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!

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!

 

Katilin: Senior Insanity

My life has been INSANE lately. Totally amazing and incredible, but insane. Where do I even start?

Well, I’m a SENIOR. That’s crazy enough as it is. I can’t believe I started at BU just three years ago, and it’s only eight months until they kick me out.  Yeah, I cry a little every day, but I feel so confident that I’m (relatively) ready to go out in the world and conquer it. All of the classes that I’ve taken here, all of the professors I’ve met, and all of the connections I’ve made, whether I’ve realized it at the time or not, have prepared me to be a confident, professional, and able human in the world of communication.

Things have been going well outside the world of COM as well. This semester, I’m the Inspector General of my Air Force ROTC Detachment (I know, it sounds so fancy), so I’m busy all of the time, but it’s the good kind of busy. We still have our early morning workouts and uniform days, and I’ve been able to appreciate every single moment.  I’m beyond excited to become a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. (Phew, that’s even kind of heavy to say).

As for work, I finally landed my dream job.  In November of 2010 I took my first yoga class at Back Bay Yoga studio, and told myself that if I ever became an instructor, I would try my hardest to work there. Three years and over 500 hours of training later, I was asked to take on a prime-time class at BBY, as well as two classes at its sister studio, Sweat and Soul Yoga. Even though it’s not a PR job per say, I owe a lot of my success to the things I learned from some of my favorite COM professors (shout out to Supa, Downes, and Wright, what up!). I’ve learned how to promote myself in a positive way, and voila, I’m teaching at two of Boston’s most well known studios.

I feel so lucky to be where I am and eternally grateful for every single situation I’ve been placed in. Definitely be sure to keep a positive attitude, no matter what life throws your way, especially during your four years here.  I promise that things will get rough and ugly but that doesn’t mean they have to be bad or announce the end of the world.  NAMASTE!

 

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

 

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.