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

Claire W: The Importance of Friendship

Today was a challenging day. You know how it gets with classes, final projects and midterms, and then I received some sad news. As I sat in my apartment trying (but failing) to collect my thoughts and be productive, my roommate, CA Megan, came home with insomnia cookies. She had also had a tough few days, so I made her favorite muffins that she eats every morning so that she wouldn’t have to worry about it after her night class. We sat on our futon (Barb), ate cookies, promising that we will get through this together, and everything felt a little better. And that’s why, as Megan would say, I love friendship.

The friendships I have made at BU have made all the difference for my experience at BU. Even with all of the wonderful classes, faculty, and stellar opportunities, my friends will always be the best thing BU has given me. It’s the small efforts we make for each other – ensuring one another that we’re not alone during these crazy few years – that mean so much.

I heard another CA say at open house last Saturday, you could make your best friends in college at orientation or half-way through sophomore year, and both are okay. I couldn’t agree more. One of my closest friends I met during FYSOP, and others I only got to know a few months ago. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent with these people, and I am so grateful for that.

Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and meet some of my friends again. Like CA Tyler, who I don’t really know when or how we became friends. I think we both just knew immediately that we were going to have a long and wonderful friendship. He’s been my shoulder to cry on in the dining hall of all places, but also makes me laugh more than anyone else can. Other friendships took longer to form, like Megan who is now glued to my hip, but who I knew for a full year before realizing that she was my friendship soulmate.

In conclusion, take this Buzzfeed quiz about toast to find out what kind of friend you are: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasminnahar/make-some-toast-and-well-reveal-what-kind-of-frie?utm_term=.evqLlyY3Y

I got the ‘Mum Friend’, which I feel is both right and wrong. I don’t really know. Anyway, go hug your friends close, let them know you love them, and if they are having a bad day buy them some insomnia because chocolate chip cookies can solve nearly anything. And, if you are an accepted or perspective student buckle up to meet your friendship soulmates.

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Avery: The Best Thrift Stores Near BU!

As a college student, I’m always looking for ways to save money. One thing I almost never did in high school that has become a staple for me at BU is thrifting! Thrifting is awesome because it’s cheap and you can get some really awesome, one-of-a-kind pieces from thrift stores. There are some super cool and trendy thrift stores close to the BU campus, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.

 

1. Urban Renewals: This place is awesome!! They have anything you could ever want, with endless rows of every single article of clothing possible. It’s organized by color, which is super helpful and makes the process a lot easier! Located at 122 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA.

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2. Buffalo Exchange: Buffalo Exchange is a bit more pricey than Urban Renewals, but it still has some great options. The choices here are very trendy, and they have everything from clothing to jewelry to shoes to random stuff like pins and notebooks! Located at 180 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA.

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3. Goodwill: Goodwill is a great option as it is right here, near the west side of BU’s campus. The store itself is massive, with options ranging from 80s prom gowns to Hawaiian shirts. If you ever need a very specific piece of clothing for an event, this is the place to go to! Located at 965 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA.

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4. The Garment District: Ah, the Garment District. This store is a bit farther from campus, in Cambridge, but it has EVERYTHING you could ever want. Literally. This store becomes very popular around the time of Halloween, as they sell a lot of costumes in addition to regular vintage clothing. Located at 200 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.

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Zach: How to Send the Networking Email

HELLO so as I graduate and enter the real world (A HORRIFYING AND TERRIBLE THING) I figured it would be useful to COM students to impart a very simple but important lesson I learned in my time as a Film & TV major. That is the art of sending EMAILS! The type of email I will focus on here is emails with pre-exisiting connections. That means former internship bosses, family friends, professors, etc. Here is an example email I sent as a thank you to my former professor after my semester with her in class. This email was meant to keep me in her thoughts, and thank her for the opportunities she presented me. I have deleted some sensitive info.
“Hi!
Just wanted to email and say hello and say I am so thankful for last semester. It has definitely been a lot less interesting not working on _____!
I am meeting with my production coordinator from _______ on Monday, hopefully we might discuss post-grad options.
I am so appreciative for all the advice and everything you have taught me. Next time you are on campus I will come into the office!
I hope all is going well with your projects. ________ said it was very excited last time her and I caught up.
Thank you!”
A few things to note from this email:
1: Always start with thank you’s or flattery.
Remember that you are meek and nothing you are doing is THAT exciting. If someone like a professor or a boss gave you an opportunity, they are inherently making your life more exciting. Thank them for that! Remind them that they changed YOUR life! People love to feel useful and love to be reminded of when someone helped THEM get their first job.
2: Break things up into separate lines.
People in the entertainment industry notoriously have very short attention spans. DO NOT send them paragraphs. 2-3 sentences is the maximum per paragraph, and really try to keep things to 1-2 lines. It keeps each point clear and easy to remember.
3: Think about Order
While you don’t want to bury the point of the email (in this case to let my professor know I am seeking post-grad opportunities), you want to ease your way into it so you don’t seem like you are just soliciting for help.
4: Flatter AGAIN!
Flattery always goes a long way. Entertainment is all about EGO. Your email should serve as an ego boost to them.
5: Remember their projects!
Keep in mind that they too are a working professional! A great time to email someone is for a premiere of one of their shows, or just to keep tabs on what they are working on! It gives them a reason to respond to you and reminds them you would be interesting in working there!
6: Triple Check Spelling and Grammar
To stay on the safe side, keep your emails plain and worded simply! No one is going to hire you because you used a thesaurus to write an email. Make sure things are clear and concise and don’t give them a reason to think you were careless.
I hope this helps! Send away COM kids!

Casey: Sound is the Most Underrated Tool for Filmmakers

Ok, before you go on with the rest of this article I need you to stop what you’re doing for a few seconds and just listen to whats going on around you. Don’t think. Just listen. I’ll wait.

Alright cool now that those of you who actually cared enough to stop reading are back, let’s get to it. No matter where you are right now, the sound is one of the main things that sets the mood and feeling. Whether that be the low murmur of the COM Lounge or the loud thinking of angry Boston drivers as you read this on your phone walking down Comm Ave. Sound creates the world around you more than you notice day-to-day. And that’s why I think it is the most underrated tool when it comes to storytelling- in particular in filmmaking.

At this year’s Oscars, Dunkirk took home both the Sound Design and Sound Editing awards (yes, I was the only person I know who cared about those two awards) and is a perfect example to drive home my point. The movie begins with a small group of soldiers moves along a street. Throughout the beginning of this scene, there is an eerie silence. So much that you can hear the sound of the soldiers’ equipment ruffling and footsteps on the cobblestone paths, in addition to the fluttering of German leaflets, demanding surrender, to the ground. It creates a sense of calm and peace for the viewer, making them believe that the town the soldiers are in is abandoned, but that is shattered in a heartbeat with the quick but deafening sound of gunshots. Suddenly the previously steady music I noted scene has become louder and quicker, and the soldiers are running. 

Although there is a multitude of gunshots heard, very few bullets are seen. But they don’t need to be. The audience knows what that deafening sound is, and more importantly, what it means.

ImageNow you may think I’m thinking way too into this, but think about if Christopher Nolan had decided to do something different. What if the music had been ramped up from the beginning, creating tension from the very start. Then, change the gunshots a bit so that they are a little softer, and a little more spread out. Suddenly, they sound farther away, almost like warning shots, as opposed to an attempt on the soldiers’ lives. This gives a slightly different motivation as to why the soldiers are running, as now instead of the thought that they could die any second running through their head, they now simply believe that they should get out of the town as quickly as possible before they’re found. In addition, now the audience has less of a sense of tension and dread, and more one of thrill, feeling almost anxious about whether the soldiers will make it out of the town, on the edge of their seats.

That is the power of sound. It gives life to the things you see and creates the world around them. It changes the way you feel and experience a moment, whether you know it or not. So don’t just watch movies. Listen to them, too.

 

Hali: Hali’s Favorite Warm Weather Activities

“I woke up this morning and was immediately greeted with a true rarity: sunshine. Sometimes, Boston winters seem to last forever (shoutout to last week’s April snowfall). But there are brighter days ahead, and it’s almost time to trade my vitamin D supplements for some fun in the sun! This upcoming weekend’s 60 degree forecasts inspired me to list the things I’m most excited to do when Spring has finally sprung.
1. Check out the art (and food) at SoWa Open Market
When I spent my first summer living in Boston, I went to SoWa nearly every weekend. Located in the gorgeous South End, it’s filled with various artists, vendors, and most importantly, food trucks. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, anyone?
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2. Go for a stroll (and spend a bit too much money) on Newbury Street
This one is an absolute classic. Newbury Street may look beautiful when those trees are covered in snow and Christmas lights, but subzero temperatures don’t make for an ideal shopping experience. When it finally warms up, I can spend hours strolling along Newbury Street with my friends. Don’t forget to take a snack break at Georgetown Cupcake (you deserve it).
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3. Visit The Seaport District!
I’ve noticed that this area is severely underappreciated by BU student. I’ll admit that I’m part of the problem! The seaport is a little difficult to get to, but on a nice day you can walk here from Park Street or South Station, and it’s even accessible by the Silver Line if you’re not feeling it. The seaport is beautiful on a summer day, and you can stop by the I.C.A., or even go beyond this district and walk to the Lawn on D!
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4. Enjoy a run (or walk, or bike ride, or picnic, etc.) on the Esplanade
Ah yes, save the simplest for last. There isn’t a single excuse to not enjoy the Esplanade. It’s about a thirty second walk from campus, and it’s a great place to exercise, do homework, or just spend time with friends.
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The next several Saturdays should be beautiful, so be sure to add a few of these ideas to your weekend to-do list!

Stephen: COM and Beyond

I am a COM student. Naturally, I have many friends in COM. I spend lots of time in COM and love talking about COM as well. Basically, COM plays a huge role in my life now, and although I knew it would get to this point when I first came to BU, I didn’t quite realize just what else would be present in my day to day activities. I say all of this because I wanted to talk about something I mentioned during the first Spring Open House which came as a bit of a surprise to me once I arrived on campus.

When it was my turn to introduce myself as a COM Ambassador, I knew exactly what to say to answer the question “What did you wish you knew before coming to COM?” for all of the prospective students. I said how I was so surprised to find just how easy it was to interact with so many different students across all sorts of different disciplines and majors, and that I would spend a huge amount of time with them outside of the classroom.

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Coming into college, I always had the expectation that almost all of my friends would be from my program and that I might meet a couple people here and there on my floor from different majors but that would be about it. I had no idea that the environment I was actually being thrust into forced me (in a good way don’t worry) to meet new people and make friends wherever I can. At this point, a good majority of the people I hang out with are business students with the occasional engineer and bio major mixed in, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I say all of this because I truly believe that interacting with as many different people as possible is one of the most important things you can do, not only as a student, but as a human being. You want to expand your horizon as much as possible and take in every experience that is offered to you so your perspective can adapt for our changing world. Quite simply, it helps you enjoy life to the fullest.

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An example of the COM world colliding with Questrom can be found with my good friend Jimmy. I met Jimmy through a GroupMe chat that was started prior to anyone arriving on campus. Jimmy and I both joined the specific chat as it was made for a focus area of BU’s First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP – If you’re an incoming freshman, definitely take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity). We both bonded over our home state of Pennsylvania and the fact that we lived on the same floor, so we quickly decided to meet up and became fast friends.

Overtime, this friendship has grown and I’m proud to call Jimmy one of my closest friends. Where the collision between the worlds come in is BUTV10. I became a writer for the show COED and Jimmy decided to audition for a part I wrote. He got the job, and at this point, he’s getting a taste for what I’m truly interested in while also gaining new experiences for himself. On the other end, I have been able to get a glimpse into his world through his business fraternity DSP. I have gone to different events for the frat to understand what he goes through, and I actually took headshots for a lot of his peers during a LinkedIn workshop.

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As I’m sitting here trying to conclude this blog, words are truly failing me. All I can say is that BU and COM has been absolutely 100% fantastic oh man 10/10 it’s a masterpiece. If you’re a prospective student or perhaps a junior considering some options for application, don’t pass up on the opportunity to apply to this school. It may not have specifically what you think you need, but you’ll be surprised what opens up once you arrive on campus. I don’t have a single doubt about coming here and I’m only just getting started. I’m excited for what the future has in store – Go Terriers.

Nick: Thank You COM

College is a crazy time. You’ll meet lifelong friends and lose some others. You’ll be thankful for your newfound freedom and you’ll miss home. You’ll try new things and fall into old habits. You’ll stay up until 3 in the morning laughing with your roommates and turn to those same people when you experience hardship and heartbreak. There aren’t many constants during this time in your life, but for me, the one constant has been COM.

COM showed me the way when I arrived on campus eager to start writing about sports within 30 seconds. COM introduced me to my roommates, one of whom I met through BU’s independent newspaper, the Daily Free Press, and another whom I befriended within the first month of college. COM allowed me to grow and adapt to a constantly changing journalism landscape through its robust curriculum. I got experience at the anchor desk, as the producer of a live half-hour newscast and as a reporter for the largest tech conference in the world in Las Vegas. COM gave me a second home at Undergraduate Affairs, where I’ve worked alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people in the building.

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My FreeP fam will always have a special place in my heart.

And the COM Ambassador program has introduced me to so many driven, passionate and caring people that remind me every day why I chose COM almost four years ago. I’ve loved the experience of mentoring incoming freshmen and showing them the ropes; some have become my closest friends at BU. To my fellow CAs, thank you for inspiring me with your talent and creativity. COM really is like a family. Everyone in the building, from your classmates to your professors, is there to support you as you chase your dreams.

During my time as a COM Ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to explain to families from around the country why I love COM. And it’s not that difficult a task. I fell in love with COM the second I took a tour of the building during senior year of high school. As I write my final COM blog post just over a month before graduation, it’s only fitting that it happens to be the same day as the COM open house.

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Nick Picht and Pete Zampa were my senior mentors freshman year, and I’ve loved the chance to do the same for other freshmen as a CA.

I’ve worked open houses since my freshman year in high school, and I remember how impactful my COM open house was. I’m still good friends with two of the kids I sat next to that day. Listening to Professor McKeen lead the journalism department presentation at today’s open house for the class of 2022 (WOW) made it feel like my COM journey had truly come full circle.

I heard him talk about all the professional opportunities at COM, BU’s strong relationship with major media companies in Boston and some of the work of our exceptional faculty. I saw myself in a wide-eyed freshman as he asked what sports journalism opportunities are available here. The answer is plenty. And side note: COM just hired a local sportswriting celebrity – Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston and formerly of WEEI. Holley’s hiring is just another example of COM’s commitment to providing their students with only the best.

Senior CAs in September. We're weeping because we love COM.
Senior CAs in September. We’re weeping because we love COM.

McKeen’s speech resonated with me when he told prospective students and future journalists that “journalism is the purest form of public service because you’re giving people the information they need to survive.” This passion and fervor for the field excites me every day I walk into COM, and gives me the confidence to pursue a career in the news industry.

A soon-to-be member of the class of 2022 told me today at the open house that I was part of his decision to apply early decision to BU. My face lit up. This is why we do what we do. I’m excited for that student, and quite frankly, after the open house, I wish I were in his shoes. I wish I could come to COM, pick a COM ambassador and do it all over again. But my time is almost over, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m thankful every day that I chose COM, and I know it’ll always be home.