Hali: Things to Look Forward to in Spring Semester

In my opinion, spring semester is approximately 1000 times more fun than fall semester. I’ve never fully known why, I just know that it’s true! 

As you prepare to head home for spring break, take a moment to consider how completely amazing next semester is going to be. There’s so much to look forward to at BU in the springtime!

I’ll be honest and say that I mostly chose to write about this topic to make myself less sad about the fact that my semester abroad is over. But alas, without further adieu, here are the top reasons I’m excited to come back to BU: 

Cold weather! Snow days! 

I literally can’t believe I’m saying this! Since I’ve been in London, we’ve been spoiled with 55 degree weather throughout November and December. I packed my cute winter coat and I haven’t even had a chance to wear it! Believe it or not, a part of me actually misses the ice-cold walks to class at BU. I can’t wait to come back and nearly catch frost bite every day! On a less-sarcastic note, snow days are one of the best parts of life so let’s hope we can look forward to those too! 

Open House Season

There is something that is SO exiting about those last few weeks of March. Suddenly, there are banners up and down Comm. Ave and flowers appear in front of every classroom building! Boston University has rejuvenated itself to welcome the potential Class of 2023! I LOVE open house season. If it looks like you are on a tour, I literally will stop you on the street and tell you about how much I love BU and probably also ask for your life story! In COM, I love giving tours to students who have already been admitted to the university. I love meeting prospective students at COM open house days in April. 

COM!!!!!

I MISS COM SO MUCH I COULD CRY!!!!!!! I can’t wait to come back to BU and be greeted by all those smiling faces in the undergraduate affairs office. I can’t wait to fight for a seat in the COM lounge. I can’t wait to see what life is like without computer labs! I can’t wait for it to be April so that I can lay on the COM lawn between classes! Is it time for COMapalooza yet? 

Being a senior/commencement??? What?????????

Hahahahahah what? I’m graduating? Apparently! I usually cry when I think about graduation, but you know what? I’m also embracing it! Graduation is the POINT of college, right? I can’t wait to spend the entirety of next semester living in the COM Career Center and applying to jobs on Handshake! My final semester at BU is bound to be a stressful time, but I must admit, the job hunt is also exciting! Who knows what the future holds?

Hali: You’re Studying Abroad? But Aren’t You a Senior?

To answer the questions posed in this title, yes! And yes! 

I think an overwhelming majority of COM students choose to study abroad during their junior year. I don’t have any stats, but I’m sure someone in the Undergraduate Affairs office can give you some numbers. By the beginning of my junior year, however, it became clear that this wasn’t the best choice for me. And guess what? That’s okay! 

After I made the decision to study abroad senior year, there were plenty of times when I worried I was making the wrong choice. The idea of coming back to campus and only having one semester left terrified me. I couldn’t bear the thought of missing Splash. My heart yearned to see the fall leaves cover Bay State Road one last time. 

But as this semester approached, I grew more and more secure in my decision. Being abroad as a senior has given me an opportunity to reflect on my time at BU. As a senior, I feel so much better equipped to handle some of the challenges that come along with studying and interning in this new environment. 

Just to make myself feel ever more sure that I’ve made an excellent life decision, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why it’s a great idea to study abroad during senior year. PHOTO 1I’m studying abroad in London, but here’s a photo of me in front of the Colosseum. Go abroad so you can book cheap flights to Italy!

#1: Seize That Senior-Year YOLO Attitude
As a senior, you’re constantly aware of the fact that you’re doing things for the last time. You only get to experience college once, and it’s so easy to forget that as an underclassman. Being a senior has made me seize every opportunity I’ve had abroad, because I’m hyperaware of the fact that I’ll never have an opportunity like this again. I’m so lucky to be here, so I’d better act like it, right? 

#2: Take time to get experience, experience, and more experience
Did someone say experience? If you’re a COM student choosing to do an abroad internship program, it feels SO good to go abroad knowing a thing or two (or a lot more than a thing or two) about your field. Junior year me wouldn’t be as confident at her abroad internship as senior year me is. I don’t regret taking the extra time to build my resume and recognize what I wanted to get out of an internship. 

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetFollow me on Instagram @halisimone for more cloudy-sky London content.

#3: Gain New Appreciation for BU
It’s going to be so sad to leave London in December. But when I come back to BU, I know I’m going to cherish every moment. Knowing that I have such little time left to appreciate the COM lounge and the Warren Towers Starbucks makes me — dare I say it — excited (and emotional) to return back to campus. Wow, can you believe I’m weeping now? 

This post isn’t here to convince you to go abroad senior year instead of junior year. It’s to remind you that you should go abroad whenever you want to! Think about what’s best for YOU, and how you want to shape your college experience and timeline. If that means having a little less time to enjoy the BU Pub, so be it (I hear the pubs are better in London anyway).

Hali: Hali’s Favorite Warm Weather Activities

“I woke up this morning and was immediately greeted with a true rarity: sunshine. Sometimes, Boston winters seem to last forever (shoutout to last week’s April snowfall). But there are brighter days ahead, and it’s almost time to trade my vitamin D supplements for some fun in the sun! This upcoming weekend’s 60 degree forecasts inspired me to list the things I’m most excited to do when Spring has finally sprung.
1. Check out the art (and food) at SoWa Open Market
When I spent my first summer living in Boston, I went to SoWa nearly every weekend. Located in the gorgeous South End, it’s filled with various artists, vendors, and most importantly, food trucks. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, anyone?
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2. Go for a stroll (and spend a bit too much money) on Newbury Street
This one is an absolute classic. Newbury Street may look beautiful when those trees are covered in snow and Christmas lights, but subzero temperatures don’t make for an ideal shopping experience. When it finally warms up, I can spend hours strolling along Newbury Street with my friends. Don’t forget to take a snack break at Georgetown Cupcake (you deserve it).
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3. Visit The Seaport District!
I’ve noticed that this area is severely underappreciated by BU student. I’ll admit that I’m part of the problem! The seaport is a little difficult to get to, but on a nice day you can walk here from Park Street or South Station, and it’s even accessible by the Silver Line if you’re not feeling it. The seaport is beautiful on a summer day, and you can stop by the I.C.A., or even go beyond this district and walk to the Lawn on D!
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4. Enjoy a run (or walk, or bike ride, or picnic, etc.) on the Esplanade
Ah yes, save the simplest for last. There isn’t a single excuse to not enjoy the Esplanade. It’s about a thirty second walk from campus, and it’s a great place to exercise, do homework, or just spend time with friends.
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The next several Saturdays should be beautiful, so be sure to add a few of these ideas to your weekend to-do list!

Hali: Hali’s Favorite Coffee Shops

Hello, fellow COM student! 

True fans will remember that one year ago, I posted my list of favorite brunch spots in Boston. While I don’t have time to eat as much brunch these days, I still make time for coffee. As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, I’ve been to my fair share of Boston coffee shops. The best thing about going out for coffee is that it can be as productive (or not) as you want it to be. In typically Hali fashion, here is a list of the best coffeeshops to spend an entire Sunday afternoon writing that WR150 paper that’s due next week! 

Tatte

Don’t fool yourself and assume that my list is in no particular order. Well, after this one, it is in no particular order. But Tatte belongs at the top. Why, you ask? It’s because, in short, Tatte Cafe and Bakery is my happy place. Where else can you get the most caffeinated cold brew you’ve ever had and pair it with a pastry, a sandwich, or – if you’re feeling crazy – CHEESECAKE? I would like to point out a few things that make Tatte the best coffee shop around. First, you have a million options. Tatte just opened brand new locations in Back Bay and Fenway, and they’re located in just about every other neighborhood of Boston and Cambridge as well. Second, there is nothing in the world that’s better than Tatte’s almond croissant. Trust. 

A photo of the Holy Land (1352 Boylston Street).
A photo of the Holy Land (1352 Boylston Street).

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company

Talk about a cool, calm, collected aesthetic, am I right? This one’s a little out of the way, but hey! If it’s the weekend, you were probably going to Newbury Street anyway, right? Make a quick stop here between all the shopping to get a little work done. Barrington makes my list because while all of these coffee shops have great vibes, Barrington probably has the best actual coffee. Drink up, and study up. 

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company (303 Newbury Street)
Barrington Coffee Roasting Company (303 Newbury Street)

Pavement

I’ll be completely honest, I am listing Pavement out of sheer obligation! Just kidding, kind of. I am actually listing Pavement because if I go one week without a Sunrise on a multigrain everything bagel, I suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms! All jokes aside, Pavement is one of the best coffee shops in Boston, and their location is so convenient for BU students. PRO-TIP: the Fenway location (located on Boylston) is 100% the superior Pavement! It’s only a five minute walk from the one on campus, and it’s worth the extra steps to have a better chance of finding a table. 

Pavement Coffeehouse (1334 Boylston Street)
Pavement Coffeehouse (1334 Boylston Street)

Blue State

Blue State will always have a place in my heart. I will always associate remember it as the closest place to my freshman year dorm in Claflin Hall where I could actually get good coffee. Blue State makes my list because of their expansive menu. From cold brew to tea to smoothies, they’ve got it all. They’re also open until 10 PM, so stay as late as you’d like. 

Blue State Coffee (957 Commonwealth Avenue)
Blue State Coffee (957 Commonwealth Avenue)

I’ll keep my list short to make your coffee-shop decision easier. If you’d like a more extensive selection, feel free to give me a call. Next time you’re craving something a little more chic than your caramel iced coffee from Dunkin, give one of these spots a try! 

Hali: The Art of Scheduling

Two weeks ago, I woke up early on a Sunday morning to register for my Spring 2018 classes. I’ve already altered my schedule since then. With my track record, this will probably happen twice more before the semester begins. 

I’ve consistently overbooked myself this past semester, and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time regretting. This semester has taught me the importance of crafting a schedule that is catered towards your individual needs. It’s important to remember that your schedule is so much more than the few hours you spend in class per week. It may sound like a good idea to fill every hour of the day with jobs, internships, classes, and extracurriculars, but you may find yourself crashing by mid-March (if you last that long). 

It’s tough to plan an ideal schedule on your first attempt, but you might come close with careful planning. Here’s some important things to keep in mind as you craft (or modify!) your schedule for next semester: 

Extracurriculars

Classes are important, but they also only make up a fraction of your week. I mention extracurriculars first because mine are the most demanding part of my schedule. I have rehearsals for my student group, On Broadway, most nights of the week. I always keep this in mind when making my schedule.

One of the most important things to remember is scheduling BREAK TIME. That 3-6 PM class might look great in your schedule, but it won’t feel great when there’s no time to stop for dinner before whatever meeting you have to run to! 

Study time

This is an undergraduate institution! There’s no point in taking 16 credits worth of classes if you’re not saving any time to apply yourself! You don’t need to reserve ten hours of study time per day, but make sure there’s enough space in between your classes to manage your workload. The best schedule is one that will allow you to do a little bit of studying everyday. 

It’s also important to know yourself and consider when you’re the most productive. For example, two years of college have taught me that I am NOT a night owl. I tend to register for late afternoon classes so I can wake up, grab my Venti iced coffee at Starbucks, and spend my mornings getting homework done in the COM Lounge.

Save time for friends and family 

There was a time last semester when I went two weeks without speaking to my parents. I don’t think I will ever live that down. If you’re too busy to spend time catching up with the people you love, you’re doing something wrong! 

This one is easy, because you don’t necessarily need to dedicate two hours per day to Facetiming your parents (although I certainly wish I could). However, it sometimes can be very helpful to block off a weekly time to give your loved ones a call. I usually spend Sunday evenings giving everyone in my family a quick call! 

Remember that life happens

Don’t forget…. there’s going to be so much that you can’t plan for next semester! You’ll be able to handle a busy schedule sometimes, but not always. There will undoubtedly be days when you just need some rest! Filling your Friday afternoon with classes and extracurriculars may seem efficient now, but what will you do when your friends ask you to hang out, or the new season of (insert popular television show here) premieres on Netflix?

As a general rule, just keep your schedule open! You never know when a new job or internship opportunity will arise, or if you’d like to branch out and try a new extracurricular! Keep all of this in mind when you register for classes, and you’re sure to have yourself a successful spring semester! 

Hali: Hali’s Guide to Staying In

The past two Friday nights, I have stayed home and done laundry. Exciting, right? Well, for me, yes. 

I used to be devastated when I didn’t have plans for the weekend. Now, I understand the importance of reserving free time. It’s only been a few weeks, but this fall has been the most challenging semester I’ve had so far in college. During the week, my days start at 9 AM, and I’m usually not home before 10 or 11 PM. After five days of classes, interning, and working multiple jobs, all I can think about on Friday is going home, changing into my comfiest pajamas, and rewatching at least five episodes of Sex and the City. Thinking about staying in this Friday? I’ve provided my recipe for the perfect night in.

#1: The Attire

It’s fun to wear trendy clothes to class. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you perform well, right? Of course.

But a girl can only wear high-waisted skinny jeans and heeled boots for so many hours. The best part of my day is when I get to come home and change into sweatpants and an oversized cardigan. The best thing about the weekend? You can literally keep this comfy outfit on until Monday morning (you might want to consider taking it off to shower at some point, though).

#2: The Activities

“Activities” might not be the right word, because most of my night-in plans involve staying pretty still. Options include: movies (of course), online shopping, baking, manicures, face masks, etc. My Friday nights usually include all of the above. 

The point is, your night-in activities should consist of whatever makes you happy. Last weekend, I stayed in and cleaned my kitchen. And guess what? I enjoyed every moment! 

#3: The Food

I usually sort this one out before Friday even arrives. A pre-Friday night trip to the grocery store is a must if you want to make the most of your treat ‘yo self experience. Feeling creative? Make yourself dinner! Feeling lazy? Even better! Pick up something to go. Feeling even lazier? That’s what Uber Eats is for! 

Just as important as dinner are the snacks. Whether your plans include watching a movie, reading a book, or Facetiming your mom, you need adequate fuel to give you the strength to spend several hours lounging in bed. 

#4: The Finale

The best part of a Friday night in? Bedtime. As soon as the clock strikes 10:30 PM, sip your last bit of chamomile tea, take your melatonin supplement (thanks, Target vitamin aisle), and head to bed! 

Have you had a tough week? Live your best life this weekend from the comfort of your own home (or apartment, or dorm). 

Hali: Why Theater is a COM Student’s Craft

This past weekend was one of the most hectic and exciting of my semester. Not only did COM Opening House take place on Saturday, April 8th (woo!), but BU On Broadway, my favorite extracurricular, performed Legally Blonde: The Musical.

I’m writing this post because being a part of this show has been one of my favorite experiences I’ve had at BU. We sold out multiple performances, which is a big deal in a 500-seat theater! Several other COM Ambassadors were also involved, both onstage and behind the scenes.

To those who know me, it’s no surprise that I’m obsessed with BU On Broadway. My experiences performing, producing, and serving as treasurer have been some of the most valuable ones I’ve had in my time at BU. On Broadway even helped me decide to minor in arts leadership and hopefully apply my public relations education to the arts world one day. I can’t wait to serve as President next year!

At COM Open House, each CA had to share their favorite extracurricular. As I hinted before, an overwhelming number of us are involved with On Broadway. This weekend, I’ve tried to figure out why so many COM students are drawn to performing arts extracurriculars. Performing in Legally Blonde helped me figure out an answer. COM students are drawn to theatre because it is the ultimate form of collaboration. A show can’t happen without actors working together, without a creative team coming up with a clear vision, or without techies working diligently behind the scenes. In any given show, countless people are taking their unique skills to make a beautiful production come to life. It’s the same type of collaboration that occurs when a group of students work together to make a film, when students brainstorm campaigns for AdLab clients, and so on.  When a show finally comes together, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. This feeling wouldn’t be achievable without the hard work of the entire cast, crew, and creative team.

At COM, we love to tell stories. That’s exactly what we do in theatre. The skills that I’ve gained from working in theatre have helped me tremendously in the classroom, and I’m certain they will help me even more in my career.

Oh, and if you missed Legally Blonde this weekend, be sure to catch BU On Broadway’s Godspell in the Student Theater April 27-29!

Hali: Official Brunch List

After a long week of West Burgers and Loose Leafs salads, there’s nothing better than splurging on some weekend eats. That’s why Saturday morning means one thing to me: brunch. My obsession with brunch is a fundamental part of my life. It’s about so much more than just the food; it’s about gathering with friends, traveling into the city, and enjoying a meal together. After surviving a long, hard week, there’s nothing better than treating myself to some stuffed french toast with a side of bacon. Here’s my official list of brunch recommendations for every occasion, every neighborhood, and every budget.

Union

(174 Harvard Avenue, Allston) 

Union is the most convenient and most affordable brunch option I’ve found around BU. Located on Harvard Avenue in Allston, this is the best option for anyone who lives in West Campus. I live in 1047, and it takes me less than ten minutes to get there. My favorite part of the menu is the impressive selection of flavored iced coffees.

The Friendly Toast

(1 Kendall Square, Cambridge; 35 Stanhope Street, Back Bay)

A wonderful thing about The Friendly Toast is that they have two locations. The best perk, however, is their late night hours. The Back Bay location is open until 3 AM! Ever find yourself craving french toast in the middle of the night? Your wishes will soon be fulfilled.

Cafeteria

(279 Newbury Street, Back Bay)

A brunch list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Newbury Street location. Cafeteria is my favorite. Located about a block away from the Hynes Convention Center T stop, this place is super easy to find. I can also say from experience that I’ve never had more than a ten minute wait at Cafeteria, so it’s a perfect option if you’re feeling spontaneous! It’s also great if you want to spend the rest of your afternoon shopping on Newbury Street.

Cafe Luna

(403 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square)

Cafe Luna is, without a doubt, my FAVORITE PLACE IN THE CITY OF BOSTON. You have to see their menu to believe it. Their dessert-like waffles take brunch to a whole new level (the strawberry and Nutella option changed my life for the better). Pro tip: make reservations! If you show up to Cafe Luna at noon on a Saturday, you’ll surely have to wait at least two hours. Plan ahead.

Tatte

(1003 Beacon Street, Brookline) 

Last but not least, an honorable mention is awarded to Tatte. Tatte will always have a special place in my heart thanks to the summer I spent living in South Campus. It feels like a two-minute walk from campus, which is how I ended up eating practically every meal at this cozy spot. The best part is that they serve brunch ALL DAY Friday through Sunday. Perfect for when you’re craving brunch food but still want to sleep in until the afternoon.

My personal brunch list goes on forever. If for some reason this intricate guide does not suit your needs, feel free to reach out to me for more options! May the comforting thought of Saturday’s brunch reservations help you survive the hectic week ahead.