Magdalene: Take A Break This Finals SZN And Escape Into The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show

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Kacey Musgraves performs.

With finals rapidly approaching, I am beginning to slip into my panic mode. I’m writing this blog post with an elevated heart rate, in fact. The looming feelings of “I shoulds” are starting to creep into my mind. I should be studying xyz, I should be planning out my day to the second so I don’t miss an opportunity to do work, etc. etc.

The only “should” I recommend is the following: You should (only if you want to lol) stop and take a 44-minute break to watch country-pop singer Kacey Musgraves’ Amazon Prime holiday special, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show. I do truly believe this experience can be more than enjoyable for anyone – whether you’re a celebrator of Christmas and/or a lover of country-pop or not.

The special is vibrant and campy and magical all at once. The intersection of these attributes offers a little world to enter into: one that requires you to leave behind the stress of finals for a moment of musical immersion.

As Musgraves prepares for her own Christmas festivities, several other celebrities stop by to sing duets. Leon Bridges, Lana Del Rey and Zooey Deschanel (to name a few) pop by, much to Musgraves’ surprise. And Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek sassily narrates the whole evening in elf garb.

I think it’s absolutely critical to be cognizant of how we are mitigating our stress levels as finals rev up and above all know when to allow a bit of whimsy into our days to recharge. The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show provided just that for me, and I hope it will do something similar for you too.

Happy holidays,

Magdalene 🙂

Sabrina: It’s Ok To Have Weaknesses!

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When I started college I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I had passions, and I knew that I wanted to be in communications because in high school it was my favorite subject. Coming to Boston University, I decided to go into Film and Television, because I knew that I loved TV and writing. As junior year came around I decided that I was going to step outside of my comfort zone by taking one screenwriting class and one production class. I figured that taking a production class could be beneficial, because if I was great at it, then I’d know that production was something I could try to pursue as a career. On the other hand, if I didn’t like it, that was another film and television path that I could cross off of my list. As I’ve gone through the class and have navigated this semester, I’ve learned to accept that there are certain things I’m just not going to be great at doing. For example: production.

Every time I sign up for a class, I walk in with expectations of my performance. When I registered for a statistics class, I figured that I would barely pass the course, considering the fact that math has never been my strongest subject. However, I finished the class with an A, and even managed to get a 100 on the final exam. I shocked myself because all along I had been doubting my abilities.

When I signed up for Production 1, I figured that I’d enjoy the class and do well. I worked on the television station at my previous school, Ithaca College, and had experience making short films for other beginner-level film and television courses. I never could have anticipated that I’d be receiving grades below a B. I didn’t think that I was the best filmmaker or the best editor or anything of the sort, but I never expected to feel so defeated.

Production 1 has taught me several lessons. It’s taught me how to use a Canon C100 video camera, how to record and edit audio using omnidirectional microphones, and even how to color-correct footage. But above all, Production 1 has taught me that it’s okay to not be good at everything. Growing up, and in high school especially, I wasn’t good at everything by a long shot. I had strengths and weaknesses, but when it came to my favorite subjects, I thrived. Production 1 made me realize that it’s ok to have weaknesses within your major and your passion. It’s impossible to be good at everything or to receive A grades on every assignment. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that everyone has weaknesses and that certain parts of your major just might not be the perfect fit for you, and that’s more than okay.

Regardless of your major, I always encouraged people to step outside of their comfort zone. You may discover new weaknesses, like production, but you also may discover new strengths, like statistics! Anything is possible, but you have to explore in order to find out.

Maddy: Loneliness – Why It’s Ok To Be Alone But Why It Sometimes Sucks But Why That’s Also Ok

Hey commies! It’s that time of year; cuffing season is upon us, you can’t inspire yourself to leave your single, your friends all left for break but you have one freaking class the day before so you can’t leave til Wednesday morning…just me???

The point is, it is loneliness szn, but here are some pros and cons to being alone (and pros for the cons.)

Eating Alone Is GOOD

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While mealtime is social time for many people, eating alone can be great for a few reasons. For one thing, it can be a time of mindfulness and solemn reflection as you play out fantasy scenarios in your head and practice dealing with your worst anxieties, so you’ll be ready for these situations when they absolutely never happen. Also, you’re on your own eating schedule, so you don’t have to wait til the conversation ends to get up and get your next course. Are these tips helping? NEXT!

Living in a single is A BLESSING 

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If you’re an introvert like me, you need to get home after a long day and just decompress. Interacting with people takes a lot of energy, and you deserve to completely chill, zone in on your homework, nap, or do whatever. It can be hard to motivate yourself to leave, which is something you absolutely must do, but if you live in the moment and enjoy your alone time, you’ll find that when you do reenter civilization, you’ll do it with a clear head. 

Take yourself to the movies!!!!! 
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Take — and I cannot stress this enough — yourself to the movies.

You might get lonely

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I threw a con in there, were you ready for it?!! Yes, you might get lonely – duh. But in the immortal words of Veronica Sawyer from Heathers The Musical, if you were happy all the time, you’d be a game show host. If you can learn to be alone with yourself now while it’s a choice, you’ll be able to handle it when you graduate and move to a new city, or when you enter any new situation. Most importantly, if you learn to like being alone, you’ll appreciate being with people even more.

I guess all I’m trying to say is…if you ever feel like you’re always alone, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Good luck on your journey to going back inside and locking the door.

“A wise man can always be found alone.” – Bruce Lee (???) 🙂

Lindsey: Friendsgiving in College

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This may be the ideal Thanksgiving dinner, but CA Lindsey says this isn’t the only way to celebrate!

It’s that time of year … the leaves are starting to wilt, the cool fall breeze is becoming more of a numbing slap in the face, and Starbucks has already changed all their drinks from pumpkin spice to peppermint mocha and gingerbread. The best time of year: Thanksgiving time.

Thanksgiving in freshman year is interesting because this is the moment most people realize they are basically already halfway done with their first year of college. There is so much to be thankful for… the fact that you are surviving living in a dorm with a roommate, you are finally starting to figure out the independence thing, and you made friends. This week is the perfect week to show the people you love at school just how much you are thankful for them. So, throw a Friendsgiving!

But, one small problem. You live in an extremely small dorm. Here are four ideas for planning the best first college Friendsgiving:

  • Go out. 

Don’t forget, you are living in Boston, one of the coolest cities in America, that happens to have great restaurants. Surprise your friends and make a reservation at a fun restaurant you haven’t eaten at before (it doesn’t need to be Thanksgiving food). 

  • Order Pizza.  

Yes, pizza. You and your friends probably eat pizza every weekend, but this time, set up a little picnic in your dorm with close friends, order in, and just sit around and catch up. 

  • Have a dessert Friendsgiving. 

Making a microwave Thanksgiving meal doesn’t sound exactly practical. Instead, throw a dessert party; each friend brings a special dessert that everyone can snack on. 

  • Do something new in Boston. 

In college, Friendsgiving can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you are with your friends. Go out and explore a new spot in Boston that you haven’t been to before. Check out a new exhibit at the MFA or go for a stroll in the Boston Public Garden. 

However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving with your friends and family, enjoy it and sleep A LOT this break. You’ll need it for finals week when you get back. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂 

Jamey: 3 Must-See Movies Shot in Boston

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Grab some popcorn! It’s movie time.

Hello all you film buffs! This week, I thought I would recommend some of my favorite movies that have been shot in Boston. There are many more that don’t appear on this list, but I think these movies incorporate some great aspects of the spirit of the city and our local history. 

Spotlight

Focused on an integral aspect of Boston history, the Academy Award winning Spotlight explores the 2001 Boston Globe investigation into child sex abuse committed by local Roman Catholic priests. The film took home the Best Picture award at the 2016 Academy Awards, and is a favorite within the BU community due to its connections to our school! Two of the journalists portrayed in the movie, Sacha Pfeiffer and Mike Rezendes, are BU alumni! While most of the production took place in Toronto, some key scenes were filmed in our city. Fenway Park, the Boston Public Library, the JFK/UMass T stop, Boston College High School, and the old Boston Globe offices all make an appearance.

The Social Network

The Social Network tells the story of a young Mark Zuckerburg as he first creates Facebook and then follows him through the many successes, failures, and legal disputes that followed. Much of this movie takes place at Harvard and MIT, and so much of it was shot around Boston (and BU). A famous rowing scene was actually partly shot inside a BU COM production studio in West Campus, and later it was digitally manipulated to look like it was shot outside. There were even some interior shots at BU’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. With Facebook back in the news again now, check out this interesting film well-known for its score and performances!

Good Will Hunting 

Perhaps the most famous Boston movie of all time, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Good Will Hunting tells the story of an MIT janitor who is secretly a genius, and gets help from a professor and a therapist to reach his full potential. This film is shot all over Boston, including at MIT, in Harvard Square, in the Public Gardens. It was also written by two of Boston’s most well-known actors. Definitely choose this classic if you want to celebrate the spirit of Boston!

Shaun: Transportation Options on Campus, Ranked

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I’m a big transit nerd. Want to talk about trains? smrobs@bu.edu

1: Walking

Honestly, anywhere you need to get to on the Charles River campus is walkable if you give yourself enough time. Sure, it’s cold out, but throw on a coat and accept the fact that we live in Boston. It’s also one of just two options here that are free!

2: The MBTA 57 bus

DO NOT SLEEP on the 57. It comes more frequently than both the Green Line and the BU Shuttle, and it can get you up and down campus much faster, too. It’s cheaper than the subway — $1.70 — and there are seven stops between Kenmore and West Campus.

3: The MBTA Green Line

I don’t need to explain much here. The Green Line is your best option if you’re coming back to campus from downtown Boston. But, for on-campus trips, you’re better served taking another service (or walking!).

4: Bluebikes

These are pretty affordable, just $2.50 per trip, and extremely easy to use. All of that pesky construction in West Campus is wrapping up and has given way to some lovely protected bike lanes. The city also just recently created an eastbound bike lane on Bay State Road.

6: The BU Shuttle

The reason I have the BUS so low on this list — a list about Comm Ave. transportation — is that the BUS was originally designed to get students between the Charles River and Medical campuses, and not to ferry them up and down Comm. Ave. alone. There is a Comm. Ave loop, but the service is unreliable and the BU tracking app sometimes just gives up. It is, however, free!

7: Uber/Lyft

This is by far the most expensive option on this list; a ride-hailing trip across campus can run you anywhere from $7-$15 for a private car and $5-8 for a shared one. If you’re going somewhere off campus, like an apartment in Brookline, I can see the appeal of taking a car. But you’re almost always better off saving that dough and choosing another way. 

Sophia: Working Out is the Worst, Or Why You Should Join Club Sports

Let’s face it, staying in shape sucks. Sure, you know you should be hitting the gym more, but Boston gets cold! Who wants to walk to Fitrec when it’s 10 degrees out and raining? Exercise is essential for helping to fight off stress and keeping your body healthy though, even if forcing yourself to run is the worst. Fighting off the urge to stay in bed and hibernate in the winter gets so much easier when you have people to struggle with, and that’s where club sports comes in.

Since my freshman year, I’ve been a member of BU’s fencing team. The weekly practices have forced me to commit to spending time getting those endorphins flowin’, and I’ve met some of my best friends through the team. Having a commitment that I not only enjoy, but actually allows me to better myself and my health has been one of the most important parts of my life at BU. Despite all the benefits, so few of my friends in COM participate in Club Sports at BU, and to that I say it’s never too late!

BU has a number of Club Sports and intramural teams for just about every sport imaginable. Whether you’re a fiend on the ice or more into table tennis, there’s a team for you. Many are walk-on, and many give new members coaching so they can learn something new. When the mid-semester blues hit, nothing can bring you back up like the rush of a good work out, and nothing makes you want to work out like good friends. So get out there, try something new (like fencing!), help your body out, and make lifelong friends. Join club sports!

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Anna: Staying Present This Stressful Season

As the days get darker and our workload piles up, it almost seems impossible to stay present. The holidays are near and the season lights flicker, but alas, we have the “dreaded finals” to finish before winter break. Rather than just trying to “get through” finals, we should embrace every moment of this season by staying present! 

Get off your phone and share a smile!

A smile goes a long way. (Some would even say it’s the universal language of kindness!) Next time you’re walking down Comm Ave, look up from your phone and share a smile. You’ll realize that our community is so diverse and that everyone has a unique story to share. Maybe you’ll even run into someone you know. Rememberthis season is not a to-do list, but rather, an opportunity to also uplift others and spread that holiday cheer!

Take time to share your story

I often find students asking “how are you doing?” but a part of me wonders if this person cares how I’m doing. Chances are, they do! Take this moment to connect with others. Rather than just saying “okay,” tell them more about your day! Sharing more of yourself allows you to better connect with others and live in the present with the presence of someone else! 

Approach this season with an attitude of gratitude

An attitude starts with some introspection! Think about this: you’re here at Boston University out of all the places in the world. You survived even the hardest of your days and the days where you didn’t think you’d survive, you made it. That’s pretty amazing. What if you’re exactly where you’re meant to be? Stop thinking about where you could be or what will be of the future, but start living in the present and embracing every moment that your time at BU has to offer. Be thankful for where you are, what you’ve done, and who you are because this is right where you’re supposed to be! 

Jamey: 3 Must-See Movies Shot in Boston

Hello all you film buffs! This week, I thought I would recommend some of my favorite movies that have been shot in Boston. There are many more that don’t appear on this list, but I think these movies incorporate some great aspects of the spirit of the city and our local history. 

Spotlight

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Focused on an integral aspect of Boston history, the Academy Award winning Spotlight explores the 2001 Boston Globe investigation into child sex abuse commited by local Roman Catholic priests. The film took home the Best Picture award at the 2016 Academy Awards, and is a favorite within the BU community due to its connections to our school! Two of the journalists portrayed in the movie, Sacha Pfeiffer and Mike Rezendes, are BU alumni! While most of the production took place in Toronto, some key scenes were filmed in our city. Fenway Park, the Boston Public Library, the JFK/UMass T stop, Boston College High School, and the old Boston Globe offices all make an appearance.

The Social Network

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The Social Network tells the story of a young Mark Zuckerburg as he first creates Facebook and then follows him through the many successes, failures, and legal disputes that followed. Much of this movie takes place at Harvard and MIT, and so much of it was shot around Boston (and BU). A famous rowing scene was actually partly shot inside a BU COM production studio in West Campus, and later it was digitally manipulated to look like it was shot outside. There were even some interior shots at BU’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. With Facebook back in the news again now, check out this interesting film well-known for its score and performances!

Good Will Hunting 

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Perhaps the most famous Boston movie of all time, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Good Will Hunting tells the story of an MIT janitor who is secretly a genius, and gets help from a professor and a therapist to reach his full potential. This film is shot all over Boston, including at MIT, in Harvard Square, in the Public Gardens. It was also written by two of Boston’s most well-known actors. Definitely choose this classic if you want to celebrate the spirit of Boston!

MK: A Political Campus

Tours through the College of Communication start in undergraduate affairs, go down to the basement, weave through third-floor studios and second-floor classrooms, and conclude in the first floor lobby. Offering stats and fun-facts, the tour-guides invite parents and prospective students to ask questions. These questions help the ambassadors tailor the tours to visitors’ unique interests, and at the very least they interrupt the monologues that Communication majors all too eagerly perform. In a sea of questions tossed or hurled my way on these tours, one seems to surface before the rest. 

Myself, two other ambassadors, and one prospective family moved together through the college’s four floors for a late spring tour. We made our way downstairs to the first stop on our last leg: the acclaimed Pete Souza wall. The wall holds a dozen framed photographs Souza (‘76) took during his tenure as White House Photographer under President Obama. 

At this point in the semester, my fellow ambassadors and myself had rehearsed our tour-guide routine a charming rapport. We would take turns talking about the photos and always point out our personal favorite from the Obama White House. I pointed to mine and said, “I love this one of him coaching basketball, I feel like I can just smell the gym he’s in.” My fellow ambassadors pointed to their favorites and offered similar explanations. 

Before we could use our famous photojournalist as a segue to advertise the student-run publications on campus, a parent on our tour asked about the political climate on campus, trying to gauge whether or not students were politically active. We answered politely but honestly, hoping to inform not offend since an ambassadorship historically required diplomatic behavior beyond million dollar donations. Explaining that Boston University is an urban campus in the middle of a politically active city, we said that students embrace the opportunities for political engagement that our city and our school offer. 

The question inspired me to consider the changing tides of political activism, the wave that has grown in strength and size over the past four years before it walls in 2020. Throughout my four years in college, I have watched activism evolve, manifesting in protest practices from traditional walk-outs and stand-ins, to the meme scene with “O.K., Boomer” Tik Toks. I admire the transformation of the previously apolitical, people who educated themselves and increased their own political involvement in hopes that they might empower others. 

I’m so grateful to attend a university where student unions and organizations are allowed to band together and push for progress. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and refrain from staying silent. There are causes that you should care about and they are not hopeless. Our school alone offers nine purely political organizations, but there are dozens of other groups involved with community engagement and student government. With the looming 2020 election, you can help these organizations; utilize your communication skills to educate, inform, and empower as we rush toward the shoreline.