Hanna A: How to Stay Sane While Overbooked

I submitted this blog post one day late. I set reminders on my phone about it and wrote it down in my calendar book, yet I still found a way to push it off until the day it was due. However, I am going to cut myself a break because this past week was hectic. Not a little hectic, or even a decently sized amount of hectic, but a monstrosity of events walzing into my day one after the other until it seemed like they would never end. That kind of hectic. But even with my series of events this past week, I have survived to tell the tale, and I am pretty darn proud of it! After nearly two years in college, I think I am finally getting the hang of how to balance the schedule, which includes countless surprises every day. If I could learn to power through a week like the one I most recently conquered, anyone can, and I would love to take this entry to share some of the ways I take on the busy days of a college student. Thus I present to you:

A Busy BU Kid’s Guide to Staying Productive, Healthy, and Happy

  1. Write everything down. I’m talking appointments, homework, reminders, and thoughts. Firstly, you will be far less likely to forget important things. Next, if you write down the details of a task, you probably will not perform it the wrong way (like doing the wrong homework problems). Also, writing things down helps you better absorb them. I am a list-making fan, so I always write down tasks I have before I set out to do them just to visually comprehend everything I have. It makes it feel more tangible. In addition, I make time to write down thoughts and feelings. When you are scheduled almost every minute, emotions can get in the way. As soon as you start feeling sad, excited, angry, or anything about something unrelated to the task at hand, you will get as distracted as a dog who finds a squirrel. In order to keep moving while managing to give those feelings the attention they deserve (suppression is no good), let yourself have five minutes to jot them down. I promise those five minutes are worthy of letting go, and afterward, you will have a firmer grip on whatever you are feeling and will be able to move forward no matter how tightly it holds on to you.
  2. Take PDPs at Fit Rec. These free credit courses are a no-brainer for busy yet committed students because they force you to get some exercise into your schedule. Right now, I shake my booty in Cardio Jazz Funk twice a week and I do not just love it, but I need it. At this point, it is as constant in my weekly schedule as any other academic class, therefore it requires me to schedule around it no matter what is going on in my life. Because of this commitment, working out becomes a definite in my week. Although I try to hit the gym more than just during the class, it is a bare minimum that is very important for someone fighting a busy day. “Exercise gives you endorphins,” says my role model, Elle Woods. “Endorphins make you happy! Happy people don’t shoot their husbands.” Amen.
  3. Plan the night before. If you know you need to wear a certain outfit for an interview in the afternoon, think about whether or not you will have time to change beforehand. If not, you better have that outfit ready to go when you leave your room in the morning. During this past week, I became a bag lady; I had to wear both business casual for a job fair and dance clothes for a theatre rehearsal, all while walking through the snow throughout the day. Would I have time to go back to my room? Nope, but luckily I was able to prepare for this long day beforehand. Otherwise, I would have either added more stress in needing to find a way to go back and grab items I’d forgotten, or I would have been unprepared. Just check the to-do list before bed and make sure you are all set.
  4. Talk to the people around you. Communicate. If life is hitting you with everything it’s got, you may need help. That’s ok! Ask a professor for an extension on a paper if you know you will truly do a better job working on it after the midterm in your other class. They may say no, but it’s worth the shot, especially if you feel like it will make a significant difference. Furthermore, reach out to coworkers or friends involved in any of your tasks and see if they are available to pick up some of your slack. If they do, buy them coffee, and/or make sure you are there for them next time they have a crazy week and you have time for Netflix. 
  5. Sleep. I know it is so easy to push off, but it is the key factor in keeping you healthy during Boston winters. If you’re sick, how will you get it all done? You won’t. Just get to bed.
  6. Also about staying healthy: Emergen-C and DayQuil for fighting the colds that come with winter! A water bottle for hydration! Coffee for, well, coffee! Nutritious yet yummy snacks for energy and motivation! Even if you eat on the go, you should eat to keep yourself moving. Great grab-and-go spots on campus include: Rize, GSU (avoid the long lines of lunch time if you can!), Einstein’s Bagels, Extreme Pita!, and City Convenience. If you are like me, you can always benefit from a healthy snack. Depriving yourself of them will only hurt your other work.
  7. Finally, take each task one at a time. This is how I thought about the SATs: it is not one large test, but a series of small, conquerable tests. Avoid letting the big picture daunt you and just focus on what has to come next. Of course, this step comes after you have made sure you are prepared for your day in terms of assignments, appropriate clothes, and other necessities, but once you are on the move, just take things as they come. If surprises appear or something does not go quite as planned, remind yourself that it is going to be alright. It is. I promise! You can get it all done if you go one step at a time and apply your focus, determination, and maximum effort to each task. 

Good luck with your busy days, weeks, and semesters! Stress is something we all battle, sometimes more than others, but we can all come out on top if we pummel through. As tough as it is to be caught in a busy schedule, the productivity it brings is far more rewarding than sitting around all day. Be thankful for your busy weeks, for in the end, they give you amazing  opportunities to shine. 

Kerri: The Final Two

I am one of those girls… I am addicted to The Bachelor. This is the first season I have watched from the start and I have to admit, it is a great guilty pleasure.  Every Monday my apartment couches and chairs are filled with friends eager to see what will happen this week.  This past week was the “Women Tell All” episode where the women who were sent home discuss the drama and get their questions answered. But that is not what I am excited for… It is down to the two final women, Becca and Whitney, and one will be Chris’ girlfriend or fiancé by the end of the three-hour special. My apartment is split. Some of my friends want Becca to win and some want Whitney. Personally, I don’t see it as a competition. Whitney is my favorite and I will actually be sad if she isn’t chosen! Anyway, for those who also watch The Bachelor, these are my five reasons why I think Whitney is the best for Chris:

 1.     She is super enthusiastic!

2.     She is a fertility nurse aka she loves helping others and is very caring.

3.     She has never trash talked any of the other women.

4.     She’s always smiling!

5.     And… she blonde. :)

Aidan: Musicals You Should Be Listening To

Yeah, I said it. You can all praise your Yeezus’s or your Taylor Swift’s or whatever music you like, but I still hold one fact true:

Musical Theatre soundtracks are the best walking music.

Imagine this: you take your favorite genre of music (country, 90’s, rock) and you combine that with your favorite audio book. What do you get? Musical Theatre soundtracks.

It’s a two-for-one deal! Not only do you get tunes you can jam to, but you also get story. And some of you may be thinking, “Uhhh, musicals are so lame they are just big orchestras and ladies belting tap numbers.” Uh, NOT TRUE. Ever since the turn of the century, musicals have started to bend the rules of genre. Now we have rock musicals, musicals based on the pop hits of specific artists, even rap musicals!

Listen, I know I can’t sway everyone with rhetoric, so here’s the deal: If the description of any of these musicals piques your interest, then give it one listen as you walk to class this week. I bet that you will be surprised at how much you like it

In The Heights

I want to start off with something unusual. This show took Broadway by storm in 2008, eventually winning the Tony for Best Musical (so you know it is quality). Combining the music of Latin America with modern rap, this musical follows a Dominican man in a New York borough trying to live the American Dream. The first rap in the opening number was enough to turn many Musical Theatre Fans to rap, perhaps it can also have the reverse effect….

Heathers

Based on the hit movie Heathers with Winona Ryder, this musical plays upon the musical stylings of the 80’s well also incorporating some hardcore rock. Songs in this show can range from hilarious to downright dark. Not for people who may be uncomfortable with dark themes, but definitely a cool, grungy soundtrack that pumps up my walk to campus each day.

West Side Story

I have to put this here. West Side Story is just some of the most beautiful music written, period. I semi-consider it everyone’s duty as human beings to give this soundtrack a listen, just once. So many modern day songs, stories, and other cultural motifs have been based on the work done in West Side Story #ripTony

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Did you like Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects, or any of that other punk genre growing up? Then you will love this show. Bloody Bloody is a historical rock musical chronicling the life of President Andrew Jackson. But there is a catch: Jackson is portrayed as a bad boy rock star throughout the show. Definite jamming music, and it will definitely put some pace in your walk to class as the guitar solos blaze.

As you can see, Musicals aren’t what you first think they are. Every year, musical theatre ventures brilliantly into a new sound of music (ayyyyyy). Just give it a try; you will be glad you did.

Hannah H: Internship Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and no, not because Boston is a Frozen Tundra, but because Spring Break is just around the corner and with that first taste of the summer around the corner, there’s also the fun of laying out summer plans. As you may have guessed, I’m a planner through and through, so since summer can bring a certain level of uncertainty in terms of where I’ll be living and what I’ll be doing, I can’t wait to have a concrete plan laid out. Some people go home for the summer to either intern, work or just lay in the sun. (If I was from Florida or California, I’d probably stick to the third option). That being said, a lot of students are also making plans to either spend the summer in NYC, L.A. or our very own Beantown and with that comes it’s own set of exciting challenges. I’m going to run through a few pertaining to internships and the process as a whole.

In terms of Boston – there are a plethora of options and the perk is that the interview process is simplified since you won’t have to travel out of your way to get to an interview, etc. (Although some places are pretty open-minded in terms of Skype interviews if the distance is too much to bear). Another perk of staying in town is that subletting is made easy. There are always kids who live off-campus looking to sublet their room for the summer. It’s easy to stop by and see the place firsthand and also get a feel for your potential new roommates. BU also has a ton of summer jobs that include on-campus housing for the summer. Depending on the position, there is also often plenty of time to intern a few days a week or work a second job.

New York, similar to Boston – begins screening intern applicants around December, but most deadlines aren’t until early March. Christmas break is a good time to submit applications and then follow up early February. Boston is only a short train ride away from NYC so it’s fairly easy to make a quick day trip to interview or look at potential sublets. It’s also obviously a great city to make connections for post-grad employment opportunities. Just be sure to get ahead of the game since lots and lots of people flock to New York to intern for the summer.

For student’s looking to intern a little further, i.e. L.A., there is a wonderful COM study abroad internship program for the summer, that students are encouraged to take advantage of. Housing is provided. You complete your application shortly after winter break and then find out mid-March if you’ve been accepted into the program. The program puts you in contact with different companies looking for interns that fit your experience and interest. Then you interview and head out to spend your summer in sunny California.

In the mean time – fight through this dreary weather and remember, Spring Break is just a week away!

Taylor: Apps COM is Obsessed With

There is one word that I love… FREE. I’m going to venture out on a limb and say that’s a universal truth. Believe it or not, I haven’t purchased a writing utensil in four years thanks to pencil and pen loving distributors on campus.

Right now I’m coming to terms with a new addiction- apps. Combine the two bold words and well you have a common fixation among millennials.

I spoke with 7 students at random yesterday and all of them were glued to Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. Here are a few app’s that have COM students and faculty transfixed.

1. Storehouse

“This app is meant to tell stories… It’s an incremental step in easy web publishing.”

Michelle Johnson, COM journalism professor

App1

 

 

  1. Linkedin 

“I really think that Linkedin is a great way to connect with employers. People really underestimate having it on the go.”  Anya Gonzales COM15′ Advertising

app2

  1. Saavn 

“It’s a Spotify equivalent but only for Indian music. It’s the easiest way to access the music I want to listen to.”

Dahiren Garg, COM16′ Advertising

app3

  1. Trivia Crack

“I feel like kids our age while we are distracted by technology we are good multitaskers and it’s not mindless… I usually beat my mom.”

Alyssa Ciofani COM17′ Film/ TV

app4

Eliza: PR Advanced

This weekend, a group of COM students confused countless Engineering students by appearing at Photonics on a random Saturday.  This invasion was, however, not without good cause.  This weekend, Boston University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (BUPRSSA) hosted its 9th Annual Regional Conference, bringing together PR students from a handful of colleges in the Northeast of the United States.

For those of you who don’t know, BUPRSSA is a pre-professional society for students interested in public relations.  When I came to BU, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to major in, so I joined BUPRSSA to learn more about the field of public relations.  The chapter meets in COM each week, almost always with a PR professional who speaks to the chapter about their involvement in the field. 

Saturday’s conference, PR Advanced: Breaking Barriers, brought speakers from a conglomerate of speakers from companies such as Facebook, Jack Morton Worldwide, John Hancock, and major PR firms Fleishman-Hillard and Schneider Associates.  The program also included keynote speaker Graham Kahr from Digital Royalty.  The conference was meant to emphasize the changing role of PR professionals in our modern world.

A major point of emphasis during the conference was media.  I was able to listen to a presentation by two representatives from Jack Morton Worldwide who discussed the power of viral content in modern public relations.  I was then lucky enough to attend a panel that included three journalists, who were asked to discuss their relationship with PR professionals.  As a journalism and PR student, this panel was especially interesting to me. The relationship between PR professionals and journalists can be complicated, and this panel allowed students to get a better idea of how they should interact with journalists in their careers.

The program of the conference closed with a career fair.  The fair had representatives representing some of the different areas of public relations.  Students were able to network with potential employers and to inquire about internships.  It was a great opportunity for everyone involved.

When I came to BU, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to study.  Joining PRSSA helped me to learn more about PR and to help me make a decision.  Especially after this amazing conference, I am so excited to make public relations a part of my academic career at Boston University.  And for anyone considering public relations, joining BUPRSSA would be one of the absolute best choices you could make.  Even if you don’t decide to join the BU chapter (which you can do at anytime!), look out when registration comes around for next year’s conference.  It was truly remarkable experience, and totally worth the process of planning it!

Esra: Dorm Snacks to Keep on Hand

I’m a snacker, and sometimes it just isn’t worth it to swipe into the dining hall for something small. Then there are also the times when the dining hall isn’t open and you desperately need something to calm the sounds of your grumbling stomach. These are my top 5 dorm room friendly snacks to stock up on (aka you only have a micro-fridge at your disposal). 

Kind Bars

Personally, my favorite is the dark chocolate cherry cashew flavor, but they’re all great! Kind Bars are perfect to have when you don’t have time for breakfast, when you’re feeling peckish, or trying to tide yourself over until you can get to one of the dining halls. They’re also 

Mamma Chia Chia Squeeze

Now this one may sound strange to those of you who haven’t heard of it before, but they’re my favorite. They come in little pouches similar to the apple sauce pouches with twist tops. They’re gluten free, vegan, and are packed with tons of great ingredients. Plus, they taste good, which is what we’re all most concerned with, right?

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter could be a snack on it’s own, but I personally love it on fruit. Grab an apple or banana on your way out of the dining hall and save it for later. Add some peanut butter and you’ve got yourself another easy hunger fix.

Chips and Salsa

Yes, these are technically two items, but you can’t have one without the other. Chips and salsa are perfect for that salty craving. My favorite salsa is Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica.

Hummus

Hummus on anything. The chips you bought for your salsa, pretzels, carrots — the possibilities are endless. 

Kreag: Getting Involved

Before coming to college I had so many visions of what it would be like; how I would do in classes, who I would meet, and what different activities I would participate in.  I was beyond excited to get to BU and throw myself into so many different things, from theater to working with BUTV10.  And yet when I got here, I found that these plans changed quite a bit.  I unfortunately didn’t make it into the theater troupe, and my schedule didn’t allow for participation at the television station in the way I had hoped it would.  But in a way, I am thankful for this, because it caused me to search for new ways to get involved, and to look for activities that I never thought I would try.  After the other activities didn’t work out, I decided instead to pursue two different groups on campus: radio interning and improv comedy with Liquid Fun.

In high school I was largely involved with theater, but theater always provided me with words to say and an outline of what I was supposed to act out.  With improv, its so different, it is all up to you to come up with a scenario and explanation for your actions.  While theater in high school did give me some practice with this, attending the Liquid Fun practice sessions has really helped me grow my skills, and has made me realize that improv is something I’m actually quite good at.  My first practice was extremely nerve wracking, but it ended up being such a rewarding experience.  My main piece of advice here is that you make sure that you don’t sell yourself short!  Sometimes you can succeed at something that you never expected to, and have a great time while doing it.

In a way, I was almost more nervous about pursuing radio than participating in improv practices.  I have always been very self-conscious when it comes to the sound of my voice, and any form of radio just didn’t seem to be in my future.  However, when my friends asked me if I wanted to intern for their show, Please Take My Mixtape, I decided I’d give it a chance.  While its awkward at first, you eventually get used to listening to yourself talk and interact with others on air.  As a whole, being able to spend two hours in the radio station chatting with friends and listening to good music is actually quite enjoyable, and I’ve definitely grown past my issues of people listening to me speak on air.  

I guess what I’m trying to say here is just know that it is totally okay to push your boundaries when entering college!  I was so nervous coming in to school, and was worried about not finding the right space for me.  But I decided to try new things and go beyond my comfort zones and it has filled my time here with a lot of fun and helped me meet so many great people, including some of my closest friends here at Boston University.

Anneliese: Movies to Watch in a Blizzard

The snow is a joke at this point, with 6 feet of snow piled up on every street corner in Boston. I’m downright stir-crazy, having been holed up inside my apartment like a hermit for the entirety of February. I’m not nearly masochistic enough to get dolled up and wait in line beneath the flurries for 90s Night at Common Ground or risk life and limb to pay for a meal that I could make in the cozy warmth of my own kitchen. However, I’m always willing to adventure for a good film. Especially when that means I can sit in the dark for a couple of hours, wrapped up in my cheesy New Zealand sweatshirt, with hot popcorn on my lap. Fortunately, winter is a great time for film releases, so we all have plenty of options. Check out the films I’m dying to see below!

What We Do in the Shadows

“Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane—like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.”

 Okay, technically I’ve already seen this film. As a huge fan of filmmaker Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords, I obviously had to see this film in theaters the moment I arrived in Auckland for study abroad. I dragged along my new roommate—who had never seen any of Waititi’s previous work or a single episode of Conchords—and we loved it so much that we feel the need to support its Boston debut this Friday.

Now playing, Kendall Square Cinemas

Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animated/Live Action

“Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see all five Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Animated Short and more! Program includes: “A Single Life” (The Netherlands), in which Pia, when playing a mysterious vinyl single, is suddenly able to travel through her life; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Feast” (USA), the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share; “Me and My Moulton” (Canada/Norway), about a seven-year-old girl in mid-’60s Norway who asks her parents one summer if she and her sisters can have a bicycle; “The Bigger Picture” (UK), in which innovative life-size animated characters tell the stark and darkly humorous tale of caring for an elderly parent; and “The Dam Keeper” (USA), which tells the tale of a young pig encumbered with an important job, and the meeting of a new classmate who changes everything.”

 “Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see all five Academy Award nominees in the category of Best Live Action Short! Program includes: “Aya” (Israel/France), where two strangers unexpectedly meet at an airport and he mistakenly assumes her to be his assigned driver and she, enchanted by the random encounter, does not hurry to prove him wrong; “Boogaloo and Graham” (UK), in which two boys, Jamesy and Malachy, are over the moon when their soft-hearted dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for; “Butter Lamp” (France/China), in which a young itinerant photographer and his assistant offer to photograph some Tibetan nomads in front of various backgrounds; “Parvaneh” (Switzerland), in which a young Afghan immigrant travels to Zurich where she encounters a punk named Emily; and “The Phone Call” (UK), in which shy Heather (Sally Hawkins), working at a helpline call center, receives a phone call from a mystery man (Jim Broadbent).”

 Since I’ve started making my own shorts as a film student, I’m definitely more appreciative of these Oscar categories. Often times, I find myself more impressed by the short films than the Best Picture category, and I’m so excited to be inspired by this years nominees.

Selma

“A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.”

 Selma is the only Best Picture nominee that I haven’t seen yet. I wasn’t overly interested in seeing the film because it tells a story I thought I was familiar with. However, after hearing friends’ rave reviews, I’d love to see the film before Sunday’s Oscar ceremony.

 Wild Canaries

“A Brooklyn couple suspects foul play when their rent controlled neighbor suddenly drops dead.”

 This film was lauded as “a love letter to screwball comedies,” and I’m all about that, since my love of film was first sparked by the Old Hollywood classics. If the trailer is a true depiction of what the film is like, it should be a solid 99 minutes of sharp comedy, cute gags, and boundless charm.

Stacy: The Decision to Move Off Campus

I’m the type of person to have a five-year plan, and then follow it religiously. My plan for college housing was to live in Warren, then 1019, then StuV for my junior and senior years. I’m currently a sophomore and when my friends and I were talking about housing for next year, they all decided they wanted to move off campus for our junior year. I didn’t know the first thing about getting an apartment. I hadn’t done the research or even thought about it. So, for others who find themselves in a similar predicament, here are some basics and tips for moving off campus.

  1. Find a good realtor. There are plenty of companies in Boston – make sure to find one that has a plan for undergraduate college students and has apartments and houses near the BU Campus.
  2. Choose whom to live with. Living off campus is more responsibility. Make sure you’re choosing to live with people who will agree to roommate terms and want the same things, regarding housing preferences, as you do.
  3. Convincing the parents. I made a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel showing my dad how living off campus is actually cheaper than living in StuV 1 or 2. Up front there are a lot of fees (first month’s rent, last month’s rent, application fee and lock fee) but after that it is a lot less overwhelming and you don’t have to use the dining hall, which is absolutely amazing.
  4. Be fair about choosing rooms. Luckily the girls I’m living with all wanted different rooms so we never had an issue, but make sure you use a fair method in deciding who gets what room.
  5. Read the lease at least three times. Ask questions about items you don’t understand. This is a legal document, so make sure you understand all of the rules and agreements you are signing to.
  6. Lastly, take a deep breath. I got overwhelmed with all of the up front payments, finding a place without my parents helping me, signing a thick legal document and leaving the safety net of a 24 hour security guard and a dining plan. However, living off campus is cheaper and gives you more freedom, more space and is a more independent lifestyle that I didn’t realize I wanted until I signed the lease.

So, if living off campus isn’t in your long-term college plan – don’t be opposed to it. Have an open mind. I’m so excited to have an apartment with my best friends… and also to have an actual kitchen.