Morgan: The Ultimate Stress Reliever

Let’s face it, school is stressful. With constant assignments, exams, group projects, and extra-curricular activities filling our days – it can be hard to regroup and take the time you need to recharge. There’s tons of ways to relieve your stress on campus – sign up for a yoga class, go for a run or walk along the Esplanade, or pick up your favorite instrument or DIY project. I’ve done pretty much all of these, and they’re all equally as helpful in relieving stress, but my new favorite stress reliever is a little bit more, well, fuzzy.

Meet Boston – an 8-week-old rescue kitten that my 3 roommates and myself adopted in a somewhat spur of the moment impulse. I’m really not even a cat person, but when my roommate showed me this little face, how could I say no? Now I’m so happy that we have him.

I’ve gotten in the habit of coming home after a long day of classes, work & meetings to sit down on the floor and play with this little rascal. It only takes a few minutes and I’m instantly relaxed & forgetting about my stressful day.

This little kitten has reminded me how important it is to unwind, laugh, and just appreciate the smaller things in life (Get it? Small? Kitten? Nevermind). Now I don’t recommend going against University policy and sneaking a kitten into your dorm, but you should work on finding a stress reliever that works for you. Something simple. Whatever it ends up being, I can guarantee that you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on your crazy schedule.

 

Maria: Four Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

It’s hard to believe that three years ago, I was a scared little freshman on campus unsure of what to do with my life. How do I awkwardly make small talk with my neighbors in the bathroom? Would my professor hate me if I don’t go to office hours? Where is my 24-hour diner when I’m craving some greasy food at midnight? (Sorry, I’m from New York where late-night diners are a necessity in every town.)

This post inspired me after the COM (College of Communication) Open House in April when all of us COM Ambassadors came on stage, introduced ourselves, and said one thing we wish we knew about BU before we got here. The one lame, but true, thing I said was “I wish I knew how great COM was before I got here.” (I transferred from a psychology major in the College of Arts & Sciences to a journalism major in COM my sophomore year.) Well, chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already in COM or are interested in applying to COM, so you already know why COM is so great. So here are a few other things I wish I knew when I got to college:

1)    Get to know your professors and teaching fellows (TFs)

This is probably the one thing I really wish I knew the most as a freshman. If you establish a relationship with your professor or TF during your semester with them, they will most likely help you out during the semester giving you advice for their tests or essays and offering additional study hours. And although most of the classes you take freshman year are intro classes, one or two will be an intro class for your potential major. In the long run, having a strong connection with a professor or TF will truly when you need a mentor, letter of recommendation, or just someone to go to when you’re having a life or career crisis.

2)    The food here is actually pretty good

I’ll admit I was one of those kids who were obsessed with my future college as a senior in high school. I went on all those weird websites that ranked your college in every department: location, food, dorm life, even the parking situations. I always heard that BU had great food and distinctly remember one website giving the food an A-. It seemed weird to me that BU was one of the only schools I really saw that had a high food rating, but once I got here, I realized how accurate it was. The dining halls had miraculously delicious food and the food court had real places like Panda Express and a killer salad bar. And we live in an awesome city, so of course there’s amazing food places right off campus. With anything from “Brown Sugar” Thai food , “Chipotle” for your Mexican craving, or the North End just a short T-ride away, you literally can’t go hungry on (or even off) campus.

3)    Get to know the people on your floor and in your dorm

I lived on an all-girls floor in Claflin in West Campus my freshman year. To say it was catty is a bit of an understatement, but nonetheless I met some of my best friends on my floor. Unfortunately I didn’t meet many other people in the dorm, and found out that a lot of the friends I made later freshman year or sophomore year actually lived in my building. It’s great networking to meet people on all floors and it’s fun to mingle with people you may not see every day in the bathroom while you’re rocking your cute robe.

4)    The 57 Bus will save your life

If you don’t know what the 57 Bus is, it’s pretty much a hidden treasure on campus. The 57 is one of the city busses that starts in Kenmore, runs all throughout campus, stops at almost every block on campus, and continues down Brighton Ave. all the way to Watertown. It’s an awesome alternative to the T, which can run slow because it’s usually pretty packed (unless you’re on it at 5 AM or at random times of the day). But the 57 Bus drives as fast as a normal car, and let’s be real, Bostonians take driving to a new level in this city. And it’s cheaper; the T costs $2.50 while the bus is $2.00. Once you’re in college, you really appreciate the cheaper things in life.

I hope these words of advice are something you take into account as a freshman! Enjoy your weekend and the first few days of Fall!

Lauren: The Coolest Class I’ve Taken at BU!

Hi #BU2017!  I hope you’ve been having a fantastic first few weeks here at BU!

Now that I’m a senior (though I’m in total denial about it), I can say that I’ve taken a fair share of BU classes.  However, one particular class I’m taking this semester really stands out amongst the rest.  It’s a brand new type of learning experience, and I’m thrilled that I can be a part of it.
The course, AMP Insights Lab Incubator, is taught by individuals who work at AMP Agency, an integrated communications agency located here in Boston.  But instead of sitting in a classroom, the students get to learn in AMP’s awesome office.  It’s amazing to be in such a creative, productive environment, and it’s a nice change of scenery!

Each week, we discuss consumer trends and new technologies while exploring the intersection between creativity, strategy and technology.  We learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry during the weekly workshops in all the different advertising  departments like Account Management, Creative, Media, Technology, etc.   Each class is very hands-on and filled with interactive mini-projects and assignments.

The greatest aspect of the course, though, is that we get to work with an amazing client: The City of Boston.  Our final project involves creating a marketing strategy for the Onein3 Organization founded by Mayor Menino.  We’ll be presenting our ideas to city council workers in December, and we may even get to see our strategy implemented!  This Friday we have a special “kick-off” reception with the mayor himself, and I’ll get to meet him for the first time!  I’m ecstatic to be working on such an amazing project.

The College of Communication is constantly innovating, and this new type of class is just an example of how COM is giving students even more opportunities to get involved in the field.  I’m so thankful that AMP Agency has been so welcoming, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester holds!

Until next time,

Lauren

Kevin: My New Favorite Class

One of the classes I’m taking this semester that I’m really enjoying so far is PO313, The Politics of The Wire with professors Glick and Einstein. For homework we watch episodes of the HBO show The Wire (which I’m really enjoying, and I definitely recommend!) and then discuss the political themes in class. So far we’ve been discussing the war on drugs and racial prejudice, but relating it back to The Wire is making the class tons of fun instead of just reading facts out of a textbook.

The cool thing about this class is how it’s a political science course, but sometimes feels almost like a film class, like we spent a whole class talking about the motivations of different characters. That’s one of the great things about going to such a big school; there are tons of classes outside of COM that you can explore other interests with, but still incorporate things you’re passionate about. Like for me, I really love film, but I also like politics. So with this course, I get both! My roommate was also telling me that he took a philosophy class that was the philosophy of film, and was the same sort of thing. So when it comes time to register, be sure to sit down and take the time to explore!

 

Jon: 3 Tips for Checking out Film Equipment

One thing every film and  journalism student needs to know how to do is check out equipment from Field Production Services. For those who don’t know, Field Production Services (FPS) is the department in COM that manages all of the film and audio production equipment. If you need a camera, lights, an audio recorder, a dolly – the list goes on – you go to FPS.

While FPS has provided a lovely guide over on their website on how to reserve equipment http://www.bu.edu/com/current-students/film-tv/production-services/, there’s a lot of information to take in. So, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to best to handle checking out equipment from FPS.

1)     Make your reservation early: You can make reservations up to 14 days in advance, and with a number of production classes using the same equipment, it’s important not to wait for the last minute. If you make a project schedule ahead of time, then you’ll know exactly how early you’ll need to reserve your equipment for your shoot dates.

2)     Reserve enough equipment: It may seem like you’re just taking some still photos for your first project and you don’t need that heavy tripod. Or maybe you’re using a digital camera and you figure that you can use the LCD monitor to find your aperture settings, so is a light meter really necessary? Yes, yes you do. Don’t cut corners – the equipment’s there, you might as well use it.

3)     Check your equipment before you leave FPS: The people at FPS are great, but sometimes it gets busy in there: to prevent mix ups, go through ALL of your equipment before you leave and double check that it is all there and all working. The equipment ranges from kind of expensive to REALLY REALLY expensive, and you don’t want to get saddled with a price tag for a piece of gear you didn’t lose.

Handling gear can be kind of a hassle a times, but it’s worth it for the thrill of working on your own productions. Just make sure to reserve early, reserve enough gear, and check everything when you pick it up and you should be good!

Until next time,

ACTION!

 

Jason: A New Year

Two weeks of school have already gone by! Let me fill you guys in on how my year is looking because it’s going to be much different than the previous three years.

I’m actually only taking two classes this semester! I know what you’re thinking. Wow, someone’s got the case of senioritis. Well guess what? I’m only taking two classes next semester as well. But before you judge, let me explain why.

One class I’m taking is called Hot House Productions.  The best way to describe the class is that it’s a freelance class. We have two clients who pay our small class of eight people to make videos for them. This semester we’re working with the Commonwealth Hotel and an organization called Hospitality Homes. I’ve chosen to work with Hospitality Homes, a nonprofit organization that provides short-term housing and volunteer host homes for families and friends of patients receiving medical care in the Boston area. I am very excited to work as the DP for this project.

My second class is a sociology class about deviance.  This will be my third sociology class and second with Professor Yeager (who actually got his undergraduate degree in journalism!) This is an advance seminar class so there are only about twelve students total. Even cooler, we don’t have any exams. In fact, the whole class, including the bi-weekly two to four page papers, all gear up to our final twenty page thesis paper.

So you might be thinking, wow that doesn’t sound like that much work. Why are you only taking to classes? Well…

I’ll be continuing to work at Spy Pond Productions, the documentary company where I worked over the summer, I’ll have some new projects with the Skating Club of Boston (check out the video I made for them at www.thenext100years.org), and I’ll be helping out with the production of another documentary.

So there, I’m pretty busy!

I hope you guys are enjoying your school year so far! As always, let me know if you have any questions, especially as you get closer to finishing your applications!

Stay tuned for this year’s first episode of COMlife at the end of the month!

-Jason

 

Anneliese: Moving In

So, I just moved into my first apartment. Even though I consider myself logical and well equipped in the domestic skills apartment, I’ve definitely learned a lot since I moved in two weeks ago. I’d like to share my newly acquired wisdom with those of you considering off campus housing in the near future.

1. Avoid large, time-consuming DIY projects

Apparently, I watch way too much HGTV, and consider myself the Jonathan Scott female equivalent (Property Brothers, anyone?). As a poor college student, I accepted all of the beat-up, free furniture family and friends offered me—and then I decided to rehab it. My projects included sanding and staining an entire dining room set, as well as distressing and painting a dresser, desk, and bedside table. Thankfully, my parents talked me out of reupholstering the couch. I don’t necessarily regret revamping my furniture, as it turned out really lovely in the end. However, I did spend the last three weeks of summer in the garage, covered with sawdust and paint, and gagging on paint/stain fumes. I really would have preferred spending that time with my family. So, my advice? Stick to one statement piece to rehab—rather than the furniture for your entire apartment.

2. Bring a brother (and his friend)

My family drove from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a U-haul to move me into my apartment—I had a ton of crap. Movers can be expensive, but it’s near impossible dragging furniture up to a third floor apartment without any help. Luckily, I have a generous brother, who offered his assistance, and persuaded (blackmailed, probably) a friend to help as well. The two of them miraculously hauled a dining room set, a couch, three armchairs, a bed, a dresser, a desk, and a nightside table up three flights of stairs. And it cost my parents only a six-pack of beer and a couple of pizzas.

3. Sign up for a laundry service, if your building doesn’t have washers/dryers

I scoffed at the idea when my roommate first mentioned using a laundry service—how extravagant! Then I considered schlepping my laundry up and down all of our stairs, and around the block…in a Boston winter. Then there was the hassle of having enough quarters, the inconvenience of sitting at a Laundromat for two hours (when I don’t have enough time in the week as it is), and making sure I have enough laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I checked out the service my roommate was planning to use; you choose a day, the service picks up your laundry, washes/dries it per your instructions, and delivers it two days later.  After doing the math, I realized I would be spending about only $1.50 extra per load—totally worth it, considering the convenience.

4. Bring a toolbox

Did you know that a vacuum cleaner doesn’t come assembled? Maybe that’s a dumb question, but I definitely didn’t know. Thankfully, my aunt gave me a stocked toolbox equipped with screwdrivers, a hammer, and all. So far, I’ve used it to put together the vacuum cleaner, assemble a bench, and hammer in a nail that was sticking out of the floor. Needless to say, it has been useful.

5. Command strips, command strips, command strips

Command strips (with or without hooks) will become your best friends, especially when you’ve just moved into an apartment you don’t own and your landlord would appreciate you marking up his walls. We have command hooks in the kitchen, adorably displaying our oven mitts; I have command strips in my room, sticking my posters to the wall; we have command hooks on the back of the bathroom door for our towels. The possibilities are endless. Stock up.

 

Abby: Pleasantly Proved Wrong

With classes starting again I am again reminded just how much actually goes on around campus. Towards the end of last semester and my first year at BU, I thought I had really found my groove and knew what was what around campus. I thought I had it all figured out and that I knew exactly how my sophomore year was going to go. But this past week I have been pleasantly proved wrong.

The amount of clubs, organizations, events and causes is overwhelming but in the most inspiring way. In an “any thing is possible” or “I can be anything I want to be” kind of way. I am determined to keep this feeling all year even as more class projects get underway. I feel like I could be a part of anything I want. This fall it has also come to my attention that my friends do more than I thought and I can’t wait to join friends who are already involved in something awesome.

One of my fellow COM Ambassadors, Anneliese, is a DJ on a radio show on WTBU and has really made me want to know more about the radio station. My roommate and best friend is very involved with dance on campus and has inspired me to take a Ballet PDP. I also love seeing the freshmen in my COM Ambassador group get excited to get involved. They have inspired me to try some new things and are even letting me tag along with some of them to new member meetings. I can’t wait to see what this semester has in store for me and BU as a whole.

 

Kate: Getting Your Hands Dirty

Hi y’all! I hope you all are excited to be in Boston and your first week went well.  Since meeting my freshmen over the last couple weeks, I’ve had a bunch of questions about how to get practical experience in your first year.  As valuable as COM 101 and 201 are, I can understand wanting to get your hands on something in major sooner than later.  So here are my three suggestions for getting involved right off the bat:

Get involved in hands-on activity. Whether its BUTV10, WTBU Radio, or The Daily Free Press, COM offers so many groups where you can actually get your feet wet.  At the first BUTV meeting (September 11 from 7-9pm in COM101 ) you’ll get to hear from each Executive Producer about the different shows, time commitments, and shoots.  For WTBU Radio, you can intern for a semester before starting your own show.  All of these groups will teach how to use the equipment and give you invaluable experience.

Join a professional organization. I’ve been a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America since freshmen year and its been one of the most rewarding groups I’ve been involved with.  They bring in fantastic speakers every week, take the group on agency tours, and put on a professional conference every February.  For journalism students, there is the Society of Professional Journalists and Ed2010.  Not only are they great for your resume, they also teach you things you probably won’t learn elsewhere.

Network, network, network. In all communication industries, networking is incredibly important and it is never too early to start.  In COM 101, Professor Vigil brings in great speakers and panelists.  Introduce yourself to them and get their business card.  Attend networking events and keep in touch with people you think could be important to you in the future.  And lastly, network with your professors.  I’ve never met a professor who wouldn’t go out of their way to help you at any time and is happy to get to know you.

If you didn’t make it to the Ice Cream Social or Splash this past week, check on the Facebook/Twitter and websites of the groups you’re interested in getting involved with for information about their first meetings.  Good luck with week two and be in touch with your COM Ambassador with any questions!

Abby: Baby, It’s Cold Outside… But Not Quite Yet

I can remember this time last year FREAKING OUT about moving to Boston and starting my freshmen year. I had been planning and organizing all summer since before I had even officially graduated high school. (You can see my ridiculously color-coded packing list on the first episode of last season’s COMLife http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A021MmXvZo). One of my biggest stressors last summer was getting all of my things from Florida to Boston. And making sure I had every thing I needed or could possibly need at my new home away from home. This summer I feel a little bit calmer about entering my sophomore year mostly because I know a little bit more about what to expect. One obvious thing that did not occur to me until after I arrived in Boston was there are stores in Boston, too, because other people live there too. There are clothing stores and office supply stores and Bed Bath and Beyonds. So it is okay if you forgot something because there is nothing you left at home that your family can’t ship up to you or you can’t buy.

The cold weather was also another unknown that I was trying to plan for. I thought that it would be a snowy blizzard outside the second I stepped off the plane and I had no coat because it is impossible to buy fleece in Florida. But you know what? I was wearing shorts on move-in day and bought a fan for the first couple of weeks in the air-condition-less dorms. There was plenty of time for me to find a winter coat, boots and hat once I was in Boston because it doesn’t get cold until at least after Halloween.