Kaitlin: Schedule With Intent and Heart

If you didn’t know it, there is an art to scheduling your classes. It’s a secret that is difficult to get a hold of, but once you do, you learn that it can change your entire BU experience. Whenever scheduling season comes around the corner, I think about my first time doing it during my orientation. To be blunt, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. My first semester was a disaster in terms of scheduling. Nothing made sense. I’d say that by my second semester, I kind of began to figure out what exactly I wanted in a schedule, and trying to stay as modest as possible, I’m now a scheduling wizard.

Explaining how to schedule well is a whole other blog post, but I wanted to take the time to tell you how important/incredible it is to schedule with intent AND your heart. This year, I’m a senior, and I have all of my requirements totally over and done with, meaning I can fill up my last two semesters with classes I really love and care about. COM really promotes following what you’re passionate about, and careful scheduling is really helping me to do that.

I’ve always had a love and a knack for photography. My mother is a photojournalist, so I pretty much grew up with a camera around my neck. When I first came to school, I became so consumed with my classes and ROTC and working that I ended up pushing my camera aside. Now, I’m taking two photography classes, and am having the time of my life. I’ve never been so happy. I take my camera everywhere I go.  But, even though I’m having such an awesome time now, I really wish I hadn’t given it up (so to speak) the past three years.

Don’t let yourself lose the things you love. Yes, do your homework and study and all that, but make sure you leave time for the things that excite you.

To put it simply, I’ll never let my camera go again.

 

Jason: Halloween Season in Boston

It’s nearly halfway to Halloween!

If you guys didn’t know I’m pretty into the holiday and like to think of myself as an amateur expert. I’m gonna take a break from the usual stories about my work and classes here at BU to tell you about all the things you can do in and around Boston for Halloween.

The most popular destination for everyone around here is, of course, Salem, MA. As you probably know, Salem was founded nearly 400 years ago and has a rich history related to Halloween. Between the ghost tours, the tour of The House of the Seven Gables, and just people (or witch) watching as you stroll down the cobblestone street, there’s plenty to do.

Check out http://www.hauntedhappenings.org/do for more info!

For something a little more local, the Frog Pond is going to be hosting the first pumpkin Luminary event! The City of Boston is inviting everyone, young and old, to bring a carved pumpkin for the festival. They’ll be lighting all of the pumpkins and floating them on the spray pool. I’ll be there to participate and might even get to carve one of the larger pumpkins that they’ll be displaying at the event!

And last but not least, trick or treating! Yes, believe it or not you can still trick or treat in college! There are plenty of suburban neighborhoods just off of Comm Ave where you can fill all of your candy cravings. And if you’re here you can even stop by our house! Jimmy and I decorated my house over the weekend and it’s looking pretty good so far.

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

Kate: Easy Weekend Getaways

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Boston.  It really is such a magical place and there is always somewhere new to find and explore.  But sometimes, it really is nice to get out of the hustle and bustle for a weekend.  One of the fantastic things about being in a place like Boston is how easy it is to get to other cities and states near by.  The Amtrak trains, Commuter Rail, and variety of bus routes can take you almost anywhere you want to go in the Northeast and down the east coast.  The past two weekends, I have had the opportunity to get out and explore new places and it has been so much fun!  Here is my rundown of the best areas to head to when you need a little change of scenery.

Rhode Island. In my opinion, Rhode Island is such a forgotten state! I might be a little biased because my boyfriend goes to school down there so I’ve spent a lot of time in The Ocean State but I promise it’s a great time.  You can be in Providence in about an hour by Commuter Rail and explore Thayer Street and experience the WaterFire Festival in the fall.  My favorite area is southern RI, home to Newport and Narragansett.  It can be so refreshing to take stroll on the beach or down a little town’s Main Street.  Trust me, it’s worth it.

Maine. My new favorite place right here, ladies and gentlemen.  I had the pleasure of spending last weekend in Bar Harbor, about half way up the coast.  It was incredible.  The town is perfect and easy to explore on foot.  The actual Harbor and Gulf of Maine are gorgeous and so much fun to explore by boat (I took a Lobster Fishing tour AND kayaked, both recommended).  And last but not least, Acadia National Park is right there and waiting for you.  Fun fact: Cadillac Mountain in the park in the first place in the US where the sun rises and has a gorgeous view of the Ocean.  Unfortunately for us, with the government shutdown, we couldn’t get to the park but that didn’t stop me from doing a little exploring, sorry Congress.  The only con – you do have to drive to get up there.

North Shore. While everyone raves about the Cape and Nantucket, I’ve actually spent much more time on the North Shore near Boston and it’s fabulous! The beaches are so beautiful and there are tons of great restaurants right on the water.  Gloucester and Newburyport are favorites of mine and all easily accessible by Commuter Rail trains!

New York City. Okay, so maybe this isn’t where you want to go to escape the hustle and bustle but still a fun weekend trip.  Bus, train, and plane can all get you down to the Big Apple in a few hours or less and set you up for a crazy fun weekend of exploring.  After spending my summer there, I’m itching to get back.

DC. You may think DC is so far away but there are Amtrak trains that leave from Boston all the time that can get you down there!  While you wouldn’t want to go now (#Shutdown), it can always be kept in mind as a great little getaway for a long weekend.  Just as historic as Boston, there are endless activities that are sure to bring out the history buff in all of us.

With the long weekend coming up, it may be the perfect time to pack up your weekend bag and head somewhere new with your friends!

 

Abby: What to Listen to at the Gym

I have contracted Music ADD. I just cannot settle on one playlist, artist or a single song even to listen to all the way through.  I used to be able to listen to music while I read for class or studied for a test, but lately I get so distracted thinking, “Is this the right song to be listening to right now?” or, “I wonder what song is next on my playlist?” and eventually before the song is over I have to change the it.  Then I lose my place in my book and have to re-read entire paragraphs. It’s seriously a problem. And now it has spilled over into my workout playlists. This is even more of a problem because you don’t want to be that girl on the elliptical glued to her phone.  It is also physically impossible to change a song while you are bobbing up and down on a treadmill.  But I have found a solution (for what to listen to at the gym, at least)- Podcasts!

I like listening to podcasts for many reasons:

  • I tend to get bored while working out so having something more interesting to listen to helps keep my mind on something other than how badly my legs (arms, feet etc.) hurt.
  • I feel like I am learning something.  Even if that something is the history of skinny jeans.
  • Podcasts are a good break for your mind, but still make me feel like I am being productive. For me, going from reading something very academic like how the transcendentalist thinkers of the 1840’s helped reinvent the advocacy tradition of Journalism to listening to Top 40 pop songs can be very jarring.

Here are a few of my favorites to listen to:

Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac | https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/apm-garrison-keillors-writers/id136642066?mt=2

TED Talks | https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tedtalks-audio/id160904630

How Stuff Work’s Stuff Mom Never Told You | https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stuff-mom-never-told-you/id304531053

Star Talk | https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/startalk-radio/id325404506

 

Morgan: How to Enjoy Fall in Boston!

Hey COMmies! So it’s officially October, which is my absolute favorite season. It’s crisp and cool but still super sunny and beautiful (as opposed to Spring where it rains constantly!). Boston is absolutely beautiful in the fall. All of the colors are changing, there is pumpkin everything, and everybody is in great moods. There are tons of ways to enjoy the fall weather, so here are a few of my favorites!

1)   Head over to the Boston Common and jump in a pile of leaves. Yes, you’re allowed to act like you’re 5. It’s like a right of passage.

2)   Go apple picking! Rent a ZipCar and get out of the city for the day!

3)   Go kayaking on the Charles! It’s a great way to see the fall colors.

4)   Discover a new coffee shop! There’s a few Beacon Hill that are divine!

5)   If you’re 21+, head to Oktoberfest! Pumpkin beer, anyone?

6)   Take a run on the Esplanade.

7)   Bake some apple pie. Yummmmm.

8)   Apple cider, pumpkin coffee, toasted pumpkin seeds, apple turnover, cinnamon and nutmeg in everything.

Hope you enjoy this fall as much as I do!!

 

Julianna: Finding my Zen in Yoga

Well, it is real: I am a SENIOR. This year has been quite an adventure so far (a semester in London, summer internship at Time Out New York), and now it just feels so great to be back in Boston. It’s the little things about Boston that make my heart skip, such as spending a leisurely Saturday on Newbury or taking in panoramic views of Cambridge and Boston as I lug grocery bags over the BU Bridge. These moments remind of why I came here and they help in staying sane as I journey through a busy fall semester. Aside from small ventures around town, I have found my “zen” in yoga. This semester I am in a beginner level Hatha Yoga class at FitRec. My favorite practices are the breathing exercises and long deep relaxation sessions. Even though I have taken  more rigorous yoga classes in the past, this class goes at a comfortable pace so I can correct my forms and gain balance and strength. I also stumbled upon Karma Revolution (971 Comm. Ave), a donation-based yoga studio located right next to the Paradise Lounge. I went to a Vinyasa class on a recent Friday from 4–5pm and absolutely loved it. I left the studio feeling as though I just completed a full workout at the gym. On my birthday I decided to treat myself, so I went to Sweat and Soul Yoga’s (1032 Comm. Ave) Vinyasa Basics Saturday Community Class, which only costs $5 for 90 minutes. Oh, and the class is taught by a fellow COM Ambassador, Kaitlin Daddona! If you’re looking to sweat out all your stresses this semester then check out Kaitlin’s class. She plays soothing music the whole time and encourages the class to focus on the breath, which proves essential for such an intense practice.

 

Sarah: California Dreaming

Hey, guys! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely northeast fall and lots of Dunkin’ pumpkin spice lattes (two things I’m really missing at the moment). After spending last spring in London, I’m currently tackling my second semester abroad – this time with a lot less tea and a lot more sunshine. I’m spending the semester – and hopefully many years to come – in Los Angeles with the BU in LA Program. The program is not technically an abroad program, but to anyone not from the area, LA certainly seems like foreign territory. Moving out here has been an adjustment, but one I am glad to have made.

For all of you interested in the LA program, know that it is an invaluable opportunity, but also know that it is no joke. While I spent most of my time in London at a pub or jet setting all over Europe, I spend the vast majority of my time in LA at internships, in class and learning as much as possible about the industry. I’ve been fortunate to find two fantastic and distinct internships that I’ve learned worlds from in just the past few weeks – one at the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and one in the writers’ office at Mad Men. These internships are my sixth and seventh (and hopefully last!) internships, and both of them have helped reaffirm a few key pieces of advice I’ve been hearing from the beginning:

Networking is a lot like making friends.

In fact, they are often the same thing. Everyone in the professional world puts so much emphasis on networking, and there is no denying its importance; however, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you think! Networking shouldn’t feel fake, insincere or like someone is being taken advantage of. Networking can be as simple as asking someone about their weekend or commenting on the cute dog on their desktop background. Successful networking starts with finding something in common and fostering a relationship based on it. Just be yourself and find some people you can connect with!

Be interesting.

You don’t necessarily have to be a tightrope artist to be interesting (although that is pretty cool). Simply knowing about the industry you’re in, especially topical news, will interest other people. What’s going on in the entertainment industry is relevant to everyone in it – and often times, it is pretty fascinating. Keeping up with news is a sure way to impress those you work with. Bonus points are awarded for knowing the history of your field.

A Positive Attitude Goes a Long Way

No task is too small for an intern. I can’t tell you how many copies I’ve made or how many dishes I’ve cleaned during internships over the past few years. It comes with the job, and I think most of us come to expect it. No matter how menial the task, do everything with a smile. Someone is always watching – the people around you will notice a positive attitude. That being said…

Respect yourself!

I work with an intern who constantly says, “We’re just the interns.” We may be on the bottom rung, but we are certainly more than just interns. The climate of unpaid internships is changing, and it is more important than ever to understand your roll. Use judgment – don’t feel pressured to do something you don’t feel comfortable with. And don’t hesitate to bring issues to an advisor! They are there to help.

Will: Breakfast at TIFF

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interning for a company at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pretty awesome. I applied at the end of last school year, and while I was at camp all summer I had pretty much forgotten all about it. But on August 1st, I received an email informing me that I had been selected as an intern for the Creative Minds in Toronto Program. Creative Minds has programs in both Toronto and Cannes, which is hopefully where I’ll be headed next.

Companies who are at the festival contact Creative Minds asking for interns because while they’re at the festival, things are much crazier than usual and they need the assistance. I was lucky enough to get paired with APA, Agency for the Performing Arts, the fifth largest talent agency in the nation. I was able to sit in on meetings, attend their events and parties, and meet a bunch of cool people in a relaxed environment (**cough** Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson **cough cough**). And ultimately, the agents whom I was interning for told me that I would have a job waiting for me when I graduated.

What I’m trying to say is this: Yes, I had to miss the first week of school to attend TIFF. But, honestly, I never even thought twice about it. Sometimes, an advantage may appear as a slight disadvantage. But, if you’re ever in a position to do something awesome, do it. You might even get a job out of it.

 

Tom: A Glimpse of the Real World

Hey all! Hope you have been taking advantage of the pumpkin spice lattes, orange corduroys, and apple picking opportunities that come with the fall season. I have been having a very busy start to the semester, bouncing from meetings to meetings. However, the newest part of this fall is that I am taking part in Boston University’s AdLab.

Boston University’s AdLab is COM’s completely student-run advertising agency. This means we work with real clients and provide them real work over the course of a semester. And the best part about it for a COM Student is that you get real-world experience while also getting course credit. It’s like doing an internship and class all in one place!

This semester I am an Account Executive working for Osage Creek Amphitheater, which is a tier one live entertainment venue in Northwest Arkansas. While working with a client in Arkansas has definitely made my client experience different from most, it has been incredibly exciting getting real world experience for a huge venue. Also, since most of my background is in live entertainment advertising, I am also getting great resume experience in the field I most enjoy.

I have been awestruck by the level of work that AdLab produces. I would recommend it for any new ad students coming into BU. While internships are amazing, AdLab provides the awesome opportunity to work one-on-one with the actual client. Even in three short weeks, I feel like I have already learned new skills, such as how to run an effective meeting and how to manage an advertising timeline. I look forward to this semester’s work and future semesters with AdLab!

 

Dany: Time Management…WHAT NOW

Yeah I’m right there with you. Now that we’re a month into the semester (WHAT) our schedules are pretty much set and our routines are all but written in stone. If you already feel like you’re falling behind, then now is a good a time as ever to revisit some good ol’ fashioned time management skills! Make October your practice month so that when the busy second half of the semester rolls in and you got finals and projects and papers coming at you from every direction, you’ll be absolutely prepared.

1. Wake up early.

I know. Easier said than done. I’m definitely not nor will I ever be a morning person. But it really is insane how much you can get done in a day when you take advantage of the morning. If you’re already a morning person, then congratulations! You can skip ahead! But if you’re a night owl like me, my tip is to give yourself an activity in the morning that will make you get up and moving. And it doesn’t have to be every day! Even sacrificing two-three days a week to get up early will do wonders for your time management. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays I take spinning classes at FitRec from 7am-7:45am. The workout wakes me up and I’m refreshed, showered and ready to go by 9am. Something that I guarantee you does not happen like ever on a normal basis.

2. Keep an agenda.

Whether it’s the traditional pen and paper booklet or using the calendar and reminders app synchronized through all your devices, there is nothing more important. I use both for different reasons. My day-to-day activities are on my phone and computer, and I keep track of my classes and other little reminders in my planner. Whatever works best for you, just do it. Write everything down. As soon as it is told or planned, make sure it is either on your phone or in your planner. This is the only way to guarantee you won’t miss something (which is totally possible given the thousands of things we have to keep track of nowadays!)

3. Set a weekly “organizing hour.”

This sounds weird but hear me out. Every Sunday night, I set aside at least one hour with my computer and planner and go through the week. First, I flip through the syllabus for each of my classes and check what I have due and scribble down on my planner what days to work on what. Then I go through my planner from the last week and make sure there’s nothing I missed. I give a quick glance at my weekly meetings and events for the week to make sure I know what’s coming and plan out anything I need to do for them. Lastly, if I have time (and I usually do on Sundays) I try to get a jumpstart on readings or assignments for a few classes.

These are the three tips I find the most useful when my semester starts getting too crazy. It’s easy to fall behind and get caught up in everything but trust me, you’ll want these skills perfected when finals roll around. And every semester after. And after graduation. Basically for the rest of your life. So take advantage now to find what work for you! You won’t regret it.

Hope everyone had a fantastic September!!!