Nick: Thank You COM

College is a crazy time. You’ll meet lifelong friends and lose some others. You’ll be thankful for your newfound freedom and you’ll miss home. You’ll try new things and fall into old habits. You’ll stay up until 3 in the morning laughing with your roommates and turn to those same people when you experience hardship and heartbreak. There aren’t many constants during this time in your life, but for me, the one constant has been COM.

COM showed me the way when I arrived on campus eager to start writing about sports within 30 seconds. COM introduced me to my roommates, one of whom I met through BU’s independent newspaper, the Daily Free Press, and another whom I befriended within the first month of college. COM allowed me to grow and adapt to a constantly changing journalism landscape through its robust curriculum. I got experience at the anchor desk, as the producer of a live half-hour newscast and as a reporter for the largest tech conference in the world in Las Vegas. COM gave me a second home at Undergraduate Affairs, where I’ve worked alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people in the building.

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My FreeP fam will always have a special place in my heart.

And the COM Ambassador program has introduced me to so many driven, passionate and caring people that remind me every day why I chose COM almost four years ago. I’ve loved the experience of mentoring incoming freshmen and showing them the ropes; some have become my closest friends at BU. To my fellow CAs, thank you for inspiring me with your talent and creativity. COM really is like a family. Everyone in the building, from your classmates to your professors, is there to support you as you chase your dreams.

During my time as a COM Ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to explain to families from around the country why I love COM. And it’s not that difficult a task. I fell in love with COM the second I took a tour of the building during senior year of high school. As I write my final COM blog post just over a month before graduation, it’s only fitting that it happens to be the same day as the COM open house.

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Nick Picht and Pete Zampa were my senior mentors freshman year, and I’ve loved the chance to do the same for other freshmen as a CA.

I’ve worked open houses since my freshman year in high school, and I remember how impactful my COM open house was. I’m still good friends with two of the kids I sat next to that day. Listening to Professor McKeen lead the journalism department presentation at today’s open house for the class of 2022 (WOW) made it feel like my COM journey had truly come full circle.

I heard him talk about all the professional opportunities at COM, BU’s strong relationship with major media companies in Boston and some of the work of our exceptional faculty. I saw myself in a wide-eyed freshman as he asked what sports journalism opportunities are available here. The answer is plenty. And side note: COM just hired a local sportswriting celebrity – Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston and formerly of WEEI. Holley’s hiring is just another example of COM’s commitment to providing their students with only the best.

Senior CAs in September. We're weeping because we love COM.
Senior CAs in September. We’re weeping because we love COM.

McKeen’s speech resonated with me when he told prospective students and future journalists that “journalism is the purest form of public service because you’re giving people the information they need to survive.” This passion and fervor for the field excites me every day I walk into COM, and gives me the confidence to pursue a career in the news industry.

A soon-to-be member of the class of 2022 told me today at the open house that I was part of his decision to apply early decision to BU. My face lit up. This is why we do what we do. I’m excited for that student, and quite frankly, after the open house, I wish I were in his shoes. I wish I could come to COM, pick a COM ambassador and do it all over again. But my time is almost over, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m thankful every day that I chose COM, and I know it’ll always be home.

 

Tyler A: UK v. US Television: What’s the difference?

Before I landed at London Heathrow Airport this January (yes, I am abroad, but I didn’t want to give you the standard “I am abroad!” post), I thought that at any time I could just plop down and turn on NBC. But nope! I was silly! Maybe I’m not like everyone else, but I really had no idea what television was like in the UK. Since this is a blog for my fellow COM nerds, though, I thought it could be useful to give a broad overview of our differences:

  1. In the UK, public service broadcasting is king (or queen): In the late 1920s when the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) received a Royal Charter, one of the agreements was for radio – and later television –  to serve as a public resource, and by extension, became a government agency overseen by Parliament. Users had to pay an annual licence fee to listen, which also funded the organization. The belief was that it would prevent the creation of low-brow programming and instead result in higher-quality to inform, educate, and entertain the masses. BBC ran as a pseudo-monopoly in the UK for decades and arguably still does today. Back in the US, broadcast TV is set up commercially with revenue mainly coming from advertising (though the revenue streams have since slightly evolved in both the UK and US). Regardless, the US took on a much more “free market” idea of television.

  2. The major players in the US versus the UK: What do you think of as the big US TV companies? At least when it comes to broadcast, most people would say NBCUniversal, ABC/Disney, CBS Corp, and Fox. As American media seems to dominate globally, the content produced by these conglomerates still make their way into UK TV in one way or another, but the big players are different here. For years it was only the BBC and for a new channel to be made, an act of Parliament needed to call for it. That’s how in the 1950s Independent Television (ITV) came along as BBC’s largest competitor. Later in the the 80s and 90s, Channel 4 and Channel 5 (now Five) came along. All channels besides the BBC are funded by adverts, and these are the big UK players.

  3. Technological Development: How does your TV work at home? Do you use Cable? Satellite? Or maybe you’re a cord-cutter (or cord-never) who’s only used internet? The options in the US for TV providers feels endless (although it really isn’t, but that’s another story); however, the UK runs quite differently. Cable doesn’t dominate, but people still mainly use aerials (or over-the-air) to receive channels. In the 2000s, “Freeview” arrived and gave all UK TV-users scores of channels for free (or, with your licence fee). Satellite is somewhat common and usually comes from the provider Sky (owned by Fox, which may now be owned by Disney? What’s up, conglomeration! How you doin’?), which opens you up to more options for a larger fee.

  4. The market and the regulations are quite different. What’s the worst thing you could think of happening on air for a US broadcast TV show? Great. That’s no problem here after 9 pm because of a rule called “watershed” where they expect younger audiences have gone to bed. It really threw me through a loop, but it’s definitely nice when they can create such edgy content for widely-watched channels (like my production company’s new show, Kiss Me First, on Channel 4 – catch it on US Netflix soon!). Ratings systems are different, and the markets are different. Of course it would be when you’re in a country of ~65 million compared to ~330 million people.

  5. Don’t fret! US TV is still here: I panicked when I realized that I couldn’t finish off my faves The Good Place or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend when I came here. But don’t be afraid. A lot of US content creators strike deals for a second window in the UK. Both of the above shows aired their new episodes weekly on Netflix, as do many other shows. You may even catch some on BBC or Channel 4. I’ve been watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story on BBC2 right with you. Okay, I’m behind. But I’m watching it, and I’m alive!

And there we have it, folks. It’s not a deeply comprehensive piece, but it’s something to start you off. And now, if you ever come to London on study abroad, you can impress your professor with all of this knowledge! You’re very welcome.

 

Laura: Things I’ve Learned at my Internship This Semester: with Help from “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”

1) Show up early and stay late (when you can)

Juggling being a part-time intern and a full-time student can be #rough, but most of the time it reminds me why I’m in COM and at BU in the first place. Showing up early and staying later (when you can) is a great way to show you are dedicated. Also, the mornings are a perfect time to re-group on things you missed on the days you weren’t there and talk with you co-workers to form bonds!

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2) Ask for things to do!!!

You’d be surprised how many of the other interns sit around and say, “my manager didn’t give me anything to do.” That shouldn’t stop anyone! I continuously ask my mentor and supervisor for things I can do and if they don’t have anything I ask different people- which is also a great way to meet everyone. After you’ve asked every single person if there is anything you can do and you still come up with nothing you can sit in on a meeting or branch out to different departments. Trust me, there is always something to do.

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3) Ask for things in general by making a bucket list

You will never know what opportunities can be provided to you if you do not ask. My mentor had me make a bucket list and she told me to put the craziest or even most basic things I could think of. In doing so, she has kept in mind the things I want to accomplish during my internship and has took them into consideration. I will be doing things I didn’t even know I could do as an intern!

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4) Ask so many Questions!!!!! But only ask the same question once.

Don’t be shy! Trust me it is much more embarrassing when you get an assignment and hand it back incorrectly, opposed to asking 117 questions on how to do it the right way- when it is your first time doing that kind of project. Second time around it is up to you to have listened to the answer you were told and trust yourself that you know what you’re doing.

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5) Remember you’re not “just an intern”

Start seeing yourself as part of the team! When you shake off the idea that just because you’re the youngest and you’re “at the bottom of the food chain” and start seeing yourself as a member of the team- others will start seeing it too. Do not stand awkwardly in the corner during meetings or run back to your desk after those meetings. Take a seat, take notes, and ask as many questions as possible afterward.

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6) Be social!

Saying “good morning,” “have a great weekend,” and even “hello” can go a long way. The more you talk to those that work around you, the more they will be willing to give you things to do. Go to lunch with the people who sit next to you or simply just spark up a conversation with them, it helps make important connections.

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7) Keep a journal

I have been keeping a journal and writing down all of the assignments I have done and things I have been learning. Not only will this serve as great memorabilia for me, but it will also serve my memory when adding the things I did to my resume when my internship has concluded.

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Claudia: Dear COM

Dear COM, 

Well, I’ve already cried just thinking about writing this. So let’s bring on the water works. As I’m writing this, it’s 47 days until graduation and I’m a grateful, happy, yet nervous ball of stress. I really don’t know if I can put into words how important COM is to me and how it has shaped my college experience. I would not be the woman (BU Boss Lady, perhaps) I am today without the friendships, love, and support from within my school. COM is my home and will hold a very special place in my heart. 

I walked into BU knowing I wanted to double major in Film and Television and Advertising. And now I am so close to finishing that dream. There have been changes to that dream along the way. I came in knowing I wanted to be a producer, but I rediscovered my love for production and found a new confidence behind the camera. Confidence and new skills that have opened so many doors in Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Los Angeles. 

I used to joke that I spent more time in 640 Comm Ave than in my own dorm. And while that’s an exaggerated truth, COM has really been my home. From the late night editing sessions to the early morning radio shows, my heart swells when I think of this wonderful building full of storytellers. You’ve brought me so much joy and the best experiences and friendships a girl could ask for. And now as my story is changing, I have to say thank you. 

To my lifelong friends:

From the day one friendships to the London clique, I could not be more lucky to have such amazing, creative, and powerful friends. These are people who not only make me laugh and smile, but they inspire me with their creativity and non-stop hard work. These are the people that will not only be my friends for life, but on my board of directors one day. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for each and everyone of you. And I know it will be amazing! 

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To WTBU: 

Thank you for being the strongest group of people I know. You’ve taught me how to bounce back and have given me life long friendships. You’ve been here for me through the 6am show tunes, pop culture fan girling, and even 2am half yawn half smiles. You truly are the Beat of Boston University and I can’t thank you enough for providing a platform for so many voices. 

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To the BU Boss Ladies: 

That was a wild ride and boy I am I so lucky to have worked alongside all of you. You are the most incredible group and I am amazed by how you create such a balance with professionalism and passion. 

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To COM Undergraduate Affairs: 

Thank you for always being a source of happiness in my life. I have never once dreaded going to work. Instead, I looked forward to laughing so hard I’d fall out of my chair and gaining the inside scoop on my beloved school. Thank you for also being there during the highs and the lows. You are the best support system. 

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To the COM Ambassador program: 

I don’t know what to say. Thank you for being my outlet and for giving me a family. I never thought I’d find such a passionate group of people who love COM so much, but you all make me fall in love with this school and you every day. 

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So, thank you COM for everything. I love you with all of my heart. 

claudia com

 

Alex T: 10 80s Flicks You Need to See Before “Ready Player One”

Let’s face it: it’s pretty hard to find people who love pop culture more than COM students. So, no matter how much it pains you to admit it, you’re probably going to end up seeing Ready Player One in a few weeks. And whether you’re just there to hang out with friends, or you’re the kind of person who openly weeps by the end of the film (my deepest apologies to everyone in the theatre with me last Saturday), you’re gonna want to brush up on the films your parents always made you try to watch as a kid.

 

1. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

downloadOkay, even if you’re not trying to catch Spielberg’s latest blockbuster this weekend, Back to the Future is still a must if you want to maintain any semblance of geek street cred you think you possess. Marty McFly is a classic 80s protagonist who always seems to be running out of time…until he goes back in time and is tasked with ensuring his parents fall in love so he can continue to exist. This story coupled with killer score and design (his name is Marty McFly…of course he’s going to rock the freshest outfit known to man) makes for a film that defined a whole generation of nerds.

2. The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)

download-1For a little change of pace, (or if sci-fi, retro awesomeness isn’t really your jam) The Breakfast Club is another classic not to be missed. Five strangers, all stuck in Saturday detention, form an unbreakable bond by the end of the day. We’ve all heard the tagline: “They only met once, but it changed their lives forever.” Not only did it change their lives, it changed the lives of young audiences across the country. If you didn’t fall in love with the brain, the beauty, the jock, the rebel, or the recluse, I have to question whether or not you even have a heart in the first place.

3. Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

download (1)This might seem like a strange choice to those who have never even seen the original Evil Dead, but you’ve just gotta trust me on this one. While it does rely on a lot of plot points and characters laid out in its predecessor, Evil Dead II is in a class of horror all its own. Ash and the gang are back at it again, slaying zombies and fighting curses in the same, gory style that’s a hallmark of all of Raimi’s films. However, where Evil Dead II stands apart is in a very unexpected place: its comedy. Most horror films do have the one off, snarky jokes made by the protagonist to keep the momentum up, but Evil Dead II makes fun of the form itself; Raimi admits that his story is ridiculous, and takes it a step further by acknowledging that fact in the film. It’s a parody and a love letter to the slasher horror genre, and a love letter we can still learn lessons from today.

4. Say Anything (Cameron Crowe, 1989)

download (2)We’ve all been there: a bright eyed, bushy tailed high school student, hopelessly in love with someone who won’t even give us the time of day.

…well, maybe that’s only me, BUT, this film still holds up, even if that isn’t your truth. John Cusack plays Lloyd, an unassuming recent high school grad who lands (and eventually loses) Diane, the girl of his dreams, played by Ione Skye. Written and directed with aplomb by Cameron Crowe, it’s hard not to fall in love everytime Cusack holds that boombox over his head. Because, at its core, Say Anything is about risking everything for someone or something we love; now, that’s a story that we can all relate to.

5. Tron (Steven Lisberger, 1982)

download (3)We’ve all been there: a bright eyed, bushy tailed high school student, hopelessly in love with someone who won’t even give us the time of day.

…well, maybe that’s only me, BUT, this film still holds up, even if that isn’t your truth. John Cusack plays Lloyd, an unassuming recent high school grad who lands (and eventually loses) Diane, the girl of his dreams, played by Ione Skye. Written and directed with aplomb by Cameron Crowe, it’s hard not to fall in love everytime Cusack holds that boombox over his head. Because, at its core, Say Anything is about risking everything for someone or something we love; now, that’s a story that we can all relate to.

6. Star Wars, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (George Lucas, 1980)

download (2)Though it’s technically just on the cusp of the 80s, I would be remiss if I didn’t include what is, objectively, the best Star Wars film in the franchise (I will actually fight anyone who disagrees). The George Lucas train was just picking up steam with the release of A New Hope in 1977, but he really hit his stride with The Empire Strikes Back. It marks a deeper dive into the extensive universe he created, and a more meditative look at the characters we all grew to love in the previous film. George Lucas set the precedent for transmedia franchises with Star Wars, and it’s easy to see that Episode V was the beginning of his reign over late 20th century pop culture. Also, Lando Calrissian. Need I say more?

7. Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986)

download (6)Looking at films today, it tends to become a little difficult to see why, as a whole, we’re so obsessed with Tom Cruise. However, after taking a look at his breakout success in the 80s, we’re reminded of what he used to be and what he represented in a time when actors weren’t just pigeonholed into one type of character. That being said, he really did make a damn good action star, and there’s no better example of that than his performance in Top Gun supported by an incredible cast (Val Kilmer ftw) and a truly radical soundtrack (also Kenny Loggins ftw), Cruise led this movie to mainstream success and a lasting place in our hearts.

8. Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988)

download (7)I’m just going to come out and say it: Die Hard is the best Christmas movie of all time. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I’m okay with that. Facts have rarely been popular opinions. The story is about an off duty cop, played by Bruce Willis, fighting a gang of terrorists that take over a CHRISTMAS EVE party he’s attending. What defines a Christmas movie if not time of year? In all seriousness, though, Die Hard is a masterclass in storytelling both visually and verbally. Even though it’s obviously not the Citizen Kane of 80s cinema, it is an all around good time for any occasion, but especially Christmas. Oh,and the definitive list of best Christmas films is:

1. Die Hard

2. Step Brothers

3. Gremlins

9. The Karate Kid (John G. Avildsen, 1984)

43266c1fe9eb27ef7c08fff88d5420e9Oh man, it looks like we’ve reached peak coolness. The Karate Kid is the template for any quality movie you can remember from the 80s: a lonely underdog (Ralph Macchio) learns karate from his elderly neighbor (Pat Morita) to beat the high school bully (William Zabka) and win the heart of the girl of his dreams (Elizabeth Shue). Throw in sharp dialogue, nuanced performances, and the best featured song in movie history (You’re the best…AROUND!!!), and you’ve got the classic that we all know and love today.

10. Goonies (Richard Donner, 1985)

download (8)I’m bringing it all full circle with our last film on the list. Based on a story by Steven Spielberg, Goonies tells the story of a group of friends trying to find a hidden treasure so they can keep their houses from being destroyed to make room for an incoming country club. This movie holds a special place in my heart; it’s one of the few that I truly loved as a child. I remember watching it over and over for hours on end (and my parents were surprised that I’m a film major…), and that’s why I think we still love it now. It reminds us of what it was like to grow up. In reality, the Goonies are trying to save their innocence from being lost by losing the only group of friends they’ve ever had to a country club, the EPITOME of adult-ness!!! They’re just a group of outcasts and misfits (not unlike the group of outcasts and misfits most of us were a part of growing up) simply trying to spend what could be their last few hours together going on an adventure. And if that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.

Kaya: Finding a Niche

Someone recently told me that “niche” is a very niche word — and that “niche” is a word that I use often. And they were right! I use “niche” a lot. Like, a LOT a lot. As in “using the word niche is my niche,” a lot.

 

What exactly does that mean? Google tells me it’s “a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.” But to me, a niche isn’t just a place where I’m comfortable or suitable — a niche is a place where I feel at home, where I’m more comfortable than I would be anywhere else on earth, where I know I’ll always feel welcome and where I know I’ll be happy.

 

At BU, COM is one of those niches. So is the tiny podcast recording studio on the third floor of the building, as is the COM lawn on a late summer day.

 

But more than anywhere else on campus, my niche is The Daily Free Press. It’s the well-worn couch with pens stuck in the cushions from bygone pitch meetings. It’s the smell of the office on a Sunday night, a blend of tea and hot chocolate and Late Night Kitchen onion rings. It’s the sense that I’m about to spend my night with the 10 incredible people I’m proud to call my fellow editors and close friends (plus a full-size cardboard cutout of Ron Burgundy).

 

It didn’t take long for me to find a niche in the FreeP. I joined as a features writer my freshman year, and I knew the moment I walked into the dimly-lit office plastered with newspapers that it was where I was meant to be. But it also took me a while to discover what I really loved doing there — producing audio journalism for our podcasts.

The FreeP wasn’t what I had always imagined my college niche would be (I dabbled in humor writing and comedy, thinking that 30 Rock was my destiny). But finding your niche isn’t about doing what you think you’re supposed to do in order to achieve something distant. It’s about doing what you love, and what makes you not just comfortable but happy.

Part of the FreeP niche includes intricately-planned murder mystery parties. Photo Credit: Caitlin Fisher
Part of the FreeP niche includes intricately-planned murder mystery parties. Photo Credit: Caitlin Fisher

Finding your niche might happen all at once, when you walk in the door. It might happen really slowly, at that’s OK too. (It took me a year and a half to realize that audio journalism was the niche within the FreeP that I wanted to pursue.) You might find your niche in the first week of classes, or it might find you two semesters in.

 

You might find different niches at BU, and that’s great! (My niches also include suburban history and eating Harper bagels at Pavement Coffeehouse on Sunday afternoons). You may find one niche that you really love, and that’s great, too!

Finding a niche is a bit like falling in love — when you know, you’ll know. Just remember that sometimes, it might take a while to know.

Grace: How to Make the Most of Your Abroad Experience: Tips and Tricks from a Travel Enthusiast

The study abroad opportunities offered at Boston University attract many students to study here, and those within the College of Communication are no different. While COM students can go on most programs available through the university, there are four COM-specific programs in London, Dublin, Sydney, Washington D.C., and Lost Angeles. These are internship programs in which students complete three courses and an internship in their field for academic credit.

I am a dual-degree student studying advertising and international relations, and I chose to study in the London internship program. I’m currently interning in digital marketing at Brevia Consulting, a public affairs agency. When you apply, make sure to research and find out what program is best for your interests and career goals.

As I reach the beginning of the end of my incredible abroad experience, here are my key insights and recommendations:

  1. Network at your internship placement – don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you work hard. You never know what a connection could lead to later on.

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2. Travel on the weekends – if you do leave the US, take advantage of this time to visit neighbouring countries you may never be able to return to.

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3. Spend ample time exploring your home city – this is a unique opportunity to become a local in a foreign place.

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4. Try the local cuisine – there’s no better way to experience a new culture than to sample its food. Fish and chips, mate!

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5. Experience nightlife (if of age) – try an electronic club in Berlin or an underground arts festival in London for a truly unforgettable experience.

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6. Befriend locals – they will show you the ins and outs of the city and help you avoid the super touristy stuff.

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7. Call back home occasionally – don’t forget that your Mom misses you!

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Trust me – you will fall in love with your abroad experience and never want to return. Live your best life while you can, make some memories, and earn credits at the same time. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Daera: Finding My Home Away from Home

Greek life at BU makes up 13% of the student population. If you do the math, which I already did (although please take it with a grain of salt because it’s not my strong suit), that means there are about 2,000 students involved in that group. In the Alpha Xi chapter of Sigma Delta Tau, there are 150 girls. In the new member class, there are 41 girls. One of those girls, as of February 20th, 2018, is me.

When I started at BU, one of the first things I ever said was that I would never get involved in Greek life. All I knew about it was what I saw on TV, in shows like “Greek”, and in pictures that came across my social media feeds from my friends who went to big state colleges. For me, Greek life represented everything I didn’t want about my college experience; it seemed like it would limit my exposure to other people on campus and prevent me from joining clubs relevant to my major.

During my freshman year, I stuck to this promise and only joined clubs related to my major. I did WTBU, became a COM Ambassador, and participated and some other things here and there. After a while, however, I realized this wasn’t enough. Although I enjoyed everything I did, I hadn’t found my place on campus. By the time I settled into sophomore year, I realized my friends had found their home on campus during freshman year and I suddenly felt isolated. So, after a long conversation with my mother during Thanksgiving break, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for recruitment.

Going into recruitment, the only wish I had was to make friends in the process, even if I didn’t end up in a sorority. After the first day, my expectations were already exceeded. I found amazing friends just in the group that I went through the process with and felt like I could make a home in many of the chapters we have on campus. By the last day, I knew that no matter where I ended up, I had already made friends that would help me make my lasting mark at BU.

Getting my bid from my sorority was without a doubt one of the happiest days of my life. I instantly felt so loved and welcomed. That first night was a bit overwhelming and I instantly forget many of the names of the people I met, but I was instantly, absolutely certain I made the best choice for me. It’s only been a month, but I have never been happier on campus and I cannot wait to spend the next few years at home with my sisters.

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Kate W: Why I Love, Love, Love Off-Campus Internships or Extracurriculars

This semester, I have had the incredible opportunity of interning with the TV and Video department at America’s Test Kitchen for two days out of my week. Going into it, I knew it would be an great experience to learn all about things related to film and television, but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my semester as whole.
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Having lived on campus the last two years where I am a mere ten minute walk from anything I could possibly need, I often find myself sticking to the BU Bubble. It’s so easy because BU is where I am most comfortable and it has everything: food, housing, classes, and extracurriculars. So, when I realized that I would have to commute 45 minutes to the seaport for a job, it seemed a little daunting. For two days a week, I would be part of the real world, and that scared me a little bit.

 

However, this opportunity has not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but has also provided a really amazing escape from the stress and workload that is school. While I am off campus at my internship, I don’t have to worry about my essay due on Friday or the exam that I have next week. These things don’t matter here because I am solely focused on the work that I am doing for my internship. Strangely, there is some relaxation in the fact that I can’t work on my homework during these hours, and that I am forced to let it all just leave my brain.

 

In addition, there is no fear or worries over social stress. I don’t have to worry about who I am eating lunch with that day or if I should be doing my homework instead of hanging out with my friends. While I am at my internship, I am present and there is no where else that I should be. On the T, in particular, I can listen to my music and take some me-time without feeling guilty There is nowhere else I am supposed to be. I know that I am using my time well and I never feel like I’m missing out on anything back on campus.

 

Finally, by being around a non-BU affiliated company, I am able to see how the real world works and what working at an entirely new place is like. I’ve learned what it feels like to be handed an important task and trusted to take care of it. There is a sense that what I am doing now has an impact on a working company as opposed to just my grade. What I am doing has some weight, and there is motivation and pressure to appeal to the real world guidelines.

 

This change of pace is such a great experience and adds so much to my semester. I finally feel like I am taking better advantage of all that Boston and BU have to offer. I highly recommend finding an activity completely off campus, especially after your Freshman year when you’re starting to become a much more comfortable with Boston. It’s a really great way to shake things up a bit.

Claire W: Looking on the Bright Side of March

I really hate March. And, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Objectively, it’s probably the worst month. Every year when March rolls around I sigh heavily and wish that I could hibernate until the month is over, cue “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” but with March.  I mean really… It’s a month chalk full of dramatic weather fluctuations, midterms, and never enough sleeping. But, as we near to the end of the month, I think I’ve found a handful of things about March that actually do bring me some joy.

1. Spring Break

Obviously, this is the best part of every March! It’s a week to escape to a warmer climate or spend some time exploring Boston sans homework and classes. Spring Break gives us all hope that summer is indeed on the horizon. This spring break I road tripped with my best friend, CA Megan, from my home in Utah to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It felt oh so good to have sand between my toes on a sunny LA afternoon. This alone is reason enough to look forward to March.

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  1. St. Patrick’s Day

Boston is the place to be during St. Patrick’s Day! There is so much Irish spirit all around. This year, I explored the South End before heading to Southie for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Next year, grab some friends, deck yourselves out in green, and enjoy the parade. This is also a great time just to walk around the city because everyone is in a festive mood!

 

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  1. Snow Days

A cup of hot chocolate, blankets, and Netflix as the snow falls outside is my idea of heaven. It means catching up on much-needed sleep, practicing some self-care and finding some new Netflix shows. Lying in bed all day? Don’t mind if I do.

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  1. Pi Day

This is such an underrated day. I love making pie, eating pie, and occasionally I even like doing math. This year, I made a lemon pie with a gingersnap crust that made me tear up it was so delicious. Pi Day just makes people happy.

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  1. Connecting with Friends

People always want to connect in March, making it a great time for friendship. A few days ago, my friend CA Claudia hosted a Persian New Year for a bunch of her friends that was so fun. I learned about another culture, ate yummy food, and caught up with some of my favorite people. March is a lot more bearable when you surround yourself with people you love.

 So, next time March rolls around don’t fret! This drab month doesn’t have to be so gloomy. That being said, next March if all goes to plan I will be studying in sunny Los Angeles, so this might be my last frigid March for quite a while *single tear*.