Aidan: The Best Advice I Got During College

Hey Gang! It’s Aidan again, and here I am writing one of my last things I will write for Boston University (please share in a group cry with me). Big surprise, I’m nostalgic about my time here, and I have been reflecting. A lot.

Not only that, I have started the infamous *post-grad job hunt*. It’s a different world out here, and it’s a little tough. However, there are some great things that people told me during my time here at BU that, to this day, get me through the rough spots of life.

  1. Ask for advice, not jobs

Well I was abroad in LA (Aidan talking about LA?! That never happens….), I met a great guy working in Development who told me one of the greatest pieces of wisdom. I asked him how you go about connecting with people you have worked for post-grad to start hunting for jobs, and he told me: “People who ask for jobs get advice, and people who ask for advice get jobs.”

What he was driving at was this: people don’t like to be used. When you ask people for a job, they feel like they are your tool, and they won’t respond favorably. HOWEVER, people DO want to help you. If you ask for advice, it shows 1. That you are thoughtful, 2. That you are humble, 3. That you care about your relationship with the person you are asking. You can’t lose!

  1. Always say yes

You know, we BU kids are pretty driven. If you are like me, you have a game plan for the next 7 years. I hope I am not the first to tell you that your ~game plan~ doesn’t always work out. You are going to get a lot of opportunities in life, and at first you may not see how they connect to your main goals. However, helping someone out or taking an unlikely job will provide some road for you to whittle closer to your desired path.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

THIS is what I swear by. My sophomore year, life was rough, and I thought I could tough it out. Turns out, I couldn’t. For the first time in my academic career, I had to ask professors and staff members for leniency. And guess what? They helped me. Life can go bad at some times, and it is okay to acknowledge that you aren’t functioning at 100%. We are all human, and we have all been there. Don’t feel like you should suffer unnecessarily. In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “…help is given to those who deserve it.” Be a good kid, it will come back to you sometime later in life.

 

Guys, finish the semester strong. If you need anything, know that we are here for you!!

Aidan: Thoughts from the last semester of college

Hey COM-panions! So, for those of you that don’t know, my name is Aidan, and this is my last semester here in the College of Communication! It’s really great to be saving money by graduating a semester early, but also really sad that I will be leaving pre-maturely. If you have been considering graduating a semester, or even a year early, I thought it might be helpful to let you know how to do it, and what you are getting into.

First, to be able to graduate early, you have to get done all of your 128 credits fast, and you have to cover all your major requirements and your focus. For me, getting out of here a semester early meant making a couple of sacrifices. First, I started with an English minor, but had to drop it to save time. I love English, and wish I could have done the full course load to get my minor, but there came a time where it became more of a burden to find a way to get it done than it was a boon. So, sad as it was, I was not able to do my minor.

Secondly, I had to overload and do summer classes….a lot. I came in with some external credits, which helped, but overloading and taking courses over the summer is what made this all possible. Overloading, to a certain extent, is free (once you qualify to overload without charge). So, overloading is the most effective way to knock out extra classes. For those classes you can’t fit in the schedule, Summer Courses are the way to go. What I did was I found a job on campus that provided housing for free (a lot of them exist!) and also had a schedule where I could take the courses I needed to take over the summer! This freed up a lot of my semester time, and was a great help, but summer classes cost money! So be warned!

After a combo of all of these things, here I am. Not only is this my last semester, but I am part-time (meaning you take less than 12 credits) which means I don’t have to pay for a lot of the fees of being a student here. Financially, this is the best situation I could personally be in. If you think that graduating early will help ease your financial burden, I highly suggest it. But just remember, most of your friends won’t be doing this, which means that your senior year with them may be cut into by your choice to go part-time. Also, overloading and taking summer courses can really put a dent in your free time (which can also barely exist even as a regular college student). This means you have less time to do extra-curriculars, and also less time for perhaps a part-time job or internship.

What I am trying to get across is that this option has both pros and cons. You can save a lot of money, but it can also severely alter your college experience. This was, personally, the best choice for me, and I don’t regret it, but it may not be the best choice for you. If you think you should go this route, talk with your academic advisor! They can tell you if it will be beneficial, and how you can do it. And, if you want, we can sit down and chat about it. Go to Undergrad Affairs, and they can get you in contact with me.

As always: keep it cool, COM

– Aidan

Aidan: So You Did First Semester….Now What?

Hey team, Aidan here. So, as some of you know, I worked this summer with Orientation and helped a lot of the incoming COM Freshmen to figure out their first semester schedule. One thing that I have noticed is that, after first semester, COM freshmen are on their own completely to figure out their schedule. So, what I would like to do today is give my tips, from a COM Student perspective, for what your schedule should look like going into your second semester!

  1. Keep it Balanced!

You know how you are supposed to eat a balanced breakfast? Well the same can be said about your schedule (but you shouldn’t eat it because a schedule is an intangible concept….). Don’t overload on one type of class, like taking four writing classes and still not doing your stats requirement.

  1. Find Fun Ways to do your Pre-Reqs!

Remember your Freshmen/Sophomore Requirements? Yeah, you have to take two History Classes. Sorry, but it happens to all of us. So, I suggest you make the best of it! I don’t like history courses (can you tell?), but I got mine out of the way doing a Roman History course, which I ended up liking a lot. I purely did this because I liked Roman Mythology growing up, and so I took this course. What I am saying is, don’t be afraid of unorthodox classes to do your pre-reqs. Be adventurous!

  1. Take Your Time

Dudes, though they call it “Freshmen/Sophomore Requirements,” you have all four years here at BU to do them. Don’t forget to take classes you want to take! Want to take an Acting course? Take it! You do have to do general elective credits at some point, spread them out as time for fun!

All in all, it is very hard to mess up your schedule completely. Just make sure you are taking COM201 and that you don’t overload yourself!

Aidan: The Resources You Didn’t Know About On Campus

Hey gang! So today, I thought I would share with you something that is kind of an embarrassment to me: it took me being a student here for 2+ years before I actually had an academic advising appointment. Yeah, I know. Well, on reflecting on that, I have started to think about all the resources here at the University, and what some people don’t take advantage of enough, or even know exist. So here is my list of what I believe are the most under-appreciated, but also most useful, resources at Boston University:

1. The Com Writing Center

Come on, there is a writing center on campus that is just for COM STUDENTS?! WHY AREN’T WE USING THIS MORE?? Staffed by graduate students in the Com Program, they can help you with your scripts, your ad pitches, and even your COM101 papers. That’s right, they are experts on COM101. A very great resource for incoming COM Freshmen. The writing center is located in the basement of the COM Building.

2. The Center for Career Development

Okay, this is a place that has done a lot of good for me. Not only can they help you prep for a job interview (resume critiquing, interview skills and practice, how to write a cover letter), they can even help you find that job interview! The CCD is located at 100 Bay State Road, this isn’t one you want to miss.

3. The Educational Resource Center

This is a good one. The ERC (also at 100 Bay State Road) has a lot of programs to help students do better in their classes. This is where you can find tutoring for any subject, as well as resources if you are a first generation student or an international student who needs extra help with interpreting the English classroom. To be honest, if I had known about these as a freshman, I would have used them much sooner. So, in essence, don’t be like me. Reach out and get help on what you need help on! You will be glad you did.

To be honest, if I had known about these as a freshman, I would have used them much sooner. Reach out and get help, you will be glad you did!

Aidan: Looking Ahead!

So, I have had a hard time figuring out what to do for this blog post. It’s the last post of the semester, and so I feel this great sense of responsibility to end the blog semester the right way.

And it terrifies me.

That’s so much stress! Especially considering all of the fantastic blog posts we have had this semester. Come on, we have had CA’s create killer playlists, tell you how to get a summer job, pour their hearts out about bad college experiences, and share their triumphs. How do I top that?!? FLERG??

So, I decided… I WONT! HAHA

That’s right, COM-panions, I won’t make a blog post summing up what a great semester we have had, all the cool people who have joined the CA program, and the STELLAR accepted students I have met who are #BU2019.

Instead, I am going to spend this time telling you what I am looking forward to, during the summer, and for next year.

  1. Orientation

Shouts to #BU2019 who puts down there deposits THIS WEEK! As you may or may not know, I am one of the four student advisors for COM who will be meeting the Class of 2019 during the summer at Orientation. I can’t wait to meet you all, be your weird camp counselor/friend, and set you up to come into BU in September like an all-star.

  1. The Next Generation of Com Ambassadors

This semester, we hired something like 13 new Com Ambassadors. WE DOUBLED OUR ENTIRE OPERATION YO! In that group are individuals who love radio, people who film rockets being launched, people whose snapchat game is ON POINT (side note: follow us at comsnaps). Needless to say, I can’t wait for these youngins to get the chance to have their own freshman COM Ambassador group, and to start spreading the love their own special way.

  1. Social Media FOR DAYS

Lets get down to brass tacks. I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. In this semester alone, @COM_Ambassadors has doubled their followers, and new terriers means NEW FOLLOWERS WOO! I have a good feeling that all COM social media (@comugrad on both twitter and insta included) is going to have a major year. I look forward to spending my free time finding GIFs.

Most importantly, I am excited for next semester. With it comes new experiences, new people, and infinite fun. I don’t have wise words to leave you with, so I will just leave you with wise GIFs. See you next year, COM-patriots.

giphy (1)

giphy (2)

giphy (3)

giphy

Aidan: Open House Reflection

The temperature hit 70 yesterday, and COM had its first Open House for accepted students this past Saturday. All in all, a pretty stellar week. As a COM Ambassador, I sat in on many of the info sessions and talkbacks during the Open House, and got to meet a lot of excited perspective students. Perhaps I had forgotten, but I found myself reminded of all the factors that make COM an exciting and rewarding place to learn and work. I think every COM student, old and new, can be reinvigorated by some of the advice of Open House

1.     Everyone here is here to tell a story.

Whether it be through an Ad Campaign, or a short film, COM students are here because they have something they want to say to the world. We come from all walks of life, all different parts of the world, and have unique experiences that we can share with others. COM students see the value in life events, and wish to convey messages to each other to help mankind in some manner. I think that makes us the most interesting students on campus

2.     People who COM really love the field of Communication.

Pursuing any career in Communication takes guts. Some people accuse COM students of “taking the easy way out” for not majoring in some hard science or statistics. But that simply isn’t true. We all come to our respective majors because we know its what we love to do, and it is what will personally fulfill us in the end. Every COM student knows at times it will be hard, but we are ready for that. That makes us strong.

3.     You get out what you put in

Attending Open House, it is clear that opportunity is the easiest and most rewarding thing to come across in COM. BUTV10, PRSSA, WTBU, every chance to refine a certain skill is readily available in COM. Just like in the job market all COM students will go into, we are taught right off the bat that, if you put yourself forward and do the work you want to be doing, you will get better and you will find more chances to advance. All the tools are there; it is just a question of how much you are willing to give to get what you want.

 

BU, we have an exciting new class of Freshman coming our way. If we can remember the excitement for COM that we had back then, and use that to continue our drive, this school and its products will only grow in quality.

Aidan: Branching Out For Second Semester

When I got home for the first Winter Break of my college experience, I reflected upon my first semester as a Freshman with a feeling of great content. I had found a great club (BU On Broadway, a musical theatre group . . . not to push it or anything) that yielded me a wonderful group of friends and an amazing freshman experience. I became so involved in the group time-wise my first semester that I started to think of the opportunities I didn’t take when I started out at BU. To combat this, I decided to make my second semester one of new experiences, clubs, and opportunities. Here is some advice I would give to anybody who wants to freshen up his or her second semester:

1. Give that other club another go.

Remember all the organizations you signed up to join at Splash? Like me, you probably didn’t stick with the majority of activities you went to info sessions for. This second semester, reflect on one standout organization that really impressed you, but you didn’t follow through on. Get info, and give it one more go. It can turn out to be a worthwhile investment of your time.

 2. Don’t be afraid to give it your all

A lot of the groups that will have the most impact on your life will at first seem the most demanding and selective. Also, you may not get the role in the organization that you want right off the bat. That’s okay. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” right? Stick with it. After a semester, people in that group will know you and your abilities, and you will be more likely to be doing the cooler stuff. And a side note: if you know you have the skills to get any job done, make that known, and show them how it is done.

 3. You don’t have to completely abandon what you already know and love

So, you found a great club your first shot at bat in first semester. Dude, that’s totally great, and I feel for you. Just because you want to branch out doesn’t mean you need to leave it behind. Stay involved, even if in a small role. It will keep you engaged and up to date, and means you can return to it full force at some other time and not be rusty.