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!

DJ: Summer Checklist

The summer in between high school graduation and my first semester at college was by far the best summer of my life. Since many of you reading this blog are about to embark on your last summer before stepping foot on Boston University’s campus in the fall, here are a few things that I did last summer that truly made it amazing and that I highly recommend you try as well:

 

Spend time with your friends without your cell phone

Since many people in my group of friends were going away to college, we knew that we had to make the most of the summer. Thus, we invented a game whenever we went out to a restaurant that prevented us from using our cell phones. We would put all of them in the center of the table in a pile, and the first person who touched his phone would have to pay the entire bill. Since all of the phones were together, when one phone vibrated, we had no one idea whose phone it was. Needless to say, no one ever touched their phones, but it was great truly being in the moment with friends instead of just being on our cell phones, since we knew our time together would soon end.

 

Spend an entire day at a lake or a beach

If there’s a lake or a beach near you, spend an entire day there. Just marvel at the beauty of nature. BU is a city-school, and although you can definitely find places to be with nature in Boston, there’s nothing like a warm day swimming, playing volleyball, and basking in the sun.

 

Read that book you never got around to reading

As an avid reader, one thing that I have found very difficult in college is finding free time to read. My roommate often notes that he brought ten books to college to read when he had free time, and has not managed to touch a single one all year. So, if there’s that one book you’ve always wanted to read and just never got around to doing it, now is the time to pick it up!

 

Spend time with your family

This might not sound like the most fun thing to do on this list, but it might be the most important. Yes, I know. Your parents can be very pestering and your siblings might get on your last nerves. However, in just a few months, you won’t see them everyday anymore. I understand that going out with your friends is extremely important, but don’t forget about your family this summer. You will miss all of them, even that one crazy aunt you have.

 

Travel around your hometown one last time

I grew up in a small-town in New Jersey, and I’ll admit it – I was one of those kids who spent all of high school impatiently waiting to get out of my town. However, in retrospect, my hometown gave me countless memories and truly made me the person I am today. The night before I left for BU, I got in my car and just drove around. I went down side-streets that I played on during snowstorms, I drove by my elementary school, I went past all of my friend’s houses that I spent numerous hours in, and I visited my high school football stadium one last time. Trust me, if you can drive around your hometown before you leave for the fall, you should do it. And while you do, remember this quote: “You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

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

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.49.15 PM

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.49.31 PM

 

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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.49.48 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.50.01 PM

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.

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:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.55.52 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.56.20 AM Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.56.13 AM

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!