Angeli: College is Surreal(Cereal?)

You know those people who say they hate breakfast? Yeah, I don’t trust them either.

For as long as I can recall, I, Angeli S. Rodriguez, have been a breakfast food fiend. I could eat a bagel once a day for a decade and never get tired of them. I don’t discriminate against microwavable oatmeal compared to the homemade stuff. Discovering a new muffin flavor or way to make eggs is what I consider a life-changing experience. And don’t even get me started on the obstacles I would be willing to endure for a stack of my mom’s specialty pancakes right now.

Breakfast items are like my children; I love them all the same for what they are, but I also can’t resist the urge to have a favorite. The one that has consistently been there for me. In good times and bad. At any hour of the day. None other than cereal.

My appreciation for cereal is a deeply rooted one that goes back to my first ever bite of Special K (I was a miniature adult as a child…) Since then, it has been a staple component of my diet. I am a firm believer that no meal is the “right” meal for cereal. Heck, college has taught me that it can even be a dessert.

Ah yes, college. That’s where I was going with this. The end of my sophomore year is rapidly approaching, and I can’t help but get all sappy and self-reflective. I’M HALFWAY DONE PEOPLE !!? I really don’t know where time has gone, but I can also confidently say a large portion of it has been spent stupendously. I’ve grown in more ways than one since moving into my double in Warren Towers two years ago. I’ve enjoyed new experiences, met (and continue to meet) the most interesting of new people, and tried a plethora of new foods.

And through all of this change, I’ve found comfort in things that remind of my roots, of what’s familiar. I thus feel it’s time to express some gratitude.

Thank you, Cereal, for always being by my side/in my stomach. Thank you old pal for keeping me full and focused (I’m a fan of Mini Wheats) during late night study sessions, before internship interviews, and following those tough 8 AM lectures. Thank you for always being readily available and understanding when other dining hall menu options just aren’t cutting it. And even on those days when I mix you with Sargent Choice Oatmeal, know that you’re forever my #1.

P.S. CA Angeli’s top cereal picks of all time:

1. Special K Chocolatey Delight

2. Honey Bunches of Oats Almond

3. Frosted Flakes

Caroline: Its Nice to Get Away

Early last week I called my mother to talk to her about the rain boots she shipped me (I found out the hard way my old pair had a huge gash in the sole). While we were on the phone, she floated the idea “why don’t you come home for easter?” At first I was apprehensive. I had Open House for accepted students on Saturday and had Escape the Room already booked with my friends for that evening. The earliest I would be able to come home was Sunday morning. Marathon Monday gave me a little wiggle room and I decided that it was okay to miss my Tuesday classes. I hadn’t missed either all semester and I had friends in both classes to take notes for me. Just like that, 45 minutes later tickets were booked to go home.

If you are lucky enough to live within a four hour radius from campus, you should definitely take the opportunity to take a long weekend at home. Its a great reset and a refreshing break from what can seem, at times, like a constantly stressful environment. My sister is abroad in Madrid this semester so my parents are feeling a bit more “empty nest” than normal (as much as they can be with one chick still in the nest). My brother is graduating from high school this year and is in the midst of deciding where to go to college. Plus he’s a star on the volleyball team and I think I’ve only ever seen him play once. So it was important for me to see hime play twice while I was home. I also gave him some advice about how to choose the right school.

Right now, he’s between Ithaca and Syracuse. Just about an hours drive separate the two—but they’re very different. Both of theses schools have excellent communication programs, so I’m sure many of BU’s accepted students have at least one of them in the mix (plus BU, the superior choice, of course). Both programs are great across the board, I would say the decision lies in prestige and where the schools differ. Charming town, small campus or small city, prestige, and athletics? The best thing I can say is visit everywhere if you can. A lot of times the decision is less pros and cons and more of a feeling. I’m sure many of the accepted students who visited the past two weekends may have felt what I’m talking about. A sense of belonging.

One of the downsides to going home is that it might take you out of working mode. Its hard to think about that 15-page paper you have due next week when you’re lying on the couch petting your cat, flipping between Chopped and Tiny House Hunters (I don’t have these channels at school). While it is a nice break, you have to find time to work. Because school doesn’t stop when you get home. Due dates stand and while it can be nice to reset, you don’t want to get too far off because you will quickly fall behind.

The other downside is FOMO. If you don’t know this already, I’m a bit of a grandma: crosswords, cats, podcasts (its like the same thing as radio, right?), and Jeopardy. I was sad when I got a snapchat of my three roommates watching Jeopardy together. Not to mention I missed Marathon Monday (aka the one day a year BU seems like a state school in the flyover states), which was my last opportunity to go while a student at BU because I’m going to be in LA next spring. I was definitely bummed about that. But I got to see a friend from high school I haven’t seen in a year and surprise my grandma instead.

One of the best parts of my visit was being able to see my cats. A lot of people will tell you that one of the worst parts of college is not being able to have pets. Its hard to live without the fluff ball you’ve grown up with. Pets embody home and comfort. That’s why during finals week BU has puppies come for students to play with. Its an instant stress reliever and puts a smile on most people’s faces. Its wholesome and comforting.

I came home to an Easter basket like I had as a kid (but this time with vegan chocolate bunnies homemade by my brother) and a household missing its twin girls. It was nice while it lasted, but I’m shipping up to Boston (ohhh ohh ohh) and I’m looking forward to getting back to classes and working on those 15-page papers (yes, more than one).

Christy: A Tip for College Open Houses

This past weekend was the last time I would be representing the College of Communication during Boston University’s Open House. For the past three years, I have been a part of making sure prospective students and parents are given a feel for how wonderful the university is and how much my fellow COM students and I love (and thrive in) COM.

Although I applied Early Decision, I attended my BU open house anyway. Four years later, I still vividly remember my open house experience, and can not emphasize enough how important taking advantage of open houses is. I was lucky and already fell in love with BU and committed to it once I was accepted in December (Friday, December 13th… to be exact). For me, coming to open house solidified my love for the city of Boston, the university and the College of Communication. I KNEW after open house that I made the right choice for me, and I couldn’t wait to get started in the fall.

But, I know this isn’t always the case. Speaking with students as a COM Ambassador reminded me that everyone does not have that “love at first sight” feeling with a school. For some students, open house is the first time they are able to get a feel for the university, and the impression they get on campus is what is going to last and ultimately help them make the decision as to where they will be spending the next for year of their life. I love being a COM Ambassador for exactly that reason — I get to assist in that decision-making process in any way I can. I know BU was the right choice for me, and couldn’t love a school more. So, I want to share my love with perspective students and families in hopes they feel the same way, and I want to be myself as a reflection of the school.

As a prospective student, I know it can be scary. While I was touring schools, I kept one major thought in the back of my mind. Here is a little tip from me to you on how to make the most of your open house experiences while making your college decision:

Ask yourself if you could see yourself being friends with the university’s students.

Does your tour guide seem to be someone who you think you could hit it off with? Did you see a group of students in Starbucks talking about a television show you love? Simple observations like that make all the difference. While I was looking at schools, my mom told me if I could see myself being friends with the students I see on campus that it’s a good sign. There is no better time than open house to experience students in their natural habitat!

Ultimately, the students you encounter give you a general idea of the students you will be spending four years with. So regardless if you love the university’s program or if you love the feel of the campus, your fellow students are also a really important part of your college experience, especially in COM. Your fellow COM students will become your extended family. You will see them around campus, in your extra curriculars, and in classes, and have to work with them on projects inside and outside the classroom. And one day, these students will be the people you enter the professional field with.

So, take a good look now while you have the opportunity at open houses. And who knows, these friendships could last a lifetime. That’s what everyone says, don’t they?

Sydney: Choosing College Confusion

As admitted students face the decision of choosing which college to attend, and prospective students will begin applications in the coming months, I reflect on my feelings of confusion and uncertainty when I was in those positions.

When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future; I didn’t know what I wanted to major in or where I wanted to go to school. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted a small or large school, or urban environment vs a traditional campus. I’m sure some of you can relate.

I applied to way too many colleges my senior year, and to be honest, BU was not my top choice. I imagined myself attending a big state school, specifically Penn State. I wanted to go to a school with a football team, and continue my 10-year-long cheerleading career. I was extremely excited when I was accepted into Penn State, however I was forced to choose among other options- one being Boston University.  After receiving my BU acceptance, I decided to give the school a chance and attend an admitted student visit.

I visited BU on a dreary, cold, and rainy day in March. Upon stepping on the campus and exploring some of what Boston had to offer, something registered in my mind. I realized, how can I attend a school where I am locked up in a gated campus? Since I’m from NYC, I couldn’t imagine myself not remaining in an urban environment. I knew BU offered so much to do on campus, but there are so many opportunities off campus as well!

Although BU wasn’t my original option, I knew this is where I wanted to be. My advice for anyone who is in the same confused and uncertain mindset as I was is that it will all work out! Be open-minded to schools you may not have originally considered. Visit different campuses and imagine yourself there. If you don’t know what you want to major in yet, that’s completely okay! I came into BU undecided in the College of Arts & Sciences, and I finally figured it out my sophomore year as a Public Relations major in COM. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, I know you will figure everything out!

Sophia: The Sophomore Slump

“Why am I always so tired?” I had grumbled last week, taking a seat next to my friend in Mugar. However, she just ignored me and continued working, her pen scratching across the notecards in front of her. As a senior, she did not like to feed into my academic-based complaints, especially when I came to interrupt her in Mugar (which was often).

“I mean, come on,” I tried again, nudging her elbow with my own. “I just feel so, like, done with it all lately.”

My friend sighed, put her pen down, and finally looked up at me. “That’s because you’re in your sophomore slump,” she said.

“Sophomore slump?” I asked.

“Yup, sophomore slump. It happens to the best of us. Even me.”

I had remembered thinking that that was hard to believe as clearly there was no way this girl, a second-semester senior who still chose to study in Mugar, could ever have a ‘slump’ of any kind.

“You, Marcela? You had a sophomore slump?” I had asked her, my disbelief evident.

She then glared up at me, choosing to pick up her pen again and continue her work. “Yes, I did. I know, shocker,” she had dead-panned, averting her glare down to her notecards. “But it’s a real thing. The best and worst part about going to school in Boston is the fact that it’s in Boston. We all get a little lost in the city sometimes.”

And she was completely right. As I let her go back to her notecards and pulled out my own work to begin, I pondered how my sophomore slump had come to be. Was it the academics? No, I always looked forward to all of my COM classes and projects. Was it my social life? No, my sorority had given me plenty of friends and activities to keep myself occupied. Was it the long winter? Doubtful, seeing as I had grown up in New England my whole life and had never gotten the winter blues.

Then what was it?

I considered what Marcela said: “We all get a little lost in the city sometimes.”

And there was my answer.

Boston is one of the most incredible cities in the world, and it was a rarity for a day of my life to pass without any acknowledgment of how much I adored this city. Everything about Boston and BU seemed to beckon me to go here in high school – Fenway, T Anthony’s, the Charles River — but I really fell in love with BU because of the faculty I couldn’t wait to learn under, the thought of being on a real news broadcast for BUTV10, and getting published in an established and acclaimed collegiate magazine and newspaper. Sometimes, I found myself getting lost in my sheer amazement of this school, but more so, I felt intimidated.

So many times, it’s so easy for COM students to get swept up in the brilliance of this school, its faculty, and the endless opportunities this school provides you to produce great content for the world of media. As a sophomore who is involved in a lot of different clubs on campus, I still find myself getting lost in the vastness of BU and Boston sometimes, just because I’m constantly surrounded by such incredible people who have accomplished such incredible things. It’s easy to get lost in the magnitude of what we do as COM students, sometimes – but it’s easy to find your way through it all, too.

The COM faculty, while super impressive, is also super friendly and approachable. They’re teaching because they want to, and are great resources to help get yourself grounded. They’ve helped me a ton in my years so far, and I can’t wait to get to know other faculty and build those relationships with them, too.

BUTV10, the Daily Free Press, the Buzz, the Tab, and all the other clubs here at BU are groups made by your peers, for your peers, and establishing those connections with other students like yourself is something that has helped me establish myself as a student and media professional. BUTV10 is my favorite thing on campus, and the friends, mentors, and experience I’ve gained from it is absolutely priceless.

And, of course, you are your own best friend. You know what you can handle – you know when you’re burning out, ready to take on more, or just need some Nutella and a nap. If you are good to yourself and try your best in COM, COM will always be good to you right back.

My sophomore slump happened for a lot of different reasons – and it may even be happening to some of my other COM peers right now, too – but you can always find your way back to COM, back to BU, and back to Boston with a little help from the wonderful people around you.

Josee: How to Endure Study Time

We’ve all done it before. With a quick glance at the homework ahead of us, it’s pretty easy to shrug it off and say: “Nah, I’ll be fine.”

Transitioning into a college environment can be tricky for those new to the rigorous academic expectations that come along with a BU education. Studying can be boring, dry, and somewhat monotonous. So that’s why I thought I’d share a few ways to make your pursuit of higher knowledge a little less painful.

1. Grab a treat to fuel your working mind. Whether it’s a drink at starbucks, warm mac from Cheesology, or a few cookies stolen from the dining hall, having something to munch on can keep the monotony at bay.

2. Make a “rad” playlist. It’s up to you. Whether it’s classical standards or the hottest mixtape, when you’re listening to music you curated yourself, it can keep your mind from wandering as you finish up your statistics problem sets.

3. Pick somewhere new. Boston is full of really awesome spots to just plop down in study. The great room in the Boston Public Library is a great place to read your latest writing assignment while getting some aesthetically pleasing insta posts. Or, head to a new coffeeshop across town for a cuppa coffee and a place to finish your screenplay. A new environment can really motivate you to keep on keeping on.

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4. Study with friends. While there’s definitely undeniable amounts of goofing off, having friends around to explain certain concepts or quiz you can really make the difference between knowing the material and really knowing the material. Grab some snacks, pull up some chairs, and suffer through it all together.

5. Use the resources here on campus. Whether it’s peer tutoring at the Educational Resource Center or your TA’s office hours, having an extra hand to understand the material can be really helpful when you just need a boost. People want you to succeed and are willing to make sure you’re where you want to be.

The term “studying” may not sound too exciting, but it becomes a requirement when you’re here. Nothing’s more satisfying than feeling like you walked out of a test and kicked it’s butt. Find what works for you and reap the benefits. Peace out.

Jen: Remember that Green Day Song About Having the Time of Your Life?

Even though I do not want to admit it (because I don’t want to make it real), I am currently in my last semester in Boston. It wasn’t until today that I realized just how close the end of the semester is. I saw that I only have one month (!!) left in Boston before I go abroad for the summer and then in the fall for my last ever college semester. As spring is being sprung, and my Boston bucket list is still unchecked, I’m trying to knockoff a lot of the things that I have still yet to do in the city. Some of my bucket list is simple, like going to a concert at Paradise Rock Club. Some of it is ridiculous, like getting to know the person who plays Wally at Fenway Park and knowing the real life of being a mascot for a professional sports team.

Although I spend a lot of my time reflecting what I haven’t done, I remember all of the cool things I did do. I will remember all internships, best friends, roommates, nights in ordering pizzas, group chat names, midnight movies, cans of seltzer and all-nighters pulled in Ezratti like they were yesterday. Like the time I…

…saw every one of my favorite bands at all of the Boston Calling Music Festivals I’ve been to.

…ran my first ever half marathon through the city and the Franklin Park Zoo on probably the rainiest day I ever witnessed!

…played Settlers of Catan with some of my best buds until 12:30am at the Knight Moves Cafe in Brookline! (Spoiler Alert: I lost and did not have enough sheep throughout the game).

…went to Sarasota, FL with my best friends (and had a impromptu wedding with CA Sam Gross).

…appeared on Pop Showdown!, where I sadly lost against CA Kreag (okay, I lost by five points, but I’m not bitter)(really)(I am not).

…survived the Snowpocalypse with CA Claudia.

…decided to go to Revere Beach on the coldest, windiest day in May but still danced in the sun like it was July.

…held movie nights and talked way, way, WAY too much about pop culture and movies (specifically, movies about cats) with Sonia! We also ate way, way, WAY too much pizza and ice cream.

…spent a whole summer in Boston and working with orientation with the one, the only, CA Rachel (here we are with Twenty One Pilots tour buses).

…had two classes, two jobs, and too many group chats and seltzers with Kreag and Claudia.
So, if you’re like me and you’re rushing to complete all of the things you’ve ever wanted to do in Boston and at BU. Do not forget to stop and just remember all of the things you have done. Be sentimental and cherish all of your friends and your memories every day. Remember, what you’re going to do is important, but what you have done is even more special.

Hali: Why Theater is a COM Student’s Craft

This past weekend was one of the most hectic and exciting of my semester. Not only did COM Opening House take place on Saturday, April 8th (woo!), but BU On Broadway, my favorite extracurricular, performed Legally Blonde: The Musical.

I’m writing this post because being a part of this show has been one of my favorite experiences I’ve had at BU. We sold out multiple performances, which is a big deal in a 500-seat theater! Several other COM Ambassadors were also involved, both onstage and behind the scenes.

To those who know me, it’s no surprise that I’m obsessed with BU On Broadway. My experiences performing, producing, and serving as treasurer have been some of the most valuable ones I’ve had in my time at BU. On Broadway even helped me decide to minor in arts leadership and hopefully apply my public relations education to the arts world one day. I can’t wait to serve as President next year!

At COM Open House, each CA had to share their favorite extracurricular. As I hinted before, an overwhelming number of us are involved with On Broadway. This weekend, I’ve tried to figure out why so many COM students are drawn to performing arts extracurriculars. Performing in Legally Blonde helped me figure out an answer. COM students are drawn to theatre because it is the ultimate form of collaboration. A show can’t happen without actors working together, without a creative team coming up with a clear vision, or without techies working diligently behind the scenes. In any given show, countless people are taking their unique skills to make a beautiful production come to life. It’s the same type of collaboration that occurs when a group of students work together to make a film, when students brainstorm campaigns for AdLab clients, and so on.  When a show finally comes together, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. This feeling wouldn’t be achievable without the hard work of the entire cast, crew, and creative team.

At COM, we love to tell stories. That’s exactly what we do in theatre. The skills that I’ve gained from working in theatre have helped me tremendously in the classroom, and I’m certain they will help me even more in my career.

Oh, and if you missed Legally Blonde this weekend, be sure to catch BU On Broadway’s Godspell in the Student Theater April 27-29!

Grace: Get Out and Enjoy the Sun: Ten Ways to Explore Boston this Spring

Harsh Boston winters can make even local gals like myself feel blue. After months of heavy snow, slippery sidewalks, and frosty winds, I too look forward to flip-flops and short-sleeve shirts. Lucky for us, Boston springs are full of exciting activities for everyone. Whether you’re a music junkie or a sports fan, Boston has it all.

While my personal favorites include activities outside of Boston, there are plenty of ways to have fun inside the city. With a forecast that appears to warm up in the near future, here are my favorite ways to explore both the city and the state of Massachusetts this spring:

1) Walk the Freedom Trail

2) Listen to your favorite music artists at Boston Calling Music Festival

3) Kayak on the Charles River

4) Picnic with a friend in the Boston Public Gardens

5) Watch the Boston Pops perform at the Hatch Schell 

6) Ride the commuter rail up to Rockport, MA to swim at the beach

7) Take a hike at Blue Hills Reservation

8) Visit Cape Cod for the weekend

9) Watch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park

10) Visit the New England Aquarium and go on a whale watch

Samantha: Study Abroad Emotions

When you’re preparing for a semester abroad, it feels like you have all the time in the world. How will you pack clothing for four months in one suitcase? Which “must-do” lists are worth keeping in mind? How will you arrange your semester so you can try every cafe/see every museum/attend every musical all at once?

It’s stressful but exciting, and once you get to your destination you feel free. In my case, arriving in London brought about many emotions, but mostly that of anticipation — what will this semester hold? Now that I’m nearing my final weeks in the UK, I’ve come a long way since that initial anticipation. This semester has had ups and downs, so I present to you, a timeline of what it’s like to study abroad, month by month.

(the very end of) January

Wow! Look at you! You are living independently in a different country! And using the £! And taking the Tube! Maybe someday, you won’t need a map! So much to do! Get those to-do lists going! LONDON!

February

The dust has settled, and London feels more and more like home every day. Maybe you just booked your first EasyJet flight and coordinated train travel all by yourself. Or reserved an AirBnb. How independent of you! You aren’t stressed anymore, because you know you still have so many months ahead of you.

You finally have your favorite restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Maybe the barista finally knows your order? Take it all in, kid. London is finally your city.

March

Heck yeah! You’ve traveled a bunch by now, and are finally kicking butt at your internship. Your days are full, and you finally feel like a full-on Londoner! How will you ever leave?

That being said, the stress starts to sink a little bit by now, and you might start to panic that you won’t get to see everything that was on your list so many months ago. You start to methodically schedule your weeks — restaurants to eat at, museums you haven’t been to, shows that are leaving town all too soon.

April

You are starting to accept that in the very near future, the time will come to leave. You try to take it all in, enjoying springtime in London. You check off those last things on your to-do list, but mostly try to focus on the present — the sunny picnic lunches on Primrose Hill, the long walks through Kensington with your new best friends, the laughs you share over lunch with your co-workers at your internship.

“Someday, I’ll come back,” you tell yourself. And how lucky you are to have spent this time abroad.