Kaitlin: If Not for the Education, then for the Eggplant

Well folks, this week I think I found my absolute favorite thing about BU.

For a while I thought it was my state of the art room in StuVi2; then I considered it being the top notch instructors; of course, the convenience of being in one of the coolest cities in the country was a plus.

All of these features are incredible, and really add to the uniqueness and perfection that is Boston University, but no. The number one reason why I love my school is simple:  the Farmer’s Market.

Since I’ve been a student here for two years, I knew about the weekly Farmer’s Market for quite some time, but because I lived in a dorm, I saw no reason to visit it.  After luckily landing a spot in an apartment  I decided to check it out, since I had some space in my refrigerator to fill- And boyyy was my vegan, health conscious heart smiling.

As soon as I walked in front of the GSU this Thursday afternoon, the sight and smell of all of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods made me feel like I was in heaven.  Farmers with friendly faces stood by their locally grown and made foods, talking to students about their products and even giving away free samples.

Ward’s Berry Farm, one of the many small businesses at the Market,  give students the opportunity to purchase a box of deliciousness for $22 a week. This box is filled with a random assortment of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and is more than enough to last you the week, if not two.

But if you’re not into the whole foods-from-the-earth thing, the Farmer’s Market definitely offers some choices that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Taza Chocolate, which in my opinion is some of the best chocolate around, is represented, informing students about its delicious, rich product, and even giving away some samples of different favors.

The Market also features AKA Marvelicious, a vegan cookie company based in Jamaica Plain that has treats to die for. Seriously. Even if you’re not a vegan, you’ll fall in love with the Almond  Carrotoons or Orange Chocolate Chip cookies. I’m drooling just thinking of them.

You can also buy different flavored nuts, local honey, maple syrup, or yummy baked breads.

Be sure to catch the Farmer’s Market-whether you have a kitchen or not- every Thursday until October 25th from 11am- 3pm. I can almost guarantee you’ll see me there.

Visit http://www.bu.edu/dining/about-us/sustainability/farmers-market/ for more information.

Kaitlin: 5 Things To Do Before You Leave For Boston University

Hey everyone! I hope your last few weeks of summer are some of the best you’ve ever had. As the countdown for the first day of school begins, I can’t help but think of some things I wish I had done before trekking to Beantown.  Take a look at my list! Hopefully it inspires you to take advantage of my suggestions, or even think of some last minute to-dos before you go!

1. Start a Facebook group with your friends from high school.

Losing touch with your childhood buddies is inevitable.  Everyone is off at different schools, doing his or her own thing, making it super easy to lose touch with one another. I suggest creating a Facebook group with your peeps to share new stories or talk about some good memories.  This way, even though you won’t see each other face-to-face everyday, you’ll still have some idea what is going on.

2. Have your mom make you your favorite meal.

Don’t get me wrong- Boston University’s dining halls kick ass.  But there’s nothing better than your grandma’s famous mac and cheese or your dad’s veggie burgers (my pops makes the best around). So before you go, ask to have your favorite dish for dinner, and invite the whole family to join.  It’ll be a good chance for you to appreciate what you’ll be missing while being around the people you love.

3. Make goals for your freshman year.

Take a while to think about the awesome year you have ahead of you, and try to come up for somethings you want to achieve.  No one wants to fail a class, or gain the freshman 15 or lose her BU ID for the millionth time, but try to come up with a small bucket list that will inspire you throughout the year.  Maybe that means starting a new club or charity or visiting all of the special museum exhibits or having lunch with Dean Elmore.  Stay hungry and motivated!

4. Get yourself a journal.

I know you’ll have plenty of papers to write throughout the semesters ahead, but nothing compares to sitting down and recording what’s going on in your head.  Write it all down, brothers and sisters. You’ll appreciate it when you want to look back on your first few months of college and remember what you were up to.

5. Buy a bunch of disposable film cameras.

Even better than a written recollection of your year are some photos to go along with it.  And I’m  not talking about low quality pictures that you tag on Facebook.  I’m talking hard copy, raw film that you can stick in a physical photo album and look at.  There’s nothing greater than developing your rolls months later and seeing what shenanigans you were up to at the time it was used.

Let me know if you have any other off-to-school must-dos! See you all in a few weeks!

XOXO Kaitlin

Kaitlin: My Favorite Summer Yet

Well hellooooo my friends!

This summer has been absolutely insane, and I feel as though it’s just getting started.  First of all, I hope the past few weeks or months off of school have been as amazing for you as they have been for me.  Actually, as I’m sitting here writing this, recalling everything that’s happened since the middle of May, I can predict that this may be my favorite summer yet.

The biggest event that I was able to cross off of my list of to-dos was Air Force ROTC Field Training.  On May 17th, I left for a 28 day “trip” to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama- but it was far from a vacation.  Over that month, I learned tactics and information that will be vital to me becoming an Air Force officer.  We did a whole lot of running, climbing, falling, listening, sweating, shooting, and bug-spray-applying all in the hot Alabama sun.  While it was extremely tiring and often times almost unbearable, I learned so much and have never been more motivated to serve my country after I graduate BU.  But my absolute favorite part of being there was also the most unusual.

I taught a yoga class to over 75 cadets.

My supervisors found out that I was a yoga instructor, and allowed me to teach a class as part of one of my Leadership Competency Evaluations.  It was so incredible and I felt so grateful to be able to share my greatest passion with a whole new group of people.

Which leads me into the rest of my summer. For now, I’ve been able to pack away my fatigues and roll out my yoga mat instead.  I teach at least one yoga class per day on Long Island, NY, and was actually just asked to be the Manager of my home studio, The Giving Room!  One of the best parts of my new job is being able to use what I’ve learned in all of my PR classes at COM to attract more customers and ultimately better the studio.  Needless to say, I’m busy as a bee.

So my yoga teaching life hasn’t been as relaxing as I’ve imagined, but nonetheless I feel as though I’m living the life.

What have you all been up to? Please feel free to tweet at me @itskaitdaddona (especially if you live on Long Island and want a private yoga class…) follow me on Tumblr, whatever.  I can’t wait to see you all in the fall!

Kaitlin: Finals

Kaitlin ImageFinals.  Now, I’m sure you can relate to Boston University students as they cram, cry and complain about finals week, because whether you’re in college, high school or junior high, finals are just no fun.

But here at BU, we’ve realized some tips and tricks to survive the atrocity that is finals week, and I’m going to share them with you!

1. Sweat it out.

It’s been scientifically proven that working out helps decrease stress levels dramatically.  Since BU students are very intelligent, we’ve figured that out, and for this reason, you’ll see an exceptionally packed Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec, our awesome gym) towards the end of the semester.  So when you have a test and can’t read another word out of the textbook, give it a break; go for a run; lift weights at the gym; take a yoga class.  It’ll give you a productive way to put off your work, and will actually help you out in the long run (beach season is coming up, after all!).

2. Find a buddy or two.

Studying in groups can be a great way to get work done.  Get together with friends and perhaps other students from your classes to cover material for the tests.  Living on specialty floors (like the COM floors in select BU Residence Halls!) can be extremely helpful for this! Have a question? Shoot over to your classmate who lives across the hall.  You’ll be able to get another perspective on a topic that may need some clarification.  Plus, the bit of distraction that comes with being with friends can be healthy after stuffing your mind with words or numbers all day.

3. Eat some yummy goods.

Finals can be a good time to overindulge in the most unhealthy way possible- but try not to allow yourself to do that! Eating tons of pizza, candy, and other heavy foods will only slow you down, making you more tired, anxious, and stressed. Instead, find light, healthy foods to accompany your late night study sessions.  Instead of ordering Pizza Hut, grab some veggies and hummus or a bowl of fresh fruit.  It will keep you more willing to get your study on because you won’t be regretting that 6 pound hamburger.

4.  Fall in love with Boston all over again.

While I’m studying (especially on the 26th floor of Student Village 2!) I like to close my book or my laptop, and just look at the city I live in and love.  After living in Boston you may start to take for granted the marvelous things around you.  So allow yourself to be distracted for an hour or two.  Stare at the beautiful Charles River. Take the T to a site you’ve never seen.  You’ll give yourself the chance to clear your mind before a big exam, and will remind yourself why you love Boston.

Kaitlin: Unleashed PR

Kaitlin ImageInternship.  The ten-letter word has the power to totally freak out college kids.  Thoughts of how to land a dream internship causes students to panic and lay awake at night, because sometimes it’s hard to get your start and find hearty experience to put on your resume.  Luckily, the Boston University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (BU PRSSA) realized this and created Unleashed PR in response.

Unleashed PR is the BU PRSSA student-run public relations firm, which provides students with real-world experience. Students have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real clients, gaining hands-on experience to build their resumes and portfolios, which in turn, sets them up for internships and jobs.

I had the opportunity of experiencing two completely different sides of Unleashed PR- being an Account Executive for a client, and running the show.

Last year, I was happy to be placed on the Sweat and Soul Yoga account.  I worked on a team with four other students, and we spent the Spring semester brainstorming ways to increase the yoga studio’s clientele through fun and creative campaigns and events.  I learned so much about writing press releases, pitching to clients, and creating campaigns, all before I even took my first Public Relations class.  And the best part? I was able to put all of this on my resume.  After all, it was real-life work for a real-life client.

This year, my experience with Unleashed PR was entirely different.  With my friend Ellen Cohn, I decided to step up to be the Agency Director, or in fancier terms, the Vice President of Public Relations.  Although it was tough, this was the perfect opportunity to see exactly how a firm runs from the top.  I managed the student teams for clients like Inside Films, Project Mailbox, Sweat and Soul Yoga, Zaarly, Of Rags, and NYC rapper Hassan Salaam.  The wide range of clients allowed me to see inside the fashion, non-profit, technology, consumer, and entertainment PR fields.

Working with Unleashed PR as an Account Executive as well as an Agency Director has been invaluable.  Taking that first step into the public relations world can be terrifying, but I did it with ease through this internship-like experience.  So if you didn’t know where to start, now you do! Any member of BU PRSSA is more than welcome to join the team! Email me or visit buprssa.com for more information.

Kaitlin: How to Survive as a BU Vegetarian

Kaitlin ImageHello all! I hope everything has been going swimmingly with the college search.  If you’re still reading this blog, it looks like you’re on the right track.

Since the summer of 2006, I’ve been an on and off vegetarian.  It started simply as an attempt to be cool, to parallel with my hipster-wannabe phase before 9th grade.  Over the years, my vegetarianism has evolved into a serious, purposeful habit in an attempt to make a difference while improving my health.

So, when I first came to Boston University, I was so excited to be in the big city of Boston, because cities are usually more vegetarian-friendly than small towns like the one I’m from.

Sadly, I faced some disappointment.

Finding vegetarian places to eat was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  But luckily BU offers TONS of options for ALL people, whether they be meat eaters, vegetarians, or vegans.  Here’s a quick guide to pinpointing the perfect meals for your meat free and healthy lifestyle.

I always walk around the dining hall to see my choices, and tend to start at the Vegan Delight section. The dishes here are obviously always vegetarian, but you just have to be careful- a lot of the time, the food is fried in someway, which takes it off the healthy list.  If this is case, I’ll move on.

The sandwich station is always a great place to stop.  Sargent’s Choice offers it’s picks for healthy eating, including whole wheat breads and fat free cheese.  Add some fresh, crunchy veggies, and you have a solid meal!

I never automatically rule out the dishes that are presented with meat, because a lot of the time they’ll serve it vegetarian style.  This especially goes for pasta dishes.  Just ask for your whole wheat penne without chicken and you’re good to go!

Breakfast for breakfast, lunch or dinner is always the easiest to eat for.  Check out the healthy, whole grain hot and cold cereals, fat free yogurts, and delicious fruit salad that are available all day!

So, although people may think you’re strange for not eating greasy, fat bacon or constantly question your decision to cut fried chicken from your diet, your choices are just as plentiful as theirs (and a lot of the time, just a bit more healthy). Bon appetite! 🙂

Kaitlin: Bending Over Backwards for Yoga

Kaitlin ImageHello friends! I’m so excited to be writing as a COM ambassador for the first time. I hope you’re getting excited about starting your COM journey with all of us! It’s going to be an amazing experience that I’m sure you’ll never forget. And with that, there are few moments in our lives that can truly be considered milestones. Finishing high school, entering college, obtaining your first job, getting married. But for me, my biggest milestone so far in my life was reached last weekend. After 200 hours of training in six months, I officially became a certified yoga instructor.

I’ve been a yoga practitioner for quite sometime now, but I have Boston to thank for my pursuit of a teaching certification. At the beginning of my freshman year, I started to miss going to the yoga studio all the time as I did back home on Long Island; I had the blues. So, I started to explore the Boston yoga scene on the internet, eventually leading myself towards Back Bay Yoga Studio (BBY), which is right off of the Arlington T stop on the Green Line. First off, if you’re looking to begin practicing and don’t know where to start, this is the place to go. BBY offers an awesome new member special, which includes two weeks of unlimited classes for only $25. This is exactly how I got my start. I found myself going everyday, sometimes more than once, diving into the awesome facilities the studio has to offer, and learning from the city’s best and most well-known teachers. I learned so much, and I automatically rediscovered my deep passion for the practice.

My decision to go through teacher training wasn’t a hard one. I was profoundly inspired by my main teacher Ame Wren, and when I learned she was leading a training with the studio’s owner Lynne Begier, I called my dad right away, and told him I was investing the $3,000 that I barely had to my name into the training. It was the first time I found myself so incredibly excited and ready to begin a new journey.

But it wasn’t so easy.

As I mentioned, it was a 6-month long endeavor. I often found myself in the studio for more than 20 hours on the weekends. I was assigned various book reports and other extra homework on top of my work here at BU. Nonetheless, I cannot explain how worthwhile the reading and writing was. I had the pleasure to work alongside thirty wonderful people, all of whom were going after the same achievement as me. We shared unlimited tears and laughs, and I feel so lucky to have them all a part of my life!

This experience transformed the way I think, look, act- basically my whole way of life. I pay so much gratitude to every thing I learned about yoga, myself, and the world around me. I’m so eager to start teaching, of course, but I also simply look forward to growing my own practice and to continue expanding my mind and keep learning.

If you’re interested in starting yoga, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d love to help out and give some suggestions on where to go, who to see, what to wear, etc. Among the stress that comes with being a college student, sometimes all we need to do is sit on a mat, close our eyes, and breathe.