others, mainly because no one wants to listen to them banter, people just want to watch and enjoy the game.

The stressful schedules are the last thing I’d change. These schedules can tend to be over bearing and too much to handle. Usually this is because; students must take many classes so they can have enough credits to pass the semester. I would provide instead activities that aren’t related to class work as an alternate means for gaining the necessary credits for graduation. An example would be to perform charity work like clean up the park or help the needy. These are just some things that help improve school life not just for me but for everyone else.