For Anna Wisotzkey, class of 2015, rowing on the Charles River was something she had only ever dreamt about. Now, as a freshman at Boston University and a member of the Women’s Lightweight Rowing Team, it is something she does everyday.
Wisotzkey is looking forward to her first fall season on this division one team. She rowed for the Milwaukee Rowing Club throughout her high school career, competed at USRowing Youth Nationals and placed on the USRowing Honor Roll.
Tryouts, which included fitness tests and lots of technical drilling on the water, have ended and Wisotzkey is settling into the program.
“There’s this new level of intensity,” Wisotzkey said of her rowing experience so far. “It’s like what we always talked about bringing [to the Milwaukee Rowing Club], only here we put that into practice. Everyone really goes for it.”
Wisotzkey said she already feels at home on the team.
“All the girls are really nice and even though we are literally from all over the country, we all have this sport in common,” Wisotzkey said.
Some of Wisotzkey’s new teammates even come from programs she competed against all through high school. Now, old rivalries must be put aside as the team comes together to face the other schools in their conference, which include all of the Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Training on the Charles River, which winds through Cambridge and into downtown Boston, has been a highlight of Wisotzkey’s experience at BU so far.
“It’s just so surreal to be out there,” she said. “I can see the Charles from the windows in my classes.”
Rowing brought Wisotzkey to BU originally.
“I toured the campus after the Head of the Charles, [a rowing competition,] last year and really loved it,” Wisotzkey said.
Wisotzkey intends to major in political science. This semester, she is taking Greek and Roman Religion, Astronomy, Religion in Politics and Introduction to US Government.
“I really like Intro to Government,” she said. “It’s a lot like American Government at Shorewood, only more intense.”
Another thing Wisotzkey likes about BU is the level of faculty diversity and the different global perspectives that are brought to the classroom.
“I have a teacher who is originally from the Middle East and another who is from Eastern Europe,” Wisotzkey said.
Life on campus has been surprisingly comparable to life in Shorewood, according to Wisotzkey.
“BU is like a little community within itself—inclusive and small. But it’s in the middle of this city which is so much bigger than Milwaukee. It’s kind of like a big Shorewood on steroids. The people are similar, the style is similar, only everything is bigger and more diverse,” Wisotzkey said.
Wisotzkey also loves to be in Boston.
“It’s a very fun city to be in,” Wisotzkey said.
Although she misses the freedom of her car, the Boston public transportation system puts the city at her fingertips. BU is situated on a mile long stretch of the Charles River, and overlaps with the neighborhoods of Fenway and Kenmore. While Wisotzkey is living in on-campus dorms, many students choose to live in the surrounding areas of Back Bay, Allston or Brighton.
“It’s all very urban,” Wisotzkey said. She is looking forward to exploring all of Boston’s renowned museums and learning the character of the city.
One thing Boston lacks is Colectivo, which Wisotzkey misses very much.
“There are Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts everywhere but there’s no Colectivo, which has been rough. I have the shirt though and a girl in my writing class who is also from Milwaukee saw it and was like ‘Oh my God I feel you!’” Wisotzkey said.
In addition to rowing, Wisotzkey plans on becoming active in the Catholic Center and the Community Service Club.
She recommends BU to anyone who wants to study in a diverse, urban setting.
“Be confident, research the school and know how it will fit you,” Wisotzkey said.
by Sydney Widell