Kate: How to Get Through Your Finals Week

Believe it or not, the end of the school year is approaching and finals week is back. Finals come in many forms at BU and especially COM since many COM classes have final projects and papers due the week before. But, no matter when finals week occurs for you or how long it lasts, this week may be stressful. So, here are a couple tips to help you get through your finals week.

 

1. Find some time for yourself
It may seem like you have a lot to do in only a little bit of time, but that time will be wasted with an unfocused mindset if you don’t give yourself a short break to do something you enjoy. Whether it be going for a run or just hanging out in your dorm watching two, and only two, episodes of The Office, these nice breaks are necessarily in keeping you mentally stable during this busy time.

 

2. Use the study break
BU is nice enough to give us a three day study break. This is a great time to spend studying and finishing up all assignments that need to get done. It’s nice because there is really nothing else you need to worry about except for work and preparing for finals. Even if your finals are later in the week, this is a great time to get started and just start reviewing the information, even if it’s for only a few hours that day. Those few hours are so beneficial and will be extremely helpful in learning and reviewing all the information from the course.

 

3. Get some sleep
Every cliche movie shows college students staying up late, cramming for their exams all night. But sleep is crucial to an alert and working brain, especially during a two hour test. These days off are a great time to be able to study while still getting a full night’s sleep. There is no better feeling than waking up after a good night’s sleep, ready and motivated to take on exams.

 

4. Go out into the city to study
You have all day! Go out into the city to study or find a quiet coffee shop. It’s your last couple days in Boston before summer so why not enjoy it while still being productive. If it’s nice out you can find outdoor seating or go to the Boston Public Library. The little spots around Boston are calming and allow you to take advantage of the last couple days in the city.

 

5. Remember that you are almost done
Yes, finals week can get stressful, but you are so close and almost done. Once exams are over, you get the entire summer to enjoy yourself and not worry about a test or a paper that you have to write. Just push through these last few days and then you have a couple months to completely just enjoy yourself and do whatever you want.
 
So, finals week can get stressful and can feel like a lot, but the light is there at the end of the tunnel. These tips can help you push through the end of the semester while still staying ~relatively~ sane. And with that I wish you good luck on finals!

Geneve: Five Instagrammable Spots in Boston

One of the best parts about living in a city like Boston is all of the beautiful spots perfect for photographing! Here are 5 spots in bean town that you are sure to love and likely to make it on your next Instagram post.

1. Piers Park | 95 Marginal St, Boston, MA 02128

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How to get there:

Take a Green Line train Inbound from Kenmore (C or D) to Government Center (6 stops)

At Government Center, change to the Blue Line (Wonderland) (3 stops)

Get off at Maverick stop

Walk to Piers Park, head southeast until you find Marginal Street

Piers Park was actually one of the first places I visited on my own without my parents since I got to BU! My friend Jack looked it up online before and really wanted to check it out so we did the first Saturday. It was a ton of fun, and you can get some really great photos with the city skyline in the background.

2. Acorn Street | Acorn St, Boston, MA 02108

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How to get there:

Take a Green Line train Inbound to Boylston

Walk across the Boston Common (Away from Tremont, along Charles, towards Beacon)

Find Spruce Street after crossing Beacon Street

Turn left on Chestnut Street

Turn right on Willow Street

Turn left on Acorn Street

Acorn Street currently holds the title of “Most Photographed Street in America”. It is a stop on every Boston tour, so you’ll always see handfuls of tourists passing by, as well as senior portrait photographers and wedding photographers doing shoots. Getting the perfect photo can be hard sometimes with so many frequenters but you just have to be smart about your angle and timing!

3. Berkshire Bank Sign @ Government Center

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Photo from Twitter

How to get there:

Take a Green Line train Inbound to Park Street

At Park Street, change to any train to take you one further stop to Government Center

Although not always up, these huge letters spelling Boston are a great way for you to show your Boston pride! If you happen to see the letters while you’re in the area, stop for a pic! They’re not always up. However, over the winter they put up a gorgeous skating rink, so if that’s more your style, all power to you!

4. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum |  25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115

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How to get there:

Although accessible via the T, it takes way longer than walking

Turn away from the Charles on St. Mary’s Street

Turn left onto Mountfort Street

Follow Park Drive (slight right, and then slight left)

Turn right onto Brookline Avenue

Turn left onto Fenway

Turn right onto Evans Way

An absolutely picturesque gem, the Gardner Museum is not only free for BU students, but a great spot to enjoy both nature and art. Fun fact- the largest art theft in history is still an ongoing investigation for the 13 art pieces, worth up to $500 million, stolen from the Gardner museum in 1990. As part of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s will, none of the paintings in the museum can be replaced, so take a look into the different rooms–you’ll notice there are empty frames awaiting the stolen paintings’ return home!

5. The Boston University Bridge | Boston, MA 02215

 

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How to get there:

Heading westward on Commonwealth Avenue, take a right when you hit the bridge. You’ll pass the GSU and the Boston University Academy

Unexpected, but the BU bridge actually gives you this great overall view of the skyline of Boston! On a sunny day, you can get an amazing photo with the buildings in the background. Plus, it’s so close to campus, you barely have to travel to get there!

Eliza: A Love Letter to Mugar

You guys: it is my last semester of senior year and I am JUST NOW discovering that I LOVE AND APPRECIATE Mugar.

I do not, at all, love the building, or the associations I have with it due to too many late nights on the sixth floor by myself writing some paper or another. And for many Boston University students I’m sure this admission will seem crazy and maybe even just induced by a few too many coffees.

But you guys: I love the BOOKS.

In truth I know I must be one of the literal last people who still uses actual books in research papers, but as I’ve worked over the past year on my Kilachand Honors Keystone I’ve come to have a new appreciation for the sheer volume of sources we have access to at Boston University.

I suppose this may be a good time to mention that these sort of resources haven’t really been a part of my COM experiences.  As a journalism major, my sources were live on the street, not in the stacks. But through my general education classes, my English dual degree, and the pursuit of my Kilachand keystone.

The incredible thing about attending Boston University is that we have all these resources right there to use.  Blessedly, my topic of choice for research is an extremely specific niche, and so I’ve been able take books home for weeks at a time, coming back to them as I need.

Books about everything from the history of the cafe in Paris to a personal recollection of the culture of Bohemia to The Joy of Cooking have informed this last major collegiate research project.  In case after case, I’ve actually come across useful sources while looking for others in the same section.

But really this newfound nostalgia for the library is a smaller subset of a broader retrospective appreciation for the opportunities of four years at college.  From the best classes to the most tedious projects to the latest nights up writing, it’s important to remember that the opportunity to do so can’t be underrated.

As I look out at my future as a young professional (gulp) and realize that I won’t have to spend hours pouring over books about the language of Shakespeare and the history of the papacy and the philosophy of the enlightenment, I also look forward to a chance to do it without the pressures of school work.

Caroline: My Internship at CONAN in Los Angeles

IMG_8092I write this post as I sit in the control room at CONAN on my last day. I leave LA on Saturday and while my time here has been a bit of a roller coaster, I’m so glad I decided to spend my final semester of college out here in California. After three and a half amazing years in Boston at BU, I felt it was time to begin my transition from college to my career. The BU Los Angeles program is designed exactly for that. We intern during the day and have class three days a week in the evening. But these aren’t your typical classes—we have mostly speakers to teach us about the industry. There isn’t really homework, there aren’t any tests. This is an industry immersion.

And immersed I was. I am the control room intern at CONAN. What that means in a nut shell is I get to sit in the control room of a late night talk show all day. It is seriously the dream. I want to work in a talk show control room one day and it doesn’t get much better than interning for the late night veteran—25 years on the air—Conan O’Brien. I perform normal intern tasks like stocking food and distributing paperwork, but I also get to time the music performances in rehearsal and work with the director and associate director. Through observation I’ve been able to learn a lot. BU prepared me to understand what I was seeing in the control room, but I learned the intricacies of a live daily production that are hard to learn in the classroom.
I would be hard-pressed to find a nicer group of people to work with. So many of them moved out here from NYC together when Conan got The Tonight Show. And they were all in it together when Conan lost the The Tonight Show. Speaking of—I decided to read Bill Carter’s The War for Late Night about the 2010 Tonight Show conflict and I was able to talk to people written about in the book to get their take on what happened. Not many people can say they’ve had the chance to ask questions directly to people they are learning about. Just another example of the incredible learning opportunities the BULA program offers students.
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Not only was I working on a late night talk show, I also got to swipe in every day at Warner Brothers Studios. There is so much history here on the lot. I was lucky enough to have some free time to explore. I walked around Rosewood from Pretty Little Liars, or Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls if you prefer (though the gazebo was gone). I biked past stages filming Ellen, Mom, The Big Bang Theory, Lethal Weapon, and so much more. I ate lunch on the streets of New York then walked through the streets of Paris. I even got to see some BU grads currently working on shows on the lot. And yes—I’ve talked to Conan and seen a bunch of celebrities.
IMG_8097While I am excited to head back to the East Coast, I am certainly sad to leave CONAN. I’ve made great friends with some of the interns here and I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon. And my departure marks the end of my college education. In a few weeks I’ll be walking at graduation and bidding adieu to the place I’ve called home for four years. My fellow seniors have all said their goodbyes so well. Instead, I’ll just say thank you to the institution that has offered me so much love the past four years. 

Lilah: What to do when it seems like there’s too much to do and you can’t do any of it

Take a walk

One of my favorite things to do is to walk (or jog, depending on how many wild turkeys are chasing me) through Brookline. It’s adjacent to South campus, and there are some magnificent houses. If your mom raised you like mine, checking out some sweet real estate is as good as watching TV! You can imagine yourself living in these mansions, and leave work at home for a minute. Taking a walk really is the best way to clear your head. You can listen to music, or just hear the birds chirping in this beautiful suburban neighborhood.

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Find a tv show that calms you down

Personally, some of my favorite shows are also very therapeutic. For example, Chef’s Table on Netflix gets a bad reputation for having frivolous (but amazing) cinematography and pretentious cuisine. However, the dynamic cinematography along with classical music as the soundtrack is the perfect balance that calms your senses. Another show I used to watch was How It’s Made. If you like watching robots do stuff with, again, soothing music overhead, this show is a must.

Chef’s Table just released a season that only features chefs with a sweet tooth. I highly recommend it if you enjoy dessert.

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Make lists

This point often escapes me when I see a mountain of work ahead of me. First off, looking at the mountain is much scarier than breaking it up into pieces. If you have ever seen What About Bob?, you’ll know to take “baby steps.” I recommend making a list that sorts out the days of the week. Then, you can make a separate list of “to-dos.” Then, start placing certain tasks into certain days. They may not be completely realistic goals, but writing them down gives you a sense of control.

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Call!!!!! Your!!!!!!!!!!!! Parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you believe I call my mother every day? It’s true! She’s my rock! Please, I beg of you all, call your parents. First of all, they miss you so much that they will probably douse you in love once you call. But, I look up to my parents, so they are there whenever I need advice. Even when I don’t need to talk about anything specific, I call my mom. Just knowing that they are there for you, even though they’re not with you, means a ton, and it will calm your nerves.

Sam: Every senior is saying goodbye to COM, so I decided to as well — in a series of limericks

We have one more month ’til the end,
We will say bye to COM, old friend.
It gave us so much, time went by in a rush,
But now to adult life, we must tend.
I’ll never forget all the good times,
Learning to write well and write rhymes,
Journalism’s my calling, tho’ grad feels like free-falling,
I love you, sweet COM, long time.
COM lounge comfy seats, don’t forget me.
Daily Free Press, be my legacy.
Goodbye dining hall, I’ll hardly miss you at all,
Warren Towers, thanks for all the memories.
I’ll never forget applying ED,
I just knew this program was for me.
I found out in December, and awaited September,
When my journey through COM came to be.
I started out wanting to write,
I know, I know, that sounds trite.
But COM helped me find my voice (was that even a choice?)
And I’m now sure my future is bright.
Being a CA was the best part,
I gave it my whole, whole sweet COM heart.
I loved my groups and my tours (what’s not to adore?)
Which makes it that much harder to part.
This next verse goes out to my COM buds,
You all are such cuties and cool studs.
From my freshman year gals to all my new pals,
You’ve made me happy as pigs in the mud.
I think this stanza might be my last,
I feel as though my time’s come to pass.
I know I’m not dying, but I still feel like crying,
‘Cause I love COM, every person, every class.

Becca: Things Sophomore Year Taught Me

As the semester draws to a close, I become very reflective. I begin to look at old pictures and reminisce about where I was a year, five years and even ten years ago. It boggles my mind to see exactly how far I have come in a relatively short period. Genuinely, I get excited for the future when I think about the places you and I can go. And now, what I learned this year.

Professors want you to succeed as much as you want yourself to succeed.

I was lucky this year to have eight amazing professors who care about their students. Yes, they give tests that you might not do so well on. They also might give weekly quizzes with trick questions. But, deep down, they are all rooting for you to be your best. Because I went to their office hours (a lot), it became incredibly evident.

You find friends in unexpected places.

Sophomore year, I found where I belonged at BU. When I went home for vacations, all I longed for was to get back to school and see my Boston family again. I didn’t have these feelings freshman year because I overlooked nontraditional ways to find friends. You find your people next to you in classes, in the same extracurriculars, working Open House, and waiting in the Einstein’s line.

Although there are bad days, I am a better person now more than ever.

It’s no secret: you have bad days in college. Some really bad days. You also have some really great days. This semester instead of curling up and wishing I was anywhere other than Boston, I put on my “Big Girl” pants and faced problems head-on. I learned how to confront confidently, ask deliberately, and work incessantly, skills I learned from people I admire at BU.

To wrap up this incredibly sappy post, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to the people who gave me my first adult job this semester. Thank you to the professors who were on my side. Thank you to the friends I never thought I would have.

 

Jamey: Reflecting on Heathers

If you talked to me between the beginning of the semester and April 8th, you almost definitely heard that I was directing a production of Heathers: The Musical. The project took up all of my free time with roughly 15-20 hours of rehearsal each week on top of production meetings, e-board check-ins, and staging sessions.
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I’ve wanted to direct my own musical since I was about 13 years old, so it was a dream come true when BU On Broadway gave me the opportunity to direct Heathers. I’ve been involved in theatre since I was very young, mostly as an actor, but I always knew that I eventually wanted to direct. I love taking on leadership roles and I’ve always been interested in the creative decisions that are involved with directing an entire production. However, I had no idea about the amount of decisions a director would have to make.
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Overall, Heathers was the best learning experience of my entire life. I was in charge of the entire production and I am very happy with how it went. I am so grateful for the 100-some students who helped me put my vision on the stage. BU On Broadway, and BU as a whole, has given me so many opportunities. I checked one more thing off my bucket list this semester.
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Sophia: The Typical “I Am Abroad” Post!

To quote fellow CA Tyler from his blog last week, “Yes, I am abroad, but I don’t want to give you the standard ‘I am abroad!’ post.”

Good for you, Tyler. Except here I am, about to give you the most typical, basic, eye-roll-inducing “I am abroad!” post of all time. So take that! Ha!
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Point is, abroad is as every bit exhausting, delightful and life-changing as everyone makes it out to be. I know, I know: when you’re living in Europe and traveling to magical cities every weekend, how can it not be? But until you come abroad (or in my opinion, specifically to Europe), you never fully understand why no one shuts up about it until you’re two weeks away from leaving and are already feeling nostalgic. Yeah, it’s that bad.
Because everyone’s abroad experience is so different from each other, it’s hard to pin point exactly what the best parts of. I remember that before I came here, I asked so many people what the absolute must-dos of abroad were, and everyone had different answers. But, because this is MY blog post (mwahaha), I’m going to give you the must-dos that I’ve taken away from my time in the London Internship Program.
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I only have three suggestions:
1) Eat everything.
This one is self-explanatory.
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I truthfully think food is the best thing in life (like genuinely, try to name something better than food, because I never can. Love? You can’t survive off of love! Sleep? Pfft, I’ll sleep when I’m dead!), and to have so many authentic dishes as close as a train ride away is the best part of being abroad. I won’t lie, I haven’t loved all of the food that I’ve tried, but I’ve still tried it. And then, there was the food that I was hesitant to try and ended up LOVING! I used to feel kind of ‘eh’ about Spanish food, but turns out it’s my favorite European food…and that out of Italy, Scotland, France, Sweden, Germany and London. I can’t count Greece because that’s where my family is from and my normal diet consists of the best Greek food ever, so it seems unfair to pit other countries against it. Still, not once have I ever regretted spending money on a meal, even the ones that I didn’t like. Order everything!
2) Work your tush off at your internship. 
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My internship is at the Evening Standard, a large scale publication in London. As a journalism major, I had known of the Evening Standard well before even deciding to come study abroad, so when I was placed there, I was more than delighted – I was, somehow, terrified, thrilled, anxious and eager all at once. I had many expectations coming into my internships, and I am delighted to announce that so far, all of them have been met. In fact, most of them have been surpassed.  Having worked for a publication before (Boston Magazine), I was used to writing on tight deadlines, pitching ideas and working in a fast-paced news environment. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the freedoms and responsibilities that were given to me by this publication. In Boston, my pieces had been carefully calculated, planned out precisely with my supervisor down to the very detail, edited and re-edited again and again until they were finally published. But at the Standard, I was published within my first day. In fact, I had published seven articles after my first week’s completion, articles that I had pitched myself and been given barely any afterthought before publishing. “We know what you’re capable of,” my supervisor had told me after my initial surprise. “We trust you, we trust your words.”
And really, I have been treated since then as a full-time employee in the best way possible. The days seem to zoom by; I have my own desk, co-workers who respect me and take me seriously, a supervisor who trusts my ideas and an editor that does my words justice. It is an idealistic set-up, a dream-come-true, and it’s reignited a fresh fire in my pursuit of a journalist career. Having this experience did more than just give me an international resume boost…it reignited my fire.
3) Be bold.
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Okay, hear me out: I’ve jumped into so many bodies of water abroad in the cold, and honestly, it has completely revolutionized my outlook on life. We’re only this young once, and there are only so many times in your life that you are actually able to jump into the freezing cold Loch Ness without the obstacles of life stopping you. It sounds so silly, but every day that I’ve been abroad I’ve tried to do something bold and whimsical, and coming from such a renowned school like BU that can feel so overwhelming at times, it was the best way outlook to have when waking up in the morning.
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So go, try some weird Scottish food, surf in Barcelona, work hard at your internships. This experience gives back what you put into it, so don’t be afraid to go all in.

Josee: COM Is Like an Elevator

In a sprawling urban environment filled with bustling trains, erratic car horns, and the overlapping voices of hundreds of thousands of people, it can be scary to think that you could still feel alone.

In this case, I’m not talking about the moments of precious solitude where you take time for yourself. Instead, it’s more like that loneliness when things are persistently overwhelming and all you feel is lost.

As many other college students can attest, these are the periods where you need an extra hand to help pick you up: that’s where mentorship comes in.

The word “mentor” doesn’t seem to do justice to the people who bring a sense of guidance and support into your life. Mentors come in all shapes, sizes, and from the most unexpected places. They could be long-term or only appear over five shared minutes, but they indubitably leave an impact that lasts.

So far, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible mentors that have helped me navigate the crazy world that is college. They’ve been there for the big things and for the small things – and they have made sure I’m not going through this alone. 

I urge you to connect with everyone you meet, each person has something you can learn from and you never know when someone might become that elusive mentor.

My freshman year, I was nervous as all hell but I knew how badly I wanted to be a journalist. After joining BUTV10’s The Wire, I made a connection with a junior who understood when I was stressed, who believed in me when I didn’t myself, and most importantly sent me gifs of Ansel Elgort when I was feeling down.

NebeSince, then Nebe’s been my rock and reminds me how thankful I am for the COM community. COM’s a vertical situation. The super intimidating seniors with fancy resumes and incredible confidence are there to help you. They get it most, because they were in your shoes just a few years ago.

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Mentorship in COM also comes in the form of professors. Yet another analogy: COM’s faculty/student relationships are like elevators. You have professors with Pulitzers, Emmy’s, and stories that you can only dream of. They’ve got accolades, praise, and use awards as their bookends. But they’re also here for a reason, to come back down from these heights and bring students up there with them.

Although I liked Prof. Zuckoff’s JO250 Fundamentals of Journalism class, I knew that I had found a mentor that “got me” when we bonded over some weird medical diagnosis we had in common. Bonding over health issues, am I right?

But since then, it’s a very comforting feeling knowing that no matter how lost I get in the pursuit of my journalism dreams, I have someone who seems to get it and can bring me back on the right track.

Exhibit A (an email from me)

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Exhibit B (an email I received)

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All in all, mentorship rocks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, meet new people, and build these relationships that transform you college career and beyond. I promise you won’t regret it. (Also know you can always reach out to your CAs! We’re here for you!)

Peace and love,
Josee