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.

Lauren: 3 Days, 6 Agencies

Whew! I just spent my spring break traveling around New York City, getting a behind-the-scenes, inside look at some of the top advertising agencies in the Big Apple.  We saw everything: traditional agencies, digital agencies, media agencies and even some NON advertising agencies. It was an awesome experience to visit these great companies, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!

nyc-trips

Google: 

Obviously, Google’s office in NYC is absolutely amazing!  They have game rooms, multiple cafeterias (with a food truck INSIDE the building) and these awesome treadmills so employees can complete their work while walking and exercising. While Google isn’t really an advertising agency, they still have creative designers, strategists and marketing people, just like any agency.  Their work focuses on the cross between technology and creativity.

During their presentation, they showed us a video from Google Creative Lab’s Robert Wong about the Future of Storytelling, which inspired me, and the rest of the students, to remember that advertising, and communication in general, is all about telling a story. And even though we grow older, people still enjoy hearing stories, just like they did as children.

R/GA:

This advertising agency has an interesting history.  Founded in 1977 by two brothers, R/GA was originally a design agency that focused on video production, motion-graphics and live-action film.  Back in the day, they were most famously known for working on the  opening title sequence of the 1978 movie Superman.  Since then, the company has transitioned into an advertising agency with a digital focus and an emphasis on product innovation.

R/GA has produced some really amazing work, like Nike’s FuelBand, Windows Time Square Takeover, and the Dr. Dre Beats commercials.  The biggest take-away I got from our time visiting this agency was that everything is incredibly fast-paced in agency life, especially compared to the work pace in the classroom.  Instead of having a month to work on a project, deliverables get produced in a matter of weeks in ad agencies! While that might seem intimidating to some students, I find it incredibly exhilarating!

Publicis Kaplan Thaler:

This agency is filled with BU alumni (how awesome is that?) and is run by two incredible ladies, (girl power!) CEO and Chief Creative Officer Linda Kaplan Thaler and President Robin Koval (who together, published a book called The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness). They have some pretty incredible work, like Crest and Oral-B, the Aflac Duck, Wendy’s, Charmin’s Sit or Squat app and CitiBank’s CitiBike.

During the tour, we had a Q&A session with recent alumni, who discussed the differences between school projects and life in the real-world (longer hours and more pressure were the most popular differences).  They also talked about how to adjust to agency life.  It was so helpful to get a firsthand look from people who were in my shoes just under a year ago!

Grey:

Grey, the agency behind the eTrade Baby, the infamous Cialis commercials, and Easy, Breezy, Beautiful CoverGirl, won AdAge’s prestigious “Agency of the Year,” a really incredible feat considering all the amazing agencies out there. Grey focuses on creating work that is both famous & effective, and they’ve succeed with some of their brilliant commercials and print advertisements.

What I learned at Grey was something really interesting about being in an account role.  It’s almost like being a point guard, because your job is to provide scoring opportunities for your team.  I think that’s a really great, inspiring way to look at the account management side of advertising. We also learned about the importance of having impressive presentation skills. Grey got me really inspired to work in the field.

Firstborn:

This small shop (around 100 people) has gained some traction with their work for Uniqlo (on Pinterest) and Rolex.  The president of Firstborn (a BU graduate) has helped this agency grow into a business that produces some creative, out-of-the-box and award-winning work.

firstborn

The most important thing I learned while chatting with the sharp minds at Firstborn was that creativity can come from anywhere. Creative ideas don’t just come from copywriters, art directors or designers. They can come from anyone who is passionate about the project. Their emphasis on collaboration and teamwork definitely showed me the perks and advantages of working for a smaller agency.

Giant Spoon: 

Giant Spoon is a start-up founded by some of the former senior team members of Omnicom’s OMD unit (aka some BU COM alumni!). This media agency “humanizes” media buying, and comes up with ideas that attract advertisers and agencies to use social news publishers and new, creative media placement. Their strategic, creative focus greatly differs from other media companies that are rather robotic in the way they buy media. Some of Giant Spoon’s clients include NBC Universal, GE (on Jimmy Fallon!) and Buzzfeed.

Best insight I got from Giant Spoon?- how exciting start-ups can be! The founders taught us that we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks, and follow great ideas. They knew they could change the way media was bought, and they had the courage to leave their jobs and start a company all on their own. Both of them seemed incredibly passionate and proud of their work, which left the students feeling completely energized and motivated.

 

This trip was the perfect way for me to spend my last spring break!  Special thanks to BU’s College of Communication, Tobe Berkovitz, Carolyn Clark, Allison Hoyt and Ms. Livingston and Mr. Levin for making the tour possible!

 

Julianna: Surviving the Second Half of Spring Semester

The second half of the spring semester is officially underway now that midterms (well, most of them) and spring break are over. At this time I usually find myself changing up my routine or setting a few springtime resolutions. Here are some guidelines and lifehacks to ending the school year on a successful note:

 

Finalize your summer plans

You’re probably used to uploading your resume and clicking “send” by now since most deadlines for summer internship applications are before April. For those who have been applying all winter, make sure to have an interview outfit ready in your closet.  If you’ve missed some application deadlines then check out job board listings. BU Career Link, Ed2010 and journalismjobs.com are great resources for those seeking editorial and communications internships. If you have a job lined up for the summer then start to think about your fall plans. Some students (myself included) have found interning in the fall to be a better fit for their schedule and budget.

 

Improve your post-midterms study habits

Let’s be honest, we all procrastinate and have awful all-nighters once (okay maybe twice, three times or more) a semester. Sometimes it takes just one bad all-nighter or exam grade to kick-start a new work ethic. Take advantage of professors’ office hours to go over concepts or check in about an idea for a paper. The COM Writing Center is an excellent resource for help on a COM specific assignment. If you’re struggling in a foreign language then talk to your professor about recommendations for a tutor. I was tutored in Italian by a BU student from Italy during my freshman year, and it greatly improved my conversation skills. During this time of the semester I usually change up my routine by setting aside certain nights to catch up or get ahead on readings.

 

Keep an eye on your dining and convenience points balances

Grande soy chai lattes everyday? Of course that sounds like a wonderful way to get through the winter! Well, until you realize that you have enough points left to make it through a week.When I had a dining plan, I would start to crack down on my Starbucks and GSU visits around this time. I frequently ordered Rhetty-to-go meals from the dining hall by paying with my meals in order to save up dining points. To save money on water carry around a water bottle and refill it at one of the many sustainable water machines around campus.

Kevin: Cramming Tips

Ok, lets be honest. We all start the semester thinking we’re going to stay on top of the ball, take notes on the readings so we won’t have to cram later, all the good stuff. But then midterms roll around…

Cramming doesn’t necessarily mean panic though. I’ve found that as long as I’m organized about it, I can actually get a lot done. So here’s my advice for making the most of that inevitable cram session:

 

1.  Location, location, location: My room doesn’t work for me. I always think I’ll put on some headphones and get work done, but there’s just too much to distract me. Admitting that and heading over to Mugar or a study lounge always helps. (Finding a good spot is the other trick, since Mugar tends to fill up around midterms and finals.)

2.   Music: I also had to admit to myself that playing music while studying is a bad idea. I spend too much time singing along in my head or making a new playlist, and all the sudden I’ve wasted half an hour. The exception I’ve found is my soundtrack station on Pandora. Added bonus is that homework feels a lot more important when the Dark Knight theme song is playing in the background.

3.   Know your enemy. (Too dramatic?) Going into half a semester’s worth of readings without a gameplan is never helpful. Taking a minute to look at the syllabus and come up with a plan makes it a lot more manageable. I always try to rank the readings by what I think will be on the test, and start with those first.

4.  Bring everything. Before I leave my room I make sure I have all the chargers I need, books, notebooks, etc. If I leave something behind I usually use it as an excuse to leave the library and head back.

5.   No Internet! Admittedly I’m terrible with this one. It starts with one “I’ve been studying for a while, quick Facebook break” and next thing I know I’m taking Buzzfeed character quizzes for shows I don’t even watch.  Don’t do it. Stay strong. You’re better than Buzzfeed.

 

Kerri: Spring Break Travel Playlist

 

Spring break is only a few days away and for some of us that means long hours on a train, bus, or plane. I will be heading back home to New Jersey, which entails a six-hour bus ride. I am not a great traveler. I can’t read, do work, or even cross word puzzles without feeling sick. Therefore, I have limited choices for keeping myself busy for the six hours on a bus.  I can’t think of many people who enjoy these long hours of traveling, but if I have my favorite playlist to listen to it helps make the traveling bearable. Listening to music does not require any work, except listening… perfect! One of my favorite playlists for traveling is my “Travel Tunes” playlist (how cliché, right?). This playlist includes some of my favorite songs and ranges from old school artists (Led Zeppelin) to fresh new faces (Disclosure). I hope you find these tracks helpful for getting through long hours of traveling this spring break!

Enjoy!

  1. Islands- The xx
  2. Retrograde- James Blake
  3. So This Is Goodbye (Pink Ganter Remix)- William Fitzsimmons
  4. Jump Into The Fog- The Wombats
  5. That’s The Way- Led Zeppelin
  6. The Girl- City and Colour
  7. Help Me Lose My Mind (feat. London Grammar)- Disclosure
  8. Climbing Walls- Strange Talk
  9. Waiting Game- Banks
  10. You’re The Good Things- Modest Mouse
  11. Silhouette (feat. Ellie Goulding)- Active Child
  12. Your Hand In Mine- Explosions In The Sky
  13. Tessellate- alt-J
  14. Going to California- Led Zeppelin
  15. Hanging On- Active Child