Morgan: Homesick

As December continues to creep up on us, I am getting more and more homesick. But not in the same way that I was homesick my first year of college. I’m homesick thinking about leaving the place that has seen my grow. The place that has fostered my education. The place that has provided me with a bigger, brighter family. This time, it is Boston that I’m homesick for. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. I can look out my window right now and still catch glimpses of the Citgo sign and hear the buzz from Storrow Drive; however, as I write my final blog post for COM Ambassadors, I can only reminisce. 

The unknown: FRESHMEN YEAR

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Freshmen year Morgan entered Warren Towers wide eyed, overpacked, and lost (both literally and figurately). I knew no one and knew nothing about living without the ease of having my parents at my fingertips. I was shocked when I teared up when I talked to my parents, for the first time after school began, through my computer screen while sitting in the common room of the 16th floor. But I quickly was able learn how to navigate my way through BU’s campus. After a few latenesses I figured out how to get to the fifth floor of CAS. I made friends in my WR100 class. And I figured out what times were best for showering when there are about twenty other girls vying for the same shower stalls.

I surely missed my group of friends from home and was sad to miss out on my family’s weekend dinners out together, but I learned to find places at BU where I discovered people who would become my family away from home.

That’s new: SOPHOMORE YEAR

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If freshmen year was my adjustment period, sophomore year was my time of discovery.

I moved out of my comfort zone by taking on new leadership positions. In BU’s Asian Student Union (ASU), I progressed from being a freshmen representative, to secretary, to vice president internal, and this is where I formed some of my closest friendships. With ASU I was given the opportunity to see events grow from being ideas to huge events, such as Breaking Boundaries, for upwards of 500 people. ASU introduced me to people who built me up and always showed me unending love and support in an environment where I was lost, and for that I am so very grateful.  

I further explored beyond people’s expectations of me by taking hip hop dance classes! As an extremely inexperienced dancer, performing in front of a crowd for the first time in my life taught me confidence and has furthered my mentality of having no shame as long as you are having fun.    

The Revival: JUNIOR YEAR

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At the start of junior year, I was close to comfort at last. I was rooming with three great friends of mine, and was fully acclimated to BU with all of my involvements in organizations fairly finalized. But studying abroad my second semester once again placed me in an unfamiliar setting. 

I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia, and let me tell you, it was incredible. I thought that I had dedicated my last two years to learning who I was, but there’s nothing like moving across the world to force you into some serious self discovery. I experienced life like I never was able to before by being granted the privilege of having time and constant creative inspiration surrounding me. I was more active, cooking for the first time, and interning at a huge global media company. Study abroad was the much needed break that I needed to be rejuvenated at a time when the pains of college were becoming heavy.

Retirement is on the horizon: SENIOR YEAR

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 Senior year is a short one. Being that I am graduating early, my time at BU is coming to an end this coming December, and I am ill prepared for the reality check that is about to come my way. However, I plan to make the most out of these six remaining weeks that I reside on Commonwealth Avenue. I am going to miss hearing the passion from my history professors. I’ll miss having late night talks in my apartment with the people who have made my time here special. I will miss the dining hall. And I will student discounts. (Just to name a few things). 

During my senior year I have truly felt like an upperclassman as younger students come to me with the same questions that I once asked my own mentors and friends, which scares and excites me at the same time. In college I am currently at the height of my career, but in just SIX WEEKS, yet again I will be pushed down to the bottom ranks. For the first time I have no idea what I will be doing, who I will be with, or even what city I will be in post graduation. I will definitely return to those uneasy feelings that haunted me freshmen year, but now at least I’ll have the experiences of my last few years at Boston University to guide me. 

Morgan: Boston, the secret music capital of the world?

Stand outside Marciano Commons and the sounds of Billy Joel or The Who can be overheard coming from Fenway Park. Right across the street, you’ll see the blue walls of the House of Blues. Cross the river to discover venues such as the Sinclair and Middle East. Wander down Commonwealth and you’re sure to catch glimpses of lines for the next show at Paradise Rock Club winding around Canes. Go farther west and you’ll find students looking for good food and partaking in the Allston Crawl mixed in with the crowd outside of Brighton Music Hall. Venture downtown to Tremont Street and the marquee lights of Royale, the Boch Center, and The Wilbur will draw you in. Jump on the T and hop off at North Station and catch the songs of artists at the top of the Billboard charts vibrating through TD Garden. And right here on our very own campus at Agganis Arena, unless the crowds are decked out in red hockey jerseys, it is safe to assume that our hockey arena has been transformed to house a big name superstar for that night.

Boston University may lack a football team or be far from extensive green space, but one thing we have in excess is accessibility to seeing live music—and thank god for it! School has been in session for just around two weeks and I have been so lucky to have attended two shows in that limited time period. I saw Pink Sweat$ and Tyler the Creator, and was able to get affordable tickets for them both. Concerts have a reputation of breaking the bank and it is understandable as to why that is. Musicians now-a-days are relying almost solely on streaming revenue to make money with the decline in physical record sales, which leaves artists making a fraction of a cent each time someone clicks their song on Spotify, Apple Music, or a like platform. In response, touring is what artists turn to make a more solidified income. As a result of this changing economy, I believe that artists are touring more than before, which has brought everyone from today’s biggest names like Post Malone and Lizzo, to smaller indie names like Mt. Joy (who I am obsessed with) or Omar Apollo to Boston’s venues.

It may seem like a trap knowing that all of these artists are performing so close to campus, when ideas of paying for concert tickets are overwhelmed with looming thoughts of paying for student loans, but live music is all around us and does not always come attached to a hefty price tag. I advise you look into artists playing at the smaller venues and listen to their songs. You may discover an artist that you end up loving and can have the satisfaction of saying you saw them (for cheap!) before they made it big. Personally I even prefer these smaller venues because you are able to have a more intimate experience with the performers often being just a few rows, or less, in front of you. Scrolling Facebook event pages or BU Free and For Sale pages can also connect you with students or others in the area reselling tickets for a steep discount because they can no longer attend for one reason or another. I did this for Tyler the Creator and was able to snag tickets for a quarter of it’s face value! The Boston area even has live jazz music at Wally’s Café or Beehive Restaurant, or if you’re looking for something completely different, Howl at the Moon features shows with dueling pianos. Another option is to take in the music of the talented street musicians that take over Faneuil Hall or Harvard Square. Boston may be known as “Beantown” or for being a “College Town,” but a layer of Boston that I believe doesn’t get enough credit is its abundance and love for good-old live, loud music.

Morgan: Advice for Open Houses

Hey newly accepted freshman!! Congratulations and welcome to BU! We are honestly so excited to meet all of you – the upcoming open houses are great opportunities to meet future classmates and get all of your questions answered by us COM experts. But that being said, there’s a couple ways to maximize what you get out of open house – so here are my tips and tricks!!

 

1. Get to the first event early! All of the COM ambassadors and many of the professors and advisors will be hanging around to chat with you – and it’s a great opportunity to get some one on one time and get a feel for what being in COM will be like!

2. Don’t skip lunch! We split the parents and students up for lunch – which means it’s a great time to bond with your future COM class without your parents hanging over your head!

3. Get the contact info of people you click with! Remember that everyone is in the same boat feelifn alone and a little nervous about this new chapter in their life – so challenge yourself to add new friends on Facebook or exhange numbers. You’ll thank yourself later when you need a friend to sit with in COM 101!

4. Put yourself out there and be YOU! You will get a ton out of open house of you put a ton into it!

 

See you all soon!

Morgan: A Little Perspective from a Second Semester Senior

As I’m well in to my last semester of my senior year, I’ve started to reflect on my entire college experience. Being a transfer student, my experience might be somewhat a-typical. Two schools, two orientations, two different cities to explore, and two great groups of friends and tons of awesome professors who have helped shaped my life to what it is today. But the one thing that, when I look back I wish I did more of, was to document this entire experience.
Don’t get me wrong I have just as many Instagram pics of the Pru at sunset, Fenway Park in the summer, or the Common in the Fall as you do – but those aren’t the things you’ll need help remembering. What about the night before that snow day when you and your roommates decided to dance around in your PJ’s to pop hits circa 2002 while baking cookies and drinking hot chocolate until approximately 4am? Or the time the Red Sox won the World Series and you ran down to Kenmore Square to scream and celebrate with the rest of this awesome city? Or that time your club did something super cool like a big performance or created something cool or WHATEVER. The point is, these are the experience that you can only ever have in college – right now where you are.
As we’re getting all caught up in this exam and that class and that project and whatever roommate who you’re fighting with this week, we forget to appreciate this time and this experience.
So basically what I’m getting at is, take more pictures, videos, and even screenshot those hilarious Tweets you may want to look back on someday. 30 years from now you’re not going to want to remember the exam you took on February 12th for the psychology class you needed to graduate, but you’ll probably want to remember how you celebrated after.

Morgan: So You Failed Your First Exam…

It happens to the best of us. You had no idea what to expect from your professor for your first COM101/AR100/PS101/anyotherlargelecture exam. They might have given some very vague details about what would be on it and how it would be set up, but still, you struggled to find the right way to study for your first big college exam. So now what?

Unfortunately, crying in your professor’s office rarely works. So the best thing to do is STAY CALM, and follow these steps to success.

1)   Head over to your professor’s office hours to go over the exam. Were there concepts that you just didn’t understand? Did the set up or the wording of questions confuse you? Figure out what went wrong so you can be prepared next time.

2)   While you’re there, ask about extra credit opportunities. There may not be any available, but it never hurts to ask.

3)   Start PAYING ATTENTION in lecture. I know, shocker. Get yourself this nifty little self control app so you can block all those tempting websites you want to surf during lecture. Or if possible, take notes the old fashioned way – pen & paper.

4)   Make sure not to lose any more points. If there are homework assignments, papers, etc. that are part of your grade – make sure you do the absolute best on these you can. Use the COM writing center and your TF’s as resources – their job is to help you! So take advantage of it!

5)   Next time, study like crazy. Some of my study methods include…

–       Studyblue.com

–       Making outlines of each chapter.

–       Spending 5 hours in the library until I memorize absolutely everything.

–       Trying to put all of the information for each chapter on a single piece of paper – color-coded.

–       Studying with friends! Sometimes trying to explain a concept to someone else helps you understand it better.

–       Not leaving it until the last minute. Start studying 4-5 days in advance so it really sticks in your brain!

You can do it!!

 

Morgan: How to Enjoy Fall in Boston!

Hey COMmies! So it’s officially October, which is my absolute favorite season. It’s crisp and cool but still super sunny and beautiful (as opposed to Spring where it rains constantly!). Boston is absolutely beautiful in the fall. All of the colors are changing, there is pumpkin everything, and everybody is in great moods. There are tons of ways to enjoy the fall weather, so here are a few of my favorites!

1)   Head over to the Boston Common and jump in a pile of leaves. Yes, you’re allowed to act like you’re 5. It’s like a right of passage.

2)   Go apple picking! Rent a ZipCar and get out of the city for the day!

3)   Go kayaking on the Charles! It’s a great way to see the fall colors.

4)   Discover a new coffee shop! There’s a few Beacon Hill that are divine!

5)   If you’re 21+, head to Oktoberfest! Pumpkin beer, anyone?

6)   Take a run on the Esplanade.

7)   Bake some apple pie. Yummmmm.

8)   Apple cider, pumpkin coffee, toasted pumpkin seeds, apple turnover, cinnamon and nutmeg in everything.

Hope you enjoy this fall as much as I do!!

 

Morgan: The Ultimate Stress Reliever

Let’s face it, school is stressful. With constant assignments, exams, group projects, and extra-curricular activities filling our days – it can be hard to regroup and take the time you need to recharge. There’s tons of ways to relieve your stress on campus – sign up for a yoga class, go for a run or walk along the Esplanade, or pick up your favorite instrument or DIY project. I’ve done pretty much all of these, and they’re all equally as helpful in relieving stress, but my new favorite stress reliever is a little bit more, well, fuzzy.

Meet Boston – an 8-week-old rescue kitten that my 3 roommates and myself adopted in a somewhat spur of the moment impulse. I’m really not even a cat person, but when my roommate showed me this little face, how could I say no? Now I’m so happy that we have him.

I’ve gotten in the habit of coming home after a long day of classes, work & meetings to sit down on the floor and play with this little rascal. It only takes a few minutes and I’m instantly relaxed & forgetting about my stressful day.

This little kitten has reminded me how important it is to unwind, laugh, and just appreciate the smaller things in life (Get it? Small? Kitten? Nevermind). Now I don’t recommend going against University policy and sneaking a kitten into your dorm, but you should work on finding a stress reliever that works for you. Something simple. Whatever it ends up being, I can guarantee that you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on your crazy schedule.

 

Morgan: Life as an Advertising Intern

So you want to go into advertising? So you want to work at one of those big fancy ad firms like on “Mad Men” and hang out on comfy couches while you create some pretty awesome stuff? Well get out your Mason Jars and sporks then friends – you’re gonna need ‘em!

I was lucky enough to snag an awesome internship at Digitas (now DigitasLBi) this summer – the largest (and best!) advertising firm in the Boston area. I was so excited about everything that I would learn from my summer at Digitas, but what I didn’t expect was to be treated like royalty. Let me explain…

– On day 1, the fed us breakfast AND lunch. And we got lots of Digitas swag.

– Every Friday, we get free bagels.

– On day 4, we got to attend the annual All Staff Meeting – held at the Boston Opera house, followed by food & drinks!

– There is candy. Everywhere. All the time.

– There is also free coffee all day everyday. Keurig cups GALORE.

– On day 10, we got free ice cream sundaes (summer solstice, duh).

– On day 13, we had breakfast with the CEO of the entire North American branch of DigitasLbi – Tony Weisman. Who is awesome, BTW.

– On day 16, we had lunch with former Digitas interns – who told us about their experience here.

– On day 24, all of the interns went to Cradles & Crayons for volunteer day, followed by more free food, of course.

– Next Tuesday we’re having dinner at Barb’s house – the President of Digitas Boston (casual), and on Thursday, we’re going to a Red Sox Game!

Best summer ever, anyone?

But in all honesty, all 25 of the Digitas summer interns are smart, hardworking, and innovative individuals and I have felt so lucky to be a part of this intern class. The interns are placed in a variety of capabilities – from Account Management, to Creative, to Strategy & Analysis, and are placed on client teams. Our days consist of about 75% real client work, and 25% “Digitas University” content – including training sessions and a case study competition. Although Digitas encourages its employees to have fun, we also work really hard, and in the last 8 weeks I’ve learned more about the industry than I ever could have learned in a classroom.

So my advice to you?

INTERN INTERN INTERN. Do it as many times as you can in as many places as you can. Its an awesome experience overall, and you might even get paid 😉

Hope you’re having a great summer and I can’t wait to meet all of you in the fall!

 

 

 

Morgan: Why You Should Join DMCBU

So as you might be readily aware, the clubs offered through COM are plentiful. It can be hard to figure out which organization will offer you the type of experience you’re looking for, whatever that may be. Once you finally pick one or two or five, you get so wrapped up in said club(s) that you might not realize all of the cool new ones that are popping up around you. The coolest of these cool new ones is most certainly the Digital Media Club.

DMCBU is a highly talented group of innovators, thinkers and “do-ers”. They specialize in everything for digital media production, social media, interactive media, coding, and design. Members have a variety of skills and expertise – and are not only COM majors. Computer science and graphic design majors, along with advertising majors, have joined forces to produce a collaborative network of members that can teach and learn from each other.

They offer events, workshops, panels, and two collaborative divisions that focus interests into hand-on projects. The first division, Terrier Labs, focuses on web design, web development, mobile app development, and creative ways to integrate technology with everyday activities. The second division, The Terribyte, is an e-publication that focuses on digital content creation such as blogs, social media, graphic design, and web video production, as well as content marketing strategies, and personal branding. Both groups provide students with real-world experience to better prepare them for careers in the digital communication and technology industries.

In only their first year of existence, they have held events with Mullen, Google, DailyBreak, and Hill Holiday. They’ve also developed numerous apps including BU Room Swap and UPlannr.

As DMCBU works on expanding its reach and its capabilities, it needs YOU. It’s never too late to join – meetings are held in COM room 215 every Thursday @ 5pm. Hope to see you there!