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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Why Boston is the best city

Published: October 7, 2011
Section: Opinions

You know that moment when college stops being “hook-up city” and your classes suddenly become so overwhelming that you find yourself going to the C-Store in order to get an entire container of Ben and Jerry’s to eat by yourself?

During the Rosh Hashanah break, as I tried to keep up with my workload and attempted to get ahead while the campus was so empty and quiet, I realized—given my never-ending amount of homework and the even longer reading assignments—that summer had officially ended and that college had officially begun.

I started to lament my loss of free time and fun; after all, college was turning out to be harder than I had anticipated. But, as I looked around, I realized that I wasn’t just anywhere—I was in Boston (well, not technically, but you know what I mean …) and everything seemed to improve drastically.

More than four years ago I came all the way from Mexico City for the sole purpose of visiting colleges with my brother. I can remember being particularly angry about having to waste my holidays in a place with such a boring name, but Boston—mainly Harvard Square in the early morning—surprised me. The city made such an impression on my younger self that it’s now me, and not my brother, who now goes to a college that is only 15 minutes away from Cambridge.

For me and many other first-year students, the first time in Boston as independent semi-adults was an unforgettable adventure. In my case, it began on a Saturday afternoon, at exactly 3:30 p.m., when I waited outside Rabb for the shuttle that would take me back to where my love for Cambridge officially began: Harvard Square.

Once inside the bus, a number of lucky students (unfortunately, not me) found a place to sit while others (unfortunately, me) had to huddle together and learn the joys of close proximity and human heat. After what seemed like forever, the bus doors opened and my dizzy and cranky self was pushed out of the bus. Luckily, my trip to Cambridge was absolutely worth its initial inconvenience; after just a few moments off the bus, I felt at home.

The first thing I did on my adventure, was shop, shop and shop—can you blame me? In fact, besides eating at a Mexican restaurant (that was not Mexican at all), shopping may have been all I did that first time in Boston (so much for being a responsible semi-adult, huh?). Somewhere in the middle of all that shopping, I also got lost and missed the shuttle back to Brandeis. This led to a little more free time and a lot more shopping.

There are many things—that don’t necessarily include as much shopping—that I have yet to do in Boston and Cambridge. A small sample includes walking along Charles River and Newberry Street, going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, exploring Quincy Market, enjoying a climate in which all four seasons are clearly marked and can be fully experienced, eating some of the best and most diverse food there is or simply enjoying the joys of living on a college city that seems to be filled with other students.

Sometimes we Brandeisians forget that we are only a few miles from stimulating Boston and the adventures of a weekend at one of the most beautiful cities in the world. After all, spending so much time in friendly and perfect Brandeis can sometimes lead to an acute case of forgetfulness of the outside world—especially for students that (like me) keep going to the C-Store and eating its entire stock of ice cream when they are faced with more homework than they can possibly handle.

I will say, however, that there’s one thing Waltham also has; it rhymes with “shmizziies” and sells scoops of “Chocolate Orgy” … just something to think about.