Stephen: The “Boston” Bubble

Regardless of where you’re currently at in your college career at Boston University, you have undoubtedly heard the term “BU Bubble”. This bubble is very much real and I’m sure you have been told the importance of leaving the bubble to explore the city. You should definitely strive to do this and make it part of your routine (I know I need to work on this sometimes), but there’s another bubble present for many of us that goes unnoticed. The “Boston Bubble”.

The city of Boston provides countless activities to enjoy and places to explore, but one thing that many people don’t recognize is its location. As the hub of the New England area, Boston is a great central location to explore outwards into Massachusetts and other neighboring states. There are so many adventures to partake in while here at Boston University, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of that fact.

At this point you’re probably wondering how trips outside of Boston are even possible. Most students don’t have cars and the T only takes you so far. This is very true, but the commuter rail, which is also part of the MBTA system, is the solution.

For those that don’t know, from January 5th to June 30th of this year, the MBTA is providing $10 weekend passes that allow for unlimited travel across Boston’s commuter rail network. $10. Unlimited travel. That right there is the answer.

Now that you understand what amazing opportunity is at our fingertips, let’s take a look at some specific things we can choose to do:

  1. Visit Providence, Rhode Island

Leave the state entirely and go spend the day in another historic city in the New England area. Check out the Roger Williams Park Zoo, walk around Waterplace Park, or enjoy the famous Providence Athenaeum. You can also just walk around and enjoy the new scenery! It is your adventure so do as you please.

  1. Hike the Nashua River Rail Trail

Hop on the commuter rail and travel north to Ayer station located in Ayer, MA. If you’re looking for a quick hike in MA, this is just one of many options open to you. The New England area has a multitude of nature locations to explore and the commuter rail makes many of these viable options.

  1. Snowboard or Ski at Wachusett Mountain

If you’d like a neat winter experience before the season is over, take a train over to Wachusett Mountain. The resort also provides a free shuttle from the T station to the slopes so get over and experience the fun before the service starts wrapping up in March!

With so many other adventures as well, it would be a shame to not take advantage of this opportunity. The deal lasts throughout the entirety of the semester, so try to find a weekend or two at some point to travel around with some friends. It’s always super nice to take a break from the city regardless of whether or not you’re swamped with work. Putting some distance between yourself and your daily responsibilities eases the mind and simply makes you feel better (trust me it does).

So what are you waiting for then? Check out https://www.mbta.com/projects/10-weekends-commuter-rail and get going!

Maddie: Every BU Com Major, As Explained by Viral Tweets

In our media-heavy world, it’s impossible to go a day without a hilarious tweet going viral. Some of these tweets inspire huge shifts in online culture, becoming a part of the popular lexicon—whether we want it to or not. And as COM students, we’re more than experienced at using Twitter—sometimes, it’s even required for our classes. While we may not be tweeting something viral every day, we can all certainly relate to feeling just a little too called out by a tweet. Below are the tweets that accurately sum up every BU COM student based on their chosen major.

  • Journalism

Hughes Photo 1

As a journalism major myself, I can confirm—we need to know all the details, always. No journalism student gets into this path of study without being innately curious about the world around them, even if it goes against our best interests. While we may sometimes get caught up in the drama surrounding us, we will always do our best to be honest and reliable.

  • Film & Television

Hughes Photo 2 (1)

This is what I imagine film & television students’ brainstorming sessions to be like—just kidding. As some of the hardest working students on BU’s campus, you’ll never see a film & television student not thinking about what their next script is going to be or without a camera on them. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll get to see one of their films at a free BU screening!

  • Advertising

Hughes Photo 3

Advertising students are incredibly creative and innovative—and as a result, are usually very busy with outside work and fun organizations such as Ad Lab. You may catch them downing a coffee or two so they can continue working on their next campaign—support them through it all!

  • Cinema & Media Studies

Hughes Photo 4

Cinema & media studies majors tend to be very detail-oriented, catching small aspects of films that other COM majors tend to overlook. They tend to look at things with a more observant eye, meaning that they’ll fixate on a detail and tell everyone about it. It’s good to have someone around who will notice something that you might not see—but hey, can we watch some rom-coms instead of classics for a change?

  • Mass Communication

Hughes Photo 5

Mass communication covers the most amount of breadth in COM, yet not many students know a ton about it because it’s not as targeted as other degree programs. From what I know about mass communication students, they never stop hustling—not even when they face unfortunate situations like the student from the tweet above. Group papers? Mass communication students are on it, with a large coffee in their hand, of course.

  • Public Relations

Hughes Photo 6

Public relations students are nothing if not talkative. We have a lot to say, and we have to get it out quickly, a la the art of the 30-second elevator pitch. Though we realize that sometimes our words come out faster than our thoughts, we will bring 100% to any conversation or brainstorming session. Just remind us to take a breather sometimes.

  • Media Science

Hughes Photo 7

This tweet is for anyone who ever said that BU COM students can’t excel at math—while it may not be our first choice of study, media science majors are here to say that you can combine logic with your creative side and make a career out of it. Though a relatively new major, it’s nonetheless important to the field of communications as a whole—here’s looking at you, stats requirement.

If you related to any of these, let me know! My twitter is @maddie__hughes.

Laurel: Cheap things to do This Winter in Boston (when the weather is frightful and far from delightful)

Oscar animated shorts at the ICA

With dates now through mid-March, catch up on all the buzz-worthy films up for top marks at the Oscars. With your student ID tickets are only $5 and it’s the perfect way to spend a chilly afternoon or evening.

Ansel Adams exhibit at the MFA 

The MFA always has fun pop-ups, rotating exhibits and after hour events. Most of the time their special events also offer special discounts for students, if not totally free with your ID. Grab a friend and go explore the short lasting Ansel Adams exhibit before it goes at the end of February! With contrasting old vs. new this exhibit is not only absolutely beautiful but fascinating as well.

Highly discounted workout classes

There are so many fun workout places that offer very cheap classes for students. You can even try out class pass completely free for a whole month! Keep an eye on fan favourites like the HandleBar who not only has a great student discount but has been known to offer free rides to students during finals. You can also check out Power Rowing in Brookline who offers cheap unlimited classes to students! Forget staying warm in winter, work up a sweat instead!

Movies at Coolidge Corner with a discount on ice cream after from JP Licks

Coolidge Corner is arguably the best movie theatre in Boston! The old-time theatre feels with the classic film format is impressive on its own. Make a night of it and keep your ticket stub to get a discount on ice cream at JP Licks afterwards!

Dare I say it, sporting games

This may be very obvious considering we have a plethora of teams here in Boston, but seriously there are multiple ways to grab cheap tickets last minute to games for the Celtics and Bruins. The Beanpot tournament is every February at TD Garden which is a nice change of pace for BU students. If you can’t go to the Beanpot, tickets to hockey and basketball games at BU are always free!

Cheap tickets to the Theatre 

Check out the various theatres in downtown Boston. Most of them have affiliations with colleges in the are and offer wonderful student discounts! An Inspector Calls is a classic coming up next month at Emerson’s theatre and student tickets are a steal!

BU Arts initiative newsletter 

The BU Art initiative sends out regular newsletters featuring awesome art activities going on in the week. Some are completely free to BU students! Last semester I took a calligraphy class where I left with my own calligraphy set! Sign up to receive updates on film shows, art pop-ups and more!

Explore Boston’s Cafe Scene 

Boston has great cafes, especially in the greater Boston area, so make a day of it and explore the surrounding towns through coffee shops, you may discover places that you would have never known where there. And while you’re at it let me know your favorites because I survive on coffee and hot coco in the winter.

Steven: Why you should live on the COM floor

There’s rarely a quiet moment in Warren Towers 11C, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

A hidden gem in BU are its specialty community residence floors. When I applied for housing in the summer before Freshman year, I checked off a box that I’d be interested in specialty housing for the College of Communications. I didn’t realize it then, but that decision has had a HUGE impact on my time at BU so far.

Through the COM floor I’ve discovered so many opportunities, made lifelong friends, and had countless unforgettable experiences. So when you’re trying to decide where to live during your first year on campus, I’d highly recommend you check off that box. Here’s why.

1. Your neighbors become your best friends.

The COM floor gives you the unique opportunity to become best friends with the people you live with. Before coming to BU, I was worried that the other students on my floor would never be more than strangers. But I’m happy to say that my neighbors are some of my closest friends!

2. There aren’t just COM kids!

Surprisingly, the COM floor does not only have COM students. There are premed students, political science majors, and even a few who are undecided. Because of this, there is always a diverse range of perspectives and ideas!

3. Movie nights are a common occurrence.

Living with Film & Television students has its perks. Movie nights happen almost every weekend, and there are always in depth conversations about shot composition, lighting, and sound. Last weekend we watched Call me by Your Name (we cried).

4. There are always new opportunities to get involved.

The residents of 11C are always moving and staying active all around BU. Friends on my floor are involved in COM driven clubs like BUTV10, WTBU, and The Daily Free Press, as well as Stage Troupe and BU On Broadway, two theater organizations on campus.

This semester, I even started a radio show on WTBU with friends from my floor. It’s called sadboi hours, and we play music that gets us in our feels. (Check us out on WTBU on Sundays from 12-2AM!)


5. There’s always someone available to help on a project.

Whenever I have trouble on a project, I can look across the hallway and find someone ready and willing to help out. Production assistants are never far away!

There you have it! Living on the COM floor has been a great experience so far and I’d highly recommend it. So take a chance and check that box!

Brady: Studying in the City of Champions: Why college students must experience Boston sports

On Sunday, February 3rd, the New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl in the last 18 years, ending a 98-day drought since Boston last won a championship – just over three months ago, the Boston Red Sox were victorious in their fourth World Series of the 21st century.

Both championship titles sent students across the city into a wild state of euphoria, celebrating online and in the streets. But these aren’t students who have been Boston sports fans all their lives. These are students from all over the country, and for that matter, all over the world. So why are these fans all so consumed with a championship for a city they aren’t even from?

The answer to this question is actually quite straightforward. Simply put, when you study in Boston, you become a Boston sports fan. That is, if you let yourself become one.

Of course, there are the diehard fans from rival cities that will never be converted. But for most students, the interest in Boston sports is infectious. Once a student gets a taste for the perfect mix of history, passion, and success that makes this city’s sports scene so special, they can’t help but become a part of it.

Boston sports attract supporters from the full range of interests and experiences. There are the baseball buffs who have waited their entire lives to visit Fenway Park. There are the first-time fans just following the recommendations of others. Whether you are a seasoned sports veteran who has never had any interest in athletics, Boston sports have something for everyone.

I don’t have much convincing to do for the current sports enthusiasts out there, but for you newcomers out there, I understand your concerns. It’s hard to sit through a four-hour baseball game, or try to comprehend a sport you’ve never witnessed before. As strange as it may sound, throw yourself into the fire. Experience it once, and give it a chance to draw you in.

But let’s say you really can’t bring yourself to watch a game. Well, you’re lucky, because Boston sports extend beyond the stadium. If you so much as stroll around Fenway Park, for example, you will see the fans, smell the concessions, and sense the spirit of a game day at the ballpark. Just by being in the area, you will be a participant in the Boston sports scene.

You could be studying anywhere in the world, but you ended up here in Boston, arguably the greatest sports city in the world. Not only that, but you are also here at exactly the perfect time. The teams are championship-caliber, the city is buzzing after two titles, and the venues are just a walk or train ride away from your campus.

One cannot truly experience of this city without getting involved in its sports scene, so regardless of your previous interests or expectations, get out there and embrace the unparalleled excitement and excellence of Boston sports!

Mira: My COM Experience

Everyone’s COM journey is unique from the rest, but no matter what path you end up on, I can promise you that it is going to be an incredibly rewarding experience- and one you will learn so much from!! Just for fun (and to give you a sneak peek into how great this community is) here is my story for you.

So my experience with COM started months before I ever stepped foot onto the BU campus! It was at the College of Communication’s admitted students open house. Before that day, I had never been to Boston before – not even for a general college tour- so I really had no idea what to expect, and I was VERY nervous.

I walked into the Tsai Performance center where I was immediately met by friendly faces and welcoming smiles. Everywhere I turned, there would be a student in blue. These blue-shirted people were EVERYWHERE, and I remember feeling overwhelmed, yet oddly comfortable, as I could practically feel the enthusiasm and positive energy in the air. Later, I found out that these students were the COM Ambassadors, and the more I heard their stories and experiences at COM, the more I fell in love with the idea of attending BU. These students talked about everything, from their fears to their failures, to their favorite moments and everything in between. By the end of the day, I was hooked, and I knew that this was where I wanted to be.

Fast forward a couple months, and it was finally time for everything on campus to start and come to life! I met with my CA group where I met some wonderful people, and got a chance to get to know my COM Ambassador! (Whom I absolutely adore and who has made such a positive impact on my first semester here) In the beginning, I didn’t really know where to start, but my CA encouraged me to join BUTV10. Taking his advice, I decided to join COED and Bay State, which was by far one of the best decisions (if not THE best decision) I’ve made since setting foot on campus. Through BUTV10, I’ve met so many kind, friendly, funny, and all around awesome people that I am now lucky enough to call my closest friends. BUTV10 has given me a solid community who want to see me succeed and will do anything to help me do that. That’s my favorite part about being in COM. The people you meet are passionate and excited about what they do, and they genuinely want to help you in any way they can.

Now, that’s how far I am with my story at the moment. I could go on and on about how I have the best CA, how I think everyone should join BUTV10, or how amazing COM is, but I think I’ll stop here and let you see for yourself. Go out there and don’t be scared!! There are so many things to do at COM, and you don’t have to wait! Just jump right into all the action- you’ll be glad you did! 🙂

Remy: 6 Lessons on How to be Successful in COM as Told by ‘Friends’ Characters

COM is about developing communication skills, learning by doing and discovering career paths. Like the pitch of the hit sitcom Friends, “It’s about a time in your life when everything is possible, which is really exciting and really scary.” It’s about searching for your passions. And it’s about building relationships, because when you’re trying to succeed, everyone can benefit from mentors, and of course, friends.

  • Rachel- Build your confidence. Rachel works hard to become a successful businesswoman. Her character proves that confidence does not always start from within; sometimes, you need a boost from your friends.

In COM, it’s overwhelming to be thrown into an environment where everyone seems confident about what they are doing. Rather than letting this intimidate you, remember that your confidence can be shaped by those around you. Find role models, ask questions, introduce yourself to professors – confidence comes with time!

  • Ross- Find what you’re passionate about (and be proud of it)! Few characters cared at all about paleontology, but Ross did not let this prevent him from pursuing his passion. His intelligence and genuinity made him a respectable, lovable guy.

“What are you passionate about?” can be a scary question. It is okay to not have an answer right now! Whether it’s Mass Communication, Film and TV, Advertising and Marketing, or Public Relations- try it out and find what you love. Passionate energy is contagious in COM.

  • Monica- Proactivity pays off. Monica’s obsessive cleaning and organization provided laughs throughout all 236 episodes of the series. More importantly, her independence and competitive edge allowed her to persevere as a chef, and eventually open her own restaurant.

COM is not just about the courses. Take advantage of the resources available to you…AdLab, PRLab, WTBU, BUTV10, BU News Service, or Hothouse Productions. Meet with faculty advisors and COM career services. Attend workshops and events. All of these people and opportunities are here to help you succeed.

  • Chandler- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Chandler’s wit and sarcasm were unparalleled. Ultimately, Chandler’s ability to laugh at himself allowed him to find success in his personal life and career.

The late nights editing your film project, creating a PR plan, or writing a slogan for an ad project can be stressful. However, remember not to take yourself too seriously! Every project and course is a learning experience, no one expects you to be perfect.

  • Joey- Have fun. Joey was constantly searching for work as a struggling actor. Despite this, he always had a smile on his face. His warm hearted personality and positivity made him an amazing worker and friend.

Yes, COM requires hard work, but it also has its own specific school spirit that makes getting involved exciting. Check the calendar and weekly COM emails because there is always events going on, such as movie screenings, open houses, employer events, friends and family weekends, the list goes on.

  • Phoebe- Be yourself! Phoebe is remembered for her quirkiness and eccentric personality. Her original song “Smelly Cat” and below-average guitar playing was a staple of show. Phoebe was an irreplaceable character because she was unapologetically herself.

COM welcomes and encourages individuality. The reason COM has such a vibrant, stand-out community, is because each student and faculty member brings something unique to the group. All you have to do is be yourself!

Lauren: The pros and cons of graduating early, according to a 20-year-old senior

People used to tell me that four years of college would fly by, but I hardly knew it would be this fast. Unless of course, you do it in two-and-a-half.
 
There was a period of time in my college career when I was unsure how to answer the question of my class year or class status, but as my “four-year” plan shifted and developed, it became clear that it was my best interest to walk the stage with the Class of 2019. While the time I spent on my undergraduate degree seems relatively short, I participated in much more than I thought, motivated by the fact that there was a deadline on my college career that was sooner than my peers.
I reported on legislative affairs in the Massachusetts Statehouse for a Boston-area newspaper; I was an editor for the Daily Free Press, the BU’s independent student newspaper; I was a production assistant and on-camera reporter for BUTV10’s award-winning show, On That Point; I interned with BU Today, BU’s campus news website and newsletter; I took a semester off to work full-time for Boston.com, the regional news and information website of the Boston Globe; I studied abroad in Australia and interned for NewsLocal, a localized branch of the Daily Telegraph; I helped out on the administrative team of the Department of Journalism; and of course, I was a COM Ambassador for two whole years of my college career.
That doesn’t mean that sacrifices weren’t made. I wasn’t able to join all of the on-campus organizations that I was interested in; I spent every summer taking at least one course as well as overloading during some semesters; and I missed out on making more memories with my college friends.
 
Despite my time at BU being cut short, I don’t regret it. The idea that, in just a few short months, I will be out in the field doing what I love professionally makes me excited for the future. Sure, I’m beyond terrified, but I know that BU has given me the foundation I needed to be able to pursue my dreams. Now more than ever, journalism is of paramount importance, and I believe that the landscape that I’m entering is simply a brand new phase of learning outside of the classroom.
 
No matter how many years you plan to spend in college, just make sure you are making the most of your education. If you’re considering graduating early and can handle the responsibilities that come with it, I highly encourage it. If you want to stay all four years, I’m sure you’ll still look back on them and have the same amount of satisfaction. Graduating college in general can be scary at times, but I think BU has done a pretty good job at making sure that you’re ready for the real world.

Emily: Here’s why it’s OK to take a break

At the end of the Spring 2018 semester, I broke my ankle. It was pretty severe; I had to have surgery and return home. As I healed over the summer, I was left with a big decision: was I going to return to school for the fall or stay at home? My whole heart wanted to return, but rationally, I knew that being on campus would be too difficult while I was relearning to walk (exclusively taking T up and down Comm Ave did not seem like a great solution). So, I decided to take a semester off.

Surprisingly, I ended up loving my time at home. I worked at two amazing internships in Philly, so I did not feel like I was falling behind professionally. I had time to fall in love all over again with Philadelphia. I spent extra time with my family (and pets). And, most importantly, I found an extra few months to focus on my health and happiness. It turns out, taking a little break was exactly what I needed.

I don’t recommend that everyone break their ankle. But, if you are thinking about taking time off, you don’t have to be afraid. I am still going to graduate on time. I am planning to study abroad. My friends stayed in touch the entire time I was away. Staying off campus gave me space and time I needed to physically and mentally recover, which set me up for a successful return. I came back to Boston feeling so refreshed and optimistic.

If there’s any lesson to gain from this experience, I think it’s to slow down and be honest with yourself – are you spending enough time on your health and happiness? If the answer is no, just know there are many on and off campus resources to help you. And if you’re like me and need a break, that is okay too! Take care of yourself <3

At the end of the Spring 2018 semester, I broke my ankle. It was pretty severe; I had to have surgery and return home. As I healed over the summer, I was left with a big decision: was I going to return to school for the fall or stay at home? My whole heart wanted to return, but rationally, I knew that being on campus would be too difficult while I was relearning to walk (exclusively taking T up and down Comm Ave did not seem like a great solution). So, I decided to take a semester off.

Surprisingly, I ended up loving my time at home. I worked at two amazing internships in Philly, so I did not feel like I was falling behind professionally. I had time to fall in love all over again with Philadelphia. I spent extra time with my family (and pets). And, most importantly, I found an extra few months to focus on my health and happiness. It turns out, taking a little break was exactly what I needed.

I don’t recommend that everyone break their ankle. But, if you are thinking about taking time off, you don’t have to be afraid. I am still going to graduate on time. I am planning to study abroad. My friends stayed in touch the entire time I was away. Staying off campus gave me space and time I needed to physically and mentally recover, which set me up for a successful return. I came back to Boston feeling so refreshed and optimistic.

If there’s any lesson to gain from this experience, I think it’s to slow down and be honest with yourself – are you spending enough time on your health and happiness? If the answer is no, just know there are many on and off campus resources to help you. And if you’re like me and need a break, that is okay too! Take care of yourself <3

BU Resources:

http://www.bu.edu/ombuds/

http://www.bu.edu/shs/behavioral-medicine/behavioral-resources/

http://www.bu.edu/scnc/all-services/

http://www.bu.edu/shs/wellness/general-health-programs/wellness-program-kits/

Carlee: Keeping Your Zen Through the Start of a New Semester

Jumping back in to a fast-paced, packed schedule after a relaxing four-week winter break is not exactly the easiest adjustment. We are so lucky that BU gives us a generous amount of time to recharge and do as we please; however, the lengthy break does make us miss our precious free time even more as we bid that freedom farewell and begin to face long syllabi, immediate assigned readings and projects, club meetings, and long to-do lists.

The start of a new semester is loads of fun, of course; you get to reunite with your friends and hear all about their adventures over break (or abroad, if they’re returning), and you get to say hello again to the place that pushes you to be the best, most hardworking version of yourself: COM! But, mixing the fun parts and the not-so-fun parts of the start of a new semester can lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed; you have to allow your body and mind to adjust to being in “work mode” again.

To destress, keep or find your Zen, and live your best life this semester, try practicing some of the following little tips!

Make time for yourself

See what it’s like to be a morning person for a day or two; sometimes the quiet hours of the morning can bring you the most positive thoughts, inspiration, and peace. Another thing you can try is simply taking a walk outside, and no, I don’t mean down Commonwealth Avenue. Travel off the beaten path; visit the Esplanade, the Boston Common, or the Public Garden. Try to be present in the moment as you walk, admire the little things around you, and kiss the Earth with your feet as you walk (as some wise man once said). It’s fun and rewarding!

Practice self-care

Try your best to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, and stay fit! (Something that I am seriously trying to work on this semester). Try journaling!  Figure out what works best for you to nurture your body and soul.

Stay organized

Ah, the key to eliminating stress through the semester. Take note of your due dates listed on your syllabi and update your planner regularly. Keep your living space clean and tidy, too! Have you seen the new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? She is a queen.

Call home

Practice gratitude and tell your family how much you appreciate their love and support. Hearing from you once in a while will make them feel good, too!

Step away from clubs/activities that mess with your headspace

This one is so important in college. Take note on how each of your activities makes you feel and how you think about them. Do you dread going to the meetings or do you find that it’s something that you look forward to? Do you enjoy spending time with everyone else involved in the organization?

Have fun

You’re only in college once; enjoy every moment and live it up. J

Yes, a lot of these are common sense, but in the mix-up of our very busy lives, we often forget about little things that could better our wellbeing.  Following these practices has helped me in the past, and I truly believe that they could benefit any student in one way or another. About 80% of college students will agree to feeling stressed in their day-to-day lives, so try putting yourself first this semester- you deserve it!

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