Steven: Why do FYSOP?

Hey guys! I hope you’re all enjoying your summers! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Steven Gelman and I’m a Junior studying Film & Television and Journalism. This summer, I’m serving double duty as both a COM Ambassador and a FYSOP Coordinator! For this blog post, I wanted to talk a little bit about FYSOP, what it’s going to look like this year, and why you should participate in it!

The First Year Student Outreach Project, or FYSOP, is an annual service learning program for  incoming first-year students. This is the 31st year of FYSOP, and for the first time, it is a remote experience. This shouldn’t discourage you from participating, though. I am super confident that this year’s FYSOP will be an invaluable opportunity for first-year students to connect with your peers before arriving on campus, all while learning about your home during your time at BU, Boston. So, why do FYSOP? Let me tell you:

1. You can connect with students before arriving on campus

When I was a first-year student, my biggest concern was finding friends. Thinking back to my experience, it’s hard to imagine never meeting anyone in person before arriving on campus, which is exactly what many of you are experiencing. If you feel the same way I felt about wanting to connect with other students before arriving on campus, FYSOP is a great opportunity to meet some fresh faces before classes start.

2. You will get to learn more about yourself, BU and Boston

FYSOP will be your first opportunity to get to know your new home during your time at BU, Boston. You will get to know the different communities that make up Boston, interact with many community partners, and learn more about one of seven social justice focus areas! (My focus area is Youth and Family Advocacy, and we’re pretty awesome). If you have any interest in getting to know Boston better, I’d highly encourage you to participate!

3. It’s $10 (yes, $10)

FYSOP is literally $10 this year. That’s the equivalent of 4 trips on the T, a quesadilla at Bay State Underground, or a plate of Panda Express at the GSU. At that price point, FYSOP is super accessible for anyone who wants to participate.

4. You can participate from your bed

With FYSOP being remote this year, you truly can participate from anywhere. Everything planned for FYSOP is also going to be recorded, so if you’re an international student, you can participate too!

5. You get a T-Shirt

That’s right, FYSOP is only $10 AND you get a T-shirt. What more do you need to know?

For me, FYSOP was just what I needed as a first-year. It helped spark my love for community service and social justice, allowed me to make friends before classes started, and taught me a lot about myself and my role in the community. If you have any doubts about participating, I’d encourage you to go for it! I promise you won’t regret it 🙂

Steven: CLUBS CLUBS CLUBS (clubs)

Clubs open so many doors for you at BU and in COM, and for me,  clubs have helped me find friends, gain professional experience, and find communities of like-minded people that have made this big campus feel so much smaller. I wanted to share my experiences with clubs on campus my first-year at BU, so hopefully you can learn from what I’ve learned. So without further ado, here is what I’ve learned about all things clubs.

The best thing about COM is its clubs.

Yeah, I said it *drops mic.* COM classes are great, don’t get me wrong, but the best experiences I’ve had as a student so far have come from the clubs I joined. As a Freshman, I signed up for both WTBU & BUTV10,  our radio station and television station, respectively. These clubs are fun, but they also have academic value; through BUTV10 and WTBU, I figured out I really wanted to be a Film & Television major instead of a Journalism major. Without these clubs, I probably would have still been undeclared right now.

Clubs give you professional, hands on experience as soon as you arrive on campus.

I was amazed by how quickly I got hands-on experience through clubs. My third week at BU I walked into a radio show with no idea what being an intern entailed. I quickly found out that being an intern meant I was actually speaking, on-air, with a group of strangers I had literally just met. Within a year, though, those DJs became some of my closest friends, and I was SO much more comfortable using radio equipment and speaking to an audience.

At BUTV, I was immediately trained to use cameras, hang lights, set up boom microphones, and use recording software. The best thing about the television  programs at BUTV was that I was able to dabble in many different aspects of television production, and find what I was interested in.

Clubs can help you find friends with similar interests.

Some of my best friends have been made through clubs at BU. Equally valuable, these friends are now professional contacts for my future career. I can’t understate how important clubs have been for me in making a campus of 16,000 undergraduates feel smaller. I truly feel like I’ve found a community through the clubs I’ve been in, and made my transition into college as smooth as possible.

Joining clubs and finding out what you’re not interested in is equally valuable as finding  out what you are.

Perhaps the strongest piece of advice I can give you is that even if you drop a club, you still  learned something. I dabbled in Journalism-oriented clubs my Freshman year, only to realize it wasn’t my main interest. I soon found that my academic interests weren’t aligned with my extracurriculars, and this realization helped me decide on changing my major. So dive in; join that acapella groups (even if you can’t sing), try out for that comedy group (even though you’re not funny), and find your COMmunity.