Kate: My Upperclassman Experience So Far

After syllabus week, I very quickly came to the realization that this semester would be unlike any other semester I have had at BU. My class time was minimal, my assignments were vague and long-term, and most of my work would rely on other people doing their job and reporting to me. This was daunting as I was used to the typical “write this essay by this date” or “read these pages in this book”. Instead, this semester, my sole assignments were to scout a location, direct a scene, and produce a film. All due at the end of the semester.
Looking at these large tasks that I had months to finish was insane and I didn’t know where to begin. So, my wonderful roommate suggested that I sit down and make a long list of every major task that needed to get done, and then break those large tasks into smaller step. And that was the first thing I did.
As the semester went on, I was in class less and less and spent more time sending emails, making phone calls, and having meetings. And not just with my friends or peers, but with actors, building supervisors, and insurance agents. I was living a life as close to the real world as I could possibly get while still in college taking 16 credits.
Now we’re halfway through the semester, and after these countless emails, phone calls, and meetings, I have accomplished things I didn’t think I’d be able to. I’ve secured multiple film locations in working businesses, held casting calls, hired actors, gotten insurance and accomplished many other steps that bring me closer to finish those semester-long projects. Some parts have gone smoother than others and I’ve seen first hand how long something can take when you bring other working people into the equation. But, at the end of the day, I’ve learned so much about actually making a film, and how all the working pieces and parts come together for this one project.
So, now that I’ve drone on about my life, the moral of the story is that the real world may seem scary and big (and to some extent it is) but by breaking it down into more manageable tasks, you can accomplish things you didn’t think you could. In addition, getting the opportunity to experience being part of the real world while still in college makes me feel so much more prepared for my career when I finish my four years here. Having these experiences as an upperclassman is giving me real tools that I am able to use throughout my future career.

Kate: How to Get Through Your Finals Week

Believe it or not, the end of the school year is approaching and finals week is back. Finals come in many forms at BU and especially COM since many COM classes have final projects and papers due the week before. But, no matter when finals week occurs for you or how long it lasts, this week may be stressful. So, here are a couple tips to help you get through your finals week.

 

1. Find some time for yourself
It may seem like you have a lot to do in only a little bit of time, but that time will be wasted with an unfocused mindset if you don’t give yourself a short break to do something you enjoy. Whether it be going for a run or just hanging out in your dorm watching two, and only two, episodes of The Office, these nice breaks are necessarily in keeping you mentally stable during this busy time.

 

2. Use the study break
BU is nice enough to give us a three day study break. This is a great time to spend studying and finishing up all assignments that need to get done. It’s nice because there is really nothing else you need to worry about except for work and preparing for finals. Even if your finals are later in the week, this is a great time to get started and just start reviewing the information, even if it’s for only a few hours that day. Those few hours are so beneficial and will be extremely helpful in learning and reviewing all the information from the course.

 

3. Get some sleep
Every cliche movie shows college students staying up late, cramming for their exams all night. But sleep is crucial to an alert and working brain, especially during a two hour test. These days off are a great time to be able to study while still getting a full night’s sleep. There is no better feeling than waking up after a good night’s sleep, ready and motivated to take on exams.

 

4. Go out into the city to study
You have all day! Go out into the city to study or find a quiet coffee shop. It’s your last couple days in Boston before summer so why not enjoy it while still being productive. If it’s nice out you can find outdoor seating or go to the Boston Public Library. The little spots around Boston are calming and allow you to take advantage of the last couple days in the city.

 

5. Remember that you are almost done
Yes, finals week can get stressful, but you are so close and almost done. Once exams are over, you get the entire summer to enjoy yourself and not worry about a test or a paper that you have to write. Just push through these last few days and then you have a couple months to completely just enjoy yourself and do whatever you want.
 
So, finals week can get stressful and can feel like a lot, but the light is there at the end of the tunnel. These tips can help you push through the end of the semester while still staying ~relatively~ sane. And with that I wish you good luck on finals!

Kate W: Why I Love, Love, Love Off-Campus Internships or Extracurriculars

This semester, I have had the incredible opportunity of interning with the TV and Video department at America’s Test Kitchen for two days out of my week. Going into it, I knew it would be an great experience to learn all about things related to film and television, but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my semester as whole.
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Having lived on campus the last two years where I am a mere ten minute walk from anything I could possibly need, I often find myself sticking to the BU Bubble. It’s so easy because BU is where I am most comfortable and it has everything: food, housing, classes, and extracurriculars. So, when I realized that I would have to commute 45 minutes to the seaport for a job, it seemed a little daunting. For two days a week, I would be part of the real world, and that scared me a little bit.

 

However, this opportunity has not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but has also provided a really amazing escape from the stress and workload that is school. While I am off campus at my internship, I don’t have to worry about my essay due on Friday or the exam that I have next week. These things don’t matter here because I am solely focused on the work that I am doing for my internship. Strangely, there is some relaxation in the fact that I can’t work on my homework during these hours, and that I am forced to let it all just leave my brain.

 

In addition, there is no fear or worries over social stress. I don’t have to worry about who I am eating lunch with that day or if I should be doing my homework instead of hanging out with my friends. While I am at my internship, I am present and there is no where else that I should be. On the T, in particular, I can listen to my music and take some me-time without feeling guilty There is nowhere else I am supposed to be. I know that I am using my time well and I never feel like I’m missing out on anything back on campus.

 

Finally, by being around a non-BU affiliated company, I am able to see how the real world works and what working at an entirely new place is like. I’ve learned what it feels like to be handed an important task and trusted to take care of it. There is a sense that what I am doing now has an impact on a working company as opposed to just my grade. What I am doing has some weight, and there is motivation and pressure to appeal to the real world guidelines.

 

This change of pace is such a great experience and adds so much to my semester. I finally feel like I am taking better advantage of all that Boston and BU have to offer. I highly recommend finding an activity completely off campus, especially after your Freshman year when you’re starting to become a much more comfortable with Boston. It’s a really great way to shake things up a bit.

Kate: Taking Advantage of your Sophomore Year

As a freshman, everything is new and exciting. New city, new people, new freedom. Junior year is another exciting year often with study abroad and classes relating to what you actually want to do. Senior year is nostalgic as you get closer to graduation. But then there’s that year in the middle of it all, sophomore year. Sophomores are known for getting the “sophomore slump” where everything feels boring and dreary, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
As opposed to a year in desolation and bleakness, look at sophomore year as a time for opportunity and trial. Sophomore year is the time when you can start figuring out what you really want to do. You can take that random Intro to PR class because maybe you want to change your major to public relations. Or, even if you have a major picked out, maybe you can add a double major or a minor. It’s also the perfect time to try out new classes and take that archaeology class that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to. There’s an endless list of classes at BU, so why not take advantage and find something that sounds really interesting.
Sophomore year is also a great time to get really involved. Many juniors and seniors are off interning or studying abroad, so now’s the time to get into clubs and extracurriculars. If you’ve always wanted to be a DJ on a radio show, join WTBU. If you’ve always wanted to write about cool places you’ve visited or any number of lifestyle topics, join The Buzz. If you’ve always wanted to write your own tv show, pitch a show to BUTV10. There are so many opportunities to try whatever you have always wanted to do, and there will never be a better time to take those risks. You can also get more involved with the clubs you are already in. Clubs and activities are great ways to meet more people and find your place which always seems much harder after freshman year.
It takes time to find your way after the excitement of freshman year, but looking at all the opportunities to take advantage of is a great way to stay positive and happy. It’s a stressful time, but doing activities purely for enjoyment is a great way to stay level-headed. Even if your classes aren’t what you expected or something isn’t working out, giving yourself this thing to look forward to will keep your head up. Take advantage of the “sophomore slump” and use it as your opportunity to have an amazing year.

Kate: Top 5 Low-key Study Spots with the Best Views

The semester is in full swing and we are all swamped with dozens of assignments and midterms with fast-approaching deadlines. With all these assignments come a great responsibility…to find the absolute best study spot on campus. The perfect spot is quiet and not to busy with a great view of the city to help you procrastinate on those long and dreaded days/nights in the study lounge. Here are five low-key study spots on campus with the best views.

1. The greenhouse

The greenhouse on the top of CAS is a hidden gem. It is open to people who are in the gardening club, so find a friend or join the club to enjoy this amazing spot. After getting the key from the department office, you can head all the way upstairs to the roof. The greenhouse itself has nice plants and greenery, but the rooftop view behind it makes this spot special. There is a little office with some couches and seats to study in adding a used, but cosy aesthetic to the space. This space really is a secret, so it’s almost always super quiet and empty. This is a great place to get straight to work and I highly recommend it.

2. Hojo

Hojo is another great option for a study spot with a great view. Just walk into hojo and head up to the top floor. There are always open tables in both the regular and the quiet study lounges, so it’s a really great place to meet up with people or isolate yourself from the world and get to work. To top it all off, there are 360 degree views of the city.

3. StuVi2

So, this one isn’t exactly a secret but if you’re talking about study spots with a view, you have to include the study lounge on the top floor of StuVi2. This study lounge has huge floor to ceiling windows that surround the building giving you an incredible view of everything Boston. If that doesn’t inspire you to study, it’s fine because the lounge is open 24 hours so you’ve got plenty of time.

4. Law building

As one of the newer buildings on campus, this spot is a little less known. However, there are tons of places around the law building with incredible views of the river. Whether it be the Charles River Room on the fifth floor or the cafeteria on the second floor, you’ll find floor to ceiling windows (that are actually clean!!) to give you a little happiness while you’re studying. These places are usually pretty quiet and there are always places to sit around the building. An added bonus – the ambitious law students will inspire you to work hard and get your assignments done.

5. Yawkey Center for Student Services

The last hidden spot is Yawkey Center. This spot has two floors of dining hall, three floors of academic assistance, and six floors of great views. The CAS writing center and the Educational Resource Center have comfy chairs and spots with incredible views of Fenway. Sometimes, you get a free concert too!. You also can’t discount the dining hall. Marciano commons has some large windows with great views of Bay State or Fenway. It can get pretty busy but you can usually find little nooks where it’s quiet and there aren’t as many people. You can, also, take as many snack breaks as needed, making this study spot one of my favorites!

Kate W: Reflection on Freshman Year

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am officially approaching the end of my Freshman year of college.  I feel like a completely new person from when I started and I have learned so much over the last eight months.

Freshman year is the year of new.  New city, new college, new friends, new classes, new independence, new everything.  Nothing hits you harder than watching your parents leave you alone for the first time, knowing that you are officially on your own.  But, you keep going, as overwhelmed and anxious as you are.  It’s crazy to think that this moment happened eight months ago for me, and in a couple months, a new group of students will go through the same thing.

With time going as fast as it does, graduation will be here before you know it.  But, until then, it is important to take risks and spend as much time as you can to experience everything.  College is a place for experiencing new things, and no better place to experience than Boston.  So, wake up early on that Saturday morning to go to that feminist rally, or take a study break and go walk along the Esplanade with friends because those are the moments that you will remember and cherish.

Don’t stress too much about things that are out of your control.  Everyone gets bad grades (or sleeps through a COM Exam if you’re like me), but it’s important to learn from your mistakes, buy a better alarm clock, take a deep breath, and just move on because these things will happen and they are out of your control at that point.  So, go easy on yourself and let yourself make mistakes because they are inevitable and stressing too much over them won’t help.

Finally, take time for yourself because everyone needs simple nights staying in the dorm watching Netflix.  School and friends are important, but these are the nights that keep you sane.  It’s nice to take a break from all madness of the week and of BU, and just take time to relax and reflect on your life.  These breaks are essential to make sure you’re not getting too caught up in the craziness of it all.

Going to BU was the best decision I could have made and I can’t wait to spend another 3 years walking up and down Comm Ave countless times a day, waiting in long lines at Starbucks, and spending great nights in the dorms playing ukulele with my friends.  Thanks for a great year!!

Kate W: Foods You Should Always Have in Your Dorm Room

Having food in your dorm is super important especially being a crazy busy BU student or with the always unpredictable Boston weather.  Sometimes it’s just impossible to get the dining hall, but that definitely will not stop you’re stomach from growling in the middle of class or on your walk down Comm Ave.  That’s why it’s always important to keep these snacks or small meals on hand in your dorm room.

  1. Fruit:

These make for a great breakfast-on-the-go or mid-day snack.  Not only does fruit taste good, but it is also healthy.  Fruits are very easy to come by at BU especially in the dining halls where you can take an extra apple or two to eat later on.

  1. Popcorn:

If you’re a film/tv major like me or even just a movie lover, movie nights are very frequent, and no movie is complete without popcorn.  So, for the nights that you spend with your friends in the dorms watching Netflix, this is exactly the snack that you need to have readily available.

  1. Late night study snack:

This can be any guilty pleasure snack that you keep around in case you need a quick boost of energy while studying.  Buying them in bulk may also be a good idea since staying up late to catch up on homework seems to be a common circumstance at BU.  You will probably get hungry and doing homework is bad enough, let alone doing it with a growling stomach.  So, the easy solution is to keep a snack in your dorm that makes you happy and can help you focus on your work.  My personal snack of choice is animal crackers.

  1. Peanut Butter:

Peanut butter goes with everything.  Whether you have left over pretzels, vegetables, or bread, peanut butter goes well with it all.  It can easily turn a quick, boring snack into something more delicious and that you actually enjoy eating.  It is kind of hard to take peanut butter on the go, but it’s a great option if you only have a little bit of time or if the walk outside from your dorm to the dining hall seems a little too difficult with Boston weather.

  1. Ramen:

Ramen is the stereotypical college food for a reason.  It’s no 5-star meal, but it is easy and if made right, it can taste pretty good.  Your only kitchen resource of a rented BU microfridge is pretty limiting, making Ramen one of the best options for days when you’re snowed into your dorm.  It’s also a great late night meal especially if you don’t  have a lot of time to eat because it’s super quick and easy to make.  Basically, ramen is a college student’s dream and should be eaten often.