Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Planning for graduate school: part six (free time!)

One of the obvious things that I will have in Boston is my laptop, and to cut down on the amount of stuff that I will have, I have burned all of my CDs to an external hard drive, and the actual CDs are stored at home. I’m toying with the idea of getting a Netflix account to keep me entertained, but there is also the public library ( that will have DVDs and other things like cookbooks and travel guides. Boston also has a great downtown library ( with a great digital collection online.

As an MIT student, I will also have access to the gym and various group classes ( Yoga and pilates do have an additional cost to them, but I think that they would be well worth it (even just to try for a few weeks). They also have massage ($60 for 60 minutes), which is steeper than the IWU rate, but hey…everything is more expensive in Boston. Ashdown will also have exercise facilities to use, but I am not sure how much they will have.

Boston is also known for being a very easy city to get around, and I will be taking advantage of that fact. From dim sum breakfasts in Chinatown to walking Newberry Street going in stores that I can (and cannot) afford ( to the Boston Commons to Harvard Square…I have plenty to keep me busy!

As far as public transportation goes, since I will be walking to campus every day, getting a monthly pass wouldn’t be worth it. I’ll just pay as I go using my Charlie Card (a credit card-like pass that you load money onto at the stations).

I am also extremely lucky that my roommate has a car…it is very rare for students to have vehicles, and this will make my life easier if I choose to buy some additional furniture or really need a ride somewhere if the T is closed. A very common option for students here is a Zipcar ( The yearly cost is $50, and the hourly cost for a car rental is $9/hour. This covers gas, insurance, and parking…it is quite the steal when you consider all of the costs incurred when you own a car. It is definitely something I will be looking into after my first year here.

I am also planning to get a bike, but a crappy one. Too many bikes get stolen on Mass Ave for me to want a new bike out in Boston. This will also allow me to take advantages of some beautiful bike trails during the summer (Walden Pond, anyone?).

Also, *hint hint* I want some of my free time to be spent hosting guests...there will always be a couch available for anyone passing through Boston, and I would love to show you around town...


M. said...

Regarding the massages, $60 for 60 minutes is the going rate in the Twin Cities. I'm surprised it isn't higher in Boston.

Bridget said...

Huh. Well then, maybe I will have to take advantage of a massage.

treedee said...

Bridget, while you're cruising Newbury, be sure to check out Lush Cosmetics if you haven't already (although there's also one in Harvard Square with the best sales staff ever). They have biodegradable, natural, vegan friendly etc. bath and shower products that are amazing. While they're more expensive than what you can find at the drugstore, I find it worth it to have products without SLS and all that jazz. Plus they have a recycling program for any of their plastic containers.

Bridget said...

Treedee - that looks like a great store! Man, I am so excited to be in Boston for awhile...we're going to have to get together soon!