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.

 

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!!!

 

Taylor: When the Tests Come Marching In…

The seasonal change from summer to fall sets off a one-word alarm for me…MIDTERMS.  No need for panic, there are tons of things to do on campus that will help you release tension and anxiety. The first test of the semester is nerve wrecking for all. BUT …there are the things that you can do in advance to prepare:

–       Go to Office Hours- It’s mandatory for professors and faculty to section hours of office time just to answer course inquires. Use this time to your advantage!

–       Begin to review early material- It never hurts to start reviewing early. No worries, all the cool kiddies use flashcards.

–       Breathe- Don’t let fear become overwhelming. Pace yourself.

–       Find a Study Buddy- There is no better way to review class material than with someone else.

–       Remember your resources- The ERC has a ton of mock exam sessions. Bu.edu/today has a great list of events to aid to test prep!

Get a good nights rest before your exams!  In the words of Kid President, ‘Keep being Awesome.’

Best,

Taylor

 

Sara: De-Stressing with Audrey and Muffins

Reading through the last few posts on this blog I am definitely sensing a pattern–COM is a bunch of amazing, lovely people who are all the biggest overachievers. While most days we think we can do it all, other days seem to be a little less manageable. I personally have taken on 5 classes, an internship, the vice president role of COMSA and the committee head of a PR advanced committee and boy does everyday feel just as insane as the one that came before it. But as busy as most days are,  I try to take a little time to myself. So, now as we all start to get into the routine of being back at school, I thought now would be a perfect time to share with you all the top 5 ways I have found work the best to de-stress.

1. Watching a favorite movie or listening to music from your favorite band

I will be the first to admit that this is my go to activity that seems to calm all my worries in life. Just the other night I came home from class and put on Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If Audrey can’t fix your problems, then who can?

2. Getting yourself organized

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’ve taken on more than you think you can handle. However, the best way to deal with this problem is to keep organized! I’m a list-maker who can’t get through the day without making at least 2 or 3 lists. Laugh at me if you must, but these lists help me keep organized- I know exactly what I have to get done each night for the next day to run smoothly which helps eliminate unnecessary stress day-to-day.

3. Grabbing a friend for an adventure in Boston

I try to do this at least once during each school week. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re not JUST students. Somehow getting out into the city and exploring a place I have never been to before helps me keep my schoolwork in perspective and still have some fun.

4. Going for a run/to the gym/ working out in general:

I’m a big fan of this one because I’m a big runner. There’s nothing quite like lacing up your sneakers and hitting the esplanade. It’s the perfect time of year to hit the pavement as it starts to cool down so there’s really no excuse! Not to mention that working out gives you endorphins…which make you happy…and happy people just don’t kill their husbandsroommates.

5. Baking!

Ok so not everyone might like this one but take the opportunity to do something you really love that is completely separate from school life.  Find your happy place! Mine just happens to be in the kitchen. Check out these heart-shaped vegan pumpkin muffins I made this weekend!