Stacy: Pre-Summer To Do List

 

The weather is nice, spring is in the air (or was a few days ago… typical Boston) and the summer season is right around the corner. You know what that means… time to go out to eat, explore and “treat yo self “(Parks and Recreation reference).

So I’ve compiled a list of last minute Bostonian things to do before going home for summer.

 

1. Go to a Red Sox game. I KNOW I KNOW, such a Boston stereotype. But I haven’t been yet so it made the list. The new dip in prices for students is motivating me to finally head to Fenway and experience the baseball culture before the end of the semester. Please hold me to that.

2. Bova’s Bakery in the North End. Let’s face it; Mike’s Pastry is overrated. Bova’s is cheaper, less mainstream and less touristy.  And it’s open 24 hours. Only a true Bostonian puts Bova’s over Mike’s.

3. Coolidge Corner Theatre. It shows classic movies, foreign films, documentaries and sci-fi features. From time to time there are new movies, but it’s fun to experience movies that aren’t typically shown in a theatre setting.

4. Maria’s Taqueria. Best Mexican food in Boston. It may look like a hole in the wall, but it’s a best-kept secret of the theatre district.

5. Raven Used Bookstore. One in Cambridge and one in the Back Bay area, it’s a great place to find your next read. Buy a book and go read it outside! Date day with yourself.

6. Dumpling Café. Hands down the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Get soup dumplings, and your life will never be the same

7. Bella Luna. It’s a restaurant in Jamaica Plain with a bowling alley downstairs. It’s definitely not touristy, and a lot of fun.

 

Of course you could always walk on the Common, do the Freedom Trail, look in graveyards for some of Boston’s historical figures, explore Harvard yard… but let’s be honest. Most of us have done these things within our first month of college.

I hope these suggestions are helpful in your adventures during your last few weeks of classes, good luck on finals!

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

Hannah C.: Study Spaces

If you’re like me, always torn between the need to get work done and the desire to explore, you know the value of being on the lookout for new study spaces.  For me, studying in my dorm is impossible thanks to the fact that all my friends live on my floor, and Mugar gets monotous after several nights spent among its desks. Since my mind constantly wanders when I’m in a familiar setting, I often need a change of scenery in order to be productive.

 

After a semester and a half at BU, some of my best-kept secrets have been the uncommon study spots I’ve found throughout Boston.  So without further ado, here are my favorite places to study in and around BU.  You can thank me later.

 

1. Hogwarts-style studying

Bates Hall at Boston Public Library has been compared to Hogwarts for its majestic dome ceilings and long rows of tables.  It’s beautiful to say the least, and doing work alongside its bookshelves always makes me feel like a proper scholar.  It’s impossible to go in and out without having done some work.

 

2.  Trident Booksellers

Going to Trident means great food paired with great atmosphere.  Plus it’s an opportunity to venture to Newbury without breaking your wallet.  Chances are you’ll be in good company with other students who visit Trident to study, especially on the weekends.

 

3.  Coffeehouses

Starbucks in Kenmore Square and Pavement Coffeehouse on Comm. Ave. each offer a great place to read texts or write essays for the price of one cappuccino or latte.  Frequented by students, both spots makes it hard not to get to work done with people busy at laptops all around you as you enjoy your coffee.

 

4.  Rooms with a view

For East Campus students, the 9th floor of Kilchand Hall, and floor twenty-six of StuVi2 for those in West provide study lounges up and away from the noise.  Take a break from staring at your laptop screen to glance at the Charles or the city skyline from these lounges with spectacular views.

 

5.  Group study spaces

Need a little background noise to be productive?  The COM study lounge on the first floor is a great place to do work in between classes in a creative atmosphere; this is where groups meet and TAs hold office hours.  The first floor lounge of Kilachand Hall, open 24/7 to students, is a favorite setting for study groups as well.

 

6.  Smaller study spaces

Less room equals less people equals less distractions.  On the fifth and sixth floors of 100 Bay State, the tiny spaces with couches and chairs are perfect for quiet reading.  This is where meetings with Career Services take place, but if it’s empty it’s yours to claim for working.

Morgan: A Little Perspective from a Second Semester Senior

As I’m well in to my last semester of my senior year, I’ve started to reflect on my entire college experience. Being a transfer student, my experience might be somewhat a-typical. Two schools, two orientations, two different cities to explore, and two great groups of friends and tons of awesome professors who have helped shaped my life to what it is today. But the one thing that, when I look back I wish I did more of, was to document this entire experience.
Don’t get me wrong I have just as many Instagram pics of the Pru at sunset, Fenway Park in the summer, or the Common in the Fall as you do – but those aren’t the things you’ll need help remembering. What about the night before that snow day when you and your roommates decided to dance around in your PJ’s to pop hits circa 2002 while baking cookies and drinking hot chocolate until approximately 4am? Or the time the Red Sox won the World Series and you ran down to Kenmore Square to scream and celebrate with the rest of this awesome city? Or that time your club did something super cool like a big performance or created something cool or WHATEVER. The point is, these are the experience that you can only ever have in college – right now where you are.
As we’re getting all caught up in this exam and that class and that project and whatever roommate who you’re fighting with this week, we forget to appreciate this time and this experience.
So basically what I’m getting at is, take more pictures, videos, and even screenshot those hilarious Tweets you may want to look back on someday. 30 years from now you’re not going to want to remember the exam you took on February 12th for the psychology class you needed to graduate, but you’ll probably want to remember how you celebrated after.

Tyler: I Swear It Wasn’t Like This Before

When I got off the plane from London at Logan Airport two months ago, I gleefully welcomed the frigid weather. It was unbearable and exposure to the wind caused concerning pain to my face and hands, but it confirmed that I was home.

 

Don’t get me wrong — spending the fall semester studying abroad in England was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. And that was exactly the problem. I didn’t want to leave at all, but I’d accomplished my academic and research goals and completely run out of money. So, I had come to accept that it was time to get back to campus where I can focus more directly on working toward a career without being distracted by travel, a different social dynamic, and the whimsy of simply being elsewhere.

 

I take it back. I’d become accustomed to such a routine lifestyle of extremes in London. My time was spent in lengthy periods of either sitting quietly and nervously in a massive historical library or taking taxis, buses, trains, and planes to the new coolest place I’d ever been in my life. Classes ran once or twice a week. The weather was a comfortable, albeit often rainy, 50 degrees every single day. Plane tickets cost $40. I could drink legally!

 

Nothing feels right in Boston — the city in which I’ve lived practically all my life. I’m no longer on a cultural crash course disguised as a vacation. It’s not easy realizing that what I learn and accomplish in the next year very much decides how I spend the rest of my life. It’s not easy reverting to prudent financial habits. Fortunately, friends and family remain constant regardless of where I spend my time, and returning to those at home has certainly helped me realize what, or who, truly drives me to achieve my goals.

Hannah H: The Boston Bucket List

Over the past few weeks I’ve received some great news that is really going to impact my time at BU next year. My best friend (and sometimes my greatest nemesis) is moving to Boston this summer. My older sister, Madison, is graduating from college this June and then she’ll be headed my way to take on Boston with me.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from her impending arrival, it’s how much I still have to do here in Boston. She’s constantly rattling off ‘we should try this’ or ‘let’s do that when I get there.’ It’s like she’s more familiar with the city than I am lately. For this reason, I’m really making an effort to get out into the city this semester, take the time to familiarize myself with the areas I don’t spend as much time in, and branch out.

An aide to this exploration is actually my Production 1 class. All Film and TV students have 4 required courses: Production 1, Understanding TV, Understanding Film and Screenwriting. Production 1 familiarizes students with different equipment and editing software. Another aspect of the class is filming 3 different ‘short film’ projects over the semester. While it’s a lot of work outside the classroom, it’s also a great excuse to get off campus and into Boston. I’m only three weeks in and I’ve already had so much fun going into the north end and over to the financial district to scout locations for my projects. It’s also helping me find a few things I’m excited to try with Maddie when she arrives too.

While she still doesn’t understand that an apartment in the north end isn’t in walking distance to my classes on campus or that the t is our public transportation system not just a letter in the alphabet, she’s still teaching me a lesson or two. It’s going to be hard to sacrifice some of my binge-TV time (which I’m sure she indulges in just as much as I do) but I’m excited to dive into our little, (or not so little) Boston Bucket List together.

Lauren: Confessions of an A Cappella Girl

Remember that scene in the movie “Pitch Perfect” when the a cappella groups were performing in a huge competition on a national stage with awesome choreography and exciting songs?

That’s going to happen this Saturday at BU.  I repeat THIS SATURDAY.

And I’ll be there.  But I won’t just be attending.  I’ll actually be singing and dancing on stage with the 13 other amazingly talented girls in my a cappella group.  We’ve spent the last few weeks practicing our set list and we’re beyond excited to be competing against some of the best a cappella group in the New England area.

It’s been a long road to the quarterfinals.  We first had to submit a 10-minute video to show off our group’s performance style and musically ability.  Once we were accepted, we were beyond excited.  After hours of arranging songs, teaching music and learning choreography, we finally feel ready to show the crowd, and the judge, what we’re made of.

To be honest, this journey to the ICCAs has taught me a few important lesson:

1. Leader by Example

As music director, I’ve found that the best way to motivate the members of my group and get them excited is to be excited. I always try to have a positive attitude because it rubs off on people.  If you’re respectful toward others and work together with your group, they will emulate your behavior!  Nothing speaks louder than how you act, what you do and how your treat other people.

2. Be Realistic, But Never Lower Your Expectations

                  Everyone needs a break sometimes.  I can’t have my group rehearse for 7 hours straight, so I try to think realistically about what we can accomplish with the time we have together.   But that doesn’t mean I lower my expectations.  I still expect the girls to work hard and take rehearsal seriously.  I still expect us to sound fantastic and look like we’re having fun.  I know that a cappella is not our entire life, but I still want us to be proud of what we look and sound like when we sing on stage.  I try to push the members of my group to be better, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how they rise to the occasion.

3. Never Shy Away from a Challenge   

The ICCAs are in no way “mandatory” for any group, and it requires a lot of time and effort.   Many groups choose not to participate because of the stress and pressure.  But sometimes, the most difficult and time-consuming challenges can be the most rewarding.  Having this opportunity has not only brought our group together and made us closer, but it has also helped myself, and the other members of my a cappella group, grow as leaders.  Plus, we can say we performed at the ICCAs.  How cool is that?

Personally, what I’m the most excited about is getting the chance to watch several groups rock it on stage.  While the road to ICCAs has been anything but easy, I’m proud to have the opportunity to work hard alongside my best friends.

Maria: Eat Your Way Through Boston

If you know me well, you know that I love food. I love making food, I love reading about food, but most importantly, I love eating food. Good thing for all foodies in Beantown, Boston has amazing places to eat, making it impossible to go hungry here. Whether you’re visiting BU and COM on a perspective student tour or you’re moving here, it’s good to know of some food options, because let’s face it – meals are the most important part of any day.

 

Eating out at restaurants can add up quickly, especially for a broke college student like myself. But when it’s a birthday, family or friends to come to visit, or you feel like splurging, it’s nice to explore new restaurants that may be on the more pricey side. Here are my favorite restaurants in Boston that are on both sides of the price spectrum (don’t worry, it’s nothing too expensive!).

 

Breakfast (a.k.a. my favorite meal of the day)

On the less expensive side: @Union, 174 Harvard Ave.

@Union is a small restaurant a few blocks west from BU’s West Campus. They serve breakfast all day, which is a plus for those who sleep until really late in the day, as well as lunch and dinner. All of the prices are extremely reasonable especially for the quality and quantity of the food of your meal. My suggestion: build-your-own omelet.

On the more expensive side: Stephanie’s, Newbury St.

Unfortunately Stephanie’s only serves brunch on the weekends, but it’s worth a trip. With its delicious food and decadent drinks, the menu goes beyond the typical scrambled eggs or plain French toast, also offering lunch options. And for those of you 21+, they have a huge check-list of what you’d like in a bloody Mary, with anything from shrimp to expensive vodka. My suggestion: pulled pork scramble.

 

Lunch

On the less expensive side: Scoozi Boston (580 Commonwealth Ave.) or Scoozi Newbury (237 Newbury St.)

Scoozi is a great option for lunch, offering anything from paninis and pizza to steak and seafood – and it’s not too pricey. Choose from either its location on Newbury Street if you’re out shopping for the day of its Kenmore location if you’re on campus looking for a change in pace from the dining hall. My suggestion: steak tips panini.

On the more expensive side: Union Oyster House, 41 Union St.

The longest continuing-running restaurant in the country, Union Oyster House is a quaint oyster house located along the Freedom Trail, making it a perfect pitstop if you’re walking along the trail. You can sense how fresh the food is there by the jumbo lobster tank placed right in the front of the restaurant. Try to sit in the famous booth, where President JFK’s booth “The Kennedy Booth” sits on the top level of the old oyster house. My suggestion: any of the oysters or lobster salad roll.

 

Dinner

On the less expensive side: Al Dente, 109 Salem St.

If you love food and you’re in Boston, you need to visit the North End. On a budget? Al Dente is a great place to stop in for dinner. You can’t go wrong with any of the delicious (and homemade!) pasta dishes. Make sure to bring an appetite, as all of the portions will fill you right up. My suggestion: gnocchi al dente.

On the more expensive side: Eastern Standard, 528 Commonwealth Ave.

Located near Scoozi Boston, Eastern Standard is a favorite steakhouse among BU students and their families. With everything from gourmet grilled cheese (I kid you not) to porterhouse, there’s something for everyone at Eastern Standard. My suggestion: seared Scottish salmon or grilled flat iron steak.

 

Hopefully my suggestions will serve as a helpful guide of where to eat when you’re eating out in Boston. If none of these restaurants suit your needs, you can look at Boston Magazine’s website with different restaurant suggestions. Enjoy!

Hannah C: Wicked Proud To Be A Terrier

I’ll just go ahead and let you know—being a student in Boston is wicked pissah. (Translation: really awesome.) Any Bostonian will tell you that, and I surely won’t be the last. If you’re exploring the COM website as I did a year ago, looking for more insight into BU, there’s a few things you should know about what sets BU apart from the rest. First and foremost, BU is located in the heart of the city known not only for its latest World Series win, but also for its reputation as a hub for higher education.

Earning a degree in Bean Town means being in the company of more than two hundred fifty thousand other students.  That’s something only Boston students can say about the city we call our second home. Boston is so widely populated with college students that it has been aptly dubbed America’s College Town.

Living and learning in a college town makes it possible to meet people from a variety of backgrounds. As a freshman new to college and to the city of Boston, I feel so lucky to spend time discovering what makes the city so unique while also finding common interests with students from all over the country and the world.

So far, during my first year, I’ve learned the meanings of New England phrases such as “wicked pissah” and the correct pronunciation of “clam chowder.” (It’s chow-dah). I’ve had the chance to get to know Boston and its residents when I interviewed them for articles for The Daily Free Press, BU’s student independent newspaper.

And at BU, I’ve met people from as close as my own hometown in New Jersey to as far as China, where my roommate calls home. My experiences meeting people at BU and throughout Boston have allowed me meaningful conversations with people I’d never had the opportunity to know otherwise.

Although I’m only one eighth of the way through college, I’ve had countless new encounters with people throughout the city, at BU, and from a dozen neighboring schools. And after countless introductions, I can sincerely attest to the unique pride that comes with the privilege of saying, “I go to Boston University.”

Kate: How To Dress for the Boston Winter

I have a morning ritual that includes checking my Weather Channel app from the warmth and coziness of my bed.  After a morning delay on campus because of Winter Storm Janis and a few texts from family members reminding me to wear a hat, I was a little nervous to see what today would bring.  High of 8 degrees with the windchill in the double digit negatives.  Woof.  While I love Boston, my answer for the tried and true question “What’s your least favorite thing about BU?” is the cold.

In the past, I always traded practicality for dressing cute (i.e. the time I wore cropped pants and loafers when the high was 3 degrees).  However, now that I’m a senior, I’ve accepted that dressing warm is only thing to get me through the below freezing, snowy, blistery, icy weather that comes with a Northeast winter.  And here are my four rules for survival.

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Rule #1: Invest in a long coat.  I came to college with one of those michelin man, short North Face down coats without a hood and that was potentially the biggest mistake of my young college career.  Not only did I often come home with snow-soaked hair but the wind always found a way to blow up my back which was just not appealing.  Christmas of my sophomore year, I invested in the longer version above and have never looked back.  Pick one with a detachable hood and maybe even a fashionable little waist tie and you’ll be happy as a clam.

Rule #2: You can never have enough scarves.  I’m a scarf horder. You can’t really see it in this picture but I am currently wearing a massive, knit infinity scarf that has been my life saver in Boston.  Sometimes I walk around with it wrapped over my head and around my face and let me tell you, it is very warm.

Rule #3: Wool socks are back in style.  Freshman year, my dad bought me wool socks and I scoffed.  Three years later, I’m biting my tongue.  I even purchased these J.Crew Camp Socks in every color during an after Christmas sale.  Warmth is always stylish.

Rule: #4: Snow boots are a must.  After three years of pretending that my leather riding boots would get me through winter (shocker…they don’t), I finally bought a Northeastern favorite, L.L. Bean Duck Boots, seen here.  I am in love. They are great for snow, rain, and ice and keep me from wiping out on slick spots down Comm Ave.

And there you have it folks. Don’t end up like me, spending your first time three years as an icicle.  Practical is always fashionable.