Katie: It’s Never Too Late to Explore Something New

Growing up, my entire life was focused on theatre. I went to rehearsals for two shows at a time, six days a week, with dance classes on Sundays to supplement that one free day. My 7th grade best friend had to make me a playlist of “real people music” for my iPod, because most of my music library was dominated by various Overtures, Entr’actes, and Finales. All of my friends were in theatre, and I never thought I’d be interested in anything else. Especially not sports.

While my parents watched the New England Patriots play on Sundays, I stayed as far away as possible. I was totally ready for the game food, for sure. But the game itself? No, thanks. I’m good with my “In the Heights” soundtrack. Despite the fact that we spent free summer nights watching farm team pro-baseball and every New Year’s Eve watching farm team pro-hockey, I was more interested in the fried dough than the actual games. The Tom Brady jersey I’ve had since age 12 was simply for showing off at school, where I hoped nobody would actually mention last night’s great play.

This all began to change when I moved to Boston sophomore year of college. Friends had extra tickets to Red Sox games. BU Hockey became a part of life when I joined The Daily Free Press and sat next to the sports editor. My whole life I had avoided sports pretty much like the plague, and now it was all starting to make sense. The fandom and the team spirit radiated through Boston. But it wasn’t until my boyfriend began religiously watching the Patriots that I started to as well.

What all of this rambling is getting at is the idea that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby. Now a senior at BU, I take back what I said as a kid about football being boring. There’s something really special about a whole community of people coming together and rooting for something bigger than themselves. This Super Bowl was one of the craziest games ever, and I had the opportunity to witness it! I’m the first to admit that it isn’t worth being stubborn and avoiding something just because I disliked it in the past.

This isn’t to say that theatre wasn’t or isn’t still an integral part of my life. I used to write a theatre blog, and I spent a summer in New York interning at a theatrical public relations agency. I still listen to “In the Heights,” too. I certainly don’t forget where I came from, but it’s nice to have a new sort of hobby that brings me closer to my dad and many of my friends. It’s nice to be in the know, and it’s never too late to find new interests!

Katie: Being a Second Semester Senior

Caution: Sappy Feelings Ahead 

Many of you reading this are probably still figuring out where everything is on campus, how to balance a meal plan, and how to make sure that you have an equal amount of Netflix and homework time (don’t worry, so am I). But as I write this, I’m realizing that my last semester at BU has begun, and in a few short months I will be a college graduate.

It certainly doesn’t seem real, especially after working so hard to transfer to BU after my freshman year at another school. It feels like just yesterday I was re-doing the Common App, submitting supplemental essays for a second time, and hoping to get into school here in Boston. I never thought BU was reachable, and here I am filling out graduation applications and thinking about inviting family and friends to my house for a celebratory party in May. I’m making plans with friends for post-grad trips to Europe (or maybe Disney World? Or San Diego? I don’t know, I can’t decide). I’m applying to as many jobs as possible while also scaling down on hours where I work now so that I have weekends free to see my friends and enjoy new experiences. Life is changing, and it’s happening fast.

The point of all of this is to say that these four years go by so quickly. It’s incredibly cliche. We’ve heard it all before: Cherish the moments! Live life to the fullest! Seize the day! But there’s a reason cliches are cliches. People are right in saying that we need to cherish these moments and live life to the absolute fullest. To seize every day and take opportunities that may not come again for quite some time, or forever.

There’s a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (which, if you haven’t seen, why?). Ferris says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I’m taking this motto and I’m living it. I encourage you to do the same!

Katie: Four Things We Can Learn from Lin-Manuel Miranda

Let me take you back to the days pre-“Hamilton.” I was 14 years old when I first heard Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first big creation, “In the Heights.” I asked for tickets for my 15th birthday, and my mom took my best friend and I to New York to see the show. It was a life changing experience that began my deep admiration for Lin (I’m going to affectionately call him Lin like I know him—just go with it).

I suppose you could say that I now identify has a “Hamilfan.” Is that what they call themselves these days? Anyway, I listen to the soundtrack non-stop (see what I did there?), and I find that it has had deep, meaningful importance in my life over the past year or so. The lyrics get me through my tougher days, and more importantly, the show itself has brought theatre into the lives of so many who wouldn’t otherwise experience it or think to even give it a chance as something they could potentially enjoy. I’m inspired by the work, but I’m also inspired by the man behind the work. Lin-Manuel Miranda has created this sort of empire through “Hamilton,” and in doing so, he has been able to spread positivity and intellect among so many people. I think we can learn a lot from Lin, but here are four things about him that inspire me the most (told via Lin’s tweets):

1. That he generally attempts to see the positive in every situation.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/796285741789810688 

2. That he inspires others to get out and take action—to fight for what they believe in.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/795210799107231744

3. That he values his longtime friendships and collaborations.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/790620003187863552

4. That he has been able to inspire a new generation of young people to take part in the arts.https://twitter.com/HamiltonMusical/status/789195491837812742

Katie: Taking Chances with New Opportunities

When I was a freshman in college, I was an English major working toward a minor in musical theatre. I wanted nothing more than to stay involved in the performing arts, something that had been the cornerstone of my life since middle school. Soon, though, I realized that while I loved performing, a strict musical theatre program was not going to be what I had anticipated. I then re-did the dreaded common application, transferred to BU, and began my communication major.
Fast forward to sophomore year. What career path could I chose that would combine my love of theatre and my writing skills? Well, PR seemed like the best choice—I’d get to work in the entertainment industry while using my writing and communication skills. Most importantly, I told myself I wouldn’t think about taking a job outside of the theatre, film, TV, or general entertainment industry. I interned with a Broadway PR agency in New York City, I had an amazing time, and I thought I would never, ever want to do anything else.
Now, as a senior at BU, I’ve had the opportunity to intern at a boutique public relations agency in Downtown Boston. Instead of working in the entertainment industry, I’ve been assigned to home, design, and health clients. I work with insurance agencies and air purifiers—two subjects I would’ve never deemed interesting. However, at this internship I am getting more hands on experience than I ever have before. I am doing all of the tasks an entry-level PR practitioner would be doing, such as pitching, handling influencer relations, and working with clients directly, while I’m still a student. It’s easily one of the best experiences I’ve had while attending BU—and it’s all because I stepped outside of my entertainment comfort zone and applied to this internship on a whim. I chose PR as a way to stay involved in the arts, but now I’ve found I just love the practice of public relations itself, no matter the client.
The lesson I’ve learned from all of this? Never underestimate the chance to learn something new or to create new opportunities for yourself. Take risks and venture outside of your chosen focus—you may find yourself in a position that you love!

Katie: Best Non-Committal Shows to Binge Watch on Netflix

While some of us are already diving head first into our schoolwork for the semester, some may still have some free time to kill. And how do we kill that time? Netflix, of course! But starting a new binge-watch can be pretty dangerous, especially when the show is so addicting you’ll think of nothing else throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Jane the Virgin,” or “Breaking Bad” binge. However, instead of getting sucked into an hour-long dramedy, consider the following short-term options that allow for breaking away once classes and jobs get more demanding.

1.     Friends

 I’ve seen the entirety of Friends three times now (and then some), but something about this show never gets old. 

2.     Parks and Recreation

There are some episodes of Parks and Rec I watch over and over and never get sick of. I’m a firm believer in the fact that Leslie Knope is one of the best female characters ever written. And you can’t go wrong with Ron Swanson, Tom Haverford, or Andy Dwyer, either.

3.     The Office

The Office was never my first choice when I was in high school, but now it’s impossible to resist. Every character has such a distinct personality, and Michael Scott really changed the game in comedic television.

4.     New Girl

 I myself have only seen a few episodes of New Girl, but I’ve definitely enjoyed it. It’s funny, sentimental, and just quirky enough.

5.     Bob’s Burgers

Again, I’ve only seen a few episodes, but Bob’s Burgers is not one to miss. I am usually not a fan of adult cartoons (they just don’t do it for me), but this one has me laughing out loud whenever I watch.

What I love about these shows is that they are all so well done, but few require a deep understanding of plot and most can be stopped for a few weeks or months and picked up again pretty easily. Go forth and binge! 

Katie: “Treat yo self” for the little things

Parks and Recreation Season 4, Episode 4: Pawnee Rangers. Also known as, Treat Yo Self.

Well, first of all, if you haven’t seen this brilliant episode of television, stop what you’re doing right now, type Netflix into the search bar, and do it. You can thank me later.

Did you watch it? Great. Let me tell you why it’s so important to me.

During my time at The Daily Free Press, we referred to the weeks just before and just after Spring Break as the mid-semester “slump.” We are tired, we are taking midterms, and we are ready for some rest and relaxation.

It’s easy to fall victim to the negativity that comes with being so busy, but it’s also easy to spin things with a positive light. This is where Parks and Rec comes in. I am a firm believer in treating myself for the little things. Did you finish making the flashcards for your history midterm on Thursday? Treat yo self. Did you finish an essay that you’ve been chipping away at for a week? Treat yo self. Did you wake up on time and roll out of bed without hitting snooze? Treat yo self.

While Parks and Rec limits treating yo self to one day of the year, I say we should treat ourselves all year long. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of extra motivation to get over that mid-semester slump.

Katie: Getting Settled: Starting Strong this Spring Semester

It’s that time of year again! January is coming to a close and “Syllabus Week” is upon us.

While some students are psyched to be back at BU after a long, tedious month at home, others are anxious or stressed and ready to hop right back on the plane that brought them here. Full disclosure: I live about 45 minutes away and I still get homesick when I first come back to school! Regardless, some of us are starting internships or new jobs, and others are back to the normal grind of schoolwork. Whatever your case may be, it’s important to try to start the new semester on a high note, and there are plenty of ways to do so!

Remember that the professors you have this semester have never met you before—the week ahead of you virtually a blank slate. This can work to your advantage, of course, so make sure to start off on the right foot! Ask questions and take the time to connect with people in your classes. See a dreaded group project on the syllabus? Turn to the person next to you and ask if they’re looking for a partner. You’ll be amazed at the effects some planning can have, and I can say from experience that making friends on the first day always makes that 20-page paper or the upcoming exam a little more bearable.

That being said, be sure to spend time with the friends you’ve been missing for the past few weeks as well. My favorite way to catch up with friends is to ask them to dinner at the dining hall—while it isn’t the most glamorous situation, everybody needs to eat. So why not eat together?

Coming back to school after a few weeks of total freedom can always be daunting. We’ve spent the past thirty days sitting on the couch binge watching “Making a Murderer” and eating peanut butter out of the jar, (I can’t be the only one, right?), so it’s understandable to feel a little so-so about the upcoming week. But keeping a positive attitude is the key!

Nail the first day at your new internship. Step into class on the first day and talk to someone you’ve never spoken to before. I promise, you won’t regret it!