Jamey: Reflecting on Heathers

If you talked to me between the beginning of the semester and April 8th, you almost definitely heard that I was directing a production of Heathers: The Musical. The project took up all of my free time with roughly 15-20 hours of rehearsal each week on top of production meetings, e-board check-ins, and staging sessions.
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I’ve wanted to direct my own musical since I was about 13 years old, so it was a dream come true when BU On Broadway gave me the opportunity to direct Heathers. I’ve been involved in theatre since I was very young, mostly as an actor, but I always knew that I eventually wanted to direct. I love taking on leadership roles and I’ve always been interested in the creative decisions that are involved with directing an entire production. However, I had no idea about the amount of decisions a director would have to make.
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Overall, Heathers was the best learning experience of my entire life. I was in charge of the entire production and I am very happy with how it went. I am so grateful for the 100-some students who helped me put my vision on the stage. BU On Broadway, and BU as a whole, has given me so many opportunities. I checked one more thing off my bucket list this semester.
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Daera: Finding My Home Away from Home

Greek life at BU makes up 13% of the student population. If you do the math, which I already did (although please take it with a grain of salt because it’s not my strong suit), that means there are about 2,000 students involved in that group. In the Alpha Xi chapter of Sigma Delta Tau, there are 150 girls. In the new member class, there are 41 girls. One of those girls, as of February 20th, 2018, is me.

When I started at BU, one of the first things I ever said was that I would never get involved in Greek life. All I knew about it was what I saw on TV, in shows like “Greek”, and in pictures that came across my social media feeds from my friends who went to big state colleges. For me, Greek life represented everything I didn’t want about my college experience; it seemed like it would limit my exposure to other people on campus and prevent me from joining clubs relevant to my major.

During my freshman year, I stuck to this promise and only joined clubs related to my major. I did WTBU, became a COM Ambassador, and participated and some other things here and there. After a while, however, I realized this wasn’t enough. Although I enjoyed everything I did, I hadn’t found my place on campus. By the time I settled into sophomore year, I realized my friends had found their home on campus during freshman year and I suddenly felt isolated. So, after a long conversation with my mother during Thanksgiving break, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for recruitment.

Going into recruitment, the only wish I had was to make friends in the process, even if I didn’t end up in a sorority. After the first day, my expectations were already exceeded. I found amazing friends just in the group that I went through the process with and felt like I could make a home in many of the chapters we have on campus. By the last day, I knew that no matter where I ended up, I had already made friends that would help me make my lasting mark at BU.

Getting my bid from my sorority was without a doubt one of the happiest days of my life. I instantly felt so loved and welcomed. That first night was a bit overwhelming and I instantly forget many of the names of the people I met, but I was instantly, absolutely certain I made the best choice for me. It’s only been a month, but I have never been happier on campus and I cannot wait to spend the next few years at home with my sisters.

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Lilah: The COMedy COMmunity

Over the last week, my improvisational comedy troupe, Liquid Fun, has been touring Chicago’s vast comedy scene. At Boston University, the comedy community welcomed me under its wings during the first few months. Since then, it has been the core of my social and academic experience. It always surprises me how many of us are in the College of Communications. Many of us, like myself, are Film and Television majors. I believe this is because comedy, specifically improv, crosses over with the television degree to a large extent.

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In Chicago, we frequently attended shows at Improv Olympic, known around town as iO.

Here, we saw the best of the best in terms of on-your-feet creativity and humor. It was very inspiring to see how successful people got at such a weird art form. I love improv, but it is extremely odd. I would not consider myself a great screenwriter, but improv helps a lot. For me, coming up with a script premise is extremely hard. However, I create about 10 scenes every time I have practice. So, it does push your creative side and forces you to form full story arcs within a short period of time.

Most of the players in these shows were pursuing acting, writing, and other careers related to film. I am thankful for the close relationship between TV, film, and comedy. I feel like, being in the comedy community, I also have a community of people within the TV/Film world that I can depend on in the future, either as friends or colleagues.

I will now gush about improv. Only having done it a year, I can feel that my personality has changed drastically, and for the better. Improv allows you to shed any hesitation you might have, and to go forward no matter what. This is extremely important when it comes to the entertainment business. When you are confronted with a situation that needs to be dealt with, it’s important to be able to stay calm, and to improvise. Because, and this is the truth (maybe not, I’m young, who knows), no one really knows exactly what they’re doing. So, being able to make do with whatever is in front of you is crucial in order to progress.

Aside from the business talk, I really do love improv. It is an amazing “sport”/”art” that is open to anyone who wants to try. In Chicago, there were events every night for the public. I have never laughed so hard, so many days in a row. That is why being in the comedy community is so integral to my life here at BU. I could not imagine not laughing as much as I do. When life is getting kind of rough, say, during finals week, you can depend on practice to lighten your day. No matter what is weighing you down, when you are doing improv, you let it I am utterly thankful for the friends I have made, and I cannot recommend these clubs enough for people coming to BU.

If you are coming to BU, or if you have already been at BU, and you have any inkling to do any sort of comedy, PLEASE DO! It is the best decision I have made here, and it will definitely continue on into my career. You will grow lifelong skills and values, and you will make friends that will challenge your wit and creativity. In COM, you will be surrounded by people who are involved in many of the groups on campus. The two work beautifully hand in hand, and it will serve you well as you progress in this track!

Shaun: Sword making, or, the Importance of a Major/Career-Related Extracurricular

My high school track coach always said that freshmen were like the beginnings of a good sword: useless, worthless hunks of metal. They have no idea what they want to do, he would tell us, much less what they should or should not do. So they try everything; things they’re good at, things they’re definitely bad at, and everything in between. Freshmen are stupid, he said — and that’s what makes them great. They take the biggest risks, and they fail most of the time, and they really consider quitting. But once they find that thing that makes them come back for another day, either because they’re good at it or because they love it or both, it makes all the stupid first-year pragmatism worth it.

At this point it’s time to start making the sword, and the worthless, first-year piece of metal gets thrown into the fire. Day in and day out the metal is casted and molded, then casted and remolded again, until it’s strong enough to be brought out onto the anvil. Now the metal is hammered out, then it’s plunged into ice water, then hammered again, and again, until a sword is finally taking shape. In time the metal is remarkably strong, and it starts to be sharpened. Subtle and precise refinements form the edges that make the sword so effective and powerful. Some four years later, it’s spring of senior year, and what was once a shapeless clump of metal has been forged into a tool of absolute and utter destruction. The process was lengthy, and it was difficult. But it pays off. The result is something unstoppable, something purposeful, and above all, something of which you’re incredibly proud.

Sword-making is a really good metaphor for track and field, but I think it’s a really good metaphor for college, too. Freshman year on campus is the time to embrace the hunk of metal status. It’s the time to try everything, and be bad at things, and be stupid, because that’s the only way to find your thing. For me, that thing was The Daily Free Press; for you, it could be literally anything (we’re at BU, people — don’t tell me you can’t find an extracurricular). And once you have that thing, throw yourself into the fire. If you’re already in the fire, keep throwing yourself in. Hammer yourself into shape. Sharpen your edges with internships and study abroad and classes you love. Four years will go by in a blur. But you’ll come out of this workshop we call Boston University a tool of destruction ready to conquer your field and, if you’re feeling up to it, the entire freaking world.

And please, don’t be afraid of failing. The fire will always be there.

xoxo,

Shaun

Rachel: Why Industry Conferences Are Important For College Students

PR AdvancedIf you have spent any time with me in the past two months, you have probably heard me talk about “The Conference.” “The Conference” is PR Advanced: It Starts Now, a regional conference for communication students that I was not originally involved in planning, but took on at the end of last semester. It has been looming over me the past few months especially, and I have been working my butt off to make it successful because I whole heartedly believe that conferences are so important for students, both undergrad and grad.
Here is why I think it is important to attend industry focused conferences while you are still in school:
1. Adding to Your Education
Most industry conferences include speaker sessions where an “expert” or “influencer” will talk about what they have done to be successful in their career. This is super beneficial for students because you can use speakers’ tips to help you.
2. Networking Networking Networking
Not only are you meeting new people at conferences, both peers and professionals, and broadening your personal and professional network, but you are also improving your networking skills. “Networking” sometimes feels undefinable, but all it is is forming relationships with people and leaving a good impression. That does not always come naturally or happen with every interaction, so conferences are the perfect environment for you to try out different approaches to networking.
3. Jobs and Internships
Conferences usually include some kind of exhibition or career fair. If you attend a conference specifically aimed at students, like the one I am planning for this Saturday (EEP!), there will usually be a career fair with company actively recruiting interns and entry level employees. If you go to a conference that is more aimed at professionals already in the industry, there is usually still an exhibition where you can make connections and tell people you are student looking for opportunities to learn more about working in the field.
4. Free Swag
This is not super important, but a fun part of conferences is getting free stuff! Most conferences will give little keepsakes to attendees that are both useful and a way for you to remember your experience. For example, we are giving out pens, folders, candy, granola bars and more fun stuff at our conference.
5. Making Yourself a More Desirable Job Candidate
Most of us are at school to eventually get a job, and we are constantly looking for ways to set ourselves apart from other candidates. Attending a conference gives you a whole set of skills you wouldn’t have otherwise, and it is something you can talk about during interviews to show that you have those skills and are invested in your career enough to take those extra steps to become a better professional.

Frank: Four of the Worst Tracks of 2017

2017 was… a time. A lot of things happened. We made some friends. We learned a couple of new things. We had some fun. We also listened to a lot of songs— many of them so overplayed, and so downright terrible they deserve to be buried for eternity and never brought back. Here’s some songs that should definitely stay in 2017.

Imagine Dragons: Believer

I’ll be the first to admit it: Imagine Dragons has some legit bangers. Demons and Radioactive are mighty good tracks. But Believer is not a banger; it’s absolutely not a banger at all. This song is bottom of the barrel, generic trash. I honestly cannot stand this song— it’s grating, it’s annoying, and it’s still being played in Jeep car commercials 10 months after its release. 

Lil Pump: Gucci Gang

A chorus can make or break a song. But sometimes, like in the case of Gucci Gang, it can utterly and fundamentally destroy it. Pump says ‘Gucci Gang’ a total of 53 times in this song. 53. Let that sink in. That’s 52 more times anybody should say the words “Gucci” and “Gang” together in a sentence. Yet, everybody went with it. Everywhere you’d go those two words would follow. Gucci. Gang. Gucci. Gang. Make it stop.

Ed Sheeran: Shape of You

Genius describes this song as an island-tinged smash. I say it’s more of an island-tinged limp, a stagger from beginning to  end. Sheeran’s unmotivated singing makes for an uninteresting listening. Pair that with an irritating and incessant marimba and you’ve got yourself an incredibly annoying song. If just hearing the song doesn’t make you wanna hate it, listen to one of the millions of parodies it got. Oh, you’ll hate it then. You’ll despise it.

Katy Perry: Bon appétit

Bon appétit is probably one of the most monotonous and boring songs I’ve heard all year. It’s filled to the brim with innuendos that only immature middle school students can appreciate. The chorus is grating, the beat is wack, everything is wrong. Not even Migos could save this one. More like Bon no thank you pls. 

Now this list, sure isn’t comprehensive. I’m pretty sure some even more terrible tracks flew under my radar. But you know what? Some pretty good music also got released in 2017! And if you’re one of those people that like good music, why not tune into WTBU Radio? WTBU is BU’s very own college radio station, broadcasting from 6am to 2am! WTBU’s got a show for every genre out there, from alternative and indie to jazz and ska. Tune in at wtburadio.org or download the WTBU app! 

Emma: Ode to AdLab

I feel like, somehow over the past year and a half, my being in AdLab has become essential to my identity at BU, and honestly, I’m pretty okay with it. It’s my go-to conversation topic in interviews, a meeting place of some of the most admirable people I know in COM, and my favorite location to spend the entirety of every Monday. As I kick off my final semester at BU (gross, lets not go there), I feel like I owe AdLab an immense debt of gratitude, despite our various ups and downs.
AdLab, for those of you who don’t know, is BU’s student-run advertising agency, the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, I might add. You are eligible to join the agency for school credit, after completing Intro to Advertising (CM317). Despite the “student-run” addition to the description, AdLab is an actual full-service ad agency that tackles real business problems for brands all over the world (check out our fancy new site!). Our client list includes staples of the BU community, like BUPD, local Boston businesses, nonprofits, and even large, big-name clients like Acura. With AdLab, you also have access to an extensive alumni network, and the guidance of our amazing faculty advisors, Tobe Berkovitz and Pegeen Ryan, two of the most prominent names in their fields.
I could probably go on about AdLab’s impressive history for days, but instead of boring you, I’ll cut to the chase. What you get out of AdLab can be invaluable to your career in advertising, even if you come in with no experience at all. I joined AdLab green as can be, wanting to be an Planner. Despite this, I was assigned to a team as an Account Executive, meaning I was the liaison between our client and creative team. This would become my most challenging task of the semester, and I’m pretty sure people stopped asking me how I was because they knew they’d have to hear about my AdLab struggles like trying to motivate the team, battling different work styles, and handling creative perspectives from AdLabbers of all levels.
Once our work was submitted and the semester was over, though, I realized that all of the struggles I’d faced over the past few months had been worth it. I now had a better sense of what my strengths were in an agency setting, I’d acquired a host of new management styles, and had worked hard enough to earn the respect of the executive board and our faculty advisors. AdLab was a great place to learn from mistakes, of which I made dozens, and I came out of my first semester feeling like I had something to offer the industry. And yeah, as I mentioned, at times, AdLab can be be challenging, but group work among creative people always is. But you will never regret learning how to be better equipped at managing these situations, regardless of the career path you choose.
Trying to gain experience in a competitive industry, while also being a student, can seem like an overwhelming task, but I am here to tell you that COM makes this entirely possible with organizations like AdLab, PRLab, and handfuls of others at your disposal. You have so much to gain from giving it a try, even if you’re on the fence about an advertising concentration.
I’m excited to see where AdLab is headed in my final semester (especially since an alum just donated a 3D printer) but even more so, I’m excited to spend my Mondays working hard on projects I care about with people I learn so much from. If there’s anything I can wish upon anyone with time left at BU, it’s that they too find a place where they experience the same feelings and motivations.

Carlee: Which COM club should you join this semester?!

Take this quiz to find out which club is best for you! Whether you are looking for a new club to join or simply want to see which COM club suits you best, answer these 10 questions for a result!

1. You have an hour to kill in between classes, what do you do with your time

a. Grab a bite at the dining hall or the GSU to meet up with friends!

b. Watch an episode of the series I am currently binging

c. Catch up on some school work or check my social media accounts to see what’s going on

d. Call my parents because I love talking to them!

 

2. How concerned are you with the way you dress?

a. Very concerned

b. Only a little concerned

c. I dress to impress when I find it necessary

d. I don’t care how I look as long as I feel good

 

3. Most of your friends in COM are studying…

a. Public Relations/Advertising

b. Film & TV

c. Journalism

d. Mass Communications

 

4. You have a WHOLE day to yourself (unusual, I know); how do you spend your day?

a. Taking the T to Newbury for some good food and shopping

b. Going to the movies to see those two Academy Award-nominated films I’ve been dying to see

c. Visiting some or the historic, fun locations around Boston (like The Boston Public Library, the Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, etc.)

d. Anything that my friends are down to do with me!

 

5. What is your favorite media platform for storytelling?

a. Social media

b. Film

c. Print

d. Music

 

6. .What is the first TV show you flip to when you’re browsing through channels?

a. Gilmore Girls, Friends, Jane the Virgin, or the Bachelor!

b. Whatever is all the rage at the moment (Big Little Lies, How to Get Away with Murder, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, etc.)

c. The news for sure

d. The Office, Parks and Recreation, or any great comedy!

 

7. Your professor assigns you a paper to write and you can write about anything you’d like; what topic would you choose?

a. Lifestyle (travel, food, or anything else that I love)

b. The plot of one of my favorite movies; I have so much to say

c. Trump’s latest decision regarding immigration

d. I could see myself writing about anything, so whatever is on my mind this week!

 

8. What is your favorite app?

a. Twitter

b. Netflix

c. Facebook

d. Spotify

 

9. Which study-abroad location would you choose through COM?

a. London

b. Los Angeles

c. Dublin

d. Sydney

 

Your COM soulmate is…

a. Attractive, kind, and adventurous

b. Artsy and has a lot in common with myself

c. Woke!

d. Friendly and can talk about the meaning of life with me

Mostly A’s

Your talents would be very appreciated at the BU Buzz! This group of people is so fun to hang around with all while writing about the beautiful things in life. From campus to wellness, this magazine just about covers it all. They would love to have your spontaneous and positive attitude on their team. The mag’s content expands to various forms of multimedia also, producing year-round content on their website along with one printed version each semester. In their words, “The Buzz is more than a magazine; it’s a vehicle that embodies Boston University’s population by showcasing work that is completely student produced and student run.” Check them out at https://www.thebubuzz.com!

Mostly B’s

You should so join a BUTV10 show, or if you are already involved, partake in another! BUTV10 would appreciate your enthusiasm for the craft of storytelling as well as your openness to learn everything you need to know about tech equipment! You would have the time of your life getting to explore the endless possibilities through one of the shows on the network. Offering shows in news, drama, sports, comedy, and lifestyle, BUTV10 has something for everyone. Your talents and your passion could surely find a home here. Explore all that BUTV10 has to offer at http://www.butv10.com!

Mostly C’s

The Daily Free Press would surely welcome your skills with open arms. This independent student newspaper would put your talents to great use, with your keen eye for newsworthiness and outstanding creativity. “The Freep” covers news, sports, opinions, and other columns while establishing a professional atmosphere for its writers. Since the paper publishes digitally every day and in print every Thursday, you will also stay completely up to date on important events throughout Boston and internationally. The Daily Free Press would love your integrity. Read up on some of their stories at http://dailyfreepress.com!

Mostly D’s

WTBU radio would LOVE to have you. You are such a fun person to hang out with and any show on air would be lucky to have you. Broadcasting live 20 hours a day, this radio station will always give you something to talk about on air. Howard Stern himself worked as a DJ on the station in the ‘70s. Anything is possible with WTBU. From interviews, to live music, to discussions, to the news, there is always something to listen to and join in on in the WTBU station. Members make lifelong friends here, and your bright personality and enthusiasm would be a fabulous fit. Listen in at http://sites.bu.edu/wtbu/!

 

I created this quiz because I truly love all that COM has to offer, and what better way to highlight these amazing, fun, co-curricular activities than by creating a very Buzzfeed-like quiz? I know everyone can appreciate a Buzzfeed quiz from time to time. I often find myself taking random online quizzes instead of studying, because quizzes are clearly the more fun option; you can learn a lot about yourself through a simple Buzzfeed quiz and this is the truth. If you are not already involved in any of these COM-oriented clubs, I highly recommend it!! I have heard nothing but great things about each of these four clubs included in the results. If you are reading this and you are already involved in any of these clubs, I’m sure you cannot deny that you love it. Even if you are not a COM student, all of these clubs will welcome you. I hope you all have the time of your life this semester in your co-curriculars and beyond!

 

CA Disclaimer: This is only a small sampling of the great clubs COM has. Check them out here!