Avery: How to Master Time Management in College

If you’re at all like me, then you’re probably involved in seven different clubs and working three jobs on campus while also balancing an internship and multiple social events. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am definitely involved in a lot of stuff on campus, and I’m sure you are too.

So, chances are you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. Yes, we just came back from a long break, but things will start speeding up before you know it. When life gets busy, it can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of stuff happening. So, without further ado, here are my tips for mastering time management in college.

  1. Compartmentalize. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you actually think about all the stuff that you have to do, so don’t think about it all at once! Think about things in groups or compartments. For example, I group my weekly assignments by each of my four classes in my mind. This way, I can think about the amount of work I have to do one class at a time, which narrows down the total amount of schoolwork that I have to think about. Additionally, studies have shown that using this method regularly helps our brains manage the amount of information they have to process.
  1. Know when to stop yourself. If you’re already overwhelmed by a bunch of stuff on your plate, don’t agree to do more things! This can be hard to do, especially if you’re someone who is a people pleaser. It’s important to put yourself first, which means limiting the amount of work you take on! Know your limits, and say no to things if you think they’ll be too much for you.
  1. Eliminate distractions. If you’re someone who gets easily distracted by technology, friends, or other things, know how to balance your social life and schoolwork. If you can’t do work when you’re around others because you know you’ll just end up socializing, set some alone time aside for schoolwork. If you get distracted by your phone, then keep some distance from technology so that you can get your work done! Know yourself, and know where you need to be when you need to get schoolwork done.

I hope these tips were helpful in getting you to manage your time better! College can be quite overwhelming and busy, so being able to manage your time wisely is essential. If you need more tips and tricks, email me at averyms@bu.edu!

When one door closes, another opens: CA Tyler’s final goodbye

This is it, folks… My final post as a COM Ambassador. It’s strange to think that my journey is ending while this blog’s audience is primarily applicants waiting on their admissions decision (which is coming soon! I promise). Your journey is only just beginning. So, instead of writing a sappy post to say goodbye, I’m writing a sappy post to say goodbye AND make it relevant to you. After all, this entire program is designed to welcome YOU to the College of Communication.

After every experience, I ask myself, “what were the takeaways? What have I learned?” Sometimes with a film degree, I wonder what this was all for (not knocking it. I actually have learned so many tangible skills and built connections because of my degree. I wouldn’t be out here hustling in LA if that weren’t the case). But college was about so much more than what I learned inside the classroom.

Of course, asking myself those same questions in the context of college has made these past few months deeply reflective, melancholic, euphoric, daunting, and necessary. So, what I have put together for you are some of my key takeaways from the years 2015 to 2019. I hope that they may guide you through the years ahead.

  1. College is about asking the questions. At the end of high school, my English teacher advised us on our next steps: “High school was all about finding the answers to our questions. Now, college will be about finding the questions to ask.” Before coming to BU, everything was simple. So many things seemed to be black-and-white, clear right-and-wrong, dos-and-don’ts, ways to be or not to be. Right from the beginning, BU forced me to debate that mindset. My world and all that I believed in were turned upside down. From an academic context to a social context, this rings true. Use your time in college to approach subjects with respectful curiosity. Learn empathy. Try new things. Reflect on what you know and what you can do with that knowledge. Find the questions that matter.

  2. It gets better. Graduating high school should feel like you’re on top of the world––and, hopefully, that’s what it will be like for you. For me, however, it was quite the opposite. The summer after senior year of high school I fell into a deep depression, and it largely had to do with coming to terms with my sexuality. I truly did not see a world where I could be happy and comfortable with my identity, but things changed. Arriving at BU, I made a promise to myself that I would never hide who I am. Although it took time, I now own my queerness with utmost pride. So, this is a message to any reader out there who has been in these shoes or even to those in a dark place: I promise that it gets better. Truly. I’m here––and I’m sure there will be many at BU––to support you.

  3. Friends from College has some truth to it. Maybe we aren’t screwed up enough to get canceled by Netflix, but we are close enough to know that our friendship will never fade. College is the time where you’re going to meet authentic, true friends that will still be by your side whether you’re right next door or an ocean apart. Make sure you’re diving into your first semester ready to do some friend speed-dating and join every single club. It’s okay if some friends and groups don’t stick at first. In fact, it’s bound to happen. Once you find those true amigos, you’re going to make memories you’ll never forget. You’ll learn new ways to sing happy birthday, hold each other through the hard times, and build something beautiful together.

  4. Love where you live. Boston is my home, always. My time at BU made me embrace that fact. Boston is where I found myself, and I owe it all to that great city. If you’ve read any of my other posts, then, of course, you know about how I learned to connect with my city and what it means to be an active citizen. I truly believe that you cannot thrive in a home where you aren’t connected with its people and its environment. Nurture your city and cherish what it gives you. No matter where you go or where you end up, love where you live because it will make a world of difference.

My takeaways are not specific to my BU experience. No matter where you enroll, readers, take these thoughts with you. The next four years will shape your identity, and if I could go back to do it all over, then I would. But now, it’s your turn. I hope that you have the best time.

Magdalene: Relearning to Love Being Alone

As someone who had always considered herself an independent person growing up, I’ve been surprised at the discontentment I’ve felt being alone as of late. I think these uneasy feelings are a byproduct of my experience attending a school with fewer than 2,000 students prior to transferring to BU. I’d always felt like I was under a microscope there – the smallness made me feel uncomfortable with the public displays of solitude that I had cherished previously. Going to meals at my other school was an event. It felt almost mandatory to go with friends or else you’d be considered strange or people would cast pity looks at you.

Now having had around a semester and a half here, I think BU (and Boston as a whole) offers fertile terrain for getting back to being comfortable with being alone. The sheer size of this school offers a certain sense of anonymity. When I leave my apartment it’s refreshing to acknowledge to myself that the people I see outside may or may not be affiliated with BU. Alright, so I’m not expert but here are some tips to feel more comfortable being “seul” (alone) by me, Magdalene Soule:

1) Walk down Comm. Ave. with no music

Gasp. I know. But hear me out…This might feel quite awkward seeing as I’ve noticed the vast majority of people listen to music walking between classes. In addition to the enjoyment of listening to music and the reprieve it allows one from the academic world, it’s also a safety net. Try doing it a couple times. Look up and observe and really be present in the hustle and bustle.

2) Take yourself on a coffee date

Some people have absolutely zero issue doing this. But often people who are alone at coffee shops have something to occupy them – whether it be work or a newspaper. As a student myself, I think starting small is good. Bring your work to a local café like Pavement, Café Landwer, or Tatte. Once you’re feeling more comfortable with that, try going alone without any explicit work.

3) Take yourself on a museum or movie date

Here in Boston we are fortunate enough to have many museums that are quite accessible. Also, if you show your BU ID, you can get into places like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art for free (and other arts institutions like Boston Symphony Hall for a reduced rate). Going to the movies alone can feel especially daunting, but it’s super empowering. You don’t have to have a date (friend or romantic) to enjoy a film in solitude.

4) Go to a sit-down restaurant

Don’t sit at the bar. Ask for a small table and order something off the full menu! I know that’s a terrifying thought. If you don’t want to spend money going out to eat, go to one of the many dining halls here and eat by yourself.

5) Cry in public

I’m not joking. Okay, please don’t force yourself into crying, but also don’t repress your emotions if you’re feeling something very intensely and you’re in public. I know this might seem bizarre, but don’t hold things in! Also, I want to make it very clear that I’m not advocating for you to go through whatever you’re going through alone. There are so many resources here at BU. I will link them at the bottom of this post. Be okay with not being okay and live your life out loud. Just know there are always people around to support you.

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Resources at BU:  

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

http://www.bu.edu/shs/sarp/

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

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

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

Hannah: A Love Letter to Non-COM Classes

Dear non-COM classes,

It was not love at first sight. At first you seemed like pain in my butt. I came to Boston University to study advertising! Why am I taking history and English and statistics classes? You seemed silly and a waste of my time.

Yet as I got to know you I realized how you made a big impact on my college experience. Let’s start with our first date. I took playwriting as a writing requirement and oh boy, did we have a blast. I got to practice creative writing skills that I can pull out for creative advertising projects. You helped me realize that non-COM classes teach techniques that I can use in my COM classes and COM career. For example, I was able to practice in-depth reading, extensive writing and research.

Our second date was a gender & sexuality class. And guess what? I found a whole new passion! This class made me understand that I can’t be a communicator unless I have something to communicate about. It inspired me to start a sex positivity radio show on WTBU. Love Is On The Air is currently one of my favorite things I do on campus! 

For our third date, I was enchanted by two amazing history classes: one on the Italian Renaissance and one on U.S. History from 1890-1945. Not only did I find my minor, but I learned the pleasure of learning for the sake of learning. Yes, it’s true, I don’t really want a lifetime commitment, since I don’t plan to become a professional historian. But not all of college is about training for a job; it’s about being enlightened by captivating classes like you. Now, wherever I may travel, I can find connections to my history classes and have an overall feeling of understanding and let me tell you, that feeling is beautiful.

So, yes, I have fallen in love with you, non-COM classes. I have moved past my stubborn desire to be exclusively a COM nerd and have become a COLLEGE nerd. I now look forward to my non-COM classes because I know they will help me grow just as much as my COM classes.

Yours truly,
Hannah 

Lilah: It’s Okay to Take a Breath

pasted image 0It’s application season, and students are scrambling to find employment for the summer. At COM, it’s expected that students have 2+ internships while they’re at BU.

When I give tours for COM, I speak truthfully when I say that it is a competitive environment but not dog-eat-dog. We are all mutually motivated by each others’ drive to succeed, but we are not beating each other down in order to reach our goals.

I picked BU because I wanted to be in an environment where students supported each other. Since day one, I have found this kind of energy to be the core of COM’s student body. I love working with my peers, and we all want each other to do well.

I knew this kind of environment was right for me. Naturally, I’m disgustingly competitive and it is kind of like Abbi from Broad City where she goes Hulk. So… just bad. Now, I’m finding myself in the middle of internship applications, and so is everyone else.

How can I do my best to get what I want without being overly competitive with the people I care about?

The conclusions I have come to are:

  • We are 20, 21 years old. Careers happen over lifetimes. If we don’t get one opportunity right now, that’s OKAY!

  • Take a breath.

  • Friendship > jobs. Be supportive of your friends. Peace and love, baby.

Finally, BU prepares us so well. A lot of people worry that they’re not ready for the real world. However, I truly believe that COM’s students are naturally career-driven, and we will be fine – even better than fine! Great!

Can you tell I’m graduating soon? Zoinks.

Maddy: How To Trick Yourself Into Doing Homework

Absolutely no one wants to sit down and do homework, but it’s a necessary evil. It can be extremely hard to motivate yourself to get it done, especially if you’re a chronic procrastinator like me. Luckily, I’ve devised a few ways to trick myself into doing homework, which I will share with you now. You are a dog, your homework is the pill, and these tips are the cheese wrapped around it. Does that make sense? Here goes!

  • Start homework the day it’s assigned

This is a great way to trick yourself into getting ahead! You don’t actually have to do the thing yet, but it feels good to convince yourself you’re ahead of the game. if you outline your paper or do one of your readings, then in a few days when it’s actually time to work on it, you’ve given yourself a nice little head start.

  • Set reasonable goals for how much you’ll get done

Trick yourself into feeling good about what you’ve accomplished by accomplishing less than what you actually have to do! It’s tempting to write out all 25 things you have to do by the end of the week and plan to knock out as many as possible by the end of the night. However, that’s an easy way to overwhelm yourself. Don’t do it! Write out MAX 4 things you think you can realistically get done by tomorrow, and you’ll feel great when you accomplish them all. I also suggest knocking the easy stuff out of the way, and/or doing little bits of larger assignments.

  • Set a timer for 20 minutes

My friend and I were having a study bool and we absolutely could not focus, so I decided to set a timer for 20 minutes where we’d totally focus on our work. When the timer hit 15 minutes, I turned it off, but we were so focused that we kept working for another hour (she totally forgot we ever set a timer.) This is a hard trick to pull on yourself when you’re alone, but you’ll find that even if you leave the timer on and it rings, you’ll be so focused that you won’t want to stop.

  • Plan to reward yourself when you finish

Promise yourself that as soon as you get everything done, you’ll do something fun. Get some mochi ice cream from Whole Foods. Have your friends over for a movie and face masks. If you’re looking forward to something at the end of your study session, you’ll be way more motivated to get your work over with.

Happy (ish) studying! 😉

Lindsey: Public Transportation for Dummies

Living in a fast-paced city like Boston, there are countless places to go and multiple ways to get there. Coming from Los Angeles, a city plagued with 24/7 freeway traffic and a poor public transportation system, the last thing I knew was how to get on a subway. Boston’s subway system, the MBTA Commuter Rail (we say “the T”), runs straight through BU’s campus. This looks very convenient, but being train illiterate, it was one of the most intimidating aspects about BU for me during my first month at school.

Uber is efficient and requires no effort, but your bank account will be going into an extreme decline if you fail to learn the cheaper ways of getting around Boston. Here are the main things you need to know:

  • The Boston University Bus

The bus is convenient if you know when it’s arriving. Get the BU app, and you can see the buses’ active locations and an estimated arrival time for each stop. The bus goes from Stuvi 2 (in West Campus) all the way through Kenmore Square. And the best part is: it’s free!

  • The T

What it is: The T is broken down into 4 subway lines: Red, Orange, Blue, and Green. The Green line is the largest and is broken down into the A- E train. The Green line, is what runs through BU and is called the B train (for Boston College).

  • Pro-Tip: When the train says it is going toward BC, that is toward West Campus, and if you want to go toward Kenmore Square, the destination will say Lechmere

Where it goes: All around Boston! You can get to most parts of Boston on the T, BUT it does require you to switch trains, for example, going to Cambridge. That is intermediate level navigating (which I am still working on), but I’ve done it and it’s a great, cheap way to explore Boston. My favorite place to go is Newbury St (Hynes Convention Center Stop) because it’s about two stops away from BU!

How to get on it: Buy a Charlie Card, which you can get at Star Market on-campus or at any train station– Kenmore Square is closest. Each trip you take costs $2.25, and you can easily reload the card at any station or buy a one-time ticket.

When do you know it’s coming: You could walk outside and look, but save yourself from frost bite. I suggest getting an app like ProximiT which gives you a live ETA for each train and which stop it will be at.

The T also offers a bus system and a train system, but I’m only a sophomore…. I haven’t mastered that yet. Once you buy a Charlie Card and study the train map, you’re ready to venture into Boston—take advantage!

Sabrina: How to Keep Your Favorite Extracurriculars in Your Life After High School

Heading off to college after graduating high school made me nervous for a number of reasons, one of which centered around the idea of continuing my extracurriculars in a new setting. I was anxious that my new school would not be able to supply me with the opportunities to continue pursuing my passions. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Boston University to find that my anxiety was unnecessary. No matter what extracurriculars you miss from high school, BU will be able provide you with options to continue participating in your favorite fields! Here are my top three examples of how the plethora of BU student activities can fulfill your desires to continue your extracurriculars after high school!

  1. Staying on the stage!

When I left high school my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to keep theatre in my life. I had been performing since I was seven years old, and with graduation, I was leaving the security of high school theatre behind me. Lucky for me, BU has plenty of opportunities for students to be involved with theatre whether through acting, directing, or even tech!

Some examples of BU theatre clubs:

high school musical GIF

  1. Not putting down my pencil.

I wrote for my high school’s newspaper, The Paw Print (shoutout to Norwalk High School), and wanted to make sure that wherever I attended college, I’d have opportunities to write again. BU has an endless list of student-run publications that can be anyone’s outlet for writing on campus!

Some examples of student publications:

Image result for writing gif

  1. Don’t stop moving your feet!

When I was younger I was very into dancing. I tapped for about four years and was incredibly passionate about it. While in high school my dancing career fizzled out, but I still remained a fan of the art form. On top of that, many of my friends were big dancers who wanted to make sure that they could continue dancing after high school. Luckily, BU offers a wide range of opportunities for students to dance! Even beginners can enjoy dancing at BU in any style!

Some examples of BU dance clubs:

Image result for dance gif

No matter what your passions are, you won’t have to give them up when you leave for college! BU is home to an incredibly large selection of clubs that would be more than happy to have you. The question is, which ones will you join?

Angeli: Life Lessons from Hell’s Kitchen

Up until recently, Hell’s Kitchen to me had always seemed like a distant, floating pop cultural concept. You know, the kind of thing you’ve seen turned into gifs and referenced on Twitter. You think you know what the general idea is, but you’ve never actually explored it firsthand. If you relate to that at all, I only have one thing to say: what are you doing in your spare time? Thanks to a good, nay great, friend I have been exposed to what is quite frankly reality show gold–as a soon-to-be Viacom employee, I think I know a thing or two about this subject. Now I’m not talking about the kind of trash TV you watch when you feel like not taking life too seriously (though HK can have that cathartic entertainment effect as well.) Gordon Ramsey can actually teach you a thing or two about life itself. Here are some of the tidbits I’ve picked up on so far in my binging:

1) Sometimes people need a little tough love.

I’d say most people know Chef Ramsay for his devilish insults. Yes, he can be harsh. But hey, the man is looking for his restaurant’s next best chef and he knows talent when he sees it! Think of him as that one professor who seems to expect more from you than any other pupil. It’s (hopefully) because she knows your potential and wants you to get there, so you have to keep fighting.

2) Good leaders have to make difficult decisions and own them. 

(Spoiler alert) I’ll never forget watching Gordon–can I call you Gordon?–sent someone home who wasn’t in the bottom two. She was definitely a struggling chef but hadn’t been put on the chopping block by her team because she was a good friend. Sounds like having a group project with a close buddy who’s just not holding his/her weight. It’s so hard to do, but you know that confrontation is needed for the betterment of the team. 

3) Believe in yourself or nobody will. 
I have to hand it to Chef R. I’ve never seen someone say such absurd statements with such self-assurance. He knows who is and what he’s capable of. Some may say he tears people down to lift himself up, but I would say the contrary. Gordon already has all the confidence he needs and is challenging other people to find their own.

…or he just knows the type of persona people enjoy watching and producers are willing to pay for. Either way, confidence!

Not buying what I’m selling? Critically analyze HK for yourself, with all seasons on Hulu.

Anna: A Letter to First-Semester Transfer Me.

As a new student, there are a few things I wish someone had told me before entering BU as a transfer student. This is a letter written to my younger self.

Dear first-semester me,

Welcome to BU and COM! You must be so excited for your new adventure as a terrier and I’m so excited for you to embark on this journey. Before you start, I want to remind you to stay true to yourself and though the journey in college may change and challenge you, remember to stay true to your values! I’m going to preface by saying that the journey of a transfer student is hard, but it is going to be worth it.

  1. It’ll take a while to feel adjusted to the BU lifegive yourself time!

Older you went into BU expecting that she’d find her new BFF right away. That’s not the reality. Remember to give yourself space and time to adjust. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Do one thing that challenges you every day and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. That’s what college is all about!

  1. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make some connections!

A BU professor once told me to think about it like thisin a few years, these people in your class will be your colleagues! Remember that everyone has to eat sometime, so why not reach out and ask them if they’d like to grab a meal? Connections are key. Don’t be afraid to reach out to professors for help either! Also in doing so, remember to be vulnerable because it’ll allow you to get more connected

  1. Be YOU!

I know that sounds cheesy and you’ve probably heard it a lot since entering BU…but the best way to find yourself in a new place is not by changing who you are, it’s by finding the right people who bring out the best in you! You are the best version of yourself. Remember, that joining a club or an organization, or taking a class is not going to change who you are because you are already perfectly you! You are going to find your community here by BEING yourself!

Younger me, take a deep breath! Everything will be okay. The transition to BU as a transfer student can be rough at times and tears are okay! In fact, they’re like battle wounds and stories that you can tell your future friends. When in doubt, take a deep breath. I am so happy that you are here and that you chose to spend the second half of your undergraduate years at BU! Remember to enjoy the moment too because you worked so hard to get heremake the most of it!

From,

Second-semester you

 

P.S. Everything they say about Boston winter is also true. Invest in a good winter coat!!!!!