Kaley: Freshman Don’ts from an Almost-Sophomore

1. Don’t wear your BU ID around your neck. I did this until my roommate felt comfortable enough to tell me that maybe it didn’t look as cool as I thought it did. She was right, it didn’t.

2. Don’t sign up for all afternoon classes thinking you’ll go to the gym every morning before them. You won’t.

3. Don’t run to catch the BU bus. In the words of my friend Joe, walking home is so much better than losing your dignity for ten seconds. (Side note: I still run. Have I gotten a few weird looks? Maybe. Have I saved a lot of time and energy? Definitely. )

4. Don’t make it to May without leaving BU’s campus. You’ll hear this a hundred times, but I’m happy to be the hundred-and-first. It’s that important.

5. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It’s BU, and although the catchphrase “Be You” may be cheesy, it’s true. There’s a place for everyone here -don’t worry if you’re having trouble making friends at first, as long as you keep an open mind, you’ll find your niche.

Life across the pond has been transformative. When you hear the words ‘Study Abroad’ don’t shove it off, instead embark on the experience.

 

1. The classes are extraordinary. Students are taught by spectacular instructors with a wealth of experience and credibility. Who ever thought 4-hour classes could be enjoyable?

+For my core journalism course students were granted the opportunity to visit the broadcast powerhouse for class.

 

2. The residential areas are phenomenal. To say the least, American posture and volume has undergone a transformation.

Oh, I live 15 minutes away from the royal family. #PrinceGeorge

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3. Tea time is the best time- happens everyday.

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For once you can enjoy life without constant Facebook usage or data consumption.

Lets be honest who really wants international charges.

 

4.  The theatre scene is surreal- you never know who you’ll run into. I purchased a ticket to see a production at Royal Court without prior knowledge of the cast.

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MET GARRY CARR #JackRoss FROM DOWNTON ABBEY!

5. Studying abroad offers a chance for students to immerse themselves in the culture of a foreign land, get lost, travel, eat yummy food, network, and create memorable moments that will last a lifetime. DO IT!

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Sad to leave London but excited to rejoin Terrier Nation!

 

Cheers,

Taylor

Follow me: @TaylorReports

Hanna: Schoolwork, Just-For-Fun Work or Both?

Every COM student is required to take a series of classes, one of which is COM 201. This introductory course gives students a taste of what it is like to write for the many fields offered within the College of Communication. We learn to write hard news stories, features, screenplays, reviews, obituaries, memoirs and more, and each assignment not only sharpens our writing skills but also exposes us to the type of specific writing we may be doing our entire lives. I know, the thought of practicing for a future career sounds daunting for me too, but there is no better way to begin than with the baby steps of COM 201.

As the semester’s flown by, I have loved each style of writing we have attempted to tackle. However, none have been as alien to me as the Public Service Announcement. Aside from studying persuasive writing in high school, I knew little about creating an advertising campaign. Aside from watching a few episodes of Mad Men, I knew little about presenting a campaign pitch. This one was totally new for me, not to mention far from any project I expected to encounter in the future. My major, Film and Television, did not seem to have much in common with a major in Advertising, yet two weeks ago when we received the assignment, I was anxious to give it a try anyway.

Our professor, Chelsey Philpot (I encourage you to Google her if you would like to be impressed) split us into small groups that would be our teams for the project. I pushed my desk toward the two other students, both of whom I barely knew, and we started to toss around ideas…well, we tried to.

It did not take long for us to get totally stuck. We were not sure if we could create our plan for a print ad, or if we were enthusiastic enough about the non-profit organization we chose to promote. “Good idea, but I don’t think that will work…” was said again and again, and after a while I thought this project might be my COM 201 downfall.

“Let’s think of another type of advertising. It doesn’t have to be print,” said Justin, a sophomore in the group studying journalism.

“Well, I can edit film if we want to make a commercial,” I offered, and with that, the tone of our first meeting changed in an instant. Ideas spilled out on top of one another as we crafted a humorous and simple commercial that would be perfect for a younger audience. By the end of the class we had finished a full storyboard, and I found myself adding these two almost-strangers as friends on Facebook and planning to meet up with them that weekend. Sure, we were meeting for a project, but we would be filming and acting in our own PSA. The meeting was far from mandatory as we could have designed a print ad in class and called it a day, but for some reason each one of us wanted to go that extra mile.

A week later we stood before our quiet classmates and began our final presentation. Although we had an outline of what we wanted to say, the three of us barely looked its way. We had invested ourselves in the campaign and in turn did not need a guide to tell us why we made certain choices, what we wanted to accomplish, and how our campaign would accomplish it. The commercial was woven seamlessly into our oral presentation, and by the end students seemed to sit up a little straighter and listen a little closer.

“Please send me a copy of that video!” Professor Philpot said when we finished. “Great job. You clearly put a lot of work into this.”

The funny thing is, we didn’t. We didn’t put a lot of work into creating our idea because it came easily to us. We didn’t put a lot of work into filming because it was a lot of fun. I didn’t put a lot of work into editing because it is something I love to do anyway, and we didn’t put a lot of work into preparing the presentation because we had learned everything we needed along the way. The PSA assignment did not feel like a typical school assignment at all. I did learn plenty from the process, including that advertising can certainly relate to film and television, but I would happily volunteer to film another one any day.

Needless to say, this entire semester in COM 201 has helped me solidify my choice to enter the College of Communication. Even a project as foreign to me as a Public Service Announcement turned into an experience I will fondly remember, and I think it is a good indication of how much fun my “work,” both in college and in my career, will continue to be.

Aidan: Open House Reflection

The temperature hit 70 yesterday, and COM had its first Open House for accepted students this past Saturday. All in all, a pretty stellar week. As a COM Ambassador, I sat in on many of the info sessions and talkbacks during the Open House, and got to meet a lot of excited perspective students. Perhaps I had forgotten, but I found myself reminded of all the factors that make COM an exciting and rewarding place to learn and work. I think every COM student, old and new, can be reinvigorated by some of the advice of Open House

1.     Everyone here is here to tell a story.

Whether it be through an Ad Campaign, or a short film, COM students are here because they have something they want to say to the world. We come from all walks of life, all different parts of the world, and have unique experiences that we can share with others. COM students see the value in life events, and wish to convey messages to each other to help mankind in some manner. I think that makes us the most interesting students on campus

2.     People who COM really love the field of Communication.

Pursuing any career in Communication takes guts. Some people accuse COM students of “taking the easy way out” for not majoring in some hard science or statistics. But that simply isn’t true. We all come to our respective majors because we know its what we love to do, and it is what will personally fulfill us in the end. Every COM student knows at times it will be hard, but we are ready for that. That makes us strong.

3.     You get out what you put in

Attending Open House, it is clear that opportunity is the easiest and most rewarding thing to come across in COM. BUTV10, PRSSA, WTBU, every chance to refine a certain skill is readily available in COM. Just like in the job market all COM students will go into, we are taught right off the bat that, if you put yourself forward and do the work you want to be doing, you will get better and you will find more chances to advance. All the tools are there; it is just a question of how much you are willing to give to get what you want.

 

BU, we have an exciting new class of Freshman coming our way. If we can remember the excitement for COM that we had back then, and use that to continue our drive, this school and its products will only grow in quality.

Will: Gearing Up for Summer

Three more weeks left. Three. More. Weeks.

As soon as the sun comes out in Boston, it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything educationally important. Even during class, I find myself constantly thinking of all the activities I could be doing out in the sun instead: slack lining, running, laying, sitting, etc.

However, it’s these couple of weeks that end up being the most crucial in the semester. It’s the time of year when all the projects need to be turned in, the group papers need to be finalized, and the exams begin to flow over. And it’s at this point in time, that you’re strength of will is truly tested.

Even as I write this blog post, I catch myself looking out at the students lounging around on the COM Lawn. Such envy! But, I know that if I were to go outside now, when I have a blog post to finish, a video to finish editing, two papers to write, and a screenplay to critique, that I would hardly be able to enjoy myself.

Thus, the goal of lounging around on the fresh, green grass with nothing left on my plate to accomplish far outweighs the immediate temptation to ignore my tasks, head outside, and make things even more stressful in the days to come.

Happy Trails.

Hannah C: Freshman Housing

CONGRATUALTIONS if you’ve been accepted to COM, also known as the most spectacular place to receive a degree in the field of communication. In my book, that’s not an exaggeration.  One year I received my own acceptance letter, I know just how pumped you are to be one step closer to joining the next generation of film directors, PR professionals, journalists, and creative directors.  You should definitely be proud.  You might even be #proudtobu.

 

If you’re one of the high school seniors who received a thick envelope and are seriously thinking about attending COM, make sure to check us out at our Open Houses April 12th and April 19th.  If you’re unable to make those dates, you can take a tour of COM any weekday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.  And, if you can’t to meet us at those times, I’m writing today to answer one of the most common questions I’ve received guiding tours: Where should I choose to live as a freshman?

 

Once you decide to become a BU student, the next step is filling out a housing interests survey.  On it, you’ll rank your top housing choices and choose a meal plan.  But which ones should be your top choices?  Here’s a current first year’s take on some of your possible freshman residence options.

 

Warren Towers: Many freshmen in COM live here, since it’s right next-door to the COM building.  If you’re the type to roll out of bed and into class, this is probably the dorm for you.  There are also major-specific floors where COM students can live and learn together. It’s in the center of campus, amid Comm. Ave. excitement. There’s a Starbucks, a CityCo, and a Jamba Juice at street-level of the dorm.

 

West Campus: Located adjacent to Nickerson Field, the three dorms on West Campus have less of a city vibe and their own sense of community, although they are somewhat removed.  Some students in West enjoy the walk home from classes and proximity to FitRec, our gym, and restaurants such as Canes or BugerFi.

 

The Towers: Nothing compares to living on Bay State Road, lined with its trees and brownstones, where this residence is located.  The Towers dorm is near SMG, SED, and relatively close to CAS.  It has single-sex floors, some of which are major-specific.

 

Kilachand Hall: If you plan to be a freshman in the Kilachand Honors College, this is where you’ll live.  You may even have a class or two within the building. Also on Bay State Road, it is directly across the street from my personal favorite dining hall, Marciano Commons.  There is a newly renovated study lounge on the first floor, as well as a study lounge on the ninth floor with great views of the Charles River and downtown Boston.

 

Hope this gives a bit more insight, and I hope to meet you soon!

Abby: Family Visits

This past weekend my mom was in Boston.  She was in town for a National Science Teacher convention, but she had plenty of time afterwards to visit.  I had so much fun being a tourist with her.  We went on a Duck Tour and saw a Red Sox game, ate dinner in Harvard Square and did some shopping on Newberry.  During her stay some logistic problems kept coming up so I wanted to share our fixes so when your parents visit it will be a great visit.

 

1. Have your family or visitors stay in a different area than your dorm.  My mom stayed at the Park Plaza.  It was great because whether we were around the hotel or by my room in East Campus and needed to drop something off, use the restroom or just rest we had a place to go.

 

2. Decide where you are going to stay while your family is here.  The first night my mom was here we had dinner and then went our separate ways.  Which was hard to do because we just wanted to catch up and visit, but I hadn’t packed an overnight bag so I had to go back to my room.

 

3. On that same note, if you do decide to stay with your parents make sure you pack everything. Since I’m from Florida, my mom doesn’t have a winter coat so she borrowed one of mine as well as a scarf and gloves.  We kept forgetting things in my room that we needed at the hotel or vice versa.

 

4. Take advantage of being away from campus.  Having your parents here is a nice excuse to unwind and escape from the stress of classes and campus.  (At the same time though don’t forget important due dates.  I did a little bit of homework in advanced so I could have a weekend “off”.)  Enjoy going to sights and restaurants you may normally not go to during a normal weekend.  My mom and I had fun exploring Cambridge and the Waterfront.

 

 

Kerri: 5 Tips for Making the Most of Summer

In the last week, Boston has seen a big change (better late than never) as the weather has finally changed from the winter cold to a sunny spring. With this nice weather on the horizon it can only mean one thing for BU students. Summer is just around the corner. Here’s a few ways for everyone to occupy their summer before classes are back next fall.

1.    Read a good book

Whether you are on the beach or in bed, a good book is always a great way to escape for a few hours. Here is a list of some of my favorite books (I included a wide variety of genres!):

 

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

2.    Catch up with old friends

Summer is the perfect time to catch up with your friends from high school. My group of friends and I try to make the most of summer with weekly dinners, trips to the beach, and just spending quality time together!

 

3.    Internships or summer classes

Gaining experience in a career field or industry is the best way to find out whether you enjoy a certain career and a crucial step in standing out during the job application process.

Summer classes are another great way to utilize the summer months. Completing a class over the summer not only allows you to put your full concentration on one subject but it also lessens the amount of stress during the fall and spring semesters!

 

4.    Explore the closest city to you

One of my goals for this summer is to venture out to New York City more. I live about an hour outside of the city but I rarely make the trip in. This summer I want to check out some of the city’s delicious restaurants, visit the museums, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the big apple!

 

 5.    And most importantly… RELAX and enjoy the WARM weather!

 

Whatever your summer plans may include, make sure you enjoy every second of it because before you know it you’ll be back in Boston for fall semester!

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!