Julianna: Surviving the Second Half of Spring Semester

The second half of the spring semester is officially underway now that midterms (well, most of them) and spring break are over. At this time I usually find myself changing up my routine or setting a few springtime resolutions. Here are some guidelines and lifehacks to ending the school year on a successful note:

 

Finalize your summer plans

You’re probably used to uploading your resume and clicking “send” by now since most deadlines for summer internship applications are before April. For those who have been applying all winter, make sure to have an interview outfit ready in your closet.  If you’ve missed some application deadlines then check out job board listings. BU Career Link, Ed2010 and journalismjobs.com are great resources for those seeking editorial and communications internships. If you have a job lined up for the summer then start to think about your fall plans. Some students (myself included) have found interning in the fall to be a better fit for their schedule and budget.

 

Improve your post-midterms study habits

Let’s be honest, we all procrastinate and have awful all-nighters once (okay maybe twice, three times or more) a semester. Sometimes it takes just one bad all-nighter or exam grade to kick-start a new work ethic. Take advantage of professors’ office hours to go over concepts or check in about an idea for a paper. The COM Writing Center is an excellent resource for help on a COM specific assignment. If you’re struggling in a foreign language then talk to your professor about recommendations for a tutor. I was tutored in Italian by a BU student from Italy during my freshman year, and it greatly improved my conversation skills. During this time of the semester I usually change up my routine by setting aside certain nights to catch up or get ahead on readings.

 

Keep an eye on your dining and convenience points balances

Grande soy chai lattes everyday? Of course that sounds like a wonderful way to get through the winter! Well, until you realize that you have enough points left to make it through a week.When I had a dining plan, I would start to crack down on my Starbucks and GSU visits around this time. I frequently ordered Rhetty-to-go meals from the dining hall by paying with my meals in order to save up dining points. To save money on water carry around a water bottle and refill it at one of the many sustainable water machines around campus.

Julianna: Venturing Out

Well, it’s happening. I am in the second semester of my senior year. As expected there are a lot of emotions going on at this time –– a sense of “calm before the storm” before job applications and graduation roll in. Then there are serious bouts of nostalgia –– remember that time during sophomore year when we saw Chairlift at Brighton Music Hall or all the fun, bizarre nights we had on 11C? Above all, I am motivated to do and see as much of the Boston area before the semester runs out. Luckily, I have a lot of free time (the first semester ever since coming to BU). Some of my must-do’s are to check out Inman Square in Cambridge, spend a leisurely afternoon at the MFA and go to Howl at the Moon with my friends.

 

On a recent Sunday my friend and I explored Davis Square in Somerville, which is the second-to-last stop on the Red Line before Alewife. I pretty much adore the Red Line because it runs through my favorite spots in Cambridge: Kendall, Central and Harvard Squares. I have heard a lot buzz about Davis Square (and Somerville overall) for some time in terms of it’s eclectic dining options and growing “hipsterism.” We walked along Elm Street and browsed through racks at Buffalo Exchange and other clothing stores. Then we left the square and strolled along College Avenue to get a look at Tufts University. Since it was a frigid day we decided against going onto Tufts campus, and instead headed back to Davis Square to Diesel Cafe. This is the best cafe that I have been to in a while. First of all, Diesel was packed with people –– local students hovering over books and laptops, young families pushing strollers and groups of friends stuffed into four-person booths. Diesel has pool tables, a photo booth (which seemed to be out-of-order) and two, open-air rooms. We each ordered the “Monkey Wrench,” which had turkey, avocado, cheddar cheese, greens and other fixings on a baguette. I also sipped from a mug of perfectly spicy chai tea latte. We ended our afternoon in Davis Square without any knowledge of a Winter Vintage Market that occurred that very day at the Arts Armory. Of course, we can look forward to the springtime for the reappearance of markets (outdoor!) in the Boston area.

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.

 

Julianna: Finding a Place in Journalism

Happy summer, everyone! It feels as though the days until the start of the semester are whizzing by. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was writing up features for World Travel Guide in London or spending a weekend in Prague? Now, I’m two months in (and exactly one month to go) at Time Out New York where I’m interning in the travel & guides department. As I prepare for my last year at BU (yikes!), I’m starting to see how past decisions and goals are stringing together into my future. I came to BU knowing that I wanted to pursue print journalism, but was unsure of my direction. Should I write about politics? Music? Or both? And so, along the way I’ve reported on various topics – fashion, concert reviews, neighborhood hard news from a school board meeting to business stories. In the spring I had my “ah-ha” moment at my London internship when I realized that I want to pursue a career in travel, life&styles  journalism.

Just as my future career became a clearer vision I was offered my dream internship at Time Out New York. I’ve been reading and using TONY as a source of NYC recommendations since the beginning of high school. Plus, I read Time Out London religiously in the spring. To have my own desk at my favorite media company feels surreal even if it’s just for three months. I work under one editor who has assigned me to several projects such as fact-checking listings for an NYC guide book and writing up pieces that will be published in the coming weeks. This internship has been a change of pace from previous ones where I was doing extensive reporting and writing. At TONY I’m honing my editorial skills, which will prove vital to my dream job in magazine journalism.

The point of my ramblings is make some suggestions to other aspiring journalists. If you’re looking to pin-point what drives your desire for journalism then work your way through writing about different topics for on-campus publications and consider an internship at a newspaper so you can experience reporting as a trade. It’s okay to be “all over the map” in terms of figuring out your place in journalism because after all this is a vast, ever-changing industry. As the semesters roll on you’ll start to see your role as a student journalist take shape into visions of your ideal beat, company or editor position. My path in journalism at BU isn’t over just yet, but at this point I could already say that it’s been so exciting. So embrace bouts of uncertainty, feel the pressure of deadlines and as always, stay curious.

 

Julianna: Make the Most of your Internship Abroad

Hello from London! It’s been an incredible semester of traveling, exploring London and getting to learn more about myself outside of my comfort zone. Allow me to digress on the latter. As the cliche goes, studying abroad really is a life-changing experience. Since January I have tackled bouts of homesickness, eased out of culture shock and got into the habit of taking myself out on day-dates to markets, museums and cafes (my next “date” will be a spa day in Bath!). As the semester winds down I find myself not only reflecting on my growth, but on my time at my internship. Since the end of February I have been working at Columbus Travel Media as an editorial intern for its website, World Travel Guide (www.worldtravelguide.net). As part of the in-house editorial team I have written and pitched feature stories, worked the company’s social media and learned how to edit photos and publish content to the website. With only one week left at my internship, it’s the perfect time to give some tips to those of you who plan to do a BU abroad internship program.

1. Be specific about the type of internship you want

Internships at BU London are sourced by a private placement company called EUSA. This means each student in the program is assigned a EUSA placement manager who goes through the process of finding and landing an internship for you. Sigh of relief. With having to apply for a VISA and other important preparations it really is such a plus to not have to worry about the internship hunt. However, your input is extremely important. Several weeks before leaving for London I had a meeting with a EUSA representative to discuss my internship preferences. I was very specific about my interests in journalism: please, nothing to remotely do with hard news and instead more along the lines of travel, life and styles. Since I aspire to work in magazines, I also mentioned specific London-based magazines that interested me. Well, I ended up not being placed at a magazine, but I definitely got what I asked for in terms of travel journalism, which leads me to my next point…

2. Be Open Minded. Always.

Okay, so I wasn’t placed at a glossy. At first I was a little bummed, but as I prepared for the pre-internship interview I got even more excited about the opportunity to work in travel media whilst experiencing a semester of frequent weekend jaunts to mainland Europe and other UK destinations. And so I started off my internship with a) a gut feeling that I would love it b) an open mindedness to honing my skills in online journalism and social media. On day one my positive initiative proved successful. Right away my editor put me on assignment to write a feature and offered me the opportunity to go on an overnight press trip to Oxford and to write a feature out of it. Well, two weeks later after going on this awesome press trip I came to one of the most important realizations since coming to London: I definitely want a career in travel journalism.

3. Prepare for your interview

Get to know yourself. Well, your professional self. Think up potential questions that your interviewer will ask such as, what are your strengthens and weaknesses? Then jot down your responses and say them out loud to hear how you will respond. Have your resume, or as they say here across the Atlantic, CV, in tip-top shape and know what certain past projects or jobs you would like to delve into during the interview. Always do a thorough Internet search on your company. For journalists, find out the company’s targeted audience and read recent articles or watch/listen to the latest programs. Since you’re in a foreign place look into how to get to your office several days before the interview, so you can arrive with time to spare and a good sense of your travel route.

4. Immerse yourself in the office culture

Interning abroad means you will undoubtably experience a different professional environment than what you’re used to in Boston. For instance, I’ve learned that it is common courtesy to ask the rest of the staff if anyone wants tea before I go to the kitchen to refresh my cup. Oh on the topic of tea. If you come to London get used to tea as your new pick-me-up — you can drink lots of it throughout the day without getting caffeine jitters.

 

Julianna: The Perfect Study Mix

There is no denying it—the three weeks that follow Thanksgiving are always the busiest and most stressful of the semester. This is the time to meet deadlines for papers and projects before reading week and final exams arrive. For me, this is not only my busiest semester ever, but my busiest post-Thanksgiving/December. I believe the essentials to powering through the rest of the semester are to stake out a few go-to study spots (mine are definitely 26th Floor of StuVi II and SMG Starbucks), squeeze in FitRec time and to find the perfect music for studying and writing papers.

Here is a list of my favorite songs that will serve as my soundtrack to upcoming study sessions:

“The Calm” by Drake

“Angels” by The xx

“Blue in Green” by Miles Davis

“Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones

“Pink Matter” by Frank Ocean and Andre 3000

“Wait” by M83

“Lay, Lady, Lay” by Bob Dylan

“Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Mix)” by Radiohead

“Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam” by Nirvana (MTV Unplugged in New York)

“Your Hand in Mine” by Explosions in The Sky

 

Julianna: Real-World Neighborhood Journalism

Hey Everyone!

The last you heard from me I blogged about where to brunch in Boston. Listen, I was really hungry when I wrote that post AND I firmly believe that brunching is a serious matter.

Anyway…on to what I’m actually doing in my real life aside from daydreaming about lattes and homefries. Since the first week of classes I’ve been interning as a reporter for GateHouse Media New England, a news organization that owns 150+ local newspapers in Eastern Massachusetts. I primarily write for the Allston-Brighton TAB/www.WickedLocal.com/Allston and the Brookline TAB/ www.WickedLocal.com/Brookline.  My internship is awesome because I am getting actual “learn-as-you-go” reporting experience. The hours are flexible enough to fit my already packed schedule, and so I am able to cover about 1-2 stories a week. Since Allston-Brighton and Brookline are in BU’s backyard, it’s incredibly easy for me to get to wherever I need to go. In the two months that I’ve been reporting for the TAB I’ve written several business features, a Q&A with a Boston public health official, covered a school board meeting and a seminar on construction developments, among other stories. Aside from getting tangible journalism experience, I am also becoming more familiar with the two neighborhoods that border or arguably blend into BU’s campus. I no longer feel like an outsider from NY– I am starting to develop a mental Google Maps of Allston-Brighton and Brookline, I am tapping into more localized cultures and piecing together what really concerns locals and Bostonians at large.

Check out two of my published works! Here is one for Allston-Brighton and another for Brookline.

 

Juliana: Where to Brunch

Hey Everyone!

For those of you who were able to attend COM Open House in April, I shared during the COM Ambassador introductions that my favorite place on campus for Sunday brunch is Warren Towers dining. When I lived in east campus my freshman and sophomore years my friends and I went to brunch at Warren every single week. Now that we live at different ends of campus, we haven’t been able to all convene for Sunday brunch at Warren yet this semester. However, we’ve explored some off-campus spots a few times this past month.

Here is a list of my favorite brunch spots in and around Boston:

5. Crispy Crepes Cafe

This place defined my freshman year. Located on Park Drive in South Campus, this is the go-to place for… take a guess… crepes. I would always order a Nutella and banana crepe, but recently I tried a savory crepe for the first time– the Santa Fe. Crispy Crepes Cafe is awesome because it’s cheap, no-frills and has a packed menus of everything from crepes to standard breakfast to Middle Eastern delicacies like falafel and shawarma.

4. Trident Booksellers & Cafe

You can wander through aisles of books and salivate over the pages of cookbooks as you wait for a table at this popular Newbury Street eatery. They serve what they call “perpetual breakfast,” which has a lot of options to equally satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians. My favorite thing to order is a specialty tea because it comes in your own mini tea pot.

3. @Union

A few weekends ago I dragged my friends out of bed for my birthday brunch (only I would host a bday brunch) at @Union on Harvard Ave. in Allston. @Union is always super busy because it’s good food for on-the-cheap. They always serve seasonal coffee drinks and they allow for refills on regular cups of coffee. The last time I was there I ordered a soy cappuccino and Caprese eggs benedict, which was meatless, with traditional Hollandaise sauce, fresh mozzarella and tomato slices. SO GOOD.

2. The Regal Beagle

My family and I discovered this hole-in-the-wall on Harvard St. in Brookline during their recent visit to Boston. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE IS AMAZING. Their brunch menu is small, but offers a great variety of creative dishes and twists on classics like a veggie burger topped with a fried jalapeno, pico de gallo and queso fresco. It’s cozy and they play hootenanny music, Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan.

1. Allston Diner

This tiny place on Cambridge St. in Allston doesn’t allow parties bigger than four, so it’s great for an intimate group. There’s tons of options for vegans and vegetarians. I recently ordered chicken and waffles. It was straight up heaven.

 

Julianna: How to Stay Sane

Now that it’s the middle of September I’m sure you’re already on your way to becoming a pro at this thing called college. Getting aimlessly lost in CAS and misjudging when to stop in Starbucks before class…that was so last week. Calenders begin to fill up as clubs and organizations reconvene for the school year and professors announce important test dates. As the semester rolls on your time management skills will most likely be put to the test. Speaking for myself I dove into my junior year with a full (maybe overflowing) plate: classes, part-time job and an internship. Here are three tips on how to stay sane and manage your time wisely when you are at your busiest:

1. Planner = Life

A little organization goes a long way. Go all out with different colored pens to represent all your priorities, highlighters and sticky notes. Thumb through those syllabi and mark down future deadlines and exam dates. I refer to my planner at least 2-3 times a day to see that I am accomplishing everything I need to, and to remind myself what I have in store for the next day.

2. Try your hardest to not fall victim to procrastination

We all do it. We’ve all been there. You’ve got a paper due in t-minus 12 hours, endless reading, but you can’t seem to pry your eyes away from social media or the TV. Install Self Control on your computer and turn off your phone. If the latter is just to difficult to imagine then try this: I like to set 1-2 hour increments solely fixated on doing work, and when the time is up, I reward myself with 10-15 minute breaks. Another great way to avoid procrastination is to try to get work done in between classes and at awkward off-hours rather than saving everything for nighttime. Scope out some study spaces on and off campus like Marciano Commons and Espresso Royale Cafe.

3. Find one thing that calms you

Do yourself a huge favor and carve out the time to do something that brings you inner peace, such as taking a run a long the Charles, reading a magazine rather than a textbook or meditating. For me I’ve found unexpected pleasure in walking to and from 1019 and East Campus, especially in the mornings when I put Drake on full blast.

Julianna: My Journey to Israel

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel-Hungry BU COM Kids

Shalom BU COM Class of 2016!

Quick re-cap of my summer away from BU: I returned to my summer office job for two months, cranked out a story a week for the college news section of NextGen Journal, got hooked on HBO’s The Newsroom, warmed up to the new cast members on the Real Housewives of New York City and prepared for my trip to Israel.

Now I am Stateside again after participating in the Anti-Defamation League’s Campus Leaders Mission to Israel with 17 other college students from across the country. It was a whirlwind eight days of touring and learning first-hand about Israel’s domestic issues, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s relations with nations outside of the Middle East. I met journalists, political analysts, new immigrants at an absorption center, IDF soldiers, a world renown professor of Holocaust studies, university students, among others.

The mission to Israel was most definitely the best experience I’ve had in my 20 years of living. Dramatic? Totally. But, I really mean it. Since returning I’ve perused my 600+ photos countless times, daydreamed about zatar (the most delicious spice ever) on everything and reread my notes to further absorb everything that I learned. All this nostalgia and post-travel blues has me longing for another adventure. I want stamps on stamps on stamps in my passport book. I want more culture, another foreign language in my ears and new (or some more ancient) roads to conquer.

I know that I am one of many college students with an endless hunger for travel and adventure. If you find yourself with the very same desire, think about how that aligns with why you chose BU. Speaking for myself, I was completely won over by BU’s location in the heart of Boston. You’ll see that with living in Boston comes constant adventure, whether it be taking the T to the last stop of a particular line, exploring the quaint South End or meandering through the famers’ market at Haymarket. So get ready for the adventure that awaits you in Boston, and along your path to graduation you’re bound to make some stops in near and far places whether through educational or volunteer missions, study abroad or trips for pleasure. Check out www.bu.edu/abroad to begin mapping out your study abroad options for junior year or keep Alternative Spring Break in mind for spring 2013.