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.

 

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.

 

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!

 

Kaitlin: A Yoga Summer

It’s been quite the busy summer, and I really love it! I spent the entire month of May in San Francisco completing my second yoga teacher training and it was absolutely the best experience I’ve ever undergone. I learned a ton and truly began to step into myself as a teacher! Now I’m back home on Long Island teaching several classes a week and even leading some Stand Up Paddleboarding tours on the Sound! I know, my life is paradise.

But perhaps the coolest part of my summer is that I get to do some public relations work for my home yoga studio! As some of you may already know, an internship is required for all PR majors, so I decided to apply what I’ve learned to a job that I know I’d love.  I talked to my boss about potential PR work that I could do for her business, got it approved with Professor Quigley, and voilà- the most ideal summer job. Not only am I in an environment I’m quite obsessed with, but I’m also adding a lot of experience and material to my resume and portfolio while earning college credit!

So, you might have a ton of time before you even want to think about interning (and that’s okay), but when you do, make sure you work hard to settle into a place that you’ll know you’ll enjoy working in. Here are a few things I considered when finding my internship spots:

1. Am I interested in the work that is being done? For me, deciding on this internship was easy. I’m a yoga teacher, and I love yoga, so it was pretty much fate. You might not get this lucky all the time, but seek opportunities that you really want to get involved in!

2. Does this agency/business/etc align with my ethics? It’s really important to try to work at a place that not only does business you’re interested in, but one that does it in a way that you’ll be proud to be a part of.  Make sure you agree with the work you’re going to get yourself into!

3. Will I get paid? I know no one really likes to talk about money, because it’s awkward and you want to prove to a supervisor or boss that you’re so passionate about your work that you’d be willing to do it for free, but alas it is really important. Value yourself as a worker, and recognize that you deserve to be valued by other people. Of course, it’s not so common for internships to be paid, but if you can find one that you’re interested and is in line with your ethics, go for it.

No matter what you get into for a job or internship, do your work and do it well. Really use everything you learn in class and apply it! Your hard work will be recognized, and there’s no way you’d regret it.

 

Kaitlin: COM is a Buffet

I’m sitting here, scratching my head, trying to decide what to write about for this blog post, and it hit me.  COM is a freaking buffet table.

And no, I’m not talking about those late night Chinese all you can eat buffets, I’m talking about a real classy, high end buffet table with all kinds of exotic foods.

Where am I going with this?

Okay, okay.  So opposed to a sit down dinner, where a server brings you what you want until you tell him to stop, a buffet table is spread nicely in a convenient spot in the room, ready for people to take what they need or want, when they need or want it.  Both options can leave you stuffing your face until you’re required to loosen your belt, but there’s a very vital difference between the first and the second:  for the second option, you’ve gotta help yourself.

So often, we look externally for some sort of perfect opportunity or divine inspiration.  We have mentors and idols and friends and family (the waiters in my metaphor) who we hope will guide us to where we want to be (they bring us the seared duck and caviar), when all along, we have the capacity to get there on our own.

What we constantly forget is our own serving skills.  We’ve gone through that training that teaches you how to correctly set a table or pour a glass of wine without spilling it.  Try to take some time and realize that you have the potential to be your own greatest motivator.  Create those chances of a lifetime for yourself, instead of waiting for them to be served to you on a silver platter.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve really been enjoying my junior year at BU, especially because I’ve began to really find myself among all of the craziness that the city delivers.  COM especially offers out so many appetizing chances to succeed that, at times, can be a bit overwhelming.  What I’ve learned recently is to not miss the tasty treats that sit right under your nose.  I’ve quit complaining and wondering when my chance to shine was going to come, and I got the hell up and chased it myself.

Take whatever you care for from that table, but see if you can get up and walk there with the help of your own two feet.

 

Kaitlin: Finding Me at BU

When I first came to BU, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist.  This dream came from years of being editor of my high school newspaper, and wanting to “spice it up a little” with lights, sounds, and video.  I imagined myself studying for hours on end how to be the best. I thought about those really intense classes where the professor tells the students that they have 45 minutes to go outside and write, record, and produce a story that could go on air.  I envisioned taking my career to the Air Force and becoming the best damn broadcast journalist they’ve ever seen.  I wanted to be there.

Then the worst happened.

I went on air for my first time with BUTV and absolutely hated it.  I hated the idea of having to get my hair to look perfect on camera and wearing more make up than I’m comfortable with and making sure the color of my shirt didn’t fade into the green screen.  So, I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do.

I didn’t know too much about public relations, but what I did learn from my COM 101 class, I loved.  I was particularly drawn to the idea of working in the music/entertainment industry.  Who wouldn’t want to follow around their favorite band for the sole purpose of making them look good?  After a meeting with my very own COM Ambassador who gave me a little more information on my perspective major-change, I decided to do it.

Over the course of a few hours, I became a PR major.

This was really exciting for me.  I joined BU’s awesome section of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and did a really awesome job with it.  I learned a ton about what it means to be in the PR field, even before taking any PR-centric classes.

My favorite thing about PR was the social media aspect.  By watching intently my junior and senior friends, I started to pick up really quickly how to be an effective presence online.  My Twitter bio changed to include my aspiration to be a PR professional, I found myself making tons of connections on LinkedIn, and yes, I even got a Facebook after refusing to do so for a while.

In a way, I became obsessed with it.  I found myself celebrating each and every like or new follower I got, to the point that it started taking over.  I don’t think this is necessarily a negative thing, maybe because it still kind of does rule my world, but I’ve certainly recognized that over the past few years my online obsession transformed quite a bit.

I noticed this the other day when I went to my Twitter page.  I noticed that my bio still included information about me being the Vice President of Public Relations at BUPRSSA, a position I passed down at the end of last year.  I started to evaluate why I decided to step down from this position, and from PRSSA in general, and it became glaringly obvious to me.

No longer did I care about retweeting about the latest in mobile technology, or connecting with the top agencies on the web, or writing posts about how to effectively manage your social media profiles.  Those things seemed so boring to me, and without really noticing, I started to pay more attention to the things I was really drawn to.  Now, if you look at every single page I manage, they include posts on yoga or healthy eating or recovery.

I certainly don’t see this change as one that demonstrates disinterest in PR or ingratitude for the Student Society.  In fact, I attribute all of my success online to everything I’ve learned on my PR journey so far.  There’s no way I would’ve been known as a “yoga and health guru” or been able to grow my blog following to thousands of people without the things I learned in PRSSA and my classes at BU.

It took a little while to really find my place, but I’m certain that I have.  I’ve found deep passion in the things I’ve learned here in Boston, which I can bet is a serious goal for each and every one of the professors we cross paths with.  There’s going to be humps in the road, plenty of them in fact, but don’t look at them as mountains you won’t be able to climb.  Instead, try to see them as speed bumps, there for control and safety in getting you where you really need to go.

Kaitlin: CrossFit

As some of you may already know, I’m a Cadet in BU’s Air Force ROTC program.  On top of school, added ROTC work offers quite the experience (which I wrote about here).  But after almost three years, I’ve finally begun to find my true passion in the program: working out.

Yup, I’m talking about the sweat until you’re basically bleeding, face in the dirt, can’t even breathe working out.  And to make it even more intense, my instructors decided to add a little extra to our regiment: CrossFit.

When I first heard about CrossFit, the only things I really got out of the idea of it was huge, bulky men doing Olympic weight lifting, using steroids, and growing so large they could barely walk.  After beginning my own CrossFit experience at 6:00am last Wednesday morning, I was proved seriously wrong.

Of course, the practice is incredibly intense, and should only be done if one is in great shape, but it’s also a lot different than I expected.  In fact, it could even be done out of a gym, and if you have a yard big enough, at your own home.

The program has WODs, which are Workouts of the Day, relatively short but highly extreme schedules of exercises that will make you ache and maybe even cry.  The WODs we do as a part of the AFROTC (three times a week, I might add) consist of either AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible [in a given amount of time]) or rounds for time (which means you do the scheduled workout until you finish).

In a given WOD, you might run up to two miles, do 200 squats, perform 200 pushups, or something of the like.  But the best part? It doesn’t matter how good you are.  You push yourself to YOUR limit, whatever that might mean, and challenge yourself.  You finish with the mindset that you couldn’t have done another burpey or another situp or another lap.  The progress that you note, and even the satisfaction that you feel after doing that last pushup, even when you felt it wouldn’t be possible, is incredibly uplifting and motivating.

CrossFit is about being the best you can be.  Sure, using your fellow CrossFitters around you for inspiration can be helpful, but at the end of the WOD it’s your progress against yourself.  Even after just a few sessions, I’ve noticed serious improvement in my endurance, strength, but most of all my patience and motivation.

Like I said, these workouts can be done on your own, at the FitRec or otherwise, just visit www.crossfit.com for WODs.  If you’re interested in getting into it, and want to do it with professionals, there are several CrossFit gyms around Boston, some that even offer a free class for beginners- just check online for more details, or shoot me a message.

 

Kaitlin: Stressed and Need Help?

Even though its meant to be a time for giving and loving, I know that for most people, this time of the year can be incredibly stressful.  Between studying and doing final projects and spending money on gifts and even the change of seasons, we all need to find a way to unwind, and that often means simply talking to someone.

The Behavioral Medicine wing of BU’s Student Health Services provides absolutely amazing support to students who may be going through a tough time, whatever it may be.  While they also specialize in helping with body image, alcohol/drug, crisis, sexual health, and sexual/gender identify issues, their expertise in assisting students with academic issues, depression, sleep, and anxiety problems may be especially helpful this time of year.

The information or treatment that Behavioral Medicine offers students who decide to stop in help them understand that they aren’t alone in facing these issues, and help them take control of whatever the problem may be.

I urge you to seek help if you think you need some relief, and promise that you’ll find it helpful.  If you want to make an appointment, you can call 617-353-3569, or check out the website for more information: http://www.bu.edu/shs/behavioral/.

Stay calm, stay peaceful, and be you.

 

Kaitlin: Bike Safety on Comm Ave

Hi everyone!  This blog post is going to be short, for the sole reason that I’m asking my roommate to type it for me.  And the reason why I’m asking my roommate to type it for me is because I have been told that I’m not able to use a computer, do any homework, go to class, or even go outside for the past several days.  And the reason for THAT is that I was in a bike accident last week and got a minor concussion and a few stitches as a result.

I want this blog post to serve as a very, very important reminder to stay safe on the road, whether you’re a biker, a driver, or even just a pedestrian.  Things happen.  And a lot of the time, those things aren’t too pretty.

  1. If you decide to ride your bike, WEAR A HELMET.  I seriously can’t stress this enough.  Who knows what could have happened to me if I didn’t have one on.
  2. LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING.  This goes for everyone.  Sometimes bikers, people, cars come out of “nowhere.” So look out.
  3. I don’t care if you’re on wheels or not, OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS.  If there’s a blinking red hand telling you not to walk, it’s simple. Don’t walk.

Now I know you’ve all heard these things a million times, and I don’t want to sound completely lame, but take it from me- missing class for days in a row and having your best friend type your blog posts for you isn’t as fun as it seems.  I promise. It’s worth it to wait a few extra seconds at a stoplight or strap a hard shell on your head.

Stay safe,

Kaitlin

 

Kaitlin: Cadet Kaitlin

For those of you who know me, you might already be familiar with the fact that my college experience is a bit different from many others’ in COM. Sure, I live in a dorm, revolve around a tight budget, and take enough classes to keep me pretty busy throughout the week.

But unlike most people, I’ve already been guaranteed a job for after I graduate. In fact, I know exactly how long I’ll have this job, how much I’ll be paid, and who my coworkers will be- 350,000 some odd Airmen.

That’s right. When I graduate Boston University’s College of Communication, I’ll also commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Since the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AF ROTC) is pretty rare in COM (I’m currently the only cadet majoring in a communication field), people usually have a ton of questions for me, so I thought I’d answer a few here!

So, what exactly is ROTC?

In short, it’s a college program designed to train students to become commissioned officers in the armed forces.  Boston University hosts four branches of ROTC- Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.

What does that really mean?

On top of normal college classes, I have quite a few mandatory things I must do every week as a member of ROTC, including an additional 5 hours of class-time, physical training sessions, and a uniform day. We also have additional events we must attend, the biggest one being  a 28-day training in Alabama and Mississippi over the Summer (I successfully completed mine in June!). Over the course of the four years we’re in college, we’re learning how to become the best leaders possible, so we can soon lead thousands of men and women in the military.

What happens next?

After my college career, I will enter the force as an officer, which means that Day One I’ll be the boss of thousands of enlisted personnel. My contract will commit me to four years in the active Air Force, and four years in the Reserves. My plan is to work in the field of public affairs, hence the public relations major, and learn as much as I can. I recognize that this experience is so incredibly rare, and will definitely contribute to a unique perspective on PR in other fields.

Annnnd the biggest question: Will you fly planes?

No, I will probably never fly a plane. The fact that everyone in the Air Force flies is actually a very common misconception! (Although that would be pretty cool).

I hope I cleared up some confusion and/or answered some questions you might have had! If any of you have any other questions about my experience in ROTC or otherwise, please feel free to let me know. And of course, if you see me walking around in my uniform on Wednesdays, be sure to say hello!