Sara: De-Stressing with Audrey and Muffins

Reading through the last few posts on this blog I am definitely sensing a pattern–COM is a bunch of amazing, lovely people who are all the biggest overachievers. While most days we think we can do it all, other days seem to be a little less manageable. I personally have taken on 5 classes, an internship, the vice president role of COMSA and the committee head of a PR advanced committee and boy does everyday feel just as insane as the one that came before it. But as busy as most days are,  I try to take a little time to myself. So, now as we all start to get into the routine of being back at school, I thought now would be a perfect time to share with you all the top 5 ways I have found work the best to de-stress.

1. Watching a favorite movie or listening to music from your favorite band

I will be the first to admit that this is my go to activity that seems to calm all my worries in life. Just the other night I came home from class and put on Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If Audrey can’t fix your problems, then who can?

2. Getting yourself organized

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’ve taken on more than you think you can handle. However, the best way to deal with this problem is to keep organized! I’m a list-maker who can’t get through the day without making at least 2 or 3 lists. Laugh at me if you must, but these lists help me keep organized- I know exactly what I have to get done each night for the next day to run smoothly which helps eliminate unnecessary stress day-to-day.

3. Grabbing a friend for an adventure in Boston

I try to do this at least once during each school week. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re not JUST students. Somehow getting out into the city and exploring a place I have never been to before helps me keep my schoolwork in perspective and still have some fun.

4. Going for a run/to the gym/ working out in general:

I’m a big fan of this one because I’m a big runner. There’s nothing quite like lacing up your sneakers and hitting the esplanade. It’s the perfect time of year to hit the pavement as it starts to cool down so there’s really no excuse! Not to mention that working out gives you endorphins…which make you happy…and happy people just don’t kill their husbandsroommates.

5. Baking!

Ok so not everyone might like this one but take the opportunity to do something you really love that is completely separate from school life.  Find your happy place! Mine just happens to be in the kitchen. Check out these heart-shaped vegan pumpkin muffins I made this weekend!

Maria: Four Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

It’s hard to believe that three years ago, I was a scared little freshman on campus unsure of what to do with my life. How do I awkwardly make small talk with my neighbors in the bathroom? Would my professor hate me if I don’t go to office hours? Where is my 24-hour diner when I’m craving some greasy food at midnight? (Sorry, I’m from New York where late-night diners are a necessity in every town.)

This post inspired me after the COM (College of Communication) Open House in April when all of us COM Ambassadors came on stage, introduced ourselves, and said one thing we wish we knew about BU before we got here. The one lame, but true, thing I said was “I wish I knew how great COM was before I got here.” (I transferred from a psychology major in the College of Arts & Sciences to a journalism major in COM my sophomore year.) Well, chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already in COM or are interested in applying to COM, so you already know why COM is so great. So here are a few other things I wish I knew when I got to college:

1)    Get to know your professors and teaching fellows (TFs)

This is probably the one thing I really wish I knew the most as a freshman. If you establish a relationship with your professor or TF during your semester with them, they will most likely help you out during the semester giving you advice for their tests or essays and offering additional study hours. And although most of the classes you take freshman year are intro classes, one or two will be an intro class for your potential major. In the long run, having a strong connection with a professor or TF will truly when you need a mentor, letter of recommendation, or just someone to go to when you’re having a life or career crisis.

2)    The food here is actually pretty good

I’ll admit I was one of those kids who were obsessed with my future college as a senior in high school. I went on all those weird websites that ranked your college in every department: location, food, dorm life, even the parking situations. I always heard that BU had great food and distinctly remember one website giving the food an A-. It seemed weird to me that BU was one of the only schools I really saw that had a high food rating, but once I got here, I realized how accurate it was. The dining halls had miraculously delicious food and the food court had real places like Panda Express and a killer salad bar. And we live in an awesome city, so of course there’s amazing food places right off campus. With anything from “Brown Sugar” Thai food , “Chipotle” for your Mexican craving, or the North End just a short T-ride away, you literally can’t go hungry on (or even off) campus.

3)    Get to know the people on your floor and in your dorm

I lived on an all-girls floor in Claflin in West Campus my freshman year. To say it was catty is a bit of an understatement, but nonetheless I met some of my best friends on my floor. Unfortunately I didn’t meet many other people in the dorm, and found out that a lot of the friends I made later freshman year or sophomore year actually lived in my building. It’s great networking to meet people on all floors and it’s fun to mingle with people you may not see every day in the bathroom while you’re rocking your cute robe.

4)    The 57 Bus will save your life

If you don’t know what the 57 Bus is, it’s pretty much a hidden treasure on campus. The 57 is one of the city busses that starts in Kenmore, runs all throughout campus, stops at almost every block on campus, and continues down Brighton Ave. all the way to Watertown. It’s an awesome alternative to the T, which can run slow because it’s usually pretty packed (unless you’re on it at 5 AM or at random times of the day). But the 57 Bus drives as fast as a normal car, and let’s be real, Bostonians take driving to a new level in this city. And it’s cheaper; the T costs $2.50 while the bus is $2.00. Once you’re in college, you really appreciate the cheaper things in life.

I hope these words of advice are something you take into account as a freshman! Enjoy your weekend and the first few days of Fall!

Kevin: My New Favorite Class

One of the classes I’m taking this semester that I’m really enjoying so far is PO313, The Politics of The Wire with professors Glick and Einstein. For homework we watch episodes of the HBO show The Wire (which I’m really enjoying, and I definitely recommend!) and then discuss the political themes in class. So far we’ve been discussing the war on drugs and racial prejudice, but relating it back to The Wire is making the class tons of fun instead of just reading facts out of a textbook.

The cool thing about this class is how it’s a political science course, but sometimes feels almost like a film class, like we spent a whole class talking about the motivations of different characters. That’s one of the great things about going to such a big school; there are tons of classes outside of COM that you can explore other interests with, but still incorporate things you’re passionate about. Like for me, I really love film, but I also like politics. So with this course, I get both! My roommate was also telling me that he took a philosophy class that was the philosophy of film, and was the same sort of thing. So when it comes time to register, be sure to sit down and take the time to explore!

 

Jon: 3 Tips for Checking out Film Equipment

One thing every film and  journalism student needs to know how to do is check out equipment from Field Production Services. For those who don’t know, Field Production Services (FPS) is the department in COM that manages all of the film and audio production equipment. If you need a camera, lights, an audio recorder, a dolly – the list goes on – you go to FPS.

While FPS has provided a lovely guide over on their website on how to reserve equipment http://www.bu.edu/com/current-students/film-tv/production-services/, there’s a lot of information to take in. So, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to best to handle checking out equipment from FPS.

1)     Make your reservation early: You can make reservations up to 14 days in advance, and with a number of production classes using the same equipment, it’s important not to wait for the last minute. If you make a project schedule ahead of time, then you’ll know exactly how early you’ll need to reserve your equipment for your shoot dates.

2)     Reserve enough equipment: It may seem like you’re just taking some still photos for your first project and you don’t need that heavy tripod. Or maybe you’re using a digital camera and you figure that you can use the LCD monitor to find your aperture settings, so is a light meter really necessary? Yes, yes you do. Don’t cut corners – the equipment’s there, you might as well use it.

3)     Check your equipment before you leave FPS: The people at FPS are great, but sometimes it gets busy in there: to prevent mix ups, go through ALL of your equipment before you leave and double check that it is all there and all working. The equipment ranges from kind of expensive to REALLY REALLY expensive, and you don’t want to get saddled with a price tag for a piece of gear you didn’t lose.

Handling gear can be kind of a hassle a times, but it’s worth it for the thrill of working on your own productions. Just make sure to reserve early, reserve enough gear, and check everything when you pick it up and you should be good!

Until next time,

ACTION!

 

Anneliese: Moving In

So, I just moved into my first apartment. Even though I consider myself logical and well equipped in the domestic skills apartment, I’ve definitely learned a lot since I moved in two weeks ago. I’d like to share my newly acquired wisdom with those of you considering off campus housing in the near future.

1. Avoid large, time-consuming DIY projects

Apparently, I watch way too much HGTV, and consider myself the Jonathan Scott female equivalent (Property Brothers, anyone?). As a poor college student, I accepted all of the beat-up, free furniture family and friends offered me—and then I decided to rehab it. My projects included sanding and staining an entire dining room set, as well as distressing and painting a dresser, desk, and bedside table. Thankfully, my parents talked me out of reupholstering the couch. I don’t necessarily regret revamping my furniture, as it turned out really lovely in the end. However, I did spend the last three weeks of summer in the garage, covered with sawdust and paint, and gagging on paint/stain fumes. I really would have preferred spending that time with my family. So, my advice? Stick to one statement piece to rehab—rather than the furniture for your entire apartment.

2. Bring a brother (and his friend)

My family drove from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a U-haul to move me into my apartment—I had a ton of crap. Movers can be expensive, but it’s near impossible dragging furniture up to a third floor apartment without any help. Luckily, I have a generous brother, who offered his assistance, and persuaded (blackmailed, probably) a friend to help as well. The two of them miraculously hauled a dining room set, a couch, three armchairs, a bed, a dresser, a desk, and a nightside table up three flights of stairs. And it cost my parents only a six-pack of beer and a couple of pizzas.

3. Sign up for a laundry service, if your building doesn’t have washers/dryers

I scoffed at the idea when my roommate first mentioned using a laundry service—how extravagant! Then I considered schlepping my laundry up and down all of our stairs, and around the block…in a Boston winter. Then there was the hassle of having enough quarters, the inconvenience of sitting at a Laundromat for two hours (when I don’t have enough time in the week as it is), and making sure I have enough laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I checked out the service my roommate was planning to use; you choose a day, the service picks up your laundry, washes/dries it per your instructions, and delivers it two days later.  After doing the math, I realized I would be spending about only $1.50 extra per load—totally worth it, considering the convenience.

4. Bring a toolbox

Did you know that a vacuum cleaner doesn’t come assembled? Maybe that’s a dumb question, but I definitely didn’t know. Thankfully, my aunt gave me a stocked toolbox equipped with screwdrivers, a hammer, and all. So far, I’ve used it to put together the vacuum cleaner, assemble a bench, and hammer in a nail that was sticking out of the floor. Needless to say, it has been useful.

5. Command strips, command strips, command strips

Command strips (with or without hooks) will become your best friends, especially when you’ve just moved into an apartment you don’t own and your landlord would appreciate you marking up his walls. We have command hooks in the kitchen, adorably displaying our oven mitts; I have command strips in my room, sticking my posters to the wall; we have command hooks on the back of the bathroom door for our towels. The possibilities are endless. Stock up.

 

Abby: Baby, It’s Cold Outside… But Not Quite Yet

I can remember this time last year FREAKING OUT about moving to Boston and starting my freshmen year. I had been planning and organizing all summer since before I had even officially graduated high school. (You can see my ridiculously color-coded packing list on the first episode of last season’s COMLife http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A021MmXvZo). One of my biggest stressors last summer was getting all of my things from Florida to Boston. And making sure I had every thing I needed or could possibly need at my new home away from home. This summer I feel a little bit calmer about entering my sophomore year mostly because I know a little bit more about what to expect. One obvious thing that did not occur to me until after I arrived in Boston was there are stores in Boston, too, because other people live there too. There are clothing stores and office supply stores and Bed Bath and Beyonds. So it is okay if you forgot something because there is nothing you left at home that your family can’t ship up to you or you can’t buy.

The cold weather was also another unknown that I was trying to plan for. I thought that it would be a snowy blizzard outside the second I stepped off the plane and I had no coat because it is impossible to buy fleece in Florida. But you know what? I was wearing shorts on move-in day and bought a fan for the first couple of weeks in the air-condition-less dorms. There was plenty of time for me to find a winter coat, boots and hat once I was in Boston because it doesn’t get cold until at least after Halloween.

Sara: Surviving Transfer Student Orientation

Hello all! I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer and looking forward to the fall semester ahead in Boston, I know I certainly am. In fact, I’m already dreaming of Red Sox games, cozy scarves and pumpkin flavored everything. I know I shouldn’t be wishing away summer but hey, fall is my favorite.

Shout out to all the new transfer students coming into BU this year! A year ago I was in your exact position and I know I wasn’t exactly looking forward to going through another college orientation. But I will say it was well worth the experience, I met my best friend and now current roommate and it really helped me to get my feet on the ground and get my transfer credits taken care of before school started. I also walked away with a great mantra that Dean Elmore, our Dean of Students, shared with us. He quoted Howard Thurman saying, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

This really stuck with me because it made me feel in the right place at the right time. There’s nothing better than feeling like your decision to leave a school was the right one. It is not easy to transfer schools and it takes courage to make the leap of going to a new school. So basically what I’m trying to say is take a deep breath because you’re in great hands.

That being said, I came in as a transfer student last year knowing I wanted a career in the entertainment field and soon after I realized this dream, I read Dany’s blog post- a fellow COM ambassador and transfer student- about her amazing internships in LA for the summer. That really lit a spark in me and I swore to myself that this summer I would be interning in Los Angeles. Being someone who lives and breathes the awards season December-February, I feel so grateful to find myself in my dream internship at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. I have had the best experience and I know this never would have happened if I hadn’t come to BU.

My biggest piece of advice to transfer students coming in is to not be afraid of your dreams. Don’t feel like you’re already behind just because you’re coming to a new school as a sophomore or a junior. You still have time to figure out what makes you come alive and go do it. The best part is, there are so many people here who will go out of their way to help you make your dreams a reality.

So enjoy the rest of your summer, bond with some fellow transfer students at orientation and get ready for a great fall semester!

 

Steph: Freshman Dorm Décor

Hey there future freshman! As the summer starts to wind down, it’s time to think about how you’re going to make your freshman dorm feel like a home away from home. A lot of it comes down to simple things that will make your smalls space feel your own.

 

1. Photos and Posters

Pictures and posters are an easy way to make those bare white cinderblock walls feel more homey. Whenever you’re feeling a bit homesick, its nice to have some family pictures up on the wall. A fun way to display them is to hang a thin rope from the walls and attach photos with clothing pins to the rope!

2. Pillows and Blankets

Trust me, there is nothing like coming back to your room after a long day of classes and just collapsing on your bed amongst comfy pillows and soft blankets. You can also have a lot of fun with them, by having a plain white comforter and accessorizing with pops of patterns and color in your pillows and blankets!

3. Lighting

While every dorm room comes with wall lights, its always nice to add a tall lamp to add some illumination on late night study sessions. Picking a lamp with colored shades will cast warm glows in the room and make it feel a tad less like a prison cell…those florescent bulbs can be pretty harsh sometimes.

 

The most important thing is that you feel at home at BU, and that starts with your dorm room! So don’t be afraid to go all out and bring all the comforts of home with you.
See all of you SO SOON! (Counting down the days already!!) 🙂

 

Julianna: Finding a Place in Journalism

Happy summer, everyone! It feels as though the days until the start of the semester are whizzing by. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was writing up features for World Travel Guide in London or spending a weekend in Prague? Now, I’m two months in (and exactly one month to go) at Time Out New York where I’m interning in the travel & guides department. As I prepare for my last year at BU (yikes!), I’m starting to see how past decisions and goals are stringing together into my future. I came to BU knowing that I wanted to pursue print journalism, but was unsure of my direction. Should I write about politics? Music? Or both? And so, along the way I’ve reported on various topics – fashion, concert reviews, neighborhood hard news from a school board meeting to business stories. In the spring I had my “ah-ha” moment at my London internship when I realized that I want to pursue a career in travel, life&styles  journalism.

Just as my future career became a clearer vision I was offered my dream internship at Time Out New York. I’ve been reading and using TONY as a source of NYC recommendations since the beginning of high school. Plus, I read Time Out London religiously in the spring. To have my own desk at my favorite media company feels surreal even if it’s just for three months. I work under one editor who has assigned me to several projects such as fact-checking listings for an NYC guide book and writing up pieces that will be published in the coming weeks. This internship has been a change of pace from previous ones where I was doing extensive reporting and writing. At TONY I’m honing my editorial skills, which will prove vital to my dream job in magazine journalism.

The point of my ramblings is make some suggestions to other aspiring journalists. If you’re looking to pin-point what drives your desire for journalism then work your way through writing about different topics for on-campus publications and consider an internship at a newspaper so you can experience reporting as a trade. It’s okay to be “all over the map” in terms of figuring out your place in journalism because after all this is a vast, ever-changing industry. As the semesters roll on you’ll start to see your role as a student journalist take shape into visions of your ideal beat, company or editor position. My path in journalism at BU isn’t over just yet, but at this point I could already say that it’s been so exciting. So embrace bouts of uncertainty, feel the pressure of deadlines and as always, stay curious.

 

Lauren: Work & Fun, but Mostly Fun!

Hi COM kiddies!  Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!  To COM2015 & COM2016- I can’t wait until I get to see you guys back on campus!  And to COM2017?  Welcome to BU!   Get ready for the time of your life!

While I’m anxious to get back on campus and start my senior year (NOOO I never want to graduate!), I’m having the best time in Boston this summer!  I’m subletting an amazing apartment in Coolidge Corner, and it’s been quite different than living on campus!  I’m also cooking for myself for the very first time, which has definitely been a “trial and error” sort of experience, but I love it!

I’ve actually had my summer planned out for a while.  Since February, I knew that I’d be interning full time and singing a cappella for fun on the side.  It seemed like an ideal situation: mostly work, and a little bit of fun.

But the second I walked into Digitas and started my internship at this amazing advertising agency, I knew that, while it was going to be long hours, late nights and tough work, it was also going to be TONS of fun!  The company has a fantastic internship program!  The interns get to enjoy bonding activities (like Red Sox games), training sessions, community service days & more!  We’re also working on an internship project and growing really close as an intern class.  Plus, they have many great past interns who now work at the company (like our very own Tiffany!)

The best part is that no day is exactly the same.  You’ve got to be on your A-game if you’re working at an agency, because it’s very fast-paced and exciting.  There’s never a dull moment at Digitas, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And, although I’ve only been there for three weeks, I’ve already learned so much.  I know I’m always writing about how important internships are, but I really mean it.  No textbook or lecture can teach you this stuff!  It’s an experience like no other.

But I only get to add on to the fun this summer by being in B Line Breakdown, the summer a cappella group at BU!  Comprised of singers from many of BU’s a cappella groups, we spend our time together bopping and harmonizing to some really cool jams!  It’s a great way to bond with my fellow Terriers over our love of a cappella.  There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by people who share the same passion as you!

I feel so lucky that I’m able to do two things that I truly, deeply love.  My challenge for you all this summer is to find your own perfect balance between work and fun.  But maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll find that your work, and your fun, are the same thing!