One of the most famous Bentley traditions is Spring Day, which takes place after the last week of classes each April. For one day, we forget about finals and projects to celebrate the end of the semester and the arrival of spring. There’s a barbecue, games, t-shirts, and of course…

The concert. In the past, we’ve hosted the Far East Movement, Lupe Fiasco, Nelly, and many others! The announcement of the Spring Day performers is almost as big as the event itself— rumors circulate for weeks on end before the Campus Activities Board makes their big announcement.

This year’s Spring Day is USA-themed, and the performers are Gloriana and Kellie Pickler. Gloriana is a country trio, famous for their song “(Kissed You) Good Night” and Kellie Pickler placed sixth on the fifth season of American Idol (the year Taylor Hicks won).

I can’t believe that my last Spring Day is almost here— it seems like just yesterday that I was looking forward to my first! 

As a follow-up post to my “Must-Sees in Boston,” today I’ll tell you about some of the hidden gems of Waltham. Boston always gets all the credit for fun shopping, food, and excursions, but Waltham offers so much right at our back door.

My top three Waltham destinations are:

1) In a Pickle: Ask any Bentley student and they’ll tell you that In a Pickle is the best spot for brunch. Try their Nutella stuffed french toast or one of their fabulous omelets— but be sure to get there early before the line starts!

2) Gore Place: A piece of history just five minutes from campus, the Gore Place dates from the 1800s and is open for tours. They also do events throughout the year, such as snowshoeing in the winter and a sheep shearing festival in the spring.

3) Prospect Hill: If you’re looking for an escape to nature, you’ll want to check out Prospect Hill, which used to be a ski hill. You can either drive or hike to the top— either way, you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of Bentley and Boston. 

It’s around this time of year that the library and its study rooms start to fill up with students studying, doing homework, or working on group projects. Though some students will only go to the library to study, there are tons of hidden study spots all over campus!

1) The Dandes Room: This room, on the top floor of the Adamian Academic Center, is technically reserved for graduate students. However, I’ve found that this giant room is almost always empty, especially on weekends. It also boasts a beautiful view of upper campus and the library.

2) The Student Center Living Room: Though this spot gets very busy at night, it’s usually pretty empty during the day. There are comfortable couches, and plenty of campus dining locations nearby if you need a snack!

3) Empty classrooms: It usually takes students a few years to figure out that empty classrooms are fair game if they’re not being used. Considering that we have four classroom buildings on campus, there’s almost always a room or two open at any time of day.

4) Residence hall common areas: Almost every res hall has a common room in its basement. These rooms usually have tables, chairs, and couches and are nearly always empty—and silent! Why walk up to the library if you can just walk downstairs inside your own building? No coat required!

So there you have it— insider tips from an almost Bentley alumna! 

Today marks 100 days until I walk across the stage to receive my diploma, along with the rest of the Class of 2014. We’re spending the day reminiscing about the past four years, and are having a celebration later tonight in the Student Center.

I created a Bentley bucket list at the beginning of my freshman year, so I thought today would be an appropriate day to see how I’ve done. My entire list was very long, so I’m just going to give the highlights.

1) Attend the Activities Fair: I’ve certainly done this, 7 times over. After freshman year, I found myself running a booth more often than not! The fair happens twice each year, and is the best way to learn about the 100+ student organizations on campus.

2) Run up the Smith stairs: Not for the faint of heart, the Smith stairs connect upper campus to middle and lower campus. I have run up them, but wouldn’t recommend doing so with a backpack on!

3) Go to the Study Abroad fair: Another very popular fair on campus! Not only did I attend, but I studied abroad in England during the spring of my junior year (and wrote all about it in a previous blog post!).

4) Reserve discount passes to one of the great museums Boston has to offer (Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, New England Aquarium, and more): I have technically completed this, but not as much as I wanted to—I went to the Gardner Museum and the aquarium, but still want to explore the MFA! Good thing I have 100 days left to get it done.

5) Watch the sunrise from the top of the hill: Much to my surprise, I have done this! Set-up for both Fall Open House and Accepted Students Day in the spring begins very early in the morning. Standing at the top of the hill and looking out to watch the day start or end is magical (corny, but true). 

I think I’ve accomplished my Bentley bucket list pretty well, and am so grateful for all that I’ve been able to experience in the past four years. 

With Boston just a 30 minute shuttle ride away from Bentley, it’s easy to go into the city anytime to explore, go shopping, or go out to dinner. This is my fourth year of enjoying all that Boston has to offer, so here are my top five things to do in the city:

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1) Go to Mike’s Pastry: A better cannoli cannot be had—my personal favorite? Classic ricotta with chocolate chips. Don’t forget the powdered sugar! If you want to avoid crowds, I’ve found it’s best to go around midday.

2) Wander through the winding streets of Cambridge and let yourself get lost—you can always ask a Harvard student for directions!

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3) Walk the Freedom Trail: I love history, and Boston’s Freedom Trail is a 2-mile walk through the heart of the city. Take a guided tour or just follow the red brick path that starts at the Boston Common. My favorite stop is the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame, located in the North End.

4) Shop on Newbury Street: The best shopping in Boston can be found on Newbury St. The nearby Prudential Center mall and Copley Place only add to the fun! 

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5) Take a ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands: On a nice warm day, the harbor islands are a hidden Boston gem. Explore the fort on Georges Island or enjoy a picnic on Spectacle Island.

For as long as I’ve known it was an opportunity (circa 8th grade), I’ve wanted to study abroad. Last semester I finally got my chance when I studied at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) in Egham, England. RHUL is about 40 minutes outside of London, and was the perfect location and program for me.

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Spending five months in a foreign country was an extraordinary experience. I had never been to Europe before, and by the time I left in June I had been to six different countries!

I found it really interesting (and challenging at times) taking classes at a college other than Bentley. The British college experience is much different from ours, in that it lasts only three years and students’ majors are determined by their standardized test scores. My courses were graded based on one exam or paper at the end of the year, and professors encouraged us to do our own independent studies.

Studying abroad really does strengthen you as a person, and makes you feel more independent. It’s also one of the only chances we’ll ever have to be an international student and be immersed in a whole new culture. The best part—it’s a TON of fun and you will never forget it!

This past weekend was Homecoming, one of my favorite days of the year at Bentley. It’s magically always a sunny, crisp day when Homecoming rolls around. Imagine a bright blue sky, autumn leaves at their peak, and a crowd of blue, gold, and white on Lower Campus all afternoon. It’s the one time when alumni, students, and families are all together for one day of football and fun!

I must admit that I’m not a sports fan, but I never miss Homecoming. It’s the one football game I’m sure to watch every year, if only to watch the dance teams and cheerleaders perform during halftime, and of course the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen!

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Our Campus Activities Board holds games and gives prizes away, like free Bentley shirts. There’s always so much delicious food—chili, cornbread, apple cider doughnuts, cupcakes, fried dough, warm apple cider, and pumpkin ice cream sandwiches. 

Homecoming was bittersweet this year, knowing it was my last time to attend as an undergraduate. I look forward to returning next year as an alumna, proudly wearing my “Class of 2014” Alumni sticker!

Image Source: Bentley University Facebook