Remy: Why I Don’t Believe In Peaking

“Oh yeah, they definitely peaked in high school.” I’ve heard variations of this sentence all too many times. Whether people are using this term in regards to themselves or others, it is almost always used disparagingly.

People throw around the term “peaking” in reference to an individual or group of people who have reached their prime in some sort of activity or phase of life.

I do not believe this is an actual phenomenon. Whether we are saying it seriously or sarcastically, we need to stop saying “I/he/she/we/they have peaked.”

For starters, using the term about someone else is unnecessary. This goes back to the classic line you hear in elementary school, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sure, sometimes we don’t intentionally use this term in a malicious way. However, there is nothing to gain from forming an unfair opinion on someone else’s personal timeline and success.

Ultimately, forming judgments about the people around us can only negatively affect us. For example, when I arrived back to BU this fall, I constantly was asking and answering the “how was your summer” question.

Especially among my COM colleagues, the most popular response to this was an overview of their summer internship. Almost everyone I talked to seemed to have fallen in love with their internship and were eager to share stories from their experiences.

Here’s the thing, I never once thought to myself that any of them were peaking (obviously by the title of this blog, you know I don’t believe in this). However, I did begin to doubt my own capabilities. As someone who learned a lot from their internship but did not necessarily fall in love with it, I was intimidated, even a bit jealous. I so badly wished I could have come back feeling confident in what I wanted to pursue after college, or even next summer.

My point in sharing this is to highlight that even when we are not directly stating that someone else has “peaked,” the peaking mindset can creep in. By this, I mean that I compared myself to others and let their experiences and success make me wish that I had done better or enjoyed myself more.

Therefore, the biggest flaw with the peaking conspiracy is that it causes us to compare ourselves to others’ success, timelines, goals, experiences, etc.

When I have overheard peers or friends use the term “peaking” about themselves, it has usually been in a comedic, sarcastic way. Their tone should make it easy to laugh with them, and for a moment maybe we do. However, even if the conversation only lasts a mere moment, I have noticed an underlying self-critical inclination in their voice and viewpoint.

We tend to look back at our accomplishments and sense that we have peaked when we currently feel like we are at a low point. If we did truly believe peaking exists, wouldn’t that be incredibly disappointing? What else would we have to look forward to? Again, the peaking mindset takes over and whether we are kidding or not, it can alter our motivation, mood and self-confidence.

Rather than comparing ourselves to others or mocking our own prior personal success, we should celebrate others’ success and let it inspire us. We should recognize our own strengths and accomplishments, regardless of their magnitude.

One of the most authentic things we can do is to simply be ourselves. There is no right or wrong timeline to follow. There is so much to learn from those around us, so instead of comparing yourself to others, congratulate them on their victories and continue pushing forward until you have your own.

At times, we may feel like we are peaking, but this implies that we are about to start heading on a downward slope. Work on changing your vantage point. Accept yourself, set goals, take your time, ask for help, don’t give up. Continuous effort and perseverance does not mean you are failing, it means you’re making progress.

There’s lots of mountains to climb so let’s stop declaring when we are peaking and assuming that this can only happen once. The descent down requires just as much energy as the ascent upwards. So let’s appreciate the journey.

Brady: Visit The Fenway Campus, You Won’t Be Disappointed

I’m just going to come out and say it.

The Fenway Campus deserves your respect, your attention, and your love.

It’s easy to forget about the new Fenway Campus, the former home of Wheelock College. Comprised of just a handful of street blocks along the Riverway, this previously private institution features classroom buildings, a library, a dining hall, a student theater, a variety of housing options for on-campus residents, and more. This was not some extension built to fill the needs of the larger Boston University: this was a fully developed college that thrived for decades before merging with BU.

Alright, so at least now you know the Fenway Campus exists. But what makes it worth your visit?

For starters, the recently-built Campus Center and Student Residences, simply abbreviated as CCSR, offers a complete dining hall, preparing a wide selection of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The physical size and number of food options of this dining hall may be inferior to that of its Charles River Campus counterparts, but I prefer to see it as a matter of quality versus quantity. The CCSR dining hall serves significantly fewer students on average than the Warren Towers Dining Hall, Marciano Commons, and the West Campus Dining Hall. Therefore, the staff can devote more time to maintaining the quality of their meals and tailoring their cuisine to the individual who will be consuming it. Not only that, but the decreased demand means that food lines are shorter, tables are always available, and the overall dining experience is much more relaxed. Oh, and they have lemonade, frozen yogurt, and the good fries. You know what I mean.

Away from its dining hall, the Fenway Campus presents a plethora of quiet study spaces, including the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, another modern building with comfortable seating, a third-floor outdoor terrace, and few regular occupants. The Wheelock Family Theatre presents several series of shows throughout the year, and is capable of holding a larger audience than the popular Tsai Auditorium on BU’s Central Campus. There are also multiple green spaces available where students can get away from the speed and sound of city living and spend some time sitting in the fields before leaves and snow come to make the grass disappear.

Students often blame their ignorance of this additional campus on the distance it sits from the Charles River Campus. However, let’s try to put this walk into perspective.

From Marsh Chapel, which is commonly regarded as the geographical center of Boston University, a southbound walk across the St. Mary’s Street bridge, through the BU’s South Campus, and down Park Drive to the Fenway Campus will take the average student 15 minutes. A 15-minute trek headed west from the same starting location will see students only get as far as Agganis Arena, which is still well short of the residences and athletic facilities that Central Campus dwellers regularly frequent without a second thought. So, does that 15-minute walk to the Fenway Campus still seem so intimidating?

As a former Warren Towers resident now living in the aforementioned CCSR, I understand the feeling that everything a student could possible need is on the Charles River Campus. However, the BU Bubble is real, and it will not take long for students to start feeling that this fall. So, when you need to get away from the familiar confines of Commonwealth Avenue, always keep in mind that your new friend, the Fenway Campus, will welcome you with open arms.

Carly: How To Take Advantage of Your Abroad Experience

Above all, studying abroad is an incredible adventure. Regardless of your destination, packing up and moving somewhere new is both enthralling and terrifying. Everyone enters his or her study abroad experience with certain expectations; after all, we have records of the students who came before us (Instagram). Hopefully, many moments of your study abroad experience will live up to your dazzling expectations. Others won’t. 

But between all the trials and tribulations of your study abroad experience, it’s important to take advantage of the incomparable opportunity you have to live, learn, and even work in a a completely new environment. Here are some key tips to keep in mind while you’re studying abroad:

Be independent.

College is where many adults first establish their sense of independence, and studying abroad is an opportunity to expand that independence to a new level. Take yourself out to coffee. Spend an afternoon exploring your new city or town on your own. Go to a museum by yourself. Wander with purpose. 

Talk to locals.

While the friends you make in your program will undoubtedly be wonderful, take time to get to know those living and working in your host community/town/city. If you’re in a big city, this means interacting with your professors or internship colleagues, and learning more about their background and their life in the city. Homestay programs are a fantastic way to do this and provide the best cultural immersion experience.

Put yourself first.

When making weekend plans or preparing for trips, don’t feel as if you have to settle for something your friends want to do. While compromise and collaboration are key to being a good travel companion, don’t go on trips or outings just because your friends are going. If there is a different site you wanted to visit, or a different trip you wanted to take, put yourself first and do it. Study abroad is your turn to explore, learn, and grow as a student and person. It’s OK to deviate from the mainstream. 

Take at least one solo trip.

It doesn’t have to be an overnight trip. Perhaps it’s a hiking trail nearby, or a day trip up the coast. Maybe it’s a train ride to the next town over, or maybe it’s a flight to a neighboring country. Regardless, make time to take one trip by yourself. You’ll find that you absorb the most when exploring somewhere new on your own.

Ask questions.

After you’ve arrived somewhere new, you’ll spend some time figuring out where to go and what to see. Asking questions – to locals on your plane/train/bus, your hostel staff, your waiter, or even random passersby on the street – will undoubtedly yield the best and most authentic recommendations. Google is good, but the people who live and work there are even better. Moreover, there’s a story behind every site you visit, and travel is exponentially more rewarding when you understand the historical context behind the magnificent sites you’re visiting.

Stay in touch.

Stay in touch with the people you meet both in and out of your program. In today’s world, you are more likely to cross paths with them again than you were several years ago. 

Collect something.

I chose magnets, which now decorate my refrigerator and serve as a daily reminder of my study abroad experience. Magnets were my collector’s item of choice because they’re cheap, small, and intricate, but the same can be said of shot glasses, post cards, mugs, and so many other items. If you’re a writer, collecting your daily thoughts in a journal could suffice. Video diaries do the same. But make sure you have some memento from every journey you take, because you before you know it, you’ll be boarding your flight home.

Mira: Challenging Yourself

Sophomore year has just begun for me, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I’ve been thinking about where I was last year versus where I am now. Mainly, I’ve been thinking about challenges, and how I perceive and face them. 

As someone who is a self-proclaimed overachiever, I was confident that I was someone who LOVED challenges, and was ready to face them head on. I would run for office in whatever clubs I was a part of, sign up for the hardest classes, and compete in tournaments whenever I had the chance. I thrived under pressure, and challenges were not something daunting to me in the slightest.

I was wrong.

Even with just a mere year of college under my belt, I realized these past couple weeks that the things I would do in high school (and even freshman year of college) were not challenging for me at all. Sure they might have been some of the more difficult options that were available, but I think that deep down I knew I would still succeed in the end. Going in, I was confident in my abilities and was sure that I would be pleased with the outcome.

After spending this past week absolutely terrified about certain classes and other things I have going on, I came to understand that I was never actually challenging myself before the way I’m challenging myself now.

Now, for the first time ever, I’m scared. Scared that I can’t handle the workload. Scared that I won’t be good enough. Scared that I’ll fall behind and won’t be able to catch up. However, with that being said, I’m still really excited because this is the first time I feel like I’m actually immersing myself with knowledge and learning things that are intriguing and valuable! The classes I’ve chosen to take this year are way out of my comfort zone. They are TRULY challenging to me in ways that nothing else has ever been before. It’s definitely a little nerve wracking, but I feel as though it’s given me a newfound sense of determination and passion for learning that I haven’t felt in a while.

I wanted to share this with you because I want to urge you to take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing this upcoming year and what your goals are. Ask yourself- Am I doing things that will challenge me and push me to grow? If you are- great! Keep it up! But if you find yourself answering “no” to the previous question, I encourage you to take a leap of faith and try something that scares you! Push the boundaries, and I guarantee that you’ll find that you’re much stronger and more capable than you think. Wishing you all the best this year!!

Ali: 10 Boston Neighborhoods and Plazas to Explore this Fall

It’s a terrible feeling, knowing that in a few short months Boston will become the cold, frigid image of a New England winter. It makes outdoor exploring and walking around miserable, and sometimes almost impossible. But throughout September, October, and even parts of November, Boston weather hits a sweet spot of temperature where it’s nice enough to be outside without being too cold or too hot. During these months, I love to take little outings on the weekend with friends to wander around different neighborhoods and areas of Boston. We can go shopping, get food, and maybe even catch a movie. But where should you go? What’s there to do? And how do you get there? Here are some neighborhoods I love to go to, the shops I visit, and the way I get there.

Union Square

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Union Square in Somerville is great for dining and shopping with friends on a weekend afternoon. Check out Ricky’s Flower Market and get some cute plants for your dorm, find some unique vintage pieces at Memory Hole Vintage, and get ice cream from Gracie’s Ice Cream (I recommend the Ube ice cream).

Take the 47 bus towards Central Square 9 stops from Park Drive @ Mountfort St to Green St @ Magazine St. Transfer to the 91 bus towards Sullivan and get off at Somerville Ave @ Prospect Ave (10 stops), which drops you right down the street from Union Square.

SoWa Open Market

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Located in the South End, the SoWa Open Market is a market that features art, food, and shopping every Sunday from 10am-4pm, May-October. There are multiple food trucks, art stands, and live music and lawn games! Admission to the market is free to all and a great place to explore with friends!

Take the Green Line inbound to Copley, then walk about 20 minutes to 530 Harrison Ave.

Central Square

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Located in Cambridge, Central Square is home to a bunch of fun restaurants for you and your friends! Take your vegetarian friends to Veggie Galaxy for a classic diner with a veggie twist, then to Toscanini’s for dessert. If you’re looking for something to do, head to the MIT Museum to check out their exhibits on science, art, technology, photography and more (admission is only $4 for students!), walk through the Graffiti Alley, or browse the stacks at Cheapo Records.

Take the Green Line inbound to Park Street, then transfer to the Red Line towards Alewife and get off at Central.

Coolidge Corner

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Coolidge Corner is a great place to shop, eat, and have some fun! Get sushi at Genki Ya or crepes at The Paris Creperie, browse the stacks at Brookline Booksmith, and catch a midnight movie at the Coolidge Corner Theatre! The Coolidge Corner Theatre runs different series like Science on Screen, where they bring in local professors to give a talk after a showing, and Coolidge After Midnight, where they do midnight showings of movies like The Room and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as a Halloween movie marathon in October.

Take the Green Line C outbound towards Cleveland Circle from St. Mary’s Street (in South Campus) and get off at Coolidge Corner.

Harvard Square

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Harvard Square is a great place to eat with friends and spend an evening exploring. Grab some cereal milk ice cream from Milk Bar or a pastry from Flour Bakery and Café, or catch a movie at the Brattle theatre! Harvard Square also has a lot of great places to go shopping (or window shopping).

Take the Green Line inbound to Park Street, then transfer to the Red Line towards Alewife and get off at Harvard.

Davis Square

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Somerville’s Davis Square is home to many cute restaurants and stores! Grab some reimagined comfort food from Rosebud American Kitchen and Bar, or grab some pizza and try out candlepin bowling with friends at Flatbread Company inside Sacco’s Bowl Heaven (lane rental is $30/hour, so split the cost and bring your own team!). If you’re looking to spruce up your room (or find a unique birthday gift for a friend), check out Magpie, which has trinkets and art from local and regional artists. Davis Square is also home to Buffalo Exchange, a popular thrift store.

Take the Green Line inbound to Park Street and transfer to the Red Line. Take the Red Line towards Alewife and get off at Davis.

North End

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Known as a mecca for Italian food and cafes in Boston, the North End is also the heart of the historic Freedom trail. Indulge in your touristy side and visit the Paul Revere house, then get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street. If you’re willing to wait, get in line at Regina Pizzeria, touted as Boston’s original pizzeria.

Take the Green Line inbound to Copley, then transfer to a Green Line train towards Lechmere. Get off at Haymarket.

Newbury Street

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Newbury Street is chock full of fun cafes and shops to peruse, like MUJI, a Japanese store featuring stationary, clothing, and household goods. Take a seat at Trident Booksellers and Café and enjoy a coffee and some lunch before browsing the stacks. If you’re into Harry Potter, check out The Fairy Shoppe, a small (like, really small) book and trinket shop specializing in magical and mythical items, as well as a large amount of Harry Potter merchandise.

Take the Green Line inbound to Hynes Convention Center. Or, walk East on Commonwealth Avenue, which becomes Granby Street. Turn right onto Charlesgate, then continue on to Newbury Street. 

Downtown Crossing

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Downtown Crossing is a great place to go if you’re looking to go shopping. Located close to multiple T stations, Downtown crossing is home to stores like Primark, Macy’s, Old Navy, and more. Street Performers often set up in the streets and play to crowds as they walk by. Downtown Crossing is also within walking distance of Chinatown and the North End, which offer great places to eat after a long day of shopping.

Take the Green Line inbound and get off at Park Street.

Seaport

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Boston’s Seaport is home to a myriad of restaurants, shops, and destinations, including museums like the Boston Children’s Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art. It also houses The Current, a space that holds pop-up establishments throughout the year. Check out the Glossier (a mainly online skincare and makeup brand) pop up from now through October 4th, 11am-7pm.

Take the Green Line inbound to Park Street and transfer to the Red Line. Take the Red Line towards Ashmont or Braintree and get off at South Station. Transfer to the bus terminal and take the Silver Line 1, 1/2, 3, or 4 to World Trade Center.

There are a ton of fun places around the city to explore and experience, so long as you’re willing to go out and find them. So load up your Charlie Card, lace up your walking shoes and get out there!

Lauren: A Bittersweet Farewell to COM

Knowing full and well when this blog post would be published, I set out with the original intention of getting a head start on it and being able to edit, rewrite, and revise my words to make it the absolute best, most profound it could possibly be. To be completely frank, in the typical “Lauren” fashion, I blatantly forgot that it was due, and am now writing it on my phone while out of town — on a BU-sponsored event, if that betters the situation.

To some, it may seem like a last-ditch effort to get my work done. To me, I think it couldn’t have worked out better, because the sentiments that follow are raw and unedited, my true reflection of my short time at COM and how it shaped me to be the journalist I am today.

But allow me to introduce myself, to those who may not know: my name is Lauren Frias, I’m a senior studying journalism at COM, and I’m from Chicago, IL — if you got to know me in person, I can assure you that the hard “A” that I use when pronouncing my hometown can verify my Midwestern status. I came to BU back in 2016, fresh out of the Midwest and ready to start my post-grade school journey on the East Coast. It was a terrifying endeavor at first, but through the extracurriculars I’ve joined, friends I’ve made, and experiences I’ve had, I can safely say that the residual fear I feel is simply apprehension for the future, not out of terror that my future isn’t set, but rather the excitement for what opportunities lie ahead, all thanks to my time at BU.

What have I done at BU, you might ask? Well, a lot. I got involved in a bunch of organizations that gave me the foundation I needed as a pre-professional journalist: the Daily Free Press, the independent student newspaper at BU; BUTV10, the student-produced television network; BU Today, the news and information website at BU; and of course, the COM Ambassador program. These activities not only prepared me for my more professional opportunities to come, but also provided me with close friends who became colleagues and co-workers alike.

My time as a student came to an abrupt halt when I accepted a full-time co-op at the Boston Globe as a staff writer for Boston.com, where I reported on news, arts, sports, traffic, and even real estate in Boston for eight months. I had my own desk at the Globe’s brand new downtown newsroom, which overlooked the lively crowds at City Hall Plaza.

From there, I continued my “non-traditional” student experience by studying/interning abroad in Sydney, Australia. I hate to stoop to the level of pretentiousness as those who say, “study abroad changed my life,” but I honestly feel that that statement doesn’t even do my experience justice. Studying in Sydney introduced me to the media landscape and allowed for educational experiences at ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) —one of the largest networks in the country — as part of my Australian Mass Media class. Interning in Sydney introduced me to the culture in and around the city, as my assignments allowed for conversations with Australian locals and suburban residents. The best part of the experience as a whole was having the opportunity to travel across the continent. I pet a koala in Tasmania. I went scuba-diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. I surfed at the most beautiful beaches in the Gold Coast. I went sight-seeing in Melbourne. I swam in the coves and waterfalls of Auckland, and hiked in the mountains of Queenstown, New Zealand.

After an eventful — albeit somewhat tiring — semester abroad, I came back to Boston to quietly live out the rest of my college career. I’m part of the BU Statehouse Program, where I report on political affairs and legislation at the Massachusetts Statehouse, but I’m no longer a part of the organizations that led me to where I am today. Instead, I decided to take some time to smell the roses, to spend time with my college friends and enjoy the city for the few weeks I have left.

Quite frankly, I am fully aware that my BU “legacy” will be no more than a blip on the prestigious timeline that both precedes and will follow me. But the impact that BU has had on me as a student, a journalist, a Bostonian, a coffee enthusiast, and now a graduate will last well past my final footstep on the stage at Nickerson Field. So thank you to my professors, to my mentors, to my editors, to my peers, and to COM for leading me to where I am today, where I am more than honored to say that I’m #ProudtoBU.

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Stephen: Robby’s Philosophy

While I was thinking about what to write my blog post about, I wasn’t really sure what to do. For past blog posts I seemed to focus on more outward topics such as organizations I’ve been involved in, places to go, or things to do. I wanted to avoid that this time around so I decided to focus more inward. I then thought of one of my brothers, Robby, who has a great way of thinking when it comes to goals, resolutions, or mindsets. It can be summarized in three words:

Thinking, Reading, & Doing.

My brother utilizes these three terms in a fantastic way that clearly lists what he hopes to accomplish or realize in this upcoming year. You can see his specific blog post about his most recent plan at his website here: https://robbyhume.com/

His tagline for his website is “Constant Questions, Occasional Answers” which I love to make fun of him for because of its pretentiousness, but it contains some truth to it as well. Again, go to his website to see what I’m talking about. Now for my own thinking, reading, and doing list.

Thinking –

In terms of thinking, there is a lot that needs to be taken care of for myself. I’d like to spend more time self-reflecting for one. This can be a simple weekly task to assess if I accomplished my goals for the week, but I would also like to spend more time thinking about the future. It is of course important to think about and focus on the present, but how I envision my future often shapes where I focus my time and energy. One thing I have noticed that I do is constantly shift my attention drastically from one passion to another (photography to BUTV10, vice versa) instead of spreading my focus more evenly. I would like to fix this by thinking more about my priorities and what is truly important to me, and in a year, I hope to have a much more solid and constructive system for myself.

Another thing to think about is personal growth and development. I highly enjoy learning new things and taking on new challenges, and often times these end up falling into the artistic or creative category. With that in mind, I would like to establish a basic understanding of graphic design. I have always found digital art and design to be interesting, and I think it’s about that time to put it into practice. Through YouTube and other online sources, I can gain basic knowledge of Photoshop and other programs which would enhance my other creative passions. I do not want or expect to become an expert, but learning some would be fantastic.

Lastly, I’d like to think more about the environment. I have always made it an effort to care for the environment and keep the planet in mind, but I could be doing more. For example, I could be utilizing my filmmaking and photography skills to be an advocate for conservation and a voice against increased carbon emissions. Documentaries such as Planet Earth are also a great example of higher-level environmental works that I can strive to take part in. In the next year, I hope to make at least one type of PSA or video that focuses on the environment.

Reading –

This is a tough one. I used to read all the time in elementary, but as high school came around I slowly stopped. Now it is quite rare if I end up with a book in my hand that isn’t required reading. I believe that reading and engaging with stories can be extremely rewarding and beneficial for who I am personally and professionally, and would like to incorporate books back into my life.

There is a book I actually started over winter break called “The Peregrine” which shares the story of a man keeping track of falcons near his home. I got a great start on the book but let myself fall out of my reading habit when I returned to school. I’d like to finish that book up in the last month at BU before summer, and then read at least three books over the summer itself.

At first, I expect to read about topics that specifically interest me such as photography or read genres that I know I like such as fantasies, but I hope to eventually delve more into other types of reading. This could include simple news or other genres such as history.

Doing – 

This section somewhat encompasses different things mentioned in thinking and reading, but focuses more on making things come to fruition. Listing out what I would like to do would be an easier way for myself and others to understand what I really mean, so here goes:

  1. Film

Going out into the world to capture things through my camera is the entire purpose of my major, yet I fail to do that in so many situations. I choose to leave my camera at home or just choose to stay home altogether. Sometimes I’m blocked because of not having a plan or subject in mind to shoot, but creating more content in general would help me grow and would leave me feeling more fulfilled with my time.

  1. Explore

This ties in with my last point in the sense that I often have opportunities to get out into the world and see something new, even if it is only thirty minutes or an hour from wherever I am at the time, but I often choose the comfort of what is familiar. Changing this by going on three new adventures this summer would be a great start to get out of my current rut and also get new content for filmmaking and photography.

  1. Plan Ahead

Planning is essential to life. Whether it be a daily plan or long-term plans, it sets you on a course for success. Following through with plans you create as well typically always feel rewarding and leave you with a sense of pride or accomplishment. Personally, I’d like to create more day to day plans and be more focused on my schedule on a week to week basis, as I usually focus on what I’m doing in a given month but not how or when I will be doing those things. I hope that makes sense. I’m also going to London this fall and need to plan out trips and excursions now so that I don’t sit around the whole time. That would be such a wasted opportunity and I get scared thinking that I might mess it up somehow.

Thinking, reading, and doing. These are simple words we all think about in our daily lives, but taking a moment to think properly about what they mean for you and your life can be so beneficial. It can lead to positive change that can in turn set your life in a new direction that you’re happy to follow. I know that’s the case for me at least. Simply writing this blog has me eager to fulfill what I have talked about and embrace the future with open arms. Take 15 minutes to sit down and do the same thing and I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

Malaika: When in Boston…

Do as the Bostonians do. Traditions, customs, and festivals – this city has them all.

This Monday, April 15th, was Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon. The return from a 3-day weekend is rough. Your schedule is telling you to “go, go, go,” but your mind is constantly thinking about naps in your cozy room. See, that’s the downside of vacations and holidays. The upside? Well, everything else of course.

Aside from federal holiday observances, Boston has a unique set of traditions you can take part in, if given the chance. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  1. Marathon Monday

I’ll start with the obvious. Marathon Monday is one of the few days in the year nobody minds waking up when the sun rises. Watching the Boston Marathon is a great experience, and Boston University is located at mile 25. The finish line is at Boylston Street in Copley Square.

2.  Allston Christmas

Allston Christmas, the move-in extravaganza, happens every year between August and September, when renters’ new leases begin. As Summer comes to an end, previous tenants leave belongings they can’t bring with them on the streets for others to take for free.

3.  Victory Parades

Boston is a major sports city. This past year, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl. To celebrate, the city’s residents gathered together for victory parades.


4. Holiday Tree Lightings

Seasonal cheer begins with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in Downtown Crossing, Copley Square, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, and the Seaport.

5. The Pumpkin Float

Every Halloween, bring your decorated jack-o-lantern to the Frog Pond at the Boston Common for some floating fun. At the pond, an electric candle is placed inside your pumpkin and released onto the water. As you watch your pumpkin pass by, enjoy some treats from local vendors.

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6. The Boston Tea Party Reenactment

Every December 16th, celebrate and re-enact the most important event leading to the American Revolution – and enjoy a cup of tea while you’re at it.

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7.  St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Dress in green and join the fun. Watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the heart of the city, and enjoy the dancers, bands, and entertainers that pass by.

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Have fun!
 
-CA Malaika

Sophia R: A Stray in Shanghai

As I took my sixth blurry far-away photo of a street cat on the way to class one morning, I had a realization. No, not, “I should stop using all my phone memory on cat photos”, although that’s also probably true. I realized, that I was one of those street cats. No really, hear me out.

No matter where you go in Shanghai there are street cats roaming around, but all these strays have one thing in common, they found a place to call their own. From back alleys to fruit stalls, these cats all have a home. As an American living in China for the first time, I desperately wanted that comfort. Back in Boston I had a tight circle of friends, a great gyro place, a routine, but in Shanghai everything was new. The language was new. The food was new. The streets, the sights, the Ayis, all new. I spent the first week overwhelmed and lost. I worried these feelings would never go away, but I was quickly to be proven wrong.

One morning the perpetually sunny woman selling jianbing complemented my Mandarin. She did it offhandedly, and I’m sure she had said the same to every foreign kid who found themselves stumbling through an order at her stall, but I had never heard such sweet words before. Suddenly every little victory, from buying a flat iron on taobao to finding the best bao stall by campus, made me feel a little more at home. I developed a routine (which of course included the jianbing lady), and like the street cats I so love taking pictures of, I found my own little place in Shanghai. Now, almost two months into my time studying abroad, I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else.

While COM has five great study abroad programs, BU offers semesters on almost every continent for just about every interest. Look into where you can go. Madrid, Ecuador, and Shanghai, are just some of the many possibilities. You may just find a new city to call home, or better yet, some cute strays and delicious new treats.

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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!