Megan: My Favorite Place in Boston is a Rock

My favorite place in Boston is a rock.

Now, it isn’t just any rock, in fact, you have to do a little bit of traveling to get there. You start the journey at the entrance to the Long Wharf, by the Marriott hotel and Faneuil Hall.

Follow the wharf down until you approach the water…

And, once you’ve reached the far-right end of the wharf, you have reached my favorite place in all of Boston to be: The rock right on the corner.

It boasts some pretty incredible views of the Boston Harbor:

And the wharf it is connected to has some pretty insane history too. It dates all the way back to 1710, and is the oldest still-used wharf in the city.

But, beyond that, this is my happy place in the city (I know what you’re thinking, a rock?!). Whenever I have a day or few hours to myself, I am most definitely going to end up sitting on this rock looking out into the harbor.

Sometimes I get there by walking basically the entire length of Boston from BU to the wharf, and sometimes I’m already downtown for my internship and am just on lunch break. But, no matter what, my explorations always lead me back here.

I’ve done a little bit of thinking about this, why this is the spot I always make it back too. For the one thing, I love being close to water (maybe it’s because I’m a water sign, or maybe it’s because I’ve lived close to large bodies of water my whole life), but it also shows me how much life is happening around me in Boston at all times.

From my spot, I can watch airplanes take off from Logan, listen to tour guides on the harbor boats talk about Boston, and witness a photoshoot or two for Instagram. I’ve sat at my rock and done homework, but I’ve also just sat taking everything in and listening to music, like the one time this summer I sat there for three hours listening to The Great Comet of 1812 soundtrack.

Sitting on my rock provides me an enormous sense of comfort, and I’ve realized just how important it is for me to have a place in the city that really feels like home to me.

Megan: What BU’s Orientation Taught Me

This past summer, I had the absolute joy and pleasure to work as a Student Advisor for COM at BU Orientation. I broke out of the COM bubble I usually find myself in and formed friends in every single school at Boston University (which was great for me since I love friendship!) In fact, some of the closest friends I made in the program are from our College of Engineering, where they study things I could never fathom understanding.

Along with having a ton of fun and meeting new students left and right, I also learned a great deal about BU and how to run a successful Orientation session. Here are some facts I learned during each of the six weeks we had session (including things I learned from our Sustainability Ambassadors!):

**Note: pictures best viewed not on iPhone (its a WordPress problem!)

Session 1:

Along with figuring out how to run an Orientation session, I learned just how hungry students can get after a full day of moving around and registering for class, and how important the Zinneken’s waffle truck is.

Sustainability tip: the plastic cups in the GSU are compostable!

Session 2:

I brought out my dance moves for this session as I danced the iconic Terrier Shuffle to one of the great songs of the summer, 24K Magic.

Sustainability tip: The Victory Gardens in the Fens have a rich history of growing food and flowers stretching all the way back to WWI.

Session 3:

This session, instead of having a group of students, I learned what it meant to work with parents, and how sometimes you can sit with a friend during lunch in complete silence and still completely understand each other.

Sustainability tip: There are people in the dining halls that compost our food when they disappear down the conveyor belts!

Session 4:

I learned the number of different people you can have in a session, from the quiet one to the ones who call you mom to the ones who do their best to find trouble, and how you can still like each and every one of them.

Sustainability tip: Our Center for Integrated Life Sciences building, or CILSE, has different walls all over the building to be more energy efficient!

Session 5:

I learned the difference between a transfer student and incoming freshman student’s orientation experience, and found a new Instagram account that posts the best cookie decorating videos.

Sustainability tip: BU promised to reduce their carbon footprint by 2020 by 50%, but we’ve already reached that goal!

Session 6:

This session really taught me how to go with the flow, and reminded me of what I had learned from the first session: that people need to be fed! I also learned the incredible work and dedication that goes into an international student’s decision to come to BU.

Sustainability tip: When you’re moving in, break down your boxes and and throw things out where they belong (we have to save the planet!)

Something that I learned in every session, however, is how to work as a team, both within COM and BU. Orientation could not have been as successful as it was without our entire team coming together to give first-years the best experience possible.

Hi New COM Students!

Hey everyone, and welcome to COM! We are so excited for you to join us for a fantastic four years at Boston University. This blog is run by the COM Ambassadors detailing our experiences with all things Boston and BU, from the best places to eat or study to ways we deal with stress, or some of the amazing experiences we’ve had during our time here. You’ve seen our profiles, now it’s time to learn even more about us. Either scroll through all of our most recent posts or click an individual name on the right to learn more about a specific ambassador. Good luck, and we’ll see you in the fall for our welcome barbecue and many more fabulous events!

-Megan, CA Content Coordinator and Student Advisor for Orientation

Megan: How I Handle Stress

We’ve entered a very busy time of year, and sometimes it can be very difficult to juggle everything us college kids have on our plates. From our extracurriculars to our internships, and from our classes to preparing to be people in the real world, stress happens. A lot!

It has taken me a long time to figure out how I deal with my many stressors, and I’m still learning! It is a different experience for everyone, but I’ve put some of my tips below just in case you need some inspiration.

1. To-Do Lists:

I am the biggest fan of to-do lists. I put them everywhere: sheets of notebook paper, specific to-do list notebooks, my phone… wherever I can. I like to make them super colorful so its not quite so sad looking at everything I have to do. I organize everything I need to do for each class, then each activity I’m a part of, and then my real world problems. I also write everything down in my planner too, so I can see how it all looks over a few weeks or months. I can think of few things better than crossing everything off my list after a stressful week!

2. Getting Some Exercise:

Staying active really helps me maintain my calm during times of stress. I always strive to get all my steps on my FitBit every day, and when I’m really stressed I try to get up and walk around every hour. Just like the to-do lists, it is really nice to track my progress and see that I’m accomplishing things. I also always make sure I’m going to my PDP, I have to do it anyway and its a nice way to be active for a little bit.

3. Maintaining Your Routine:

This one is really important for me. When I start to lose my routine because I’m stressed, I feel even more upset than I was before. Taking things away from my routine leaves me freaking out because I feel like I’m losing control. Although there are times when you have to cut things out to accomplish the most important things on your list, knowing that I’ve done my best to stick to my routine helps me maintain my stress levels.

4. Setting Time Aside for Work, Setting Time Aside for You:

If I give myself a time frame to get my work done, I find myself more willing to sit down during that time and do it. However, I also try to remind myself that it is okay if I don’t get it all done within my time frame, as long as I’ve tried it’s fine! However, at the end of the day you have to give yourself time to take care of you. Take a super long shower, or a 20 minute nap, or do a face mask (I love a good face mask, let me know if you need any recommendations)! When you’re taking care of you, it will reflect in your work.

Stress happens, and that’s just a fact of life. Once you figure out what helps you stay calm, you will be able to do everything and anything you set your mind to!

Megan: My Winter Break Movie Ratings

Winter break is an absolutely incredible time of year. College students go home to their families, eat lots of food for the holidays, sleep every day away, and catch up on all the movies they didn’t have time to see during the semester. At least, that’s what I did for an entire month. And, if you’re like me, you see the same movies over and over again. I don’t know how or why this happens, but I do know I’m certainly not upset about it. Here’s my rankings of the movies I saw over winter break, based on the number of times I saw them.

1. Rogue One. Times Seen: 5

Yes, I have seen Rogue One a grand total of 5 times in the just over a month its been out. I have no excuses for my actions other than that I love Star Wars and that this is an outstanding movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, go. If you have, go see it again. The richness of the characters is phenomenal, and its always nice to see more of my favorite galaxy.

2. La La Land. Times Seen: 4

It is going to be a very long time before I see this movie again, but I’m so happy I saw it. I honestly probably would have been fine after seeing it 3 times, but this is a movie I made everyone I know see with me. The movie is beautiful, and I’m excited to see where it goes with Oscar noms going up today.

3. Hidden Figures. Times Seen: 1

Oh can we talk about this movie?! So good. I teared up multiple times, but in a really good way because of how powerful this movie is. If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it. See this over literally any other movie on this list.

4. Manchester by the Sea. Times Seen: 1

I will never see this movie again. It deserves so many awards, and is so fantastic, but will also drain you like no other. My mom and I cried for two hours straight during this movie. Go see this movie with a box of tissues and no plans for the rest of the day, because you will be tired and sad.

5. Moana. Times Seen: 1

Can we discuss for a minute how underrated this movie is? I’ve said it to everyone I’ve talked to, but this movie came out at the wrong time. It is so good, but didn’t get the recognition it deserves. The music didn’t catch on like Frozen did (which is a travesty), and the movie has some incredible themes. Plus, its beautiful.

6. Sing! Times Seen: 1

Coming in at last place, Sing! is good only because of the ending. So many bad things happen to every character in this movie, and I was honestly upset the entire time. I kept waiting for something good to happen to someone, but instead things just kept going south.

Megan: Get Fit for the Small Price of Your College Tuition

As a college student with a tiny income, I really want to do things that are free. Also as a college student, I don’t go to the gym half as much as I should, but who really has time?

BU actually has a free way to force you to go to the gym! Yep, I’m talking about PDP’s.

PDP’s are free sports and fitness classes, offered through BU’s very own Fit Rec, that are actually super fun. There are so many class options available to us as students, and we don’t have to pay a cent to take most of them. The classes are pass/fail, and to pass you just have to show up most of the time. Plus, there are often make-up classes or other sections to go to so there isn’t a big F on your transcript. That means they’re super flexible when you get sick or have a really stressful week.

I’ve taken three PDP’s:

  1. Golf: This class is seriously fun. You meet in the Track and Tennis Center past the West Dorms and hit golf balls around once a week for an hour. I learned how to successfully chip a golf ball in certain directions (and into a small basket, but I won’t brag about that), and how to drive a ball really far! A lot of grad students in Questrom were in my class so that they could golf with their future bosses one day, which I thought was hysterical.
  2. Beginners Swim: My two roommates and I took this class last semester, and twice a week we got to suit up and swim around in both of the pools in Fit Rec. Growing up I was a part of my neighborhood swim team, but I actually learned two new strokes specific to saving other people or yourself in the water through this class! I also got to jump off the diving board, which is just super fun.
  3. Beginners Ballet: The PDP I’m currently taking, and it is probably my favorite one so far. We meet for an hour and a half twice a week with the funniest ballet teacher I’ve ever had. We go from stretching and lying down on the floor to plies at the barre to leaps across the floor!

Taking Beginner PDP classes are great because you are never expected to have any prior experience with the sport. Plus there are so many different kinds of classes you can take, from sailing to boxing to nutrition to even rock wall climbing. And, if I want to I can take upper level swimming or dance classes with the experience I’ve gained.

You can take these classes either on your own or with friends and still have a fantastic time. I loved my golf class even though I didn’t know a single person in the class, but its also so much fun to swim or dance with your friends, and work together to improve!

Another interesting thing about PDP’s is that they’re all offered for different amounts of time: since my golf PDP was only once a week for an hour, I added the swimming class too and still had plenty of time to do all of my work.

I would HIGHLY recommend taking at least one PDP during your time here. Pick one that interests you and fits in your schedule, and go for it. If you don’t like it, you can always drop them (but I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have a great time). Maybe I’ll even see you in my pilates class next semester. Good luck, and exercise on!

Megan: Dealing with 8 AM Classes

8 a.m.

A time that strikes fear in the hearts of many a college student forced to wake up way too early and pay attention way too long before the sun has officially woken up for the day.

8 a.m. classes strike in different ways. Some are requirements, and some are classes you really want to take but have to be up at an ungodly hour to go to.

I have been through both of these situations, and I have the answers on how to survive Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 until 9:15.

  1. Wake up wicked early. Like 6:40 early. That way you can either take a shower to regenerate yourself or just lounge around and give yourself ample amounts of time to be awake. Checking Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat makes you feel more engaged and ready to start the day.
  2. Go somewhere for breakfast. I recommend Einstein’s. It is fantastic, has so many options, and, best of all, takes dining points. Even if you feel like you can’t have a full breakfast that early in the morning, have a little snack just to get some energy. I always get a bagel and the orange juice.
  3. About the orange juice. Don’t drink it while you eat your bagel. Save it for class, because that’s how you really stay awake. The best trick I have (and that I absolutely swear by) is taking a sip of OJ every five minutes in class. Sometimes I’m so awake I miss a sip, and that’s how you know you’ve conquered your 8 a.m. Its just something to focus on so you don’t fall asleep!
  4. Don’t wear lots of layers. If you are feeling warm and cozy you might get drousy: I wear light clothes so I’m cold and awake the whole lecture. The goose bumps are worth it!

I skip coffee because the taste and smell makes me sick, but if that’s your thing try it out! A secret of mine is that I don’t even really like orange juice, but it has really saved my grade the past two semesters.

Surviving your 8 a.m. is all about finding the tricks that make you awake and alert. Some days will be harder than others. You may have noticed that I skipped going to bed early because that’s pretty much impossible in school. Just do your best!

Megan: What Is It Like to Know a COM Student?

Hey guys, its Megan again! So as you may or may not know, us COM students can get pretty passionate about what we’re studying, and we really love to talk about it. So I thought, what would my non-COM friends have to say about my educational experience here at BU?

For background: I am a freshman majoring in Film and Television, and through COM I work on Baystate, a BUTV10 show. I am a COM Ambassador (obviously), and I work in Undergraduate Affairs as an office assistant. Let’s meet who we’re interviewing…

Maya is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, where she is currently undecided. She has the enormous pleasure of being my roommate.

Kayla is a sophomore in the Questrom School of Business, where is she pursuing a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in International Management, Marketing, and Business Law. She is also my next-door neighbor in Warren Towers.

  1. Do you know what your friend/roommate is actually majoring in?

Maya: No. What are you, Mass Communication? PR? Journalism? Who can say…

Kayla: Film & Television.

  1. Do you know what COM 101 is?

Maya: Ohhhhh yeah. I know too much about COM 101. It’s the intro class everyone has to take, and it has no specific focus. The first essay is about some part of communication, you did yours on YouTube, but others have done it on Snapchat. I remember that one time you made your discussion TA play the Star Wars trailer, and that’s allowed because COM.

Kayla: Not completely, but I know who Tammy is.

  1. What extracurriculars in COM is your friend/roommate a part of, and has she tried to make you join?

Maya: You’re in BUTV10, COM Ambassador, and you work in… Undergraduate Affairs. And… you said I could do BUTV10 if I wanted to.

Kayla: You are on Baystate, you are a COM Ambassador, and you work in the office. And I would say yes considering this is my first day of Baystate.

  1. Do you know more COM students than people in your own major?

Maya: Probably. I think a lot of it is coincidental, but since joining Baystate its been solidified that I’m going to know more COM people. Its funny the people that aren’t in COM but do COM things.

Kayla: I wouldn’t say that I know more COM people than my major, but I have more friends that are COM people.

  1. Do you feel like you’re in COM?

Maya: [scoffs] YES.

Kayla: No, but sometimes I wish I was.

Overall, it seems pretty obvious that I am very enthusiastic about COM, and it is a huge part of my life. Its crazy to think that this excitement over what I do can impact my friends too, even though they are not actually in my school.

Megan: The Movies I’m Most Excited to See in 2016

Welcome to my first blog post! While as a freshman I am still fairly new to the whole—college—thing, one aspect of my life that has remained the same is my love of movies (hence why I’m a Film and Television major!). I saw the new Star Wars movie five times in theatres, and if that’s not love I don’t know what is. So, here is my list of the top five movies I’m most excited to see in theatres this year.

 

  1. Snowden: One of the more intimidating films coming out this year, I am very excited to see how they portray one of the most controversial people of the last few years. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in what is sure to be a very talked about film.

 

  1. Independence Day Resurgence: If you haven’t seen the original Independence Day, it is a definite must see, along with its sequel, which I didn’t know I needed until it was announced that there was going to be a new one! Combining a love for America with aliens and, yes, Liam Hemsworth, this movie is sure to be a hit.

 

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: There has been a very empty void in my heart since the last Harry Potter movie came out in 2011, and it will finally be filled with this prequel, led by the ever wonderful Eddie Redmayne. I am so excited to revisit my very favorite fantastical world, this time set in a city closer to home: New York.

 

  1. Moana: This Disney animated film stars a young woman on a quest to find a fabled island. On this journey she will be accompanied by a demi-god named Maui, voiced by non other than the fan favorite Dwayne the Rock Johnson.

 

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Probably the movie I’m most excited to see this year, this spinoff tells a story between Episode III and Episode IV. How did the Rebels acquire the plans to the Death Star, and will we see a surprise appearance from a young Han Solo?

 

Bonus! Take this Buzzfeed Quiz to see which movie you’re most excited to see this year: http://www.buzzfeed.com/talhaishaq2001/can-we-guess-which-2016-movie-are-you-more-excited-1saop?utm_term=.vy6KxDrLGA&bftw=#.ghPw83PBKr