As the semester winds down, most students are preoccupied with final exams, projects, and papers and often forget how beautiful the city of Boston is during this time of year. Although academic assignments are of the utmost importance, take some time to explore and cherish the city during the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite places to visit and activities to do in Boston during the month of December:
Ice Skate on Frog Pond
When the air gets cold enough, Frog Pond in Boston Common freezes over and is open to the public for free skate. For $5 you can spend the afternoon skating around with your friends in the middle of the Commons and experience the park in a whole new way.
This historical landmark is beautiful at this time of year as it’s lit up with lights and holiday decorations. Enjoy the festive scenery and grab a bite to eat at Quincy Market.
Boston Ballet Nutcracker
Performed at the Boston Opera House, the Boston Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker is always a treat!
Downtown Crossing Holiday Market
Explore the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market and you’ll find local artists and designers selling everything from crafts, jewelry, to holiday decorations and treats. You might also find Santa Claus roaming around the market as well!
Best of luck wrapping up the academic semester and happy holidays, everyone!
It’s that time of the year. Time for major investments in flashcards, increased coffee consumption, and constant professor office hour visits. Students are on the prowl for nice study spots and BU has a lot of options with open space.
Tips for selecting your study spots: try to stay away for the most common study spaces available such as Mugar Library and the Student Villages. Granted that the view of Boston is exceptional, the Student Villages offer extraordinary views of this Commonwealth. However, it is COMmon knowledge that congested congregations make it hard to study individually due to volume levels and the rarity of finding comfortable sitting. Here are five calm and effective study places for final exam preparation.
5. Mugar Library
Mugar Library is a very feasible place to study if you arrive early. The library’s convenience to the George Sherman Union makes small snack and lunch breaks likely. Claiming a cubby or small group table can get a bit iffy though! Be sure to select your spot before the huge influx of students pour in.
4.Shelton 9th and 1st floor areas
In contrast to StuVi’s, the 9th floor of Shelton is less clustered. The riverside view of Cambridge is phenomenal. No other way to watch the sunset and sunrise while reviewing notes.
3. Boston Public Library
Enjoy the reading room on the second floor of the Boston Public Library. Be sure to collect your thoughts and take a look at the massive open room with huge dome ceilings that share similarities to a museum.
2. Trident Bookstore
Located near Newbury Comics, Trident provides great vibes that assist in thought recollection and help tone down test anxiety. Be sure to keep an open ear out for samples of song bites from around the world.
1. Law Annex
Certainly forgotten around campus, the Law Annex has tons of lengthy tables equipped with outlets. This factor plays a crucial role in study selection. If you want to be completely isolated from others around campus this is your place!
There is no denying it—the three weeks that follow Thanksgiving are always the busiest and most stressful of the semester. This is the time to meet deadlines for papers and projects before reading week and final exams arrive. For me, this is not only my busiest semester ever, but my busiest post-Thanksgiving/December. I believe the essentials to powering through the rest of the semester are to stake out a few go-to study spots (mine are definitely 26th Floor of StuVi II and SMG Starbucks), squeeze in FitRec time and to find the perfect music for studying and writing papers.
Here is a list of my favorite songs that will serve as my soundtrack to upcoming study sessions:
“The Calm” by Drake
“Angels” by The xx
“Blue in Green” by Miles Davis
“Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones
“Pink Matter” by Frank Ocean and Andre 3000
“Wait” by M83
“Lay, Lady, Lay” by Bob Dylan
“Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Mix)” by Radiohead
“Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam” by Nirvana (MTV Unplugged in New York)
“Your Hand in Mine” by Explosions in The Sky
Even though its meant to be a time for giving and loving, I know that for most people, this time of the year can be incredibly stressful. Between studying and doing final projects and spending money on gifts and even the change of seasons, we all need to find a way to unwind, and that often means simply talking to someone.
The Behavioral Medicine wing of BU’s Student Health Services provides absolutely amazing support to students who may be going through a tough time, whatever it may be. While they also specialize in helping with body image, alcohol/drug, crisis, sexual health, and sexual/gender identify issues, their expertise in assisting students with academic issues, depression, sleep, and anxiety problems may be especially helpful this time of year.
The information or treatment that Behavioral Medicine offers students who decide to stop in help them understand that they aren’t alone in facing these issues, and help them take control of whatever the problem may be.
I urge you to seek help if you think you need some relief, and promise that you’ll find it helpful. If you want to make an appointment, you can call 617-353-3569, or check out the website for more information: http://www.bu.edu/shs/behavioral/.
Stay calm, stay peaceful, and be you.
Finals. Now, I’m sure you can relate to Boston University students as they cram, cry and complain about finals week, because whether you’re in college, high school or junior high, finals are just no fun.
But here at BU, we’ve realized some tips and tricks to survive the atrocity that is finals week, and I’m going to share them with you!
1. Sweat it out.
It’s been scientifically proven that working out helps decrease stress levels dramatically. Since BU students are very intelligent, we’ve figured that out, and for this reason, you’ll see an exceptionally packed Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec, our awesome gym) towards the end of the semester. So when you have a test and can’t read another word out of the textbook, give it a break; go for a run; lift weights at the gym; take a yoga class. It’ll give you a productive way to put off your work, and will actually help you out in the long run (beach season is coming up, after all!).
2. Find a buddy or two.
Studying in groups can be a great way to get work done. Get together with friends and perhaps other students from your classes to cover material for the tests. Living on specialty floors (like the COM floors in select BU Residence Halls!) can be extremely helpful for this! Have a question? Shoot over to your classmate who lives across the hall. You’ll be able to get another perspective on a topic that may need some clarification. Plus, the bit of distraction that comes with being with friends can be healthy after stuffing your mind with words or numbers all day.
3. Eat some yummy goods.
Finals can be a good time to overindulge in the most unhealthy way possible- but try not to allow yourself to do that! Eating tons of pizza, candy, and other heavy foods will only slow you down, making you more tired, anxious, and stressed. Instead, find light, healthy foods to accompany your late night study sessions. Instead of ordering Pizza Hut, grab some veggies and hummus or a bowl of fresh fruit. It will keep you more willing to get your study on because you won’t be regretting that 6 pound hamburger.
4. Fall in love with Boston all over again.
While I’m studying (especially on the 26th floor of Student Village 2!) I like to close my book or my laptop, and just look at the city I live in and love. After living in Boston you may start to take for granted the marvelous things around you. So allow yourself to be distracted for an hour or two. Stare at the beautiful Charles River. Take the T to a site you’ve never seen. You’ll give yourself the chance to clear your mind before a big exam, and will remind yourself why you love Boston.
Congratulations to all you accepted into the Class of 2016 here at BU! At this point in your senior year you may be bombarded with a lot of work. College decisions, prom preparations, senior events, AP exams, and even final exams coming around the corner may have you begging for summer. Trust me though, despite some last minute hard work on your part, these last weeks of high school will be incredibly fun and memorable. Before you know it you’ll be going to orientation, making new friends from around the country, and enjoying everything Boston has to offer!
Now, you may experience some of the same feelings in college nearing the end of your semester. With final exams and final papers, it’s no secret that college students also get stressed out.
However, one of my favorite things about majoring in COM is the absolute lack of final exams! Don’t get me wrong, for the year or two you’ll be mostly taking general education requirements, you will absolutely have final exams in some of your classes like any other student in the country. But, as a junior majoring in Film and Television, I can confidently say my specialized courses seem to always ask for final projects instead of final exams! (This also rings true for most other majors in COM). Think about it, you can’t really give a student a written test about how to carefully craft a film or construct a successful ad campaign?
As seniors in high school, you may not see the benefit in final projects over final exams just yet. (I, for one, was actually a great test taker and usually did better on my finals). But, trust me, you’ll learn to love it. Last year I only had one final during final week, and both semesters of this year I’ve had a grand total of ZERO finals!
When you’re planning to head back home for the holidays or planning a summer trip, that extra week and a half really comes in handy! This semester I’ll be finished with classes on May 2nd and heading over to France on May 8th!
Once you get into your advanced classes in COM, you’ll be the envy of all your other friends on campus! For now though, enjoy your senior year!
5. PAL Study Lounge in Mugar Library
I’m the type of person who needs background noise during my study seshs, so the complete silence of Mugar just drives me insane. PAL is the only area in the library where you can talk as loud as you want or unwrap that candy bar without getting glares of doom. During finals week last semester my friends and I crammed around a table in PAL over Arnold Palmers and string cheese and studied our little hearts out.
4. Espresso Royale Caffe
Whenever I have a burning desire to look intellectual as I measure out my life in coffee spoons (a.k.a. read T.S. Eliot), I go to the resident hipster caffe of East Campus. Note, ERC is not owned by BU, but while you are there you are bound to bump into someone for your philosophy class or one or two TAs. I basically lived at ERC last spring during finals week. My routine was to snag a small round table in the back, order a shot of espresso, and get into the zone with my studying while I listened to the indie music playing in the background. Side note, do yourself a favor ladies and use the bathroom at ERC. It’s not immaculately clean or anything, but the stall doors are covered with lyrics and lines from poems. Definitely an experience. Their spicy chai tea is also an experience.
3. COM Lawn
This study spot is only available in September and May when it’s warm, so take advantage! I chill in the grass with my friends in between classes and type up assignments. Let’s be real, studying on the COM Lawn results in mostly people-watching and taking in the sunshine, so save this spot for lighter studying or catching up on emails. COM Lawn days definitely require a pair of Ray Bans or intense, oversized shades alla Mary Kate and Ashley.
2. SMG Starbucks
This Starbucks is located on the second floor of SMG and is basically the watering hole for SMG students, but I spot a decent number of COM kids whenever I’m there. I go to SMG Starbucks to do homework three times a week on average. Make sure to get there at awkward hours, such as 5-10 minutes before and after classes generally begin, so you can get a coveted table by an outlet. Hands down you’ll find me here on most Sunday afternoons with a venti soy iced coffee and in my Sunday finest: leggings and a flannel button-down.
1. Hillel House
BU Hillel is located on Bay State Road, and probably the most beautiful building on campus. It may be the center for Jewish life at BU, but Hillel’s doors are open to all students. Late shameless plug alert: I work as a part-time receptionist Hillel, and it’s basically my second home here at BU. I am obsessed with this place. If I’m not in class or behind the reception desk, then you can find me doing work on the second floor in the student boardroom or in the library on the first floor. During finals week the building is open for extended hours and the fourth floor chapels turn into study spaces with round tables and a traveling “hydration station.”