Boston As Experienced by Different Local Colleges

boston colleges

With over 100 colleges and universities in Boston and its surrounding area, the city is one of the largest college towns in the country. During the school year, students can be found on almost every corner of Boston. However, while these schools are all so close to each other, students at each one experience the city a little differently. IM Boston surveyed students from these Boston Colleges to get their opinions on the best places to get food, enjoy the outdoors, and asked what their thoughts are on the other colleges they share the city with.

Boston University

Neighborhood/Location: Boston University is well known for taking up a large strip of Commonwealth Avenue, stretching all the way from the Kenmore/Fenway neighborhood to Allston.

Popular Restaurants: BU students will often rave about the nachos at Sunset Cantina or the fried chicken from Canes.

Outdoor Hangouts: On a nice day, it’s a common sight to see students sprawled out by the Esplanade or taking a nap on the BU Beach, a grassy area by Storrow Drive where, if you close your eyes, the traffic almost sounds like waves.

Nightlife Destinations: Tavern in the Square on Thursdays and T’s Pub on Tuesdays are good old BU favorites. Other popular spots include White Horse and many of the other Allston bars.

Thoughts on Other Local Schools: BU kids are not shy about their rivalry with Boston College, often calling out BC for not even (technically) being located in Boston.

Things BU students Are Most Likely to Say: (On a Thursday) “Let’s go to TITS!” (Very original chants at hockey games) “BC sucks.”

Favorite School Tradition: Completing the Knights Quest at the BU Pub is one of the greatest accomplishments for a BU student. This is done by ordering at least one of every beer (there are 50) the pub has to offer before graduating.

Boston College

Neighborhood/Location: Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill (see above BU criticisms).

Popular Restaurants: BC students frequent places like El Pelon and Pino’s Pizza, or, if they are want to treat themselves, the famous White Mountain Creamery.

Outdoor Hangouts: A popular place for BC kids to hang out during warm weather is the quad in front of O’Neil Library.

Nightlife Destinations: A classic BC nightlife hotspot is Mary Ann’s, located on Beacon Street right by campus. For other places like the Baseball Tavern and Garage Lounge, it is more of a trek but worth it.

Thoughts on Other Local Schools: BC is equally as vocal in the BU/BC rivalry and, as one BC student put it, tend to view BU students as “our lesser counterparts.”

Things BC Students Are Most Likely to Say: “Let’s take the bus down to Cleveland and get something to eat.”

Favorite School Tradition: BC students listed Shea Stadium tailgates and watching the Boston Marathon as some of their favorite traditions.

Northeastern University

Neighborhood/Location: Northeastern is located in the Fenway neighborhood on the E line, though lots of students live off campus in Mission Hill.

Popular Restaurants: Popular places near Northeastern’s campus to grab a bite to eat include Amelia’s Taqueria, Rod Dee Thai II and Chicken Lou’s.

Outdoor Hangouts: NEU students spend their time outdoors hanging out on Northeastern’s quads, a feature that not all schools in the city have.

Nightlife Destinations:  On the weekends, Northeastern kids will most likely be hanging out at their friends’ apartments or grabbing a drink at the local bars in the Fenway area and Mission Hill.

Thoughts on Other Schools: The kids we surveyed were pretty neutral when it came to stereotypes of other colleges. Does this mean NEU students are less judgmental than the rest of us?

Things NEU Students Are Most Likely to Say: “On my last co-op…” (We get it, you guys have an an awesome co-op program)

Favorite School Tradition: Every fall during Parents’ Weekend is Northeastern’s Annual Underwear Run. Thousands of students, wearing only underwear, dash from the freshman quad, through the Prudential Center and then back past the Christian Science Center through the reflecting pool (which, one student noted is deeper than it looks and very cold that time of year).

Photo courtesy of Huntington News

Photo courtesy of Huntington News


Neighborhood/Location: Though technically in Cambridge, we decided to include Harvard on this list because, well, it’s Harvard.

Popular Restaurants: Harvard kids enjoy going out to eat at places like Otto Pizza, Shake Shack, Felipe’s, and the Border Cafe.

Outdoor Hangouts: Of course, Harvard Yard, along with house courtyards and along the river.

Nightlife Destinations: Harvard students frequent Felipe’s rooftop bar and Monroe Restaurant and Nightclub on the weekends.

Thoughts on Other Schools? Harvard kids know other Boston students want to come party at their exclusive finals clubs on the weekends and find it slightly amusing if not a bit annoying at times.

Things Harvard Students are Most Likely to Say: Something about overcommitting their time.

Favorite School Tradition: Nothing gets Harvard kids going like their rivalry with Yale. The much-awaited football game will take place this fall at Harvard Stadium (it switches off every year).

Photo courtesy of Elan Kawesch photography

Photo courtesy of Elan Kawesch photography


Neighborhood/Location: Also located in Cambridge

Popular Restaurants: There are plenty of great restaurants close to MIT, including Asgard Irish Pub and Restaurant, Legal Seafoods and, every college student’s favorite, Chipotle.

Outdoor Hangouts: When it’s nice weather and MIT kids can get a break from the books, they usually hang out on the docks by the Charles.

Nightlife Destinations: MIT is famous for its beautiful fraternity houses, though seniors usually opt for clubs around Lansdowne Street.

Thoughts on Other Schools: MIT students tend to joke about the fact their frat parties are a hot spot for BU girls, who are seemingly fed up with the dirty basements of Allston.

Things MIT students Are Most Likely to Say: “IHTFP” (Which, depending on the context either means, “I have truly found paradise,” or “I hate this f*** place.”)

Favorite School Tradition: Like every Boston area school, MIT gets hyped about Marathon Monday and the daytime celebrations that come with it every year.

Do you go to school in Boston? Tell us what your city experience is like!

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Review overview