Only a few months after graduating from high school, Emma Mulligan found herself winding her way into a massive auditorium for the second time. Though the sensation the rising College of Engineering freshman felt as she sat down for the Class of 2018’s Matriculation gave her déjà vu, she knew that this ceremony marked the beginning of something unknown.
“It’s really a new experience,” Mulligan said. “And it’s great to officially be a student at BU.
While the thought of such a drastic change may be daunting to some of the 3,500 undergraduates who officially began their four years at BU in Agganis Arena this Sunday, Student Government President Richa Kaul told the incoming students that BU would soon become their niche just as it has for her.
“It is my absolute honor to welcome you to a place that I love so much, a place that is not just my school, but also my niche, my stage, my home, my Boston University,” Kaul said. “It’s almost overwhelming because at the beginning everything is new and that makes everything an experience within itself, but it’s funny how fluidly those firsts become the norm.”
Kaul said college is a pivotal time in a person’s life, heeding change, growth and new perspectives.
“When I went back home after my first semester of college, I was talking to my mom…and she actually noted a difference in me,” she said. “When we come to college, it is comfortable and safe to be who we were before without a second thought, but it’s exciting to realize the opportunity we have to reflect on ourselves, our personalities and our passions.”
The new students and families in attendance also heard from the university’s President Robert Brown, who explained that students’ initiative is crucial to their success at BU.
“Preparing yourself to live and work in a complex interconnected world may be daunting,” he said. “I hope you see it as a marvelous opportunity. You have a broad spectrum of possibilities. My experience tells me that you will find your way.”
Brown reminded the new undergraduates that the next time they sit together will be in only a few years, when they accept their diplomas and celebrate once again.
“After this ceremony and throughout your years at Boston University, you will pursue your academic and social careers and develop your own circle of friends,” he said. “For much of the next four years, you will identify most with a school or college. In four years, four short years, you will come together again as one class at your graduation ceremony on Nickerson Field.”
Several members of the Class of 2018 said they were overwhelmed by the thought of beginning their fall semester but looking forward to seeing what opportunities and experiences their time at BU would bring.
Lidziya Rubanava, a freshman dual-degree student in the College of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, said she is anxious to find out how her freshman year will unfold.
“Going into Matriculation, I wasn’t sure what to expect, much like how it is going into my freshman year,” she said. “I still have a few things to figure out about my freshman year, but other than that, I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. I’m a little overwhelmed, but it hasn’t been as stressful as I thought it would be so far.”
Greg Berman, a School of Management freshman, said he was happy to have interacted with other freshmen through the First-Year Student Outreach Project and couldn’t wait to meet more as the year gets underway.
“It was stressful when I first went into Matriculation. There were so many people,” he said. “It was intimidating, but exciting at the same time. Going into my freshman year, I don’t want to say I’m uncomfortable, but I’m definitely unsure. I’m hoping to meet new people and get as much as I can out of this opportunity.”
As Mulligan left Agganis Arena at the conclusion of the ceremony, she said she was excited to finally begin her college career and discover what the city of Boston has to offer.
“So far, I’ve had a lot of fun here,” she said. “I want to do volunteer work and visit some of the museums and some of the interesting places. I can’t wait to explore.”