Carlee: The FUTURE IS SCARY! My tips for embracing the unknown

By: Carlee Campuzano

The Future is Scary! Tips for Embracing the Unknown

As I get ready to graduate next month (wow, I can’t believe it), and bid my farewell to a place I know and love so much, I’m picking up on a common energy that a lot of seniors tend to feel around this time: fear. Even though this is such an exciting time for us- we have so much to look forward to!!!- the dread of the unknown can feel overbearing, especially during the pandemic. 

Some of the questions that float around in the back of our minds: What if I can’t find a job? Where will I live? What if I don’t have any friends around me? What will I do if I end up absolutely hating my job? And if you are just entering college, these questions may look a little different, but a similar worry might be there. Luckily there are plenty of ways to help ourselves find reassurance, regain confidence, and get ready to take on all that’s going to come our way. Here are some tips to help!

Replace fear with curiosity

Instead of thinking about how worried you may be, try reframing that fear to think about how curious you are about what’s to come, too. We are going to meet so many cool people, build new skills, and have awesome experiences that we’d never expect to have. It’s going to be an adventure! And adventures, although scary, always come with rewards. Jumping into it with curiosity can give us the positive mindset we need to push the fear aside and just get excited.

Focus on the present moment

Sometimes getting lost in the worries of what’s to come take us out of the present moment, but really, the present is what we have and know for sure! Try focusing your attention on the now. Mindfulness and “being present” help our brains form thoughts in a more intentional and meaningful way rather than an automatic way, which is when worry tends to creep in.

Don’t resist the change

When life throws change at us, it’s really easy to try to resist it, push the thought of it away, or fall into denial that it’s happening. I’m not graduating – what are you talking about?! If that happens, ask yourself what it is exactly you are resisting and why that may be, helping confront any of those hidden fears. Change may come with challenges, but as humans we’re adaptable and capable of facing them, and they help us grow! There’s a quote out there by an MIT professor Peter Senge that says, “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” So, what he’s saying: with change comes growth. Let’s welcome it!

Trust yourself

This one is important. We are so much more resourceful than we make ourselves out to be. Reminding yourself of all of your strengths can help with the reassurance that you got this. The future may be scary, but with all that you have to offer, you’re set.

And, lastly, know that you haven’t met everyone who is going to love you yet

So much is in store for you! ❤️  So go embrace the unknown.

Harper: Apartment Hunting Tips & Tricks!

5 Tips on Apartment Hunting 

By Harper Wayne 

For upper-classmen, you might start looking into apartments! Apartment hunting can be confusing, expensive, and exhausting. Here are five tips to help you get through the hunt and find some cool digs for next year!

  1. Involve your parents or an older sibling Having someone older than you to help guide you through the process can be super beneficial. This person can be a second set of eyes on the lease, help you find your “essentials”, and is overall a been-there-done-that type of advice giver.

    You might think you want to do this on your own your first time, but if you can call someone who has rented an apartment before I highly suggest you do!

  2. Pick your roommates before the apartment If you want to live alone, skip over this tip! If you don’t, I recommend finding your roommates before you put your name on a lease for an apartment. This helps you have more people to bounce ideas off and takes away the hassle of finding subleasers. 

    Roommates can be friends, classmates, or BU students you meet through Facebook. Overall, you all should have similar budgets and wants out of your apartment. Before locking down a future roomie, have a meeting with them to make sure you both are on the same page.

  3. Know your budgetThis is a good conversation to have with a parent, uncle or aunt or friend who has rented. If you aren’t paying your rent, check with who is to know what they are willing to pay each month! Being a first-time renter you also will need a guarantor to co-sign with you. They are a good person to discuss the budget with too.

    Your budget will also affect where you live, the number of rooms in the apartment, roommates, and your upfront costs when you sign your lease.

  4. Find a realtor or company with a good standingSometimes having a real estate agent or company to help steer you to good listings can be helpful. BU has an off-campus housing search that BU students can use. Overall, before starting your search it is good to research Boston real estate and real estate in different areas of Boston that you will look at like Allston, Fenway, or Back Bay.  All three of these areas have different budgets and distances from BU’s campus. 

    Agents are good middle-people that can deal with leases and overall be good spokespeople for your wants and needs during the whole process.

    Looking for a good management company within the apartment building you are looking at is important. Check yelp reviews before you sign your lease to educate yourself on the management company. 

  5. Pick your area 

As mentioned above the area you choose sometimes is chosen for you due to budgets, the distance you want to be from campus, and also the ~neighborhood vibe~ you are looking for. In order to know what fits your needs, do some research online or ask an agent you are working with.

Students usually start looking for apartments in early March to April, often signing a decent amount of time before May. The process often goes by quickly but is a fun thing to celebrate when it is done because then you can mood board your first apartment’s decor!

Will A: Podcast Tips

Tips for Starting Your Own Quarantine Podcast

By: Will Andronico Jr.

Like everyone else in quarantine, I began recording podcasts in my room to pass the time. Specifically (shameless plug!) we created WTBU News Today, a podcast that comes out every day covering news headlines in under eight minutes! We give short recaps on stories for you to start your day with.

We began this podcast last summer as a project for WTBU News, and it turned out to be super useful in staying up to date with all the goings on in the world. However, on top of that, I learned how to record myself well by using tools at my disposal when I’m not in the WTBU Radio studios in COM.

That being said, everyone in COM (or at BU, frankly) can become that guy who started a podcast during the quarantine! So, for those of you who have that spark but don’t know how to start, here are my top five tips for recording a podcast at home.

Use your phone or laptop to record yourself

Not everyone can find or afford a microphone with the highest quality sound out there. I know I didn’t, and I still often use what I have on me: my phone! That pocket microphone records some pretty decent audio for the home-podcaster.

If you’re recording with a group of friends or guests on Zoom, still do this! The audio quality is generally better if everyone records themselves separately on their phones. It’s a little extra work to sync the audio up later in the editing process, but your listeners (a.k.a., your mom) will thank you!

Find a small, quiet space that isn’t your bathroom

Unfortunately, your bathroom is much too echo-y to record in. I recommend the closet as your best bet, as the clothes will catch much of your stray sounds! If you don’t have a space like a closet or small room, a blanket over your head also works!

Get comfortable when you record

If you’re not comfortable when recording, you won’t sound very enthusiastic on the listener’s end. I recommend standing (or sitting up) so you can breathe properly. Sound the best you can be without sounding out of breath!

Get close to the microphone on your phone, but not too close!

Test your phone microphone’s capabilities beforehand. Find the spot where you aren’t so far away that you’re too quiet, and get progressively closer to the microphone until you start to peak (a.k.a., your recording gets distorted). Move about a foot back from there, and you should be set!

Adobe Audition is your friend!

As COM students, you have access to all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite – use it! Adobe Audition is a fantastic digital audio workstation that’s easy to use, and plenty of tutorials are available on Adobe’s site, YouTube and Reddit.

Alright, now go start the podcast of your dreams, and @ me in the promo tweet (@andronicowill).

Mia: Surviving Freshman Year

How to Survive Your Freshman Year of College, From a Soon-To-Be Sophomore

This school year was crazy for a myriad of reasons: I moved across the country, embarked on my freshman year at Boston University, and navigated a global pandemic! As my first year of college comes to an end, I want to share some advice and tips that helped me get through it!

  1. GET ORGANIZED

In high school, I always bought planners but never actually ended up using them. This usually never harmed me because I tried to keep track of all my events, plans, and assignments in my head. In college, however, this didn’t work. I recommend using Google Calendar to keep track of everything! You can color-code your calendar in accordance with all of your classes and clubs, and also set reminders before every event. It was also super helpful because I could put my class Zoom link in the notes section of each event!

  1. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE FRIENDS?

This was a question I constantly asked myself before coming to BU. When you first commit to BU, you’re probably going to talk to a TON of people on social media before, but it’s a totally different situation once you roll up on campus. I’ve made all of my friends in these ways:

  • MY FLOOR: For the first few weeks of school, I reached out to a lot of people who lived on the same floor as me by simply knocking on their door and asking them if they wanted to go grab food in the dining hall or explore campus! Don’t be afraid to reach out. Chances are, people are in the same boat as you in terms of not knowing many people!
  • CLUBS: Clubs have certainly looked different this year, but that didn’t stop me from being able to meet people! Make sure to head to Splash (BU’s club fair) and join one or a few clubs that you’re interested in! I joined the Daily Free Press’ podcast section, where I help write, record, and edit our podcasts, as well as other organizations like COM Student Government and BUTV10. 
  • MY SORORITY: I never thought that I’d join Greek life coming into college, but I decided to give it a chance. Of course, it isn’t for everyone (only around 12% of BU’s population is in Greek Life!), but it’s a great and fun way to meet people!
  1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAY IN (ESPECIALLY IF YOUR WALLET IS BEGGING YOU TO) 

When I arrived at BU, I immediately had a TON of new plans with new friends. I’ve been able to explore Boston, try new restaurants, visit museums, and enjoy snow for the first time! One thing that was a huge change, however, were the costs associated with going out. Sometimes I do forget that Boston is a city, and restaurants or other activities can end up costing a lot. I used to feel that if I didn’t go out with my friends that I’d be missing out on making valuable memories. In reality, missing out on one dinner experience is totally fine! It’s okay to say no to plans –– it’s a great opportunity to practice self care while staying in! (Plus, your wallet will thank you.)

Avery: The Best Outdoor Escapes in Boston

Title: The Best Outdoor Escapes in Boston
By: Avery Serven

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a few (strangely) warm days in Boston, and I’ve found
myself wanting to spend more time outside to get some much-needed Vitamin D. With the
pandemic, it’s definitely been tricky to find Covid-safe ways to connect with friends. One of my favorite ways to see people safely is meeting up outside while socially distanced. In honor of the recent warm weather, I’ve gathered a list of my favorite outdoor spots in the city to go to when it’s nice out. Grab a coffee or some takeout and make plans to go to one of these spots with a friend to safely hang out outside!

 
1. Amory Park
Amory is my go-to when the weather is nice. The park is pretty big for the city, which leaves lots of green space for you to camp out with a blanket or towel. There are also a few picnic benches, which I always try to snag when I’m there. And an added bonus- you’ll find lots of friendly dogs at this park!

 
2. BU Beach
The BU Beach is a popular and easily accessible outdoor area for those who are living on campus. It’s right by Marsh Plaza, and has lots of green space as well as benches. Since it’s so centrally located on campus, it’s a great option for a meetup with your friends who may live on the other end of campus!

 
3. The Esplanade
The Esplanade is one of my personal favorites when I’m in need of some time outdoors. I love heading over on a sunny day with a good book and my hammock, which I hang between the trees that line the Esplanade so that I’m looking out on the Charles River. There’s even an area where you can sit on a dock directly on the Charles!

 
4. Boston Common
The Common is a classic outdoor spot for those who are looking for more large areas of green space in the city. It’s easily the biggest space on this list, with ample room for you and your friends to space out on picnic blankets. This area is especially beautiful when the weather is nice, with scenic views of the city. Side note- it’s another hotspot for dogs, so you’re sure to see some cute pups while you’re there!

 
5. Commonwealth Avenue Mall
The Commonwealth Avenue Mall is pretty close to East Campus, making it a great spot for BU students. It’s another beautiful and scenic area, with lots of benches and seating options. It’s also right by Newbury Street. With all of their food options, it’s a great place to bring your takeout without having to walk too far!

Hopefully this bit of nice weather lasts a little longer so you can try out some of these spots! Stay safe, and let me know if you have any suggestions for this list- I’m always trying to go to new areas!

Contact me at averyms@bu.edu.

Leah: Surviving the non-stop semester

Surviving the Non-Stop Semester 

Not having a spring break this year has made the semester feel like a never-ending drag. The wellness days might not help much when midterms and projects have impending due dates. Through the craziness of the past year, I’ve developed some good skills and habits that have kept me, my mental health, schoolwork, extracurriculars, and more in check.

Find effective study spots

I cannot do work in the same place that I eat, sleep, and hang out. When I go to a public space like a cafe, library, or the GSU, I’m much more productive because I like to be surrounded by other people who are also doing work. Some of my favorite spots around campus to work in are Cafe Landwer, the law cafe, Questrom, and Hillel.

Be in tune with your mind

Prioritizing and taking care of your mental health is always important, but especially now more than ever. It’s hard not seeing friends and family like we used to and not having normal routines. Remember to listen to what your body tells you and take a break when you need it. It’s okay to say “no” if you need a night in and it’s okay to treat yourself (I’m a believer that every day is a “treat yourself” day). Reach out to your friends and family to talk things out or go to a professional. I like journaling and recently bought this journal with prompts that I love!

Get some fresh air

Even if it’s just for a five-minute walk outside, get some fresh air! Being outside instantly makes me feel better. Sometimes I like to walk with a friend or go on an adventure by myself. Pop in a good playlist (you can never make too many) or listen to a podcast (maybe even start your own?) and enjoy the outdoors. There are so many places to walk around campus. Sometimes my route will take me from east to west, around Brookline, or on the Esplanade. Switch things up but make sure to enjoy your alone time!

Leave the BU Bubble

As a freshman last year, I found it difficult to escape the BU Bubble. I saw the same people, went to the same places, and did what seemed to feel like the same thing every day. Now that I have some more free time in my schedule and the weather is getting warmer, I try to go out and explore (safely!) as much as possible. We live in this awesome city and it’s important to take advantage of it. Here are some of my favorite spots to find new restaurants with my friends:

  • The North End
  • Seaport
  • Brookline
  • Fenway
  • Cambridge

Remember, there’s no formula for taking care of yourself because every day and everyone is different. Explore time with yourself and find the things that make you feel happy and accomplished. It’s never selfish to put yourself first. Take care of yourselves!

Noah: Staying Sane in Unprecedented Times

Staying Sane in Unprecedented Times

If you haven’t already noticed, the past 365 days have not been so fine and dandy. And while we’ve all found ways to struggle through the mud of this year to some success, there are moments where we still feel stuck, moments where the dead-ends pile up. I’ve had my fair share of these moments, and today I’d love to share with you some things that I’ve found pull me through the thick of it.

Prioritizing things that bring delight

Over the winter break, like the east-cost-elitst-liberal I am, I got into listening to NPR, specifically Ira Glass’ This American Life. One fantastic episode explored people finding delight in their lives, things that made the scrum of daily existence a little bit more enjoyable. Prioritizing these things has made my days all the more tolerable, and they give me something to look forward to. Delight for me has come in numerous forms, from Errol Gardner’s rendition of “Misty” (2020 remastered version), to sitting down with a good book and a tea, to watching my sports teams that have miraculously decided to be good this year (go Sixers!, go Flyers! hang in there Red Sox..) delight is abundant and plenty. Making room in our schedules to do these things on a daily basis goes a long way, even if they’re little. 

Slooowwwwinnggg Down

We live in a fast paced world. Especially living in the city, where the once-a-week trip outside is a flurry of activity and external stimuli, it can be easy to get caught up in all the busyness. It’s key to take a minute and just be in the moment with yourself. A saving grace for me recently has been the Headspace meditation app, which is provided to us for free from BU. They’ve got a ton of guided meditations and other calming media that have made a really tangible impact on my day to day moods. Go try it, it’s free!

Moderating Social Media Use

Here’s my bold take. Social media kind of isn’t good for us. Can you tell I watched The Social Dilemma? As much as our socials connect us to friends and family and drive social change and show us funny videos, there’s a lot of negatives that go very much under the radar. I can’t quite go into the psychological details, but I’ve found that spending more time off my phone and on other delight-filled things has been nothing but beneficial. (Don’t worry COM Ambassador team, I’ll be back on it for my Insta takeover :))

So there’s my advice! This is far from an exhaustive list, and even farther from a scientifically proven method, but I figured I would share some things that worked for me, and just maybe they’ll do some good for you. That’s all from me, so stay safe, mask up, and be well!

Anika: 5 Handy Zoom Interview Tips

5 Handy Zoom Interview Tips

It’s that time of year again…interview season! From midterms to student org commitments to the fact that we’re still not out of a pandemic, it’s totally normal if your stress levels are running high right now.

No need to stress if you haven’t had the perfect summer internship lined up for months! Keep putting yourself out there, and once you do, here are some of my tips for nailing that Zoom interview:

1) Wear something you feel confident in

Of course you should always dress professionally for an interview, but keep in mind that your interviewer can only see about an eighth of your outfit on Zoom. So, whatever you wear is really more for you than for them! 

Have a favorite sweater that you always feel great in? Maybe there’s a way to style it into an interview-appropriate outfit. Unless the company has a super strict dress code, I think this is a great way to give yourself a little extra reassurance on a stressful day.

2) Practice on Zoom!

Even though it may feel silly, I recommend opening a Zoom meeting room by yourself for 10-15 minutes before your interview and practicing talking about things like your background and why you’re interested in the job. Then, when you log onto the actual Zoom call, there will barely be a difference! 

Also, those awkward stumbles on basic questions will already have been worked through, which can settle your nerves. This is one huge plus of having interviews on Zoom — there’s no way you’d be able to simulate the exact same interview room in person right before your interview!

3) Research the company beforehand

This is a no-brainer, but obviously you should know some basic info about the company you’re applying to! Don’t worry, they won’t expect you to know the ins-and-outs of their business, but if you have specific ideas or opinions about their work, you will stand out. 

It also doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about your interviewer if possible. No need to spend hours stalking their LinkedIn, but just make sure you know their role at the company so you can get a sense of what types of questions to ask them at the end.

4) Have an answer for the dreaded “Any questions for me?”

This question can feel tough. I’ve found it’s good to go into the interview with at least one question I might ask, but that often  gets answered during the interview and something else is discussed that I can ask about. 

It’s hard to think on your feet in a nerve wracking environment, but if you have some initial ideas it’ll be easier to adapt them in the moment than to come up with something completely.

Another tip: if the interview format is more casual, (i.e. more of a back-and-forth conversation), you can also ask questions as you go along. Then, if your mind goes blank at the end, it’s okay because you’ve already shown how curious and insightful you are!

5) As best you can, relax

I know, I know, it’s way easier said than done. 

But I think one plus of the Zoom interview environment is that it’s way less nerve-wracking. You don’t have to wait outside an ominous room in an unfamiliar hallway, nervously make small talk with other candidates, and sit down in a foreign seat pretending you feel right at home. I think the weird feeling of “surrealness” that Zoom often gives us is, in this case, an asset. 

And lastly,

if you feel physical symptoms of stress, you might use it to your advantage by thinking of it as a sign of how invested and excited you are about this opportunity — and that’s a positive thing! Telling yourself to stop freaking out will likely not work, so just take some deep breaths, know you’re prepared, and go kill it! 😉

Meredith: Senior’s Advice to Freshman

A letter to the freshman from a soon to be BU COM graduate

Dear incoming students and current freshman,

Cherish this time in college because one day you are going to wake up a second-semester senior with only a few months until graduation. I know everyone warns you how fast college will go and they all tell you to enjoy it, but I am saying it to you again because as I reflect on my last four years here at BU, I enjoyed every second of the crazy ride.

There were so many ups and downs and some days were longer than others, but it made me into the person I am today! It seems so cliche to say, but I found who I am and what I am passionate about in these past four years.

I came into my first year as a pretty scared freshman with no idea of what the future would hold. I was scared of fitting in, making friends, excelling in classes, and I felt like I was not as smart or talented as many of the other students at BU. I had some serious imposter syndrome going on and I was not sure of my path at all.

While some of that stuff never truly goes away, I found my confidence and figured out what I loved to do. I realized I had a passion for communications and marketing research; I learned that I can be a natural leader and possess the skills to be president of a club; I learned how to stand up for myself and what I believe in; I learned to push myself and that I am capable of anything. 

My four years here were spent learning and growing in more ways than I would have ever imagined as an incoming freshman. My future path may never be clear, and sometimes I will doubt myself, I can say with absolute certainty that I grew into the woman I was meant to be.

 My best advice to you is to be daring and try new things. Try and push yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone that might scare you a little bit. Also, take advantage of all the amazing opportunities offered here at BU, like clubs, academic resources, and your professor’s office hours. There are so many ways you can grow and learn during college and just trying a few new things could change your entire trajectory. 

If I could do it all over again, I would, but I would not have changed a thing. I am ready now to take on whatever the future holds for me, but I will always be a Terrier at heart. 

Sophie J: Surviving 1st Semester

Tips and bits of Advice to survive the first semester at BU 

The first semester of college can be overwhelming and thrilling at the same time. Similarly, from my experience, I was anxious and excited as I imagined how my college life would be, yet, I was looking forward to meeting new people. These are a couple of advice and tips to know to make your college experience fantastic:

Don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to people!

At first, it can be overwhelming to meet new people, especially in a new environment you just moved in. On my first week at Boston University, I met friends just by talking to them at the lobby of Warren Towers and got to know my floor friends by knocking on all of their doors. Similarly, there were some students on my floor that knocked on my door and we were able to get to know each other through this way. Amid the current pandemic, it can be harder to meet new friends or people in general; however, there are still ways to get to know people through social media, online events, or people in your classes such as GroupMe.

Join clubs!

Join clubs that really interest you! There so many clubs at BU, ranging from photograph clubs to Student Government. There are a variety of clubs you can join, whether or not it relates to what you are majoring in. Clubs are a great way to meet new people and explore your interests. In addition, they are an amazing opportunity to have hands-on experiences. For me, as a Broadcast Journalism major, I had the opportunity to be a part of WTBU and BUTV10. In these clubs, I met many people that have similar appeals as me and I got to experience “life as a broadcaster.” I highly recommend joining clubs during your time at BU!

Manage your Time well

It is very important to make sure you are scheduling your time very well. With classes during the day, clubs, or other activities, you should write down what you need to complete and when they are due. Personally, I keep a notebook or planner with me that has all my assignment due dates and what I need to accomplish for the day. It can be a little confusing at first, but you will get the hang of managing your time once you get used to it. Try not to finalize your assignments on the day of or late at night, as it can be arduous. You will need that sleep!

Late Night

It is likely that you will spend an all-nighter or at least have a day where you will be studying until very late at night. For me, there were times in the middle of the night where I would get hungry or was craving a snack. When I first found out about Late Night dining, I was very delighted that I was able to get a variety of delicious foods no matter how late it was while studying. You can use your dining points through GrubHub to get anything at Late Night. Trust me, getting late-night dining really helps 🙂

These are just a few tips to remember when going through your first semester at BU. As a current freshman, I think that college is the best time to reach out and explore your interest. Most importantly,  have fun! Do what you really are passionate about and broaden your horizons. After all, isn’t that what college is all about? 🙂