I write this post as I sit in the control room at CONAN on my last day. I leave LA on Saturday and while my time here has been a bit of a roller coaster, I’m so glad I decided to spend my final semester of college out here in California. After three and a half amazing years in Boston at BU, I felt it was time to begin my transition from college to my career. The BU Los Angeles program is designed exactly for that. We intern during the day and have class three days a week in the evening. But these aren’t your typical classes—we have mostly speakers to teach us about the industry. There isn’t really homework, there aren’t any tests. This is an industry immersion.
And I’m now sure my future is bright.
College is a crazy time. You’ll meet lifelong friends and lose some others. You’ll be thankful for your newfound freedom and you’ll miss home. You’ll try new things and fall into old habits. You’ll stay up until 3 in the morning laughing with your roommates and turn to those same people when you experience hardship and heartbreak. There aren’t many constants during this time in your life, but for me, the one constant has been COM.
COM showed me the way when I arrived on campus eager to start writing about sports within 30 seconds. COM introduced me to my roommates, one of whom I met through BU’s independent newspaper, the Daily Free Press, and another whom I befriended within the first month of college. COM allowed me to grow and adapt to a constantly changing journalism landscape through its robust curriculum. I got experience at the anchor desk, as the producer of a live half-hour newscast and as a reporter for the largest tech conference in the world in Las Vegas. COM gave me a second home at Undergraduate Affairs, where I’ve worked alongside some of the most dedicated and compassionate people in the building.
And the COM Ambassador program has introduced me to so many driven, passionate and caring people that remind me every day why I chose COM almost four years ago. I’ve loved the experience of mentoring incoming freshmen and showing them the ropes; some have become my closest friends at BU. To my fellow CAs, thank you for inspiring me with your talent and creativity. COM really is like a family. Everyone in the building, from your classmates to your professors, is there to support you as you chase your dreams.
During my time as a COM Ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to explain to families from around the country why I love COM. And it’s not that difficult a task. I fell in love with COM the second I took a tour of the building during senior year of high school. As I write my final COM blog post just over a month before graduation, it’s only fitting that it happens to be the same day as the COM open house.
I’ve worked open houses since my freshman year in high school, and I remember how impactful my COM open house was. I’m still good friends with two of the kids I sat next to that day. Listening to Professor McKeen lead the journalism department presentation at today’s open house for the class of 2022 (WOW) made it feel like my COM journey had truly come full circle.
I heard him talk about all the professional opportunities at COM, BU’s strong relationship with major media companies in Boston and some of the work of our exceptional faculty. I saw myself in a wide-eyed freshman as he asked what sports journalism opportunities are available here. The answer is plenty. And side note: COM just hired a local sportswriting celebrity – Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston and formerly of WEEI. Holley’s hiring is just another example of COM’s commitment to providing their students with only the best.
McKeen’s speech resonated with me when he told prospective students and future journalists that “journalism is the purest form of public service because you’re giving people the information they need to survive.” This passion and fervor for the field excites me every day I walk into COM, and gives me the confidence to pursue a career in the news industry.
A soon-to-be member of the class of 2022 told me today at the open house that I was part of his decision to apply early decision to BU. My face lit up. This is why we do what we do. I’m excited for that student, and quite frankly, after the open house, I wish I were in his shoes. I wish I could come to COM, pick a COM ambassador and do it all over again. But my time is almost over, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m thankful every day that I chose COM, and I know it’ll always be home.
Well, I’ve already cried just thinking about writing this. So let’s bring on the water works. As I’m writing this, it’s 47 days until graduation and I’m a grateful, happy, yet nervous ball of stress. I really don’t know if I can put into words how important COM is to me and how it has shaped my college experience. I would not be the woman (BU Boss Lady, perhaps) I am today without the friendships, love, and support from within my school. COM is my home and will hold a very special place in my heart.
I walked into BU knowing I wanted to double major in Film and Television and Advertising. And now I am so close to finishing that dream. There have been changes to that dream along the way. I came in knowing I wanted to be a producer, but I rediscovered my love for production and found a new confidence behind the camera. Confidence and new skills that have opened so many doors in Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Los Angeles.
I used to joke that I spent more time in 640 Comm Ave than in my own dorm. And while that’s an exaggerated truth, COM has really been my home. From the late night editing sessions to the early morning radio shows, my heart swells when I think of this wonderful building full of storytellers. You’ve brought me so much joy and the best experiences and friendships a girl could ask for. And now as my story is changing, I have to say thank you.
To my lifelong friends:
From the day one friendships to the London clique, I could not be more lucky to have such amazing, creative, and powerful friends. These are people who not only make me laugh and smile, but they inspire me with their creativity and non-stop hard work. These are the people that will not only be my friends for life, but on my board of directors one day. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for each and everyone of you. And I know it will be amazing!
Thank you for being the strongest group of people I know. You’ve taught me how to bounce back and have given me life long friendships. You’ve been here for me through the 6am show tunes, pop culture fan girling, and even 2am half yawn half smiles. You truly are the Beat of Boston University and I can’t thank you enough for providing a platform for so many voices.
To the BU Boss Ladies:
That was a wild ride and boy I am I so lucky to have worked alongside all of you. You are the most incredible group and I am amazed by how you create such a balance with professionalism and passion.
To COM Undergraduate Affairs:
Thank you for always being a source of happiness in my life. I have never once dreaded going to work. Instead, I looked forward to laughing so hard I’d fall out of my chair and gaining the inside scoop on my beloved school. Thank you for also being there during the highs and the lows. You are the best support system.
To the COM Ambassador program:
I don’t know what to say. Thank you for being my outlet and for giving me a family. I never thought I’d find such a passionate group of people who love COM so much, but you all make me fall in love with this school and you every day.
So, thank you COM for everything. I love you with all of my heart.
I only have a little more than two months left on Comm. Ave. as a student, and as exciting as that may seem, it’s also pretty daunting. No less daunting, though, than first arriving on campus as a freshman. The feelings I’m having now as I look for my first job are the same ones I felt in the fall of 2014 – anxious, scared, uneasy, unsure. But not to worry. If you’re new to BU, I’ve got some tips for you. Below are 10 quick tips I’ve picked up along the way that I think would be useful for any BU freshman, or any BU student for that matter.
1. Get a semester T Pass
You may think, “Oh, Comm. Ave. is walkable, I’ll never need to take the T.” Wrong. As unreliable as the MBTA is, it’s indispensable for any BU student. Especially now that I live in West campus, taking the T to COM on a time crunch is the way to go. It’s cheaper than buying a pass every month, and if you plan on doing a lot of traveling around the city, it pays for itself quickly. Be on the lookout early, though. I’ve missed the deadline a few times because it’s just before the semester starts.
2. The “freshman dorms” are your friends
I was unsure about Warren Towers and West campus when I first arrived at BU, but I shouldn’t have been. I spent my first year in a brownstone on Bay State Road, and while I loved that space for its peace and quiet during study time, I made my best friends at Warren and spent a great chunk of my free time there. Being on a floor with so many of your classmates is super valuable – make the most of it. Keep your door open and don’t be afraid to make new friends.
3. Join BU On Broadway
One of my only regrets about my college career is that I didn’t join BU On Broadway sooner. It’s an amazing group with amazing people, and the perfect outlet for any theater geek to continue their high school passion in college. Semesters only get busier when you become an upperclassman, so make the most of your free time as a freshman and get onstage.
- COM swipe access is a major key
Though COM students now have access to the entire Adobe Suite, if you’re like me, you prefer to do your editing in COM. I bet you’re thinking, “But I thought COM closes at nine, Nick…” And while that’s technically true, with swipe access you’ll be able to get into COM later and finish any work. Just get a professor’s sign-off and go see the tech-guru himself, Brad Fernandes in room 102. You’ll thank me later.
- Don’t be afraid to take classes in other colleges
With the BU Hub on its way, taking classes across colleges at BU has never been more attractive for COM students. I only took the necessary classes outside of COM to fulfill my major and minor, but I know there are a few classes in CFA I would have loved to explore. Don’t make the same mistake. And thanks to BU’s pass/fail policy, you really have no excuse not to take that music theory course you’ve been eyeing.
6. 26th floor of Stuvi2 & 6th floor of Mugar are ideal study spots
This one took me awhile to perfect, and while I’m ashamed to admit it, I hadn’t studied in Stuvi2 until junior year. The views of the Charles River and downtown Boston from the 26th floor are truly the best in the entire city. And the sixth floor of Mugar is one of the only places in the library that isn’t constantly packed. I don’t mind the view from up there, either. Hey, it beats studying in your dorm.
- Take advantage of all the great events BU has to offer
In just the past month, I’ve seen Obama’s White House photographer and took part in a discussion about media in the age of Trump featuring the executive producer of POLITICO podcasts. This is just a sampling of some of the events going on around campus that interest me, and things are happening every day. During my freshman year I generally kept my head down and studied, and while there’s a time for that, be careful not to miss some of the extraordinary opportunities here through COM, the Howard Thurman Center and BU at large.
8. Don’t miss the Power of Narrative Conference
Journalism majors and anyone who loves a good story – this is a must. Every march BU hosts this unique conference featuring some of the finest narrative journalists in the world. It’s an opportunity to meet industry leaders and strengthen your storytelling skills. This year’s guests include ESPN’s Don Van Natta (BU alum), Emily Steel of the New York Times and longtime NYT feature writer Sonny Kleinfield.
9. U-Grill is a Hidden Gem
Though it’s only about a three-minute walk from COM, it took me until sophomore year to discover University Grill & Pizza. It’s one of the best places on campus for a quick bite. The chicken parm is my go-to, but their menu is full of cheap and tasty opstions. The service is fast, the food is always hot and the folks working there are super friendly – always willing to talk some Boston sports. (Sadly, no convenience points accepted.)
10. Apply to be a COM ambassador
The COM ambassador program has been one of my best experiences at BU. It has introduced me to so many incredible people, and I’ve even mentored some incoming freshmen through the program that have become great friends. Being involved with open houses, giving tours to prospective families and writing these blogs has given me a whole new appreciation for my school. APPLY APPLY APPLY! You’ll be glad you did.
As I finish out my time at BU with the Los Angeles Program, I’ve taken some time to look back on my experience and the ups and downs of the last three and a half years. I’ve obviously learned a lot and grown as a person, but the main thing I believe to be true is that it’s all been worth it.
College can be a scary place. It’s daunting before you get here, and it’s pretty intimidating even after spending a little time here. The mindset I adopted right away was to push through my insecurities with all of it and try to expose myself to as much as possible. The least I could do with my last blog post is offer some advice on my way out.
1. Sign up for everything. I’ve written more about this in another post, but I’ll sum it up by saying this: Try everything. Give out your email to every club that sounds remotely interesting. Remember you can always unsubscribe from their email lists. It’s pretty easy.
2. Meet people. Everybody is in the same or a similar place friend and network-wise in college. Even if you’re a couple years in, the people around you tend to be on the same level. It’s important to be open to not necessarily making friends but meeting people. You never know who you might end up spending a lot of time with.
3. Use your resources. Go to Undergraduate Affairs and schedule an appointment. Go to the Writing Center and have someone look over your paper. Go to FPS and use the equipment (for FREE (seriously I’ve been without this for under a month, and I’m already feeling it)). Just go make things or do things with what you have. It’ll help you in the long run – even if you’re no good at it right now.
4. This one is split into two for two (vague) types of people. Ask your friends if you’re not sure which one you are.
a. If you’re the person that spends a lot of time partying and not worrying about school at all, maybe take a break. Partying can be as exhausting as doing actual work, and it’s important to balance your energy with both of them. It’s too easy to procrastinate and brush off due dates (and even some assignments), but you have to remember that it’s important not to waste your education. Also go to class. Only skip if it’s REALLY worth it.
b. If you’re the person that spends a lot of time on homework and at internships, make sure you have fun. College is obviously for learning in a higher education environment, but you’re not supposed to feel like you have a full time job (unless you also happen to have a full time job). Work gets stressful. You’ll have the rest of your life to worry about that. There will likely not be another time after graduation when you live so close to so many of your friends, so please take advantage of that.
Anyway, this is the gist of what I can offer in my old age. Enjoy college, and find your place.
The semester has started and school is back in session, which means… I’m a second semester senior. As I’m writing this, there are 104 days 16 hours and 13 minutes (give or take) until I am a Boston University graduate. Crazy, right? BU (COM especially) has been my home over the past three and a half years and it’s weird to think in a little over 4 months, I could be in a completely different city. So here it is (a classic senior move), my Boston Bucket List, BUT with a twist. Here are some of my favorite things of the past three and a half years that I hope will make it on your Boston Bucket List!
The Boston Classics:
Go to the movies at Coolidge Corner Theatre: The Coolidge Corner Theatre may be my favorite place in all of Boston. I’ve seen some pretty great movies in this beautiful picture house, but the Midnight Movie series is a highlight of my college experience. I rang in my 19th birthday at a screening of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.
Mike’s Vs. Modern Cannoli Taste Test: My personal favorite – Modern Pastry
Have a picnic on the Commons: My sophomore year roommates surprised me with a beautiful picnic on the Boston Commons for my 20th birthday.
Cheer on the Red Sox: No BU Bucket List is complete without going to a Red Sox game.
Eat a delicious pasta dinner in the North End
Go to the Cape: You can take the express Cape Cod Flyer from South Station to Hyannis!
Eat plenty of lobster rolls: The Barking Crab is a personal favorite
Go to Salem on Halloween: SPOOPY!
Go to Boston Calling: LORDE. CHILDISH GAMBINO. BLEACHERS, ALT-J. HOZIER. WALK THE MOON. Enough said.
My BU Favorites:
Broadcast Live on 89.3 FM: WTBU Radio has been a wonderful community and will forever hold a special place in my heart
Attend EVERY Lobster Night: And in Warren Towers, of course…
Write and produce your own TV pilot: My sophomore year I co-wrote and produced a 40-minute TV pilot (you can check it out at vimeo.com/entidaled)
Learn what it means to be a BU Boss Lady: I was lucky enough to join the HotHouse team last fall and travel to LA to film BU Boss Lady. I left the trip inspired by these boss BU alumni and eager to start the next chapter of my life
Shut Down Warren Dining: There have been plenty of nights my friends and I have been the last people in the dining hall
Lose your voice at the Beanpot: During my Freshman year, the Polar Vortex delayed the Beanpot, but that didn’t stop us from cheering on our winning team
See a show at CFA: My best friend Hannah is an acting major and all I have to say is WOW.
Study Abroad: My semester with the BU London Internship Program was life changing. Check out my adventures here
Work with your best friends: The COM Ambassador program was not only a great platform for sharing how much I love COM, but it also strengthened the bond between me and some of my best friends.
Staying up late in Warren Dining might not seem like a favorite moment at first, but I’ve laughed so hard in those red vinyl chairs that there’s no way my BU experience would be the same without it. All in all, enjoy your time at BU and make every second count.
As I start off my third, and final, spring semester in Boston, I have done a lot of thinking about what a fantastic experience I’ve had here, and all of the opportunities I have found, and friendships I have made. I’ll hopefully be spending the spring here at BU, the summer in London, and the fall in Los Angeles, so there is still quite a bit left of college, but not a lot of time in the home I’ve found here. But I’m not sad, because there are so many good things to come this semester, and so many fun things I want to do before I leave. And so, here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to, and things I have to do before May comes around.
- Looking forward to: My classes
This semester I’m taking three Film & TV classes that are both going to be so interesting, and perfect prep for my future. For example: my 2D Animation class, which is unlike anything I have ever done before, but will provide me with invaluable information as I look for jobs in my post-grad life.
- Have to do: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Now something I want to do: celebrate a truly Bostonian St. Patrick’s Day. I want the little bit of Irish in me to explode as I deck myself in green and dance around like a true leprechaun.
- Looking forward to: My internship
This spring, I’m interning for Children’s Programming at WGBH, the PBS affiliate in Boston. This past weekend, I spent 9 hours on set each day while we filmed High School Quiz Show, where I learned all about filming a game show in a professional setting.
- Have to do: Go to Museums
I feel like as I’ve gotten busier with extra-curriculars and classes, I’ve stopped taking advantage of the truly extraordinary experience we get as college students: the opportunity to go to so many museums in the city for free. I need to make at least one last stop to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.
- Looking forward to: Bay State
I am going to be a Producer on the nation’s longest-running college soap opera, which seems absolutely insane, but which is something I have been working for since I came to BU, which makes it so especially rewarding. And, we’re re-vamping the show to make it better than it’s ever been before.
- Have to do: Go to the Commons on a Snow Day
Whether I’m going to build a snowman or have a terrific snowball fight, what I really want to do is leave BU during a snow day and go crazy in the snow (since I’m not going to have any seasons in L.A.)!
- Looking forward to: Spending Time with Friends
I feel so grateful for the friendships I have made during my time here, and friendship has always been one of the most important parts of my life. So, I have to spend my last bit of time here celebrating those friendships, and being with the people that have made me so happy over these last few years.
- Have to do: Take One Last Long Walk
If there is one thing I really know about myself, it’s how much I love to walk around Boston. Whenever I have a few free hours, and the weather isn’t toodreadful, I’m guaranteed to be walking from BU to my favorite destination, the Harbor (see my last post for more on that). I have to spend my last bit of time in my favorite place in the city.