Steph: Markets Galore

Since being abroad in London, I’ve come to find a bunch of differences between the US and the UK. For example, you should never tell someone that you like his or her pants if you want to avoid extreme embarrassment. Pants in the UK = underwear. Trousers = pants. Not saying that this comes from personal experience or anything…

One of the more fun, less embarrassing differences is that London is totally on their game when it comes to markets, and America should take note. Any given day of the week, especially Sunday, there are so many different markets in cool areas to explore. Here are a few you must check out if you ever make it across the pond!

Borough Market

Borough is probably one of my favorite places in all of London. Being as obsessed with food (and free samples) as I am, this place is heaven on earth. They have everything from the freshest produce, to fish, to cupcakes, to bread, to food stands, to mulled wine….My personal favorite is the Pie Minster food stand, where you can get any kind of traditional pie with mashed potatoes, mushy mint peas, and gravy on top that looks like this:

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Need I say more?

 Portobello Road

Portobello Road is an antiques market in the super cool area of Notting Hill. All the houses are colorful and you can get some really great leather goods if you don’t mind sifting through millions of piles. It’s always packed, but for good reason. There is always something fun to find.

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Brick Lane

While Brick Lane is mostly known for it’s multitude of delicious curry restaurants, the long street is also home to a flea market on Sundays! If you’re into vintage clothing, this is the market for you. There are tons of stands and shops to browse for authentic clothes from the 1950s, or just some old sweater from a Philadelphia Relay for Life for your hipster self (true story). A must is a stop at Brick Lane Beigel Bake (yes, its Bagels, but they spell it weird. Silly Brits!). I had one this morning with loads of cream cheese and it made me feel right at home

 

Cant believe I’ll be back in the States in exactly 20 days!! While I never ever want to leave England, I have to say that I am really looking forward to being back on Comm Ave. Until then, cheers!

Dany: Hello and Goodbye

First of all, a big congratulations to all of you newly accepted COM Terriers! I’ve already met a few of you guys in our admissions office for Admitted Student Visits, and I can’t wait to meet the rest of you at our Open Houses these next two weeks.

As a senior, this is my last blog post as a COM Ambassador which sadly means I won’t be around campus next fall to help you guys adjust and watch you grow into amazing professionals. I know you must all know exactly how I’m feeling, being seniors yourself in high school. It’s time for your next big chapter, and that can definitely be a little overwhelming.
So here a few final pieces of advice, from one senior to another:
1. Sign up for everything. Your freshman year is about jumping out of your comfort zone. The great thing about BU and COM is that there’s no hierarchy or requirements for joining clubs and organizations. Go to meetings, get on email lists, talk to the E-Boards. This is your chance to try a little bit of everything. And when you find something that sticks, dive into it heart and soul.
2. Explore the city. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t wait for the weekends to make plans. Grab dinner in the North End on a Wednesday night. Have a picnic in the Common on a Monday afternoon. The weather gets cold quick so take advantage of any free moment. Let yourself be a tourist. Because it’s amazing how you can live somewhere and never visit it.
3. Be nice to people on the way up. You might meet them again on your way down. College isn’t a straight line – it’s a roller coaster. And along the way, you’re going to meet some truly remarkable people. People who will go out of their way to help you. Always look for the next opportunity to return the favor. The most valuable thing I’ve learned is that COM isn’t a competition. It’s a community.
You are all part of our COMmunity now. Even though I’m graduating this May, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. You guys are in for a phenomenal ride. Make the most of it!
Congratulations again, and welcome to Boston University!

Stacy: Want to Take Summer Classes?

Hey COM! So, I for one want to take classes this summer, but I also want to go back to my home in sunny Florida. Well guess what, this is possible! With transfer credits, you can accomplish some general education classes in your COM freshman / sophomore requirement.

 

I recently met with a COM academic advisor, so I’ll share what information was helpful for me in figuring out my summer, and hopefully it’ll help you too!

 

So a few facts about taking classes at another college during the summer:

  1. They don’t count towards your BU GPA. What this means is that as long as you get at least a C in the course, you’ve checked off a requirement. So I would advise taking a class in one of your weaker subjects, just in case. You don’t want to weaken your BU GPA!
  2. Say you want to take a history class, for example. You’ll need to get a transfer credit form from COM Student Services, along with a syllabus for the class you want to take, and take it to the Department of History so they can verify the class is a valid equivalent to a class at BU. Do this step before enrolling in the course at the other college. You want to make sure the credit will count!
  3. Once this form is approved, take it back to COM and they’ll put the form in your personal file.
  4. Once summer is over and you complete the course, send a transcript of your final grade to COM and you’ll be all set!

 

Summer classes are a great way to complete requirement classes. This way you’ll have more time to take classes specific to your major! Hope this has been helpful towards your summer planning. After all, summer is only one month away!

Anneliese: Boston Outdoors

Currently sitting in the sun as I write this blog, I’m so obviously inspired by this gorgeous weather. Now that spring has finally sprung, it’s time to start taking full advantage of the great Boston outdoors.

 

SoWa Vintage Market

SoWa open-air market is now up and running again after a brutal winter. I took my COM freshman group in the fall and it was fantastic then, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for spring. There’s a delicious farmer’s market portion of the bazaar, as well as vintage treasure and handmade art vendors. Even if you’re not looking to shop, you should definitely hit up SoWa to check out the awesome food trucks and local music!

 

The market is open every Sunday. More info at the following link:

http://www.newenglandopenmarkets.com/sowaopenmarket/

 

Amory Park, Brookline

Obviously, there’s Boston Common and the Boston Public Gardens, if you fancy a stroll in the sunshine. However, one of my favorite nature-y spots in the city is Amory Park in Brookline. There’s a cute pathway through the trees, plenty of green space to play a game of Frisbee or some soccer, and—best of all—there are always tons of dogs around. It’s quieter than the Common, and I love sitting beneath the giant maple trees while looking up at the gorgeous Brookline homes.

 

Located at 45 Amory Street, in between the Hawes St and Kent St T-stops.

 

Lunch at Dorado

For some reason, I equate good weather with Mexican food. My favorite Mexican place in Boston is Dorado, located just past Coolidge Corner. They have amazing fish tacos, the BEST guacamole (sorry, Chipotle lovers), and seasonal fruit juices—the watermelon juice was super weird and super delicious. Stop by Dorado to sit outside at one of their adorable picnic tables while sipping Coca Cola from a glass bottle. How quaint.

 

401 Harvard St., Midway between Beacon & Comm Ave, Brookline, MA 02446

Donald: Study Dance Breaks

It’s that time of the semester again – papers are due, exams are coming up, and life just seems extremely chaotic all the time. Studying can be extremely stressful, and before you know it, you can spend hours with your face buried in a book. My friends and I have established a bizarre way to relieve stress during our study sessions.

When the clock hits a new hour, we all stop studying and get up and just dance to one song. It might sound really silly, but taking 5 minute breaks to just move around and act like complete idiots really does help us relieve stress. It’s great to forget about all of the work we have to do and all of the information we have to memorize and just have fun.

Since I strongly believe you should try it some time, here’s a list of songs that are particularly great to dance to:

  • Let’s Dance To Joy Division – The Wombats
  • Dancing On My Own – Robyn
  • Dance, Dance, Dance – Lykke Li
  • I Am The Lion King – Papa
  • Swing Tree – Discovery
  • Don’t Slow Down – Matt and Kim
  • All Of This – The Naked and The Famous
  • D.A.N.C.E. – Justice
  • 3AM - Kate Nash
  • Tennis Court – Lorde
  • Airplanes – Local Natives
  • Air Balloon – Lily Allen

Kaley: Five Reasons BU’s “City-Campus” is a Non-Issue

Preface: When I visited BU junior year, the campus scared me. It seemed too long, too straight, too nonexistent. It was also an open campus in a city, so my parents were fairly scared too. After a semester and a half, though, I’m compelled to put “city-campus” in quotes, because quite often I find myself forgetting that we are one.

 

1. BU’s safety precautions. They’re incredible. As a student you receive BU emergency alerts immediately when an issue arises, any necessary updates as it unfolds, and a final alert summarizing the outcome. This has only happened twice during my time here, and I have never felt unsafe while on-campus. If I did, though, the BU Police number is printed on the back of every BU ID, so help would literally be in my back pocket.

2. The dining options. At many city schools, breakfast, lunch and dinner are a 10-minute walk away. This is far from the case at BU. As a freshman, if you live in freshmen housing, you won’t even need to walk outside to enjoy a nice personalized, dining-hall-cooked omlet.

3. Getting around. Com Ave is a long street, and when I visited, that was an immediate turn-off. Was I trying to give myself such a long walk from one end of campus to another? No. Here’s the thing, though: classes are at most a 20 minute walk away, and that holds true at many other, more rural universities as well. At BU, however, the T runs the entire length of campus. Feeling lazy? Missed the BU Shuttle? The T is there for you. Rural campuses have no green-line train, and the fact of the matter is, other city campuses don’t have access to public transportation in a way that’s even remotely comparable to the way the T runs down all of Com Ave.

4. City perks. My friends at rural schools will snapchat me on a Sunday, from a van filled with other college kids, saying, “Trip to Target today!!” They will then proceed to tweet about how the half-hour drive to the nearest store was so worthwhile, and then text me admitting that, yeah, it was pretty hard to convince one of the upperclassmen with a car to take them, but they really needed to run some errands.

I didn’t even realize that those sorts of day trips existed until they told me about them. At BU, there’s a CVS and a Star Market every corner. Newbury Street is a ten-minute walk off campus, for all of your wardrobe needs. And, of course, there are cafes and restaurants galore.

5.The “campus feel.” You won’t believe it until you feel it -I know I was super skeptical. But BU, more than other city campuses, has a definite college-campus vibe. Maybe it’s the red signs that are every 15 feet on Com Ave, or maybe its the beautiful, gothic architecture of the most central classroom buildings. It could be the immaculate interior of our gym or the size and number of turf fields and arenas. Whatever it is, many other city campuses don’t have it. BU does.

Morgan: Advice for Open Houses

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

See you all soon!

Jason: Just Go For It

Just go for it.

This is the message I’d like to leave you with for my last COM Ambassador blog post.

 

Over the course of my four years at Boston University I’ve monitored planetary nebula at BU’s observatory in Flagstaff, lived, worked, and studied for four months in Madrid, and produced content for a national sports event. I’ve taken a number of classes outside of my major: Spain and the European Union, Sociology of Deviance, and Controversies in Public Health, just to name a few.

 

The experiences I’ve had in my last semester speak to everything I’ve learned thus far. Working on my own startup app, proposing social media strategies for airline companies, and joining the ski team are all ventures I never would have considered to have any value. But opportunities arise in places where you least expect. Because of the people I’ve met through my business class, for example, I’ve taken on three new freelance jobs and am now connected to an entire network of creative professionals.

 

There’s not much else to it. There’s certainly something to be said about managing your workload and how many projects you involve yourself with—not to mention spending time with your friends, practicing your hobbies, and other activities—but as they say, “YOLO.” Or in this case, YOLICO, you only live in college once. So maybe that’s the message I’d like to leave you with for my last COM Ambassador blog post. Take on projects that will foster your success, build meaningful relationships and YOLICO.

 

PEACE!

Tyler: Getting Your Feet Wet

For many students, taking the first concrete step toward a higher goal often comes in the form of an internship, a research position, or an artistic production of some sort. I’ve had a slightly different experience with thrusting myself into my ideal future.

 

Since my tween years my bedroom television was permanently tuned to Comedy Central, for want of a remote control. I’ve since decided it’s a safe bet that my best, if not only, professional hope is to become a comedian or comedic screenwriter. Naturally, the first step toward this goal, other than having a screenplay magically greenlit for production, is to perform standup comedy. I had been subconsciously building up material for a set since my awkward and oblong middle school days, but I still lacked the courage to get up on stage.

 

When I returned home from studying abroad last semester, I told my mom I planned to do an open mic set. As any parent who learns his or her child is seeking to make a career out of public self-loathing and mockery of others, she was ecstatic. She pressed me for the next several weeks when I evaded the goal at all costs, to the point where she became a terrible annoyance. Because I really wanted — needed — to do this, I eventually decided to use my mom’s coercion to my advantage. I convinced her to double her harassments until I became so furious that I had to either block all communication with her or do stand-up comedy. I did both.

 

About a month ago I did my first stand-up set at The Middle East in Cambridge. Since then, I’ve had no nerves about performing. I’ve been able to effectively assess the hilarity and appeal of my own jokes based on the response of several diverse audiences. Success in this sort of pursuit relies largely upon creative interpretation of the commonplace. It’s extremely beneficial to evaluate oneself based on objective responses. I’m saying your friends will always think you’re funny/smart/capable, even when you definitely aren’t. That’s what friends do. Trust the experts.

 

Every college student knows how quintessential gaining “experience” is. If you don’t go beyond academic practices, you’ll most likely be at a hefty disadvantage in the real world. (Whoa, really? Thanks for the advice, man!) But it’s especially important to seek guidance from authority and to actively self-evaluate. So, as soon as you have identified that pivotal passion that guides you, immediately put yourself in an environment that is conducive to furthering it. Do whatever it takes to get your feet wet. Even if you end up with an estranged mother.

Will: The Long Road Home

In high school it always seemed like if you made it to Spring Break you were practically done with school. You left pale as a ghost, came back nice and crispy, and then just sailed through the last couple weeks of school.

In college, you’re still pale, you still get tan, but you don’t coast through til the end of the year. See Spring Break falls right in the middle of the semester more or less. And there’s a long 7 week stretch full of midterms and projects waiting for your return.

That being said, Spring Break in college tends to be a bit more entertaining than in high school. And getting away for spring break after spending a whole year in Boston… well, there’s nothing much better than that. Whether you’re going home, to Cancun, or sticking around New England, Spring Break always proves to be a very therapeutic escape.

Being in college also provides you with Spring Break options, something I didn’t really experience in high school. For instance, my comedy group, Liquid Fun, went on a tour around New England performing at different schools in the area. We trekked from Boston to Vermont, to Montreal, and to NYC. Surprisingly we didn’t get much of a tan.

Many other students also engage in something called Alternative Spring Break. ASB is organized through the Community Service Center and is extremely popular, often filling up within minutes of opening its registration. These trips are volunteer based and go anywhere from Virgina to Montana. It’s a great way to make a new group of lifelong friends and do something worthwhile with your break.

Or, you know, you could go to PCB.
Whichever path you choose, you’re gonna have a good time. Guaranteed.