Alexa: Looking for a Place to Live?

Alexa ImageSo you’re going to Boston University? Congratulations! After I submitted my enrollment deposit I know the next thing on my mind was, where am I going to live and whom am I going to live with? Housing selection can be somewhat of a stressful process so it’s helpful to know a little bit about the perks of living in each housing offered.

West:

Cough. West is best. Cough. This year I lived in Rich Hall located in West Campus. Even though I knew COM would be on the other side of campus, I still had West as my first choice. I wanted to be able to go to class and then get away from the chaos, which is exactly what West lets me do. West is great because it’s located right next to Fit-Rec, Agannis Area, Nickerson Field and Case Gym. The dining hall is arguably the best at BU. The only downfall is it’s about a 15 minute walk to most classes, but there’s a free BU shuttle and two T stops at West so when the cold comes you don’t have to walk. Plus, exercise is great anyway!

Warren:

Warren is a great choice if you want to wake up ten minutes before class starts and make it on time. It’s mainly freshmen and each floor has a common room so it’s easy to bond with your floor. The dining hall is located on the fourth floor so there are some days where you will never have to leave the building if you don’t want to!

The Towers, Danielson, 575 Commonwealth Avenue

These are also places where freshmen typically stay and are a lot like West and Warren except for a little bit smaller. 575 Commonwealth Ave tends to have more triples and Danielson has bigger rooms. The great thing if you live here is that there will be a new student center in East Campus with a huge, amazing dining hall. Even though I’ll be living in West again I will definitely be coming to eat there when I can!

You’re probably thinking, ok I chose where to live, how do I choose whom to live with?

BU lets you request a roommate or you can also choose random. Personally, coming from California I didn’t know anyone coming to BU and didn’t want to rely on Facebook or Roomsurf to pair me up with a roommate (Although I know a lot of people who did and it’s great option!) I chose to have a random roommate and don’t regret it at all. I know on one end of the spectrum it could have been the worst or the best, but luckily it has worked out and we are rooming again together next year!

Overall, if housing comes around and you don’t get your first or second choice I promise you it’s not the end of the world (that’s December 21, 2012 ;)). You will make friends and have a great experience as long as you want to. BU is what you make it and housing is just one aspect of the BU experience.

Sarah: The Boston Marathon

Sarah ImageFirst off -- congratulations to all of the newly admitted COM students! Becoming a BU Terrier is no easy feat, so go ahead and be proud of yourself. It was so great getting to meet some of you this past weekend at Open House. I hope we sold you on BU/COM. If we did, great! Take a sigh of relief and enjoy the end of senior year. If not, here’s another reason to convince you that Boston is the best place to go to college.

In just about one year from now, if you decide BU is the school for you, you’ll experience a Bostonian tradition like no other. On Patriot’s Day, the third Monday of every April, people from all over the state, the country and the world line the streets from Hopkinton, MA to Copley Square for the Boston Marathon. The marathon began in 1897, and Boston’s college students have been celebrating ever since. BU students look forward to Marathon Monday like six-year-olds looks forward to Christmas morning.

This year, I experienced the marathon from the inside. I traded in last year’s flip-flops and t-shirt for sneakers and a neon orange volunteer jacket. From 9-6, I helped set up one of the hydration stations and passed out water to runners as they finished the last mile of the race. I must admit that handing out water to world-class athletes was a bit intimidating at first, especially after our station caught wind of a volunteer colliding with one of the Elite women. After awhile, though, when I saw how appreciative people were to be given a cup of water, it became fun. There is more strategy is passing out cups than one might think. It was certainly a long day, but every “thanks for volunteering” I got from the runners made it worth it worthwhile.

Being posted at mile 25 all day was an experience in itself. From the first to the last, I got to watch over 23,000 runners as they neared the finish line. The Elite runners passed after only two hours, some looking almost as good as Ridiculously Photogenic Guy. Mile 25 was not as nice to others. Even after 6 hours of running, though, the volunteers stuck around to hand out water, and also to cheer them on to the finish line. Watching thousands of runners, all with different ages, genders and motivations, almost made me want to run a marathon. Well, maybe not quite. But I definitely have a newfound respect for all those who do.

I learned how crucial volunteers are to the marathon. Hydration volunteers only make up a small group of hundreds that volunteer at different posts throughout the course. I would have enjoyed Marathon Monday no matter what, but I’m glad I did as a volunteer this year. The free jacket was also a perk.

Marathon Monday brings the Boston community together like nothing else. This is an opportunity I could not get anywhere else. But don’t take my word for it.

See you next year!

Anna: The Howard Thurman Center

Anna ImageLet me first join my fellow COM Ambassadors in saying congratulations to all the admitted students of the class of 2016! I hope I get or already got the chance to meet you all at one of our open houses.

If there is anything I hope you guys will gain once you come to college in the coming months, it’s the capacity to challenge your brain. I know it sounds simple and super cheesy, but expanding your mind is really what college is all about.

Thankfully, here at BU, you can think big even outside the classroom.

The Howard Thurman Center (HTC), Boston University’s amazing place for all things culture, is always offering a way to think beyond your usual thoughts about what to have for dinner tonight or which free app to download.

For example, every week, our Dean of Students hosts a Coffee and Conversation in the HTC. Basically, you get delicious free coffee and baked goods and you get to discuss ideas surrounding topics that range from the meaning of love to the impact of terrorism. I’ve never left a coffee and convo without learning something new about both someone else and myself, and I challenge you to do the same when you get to campus in the Fall.

Coming up in the next couple weeks, though, the HTC is hosting an even bigger event about ideas!! BU Inspire: Rethinking the End is happening on April 29 at 2 pm in the Tsai Performance Center.

Modeled after the incredibly popular TEDx talks, BU Inspire aims to get together a group of different minded people to discuss the same topic. This year, the event will revolve around different ideas about how the world as we know it might end. With students, alumni, faculty, and community members on the panel, the discussion should be a lively event that will get you thinking about the apocalypse! Woo!

Each year the HTC puts on a different BU Inspire, so don’t worry if you aren’t around for this one. You can always catch next year’s, or maybe even be one of the students on the panel yourself.

Brittany: Stuff Journalists Like — #17 Breaking News

Brittany ImageStuff Journalists Like -- #17 Breaking News

My first experience with breaking news came during the fall semester of my sophomore year. I was in my COM Newswriting and Reporting class when all of a sudden we heard sirens coming from right outside the building. We all ran to the window and saw police cars up on the sidewalk and people running down Comm Ave. None of us knew what was happening, but my professor immediately dropped the lesson plan to give us a chance to cover a real life breaking news situation.

Some of the photojournalists in the class had their cameras with them, and went to shoot stills of the action. When they came back, we learned that there had been a bank robbery and the police had chased down and caught the suspect—so we combined the stills and wrote a report on the story.

That day was only my first time covering breaking news—since then, I’ve had a hand in a few other instances as well. This past fall, news of Joe Paterno’s resignation came during my Newsroom class on the day I happened to be the live reporter. Myself and another student in the class took to the streets at about 8:30 a.m., and had a package shot and edited by 12 p.m. It was an exciting story to cover, and you can check out the final product here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb0_LF4j88U.

Then this semester, a project that I was working on fell through, and I found myself starting from scratch at 11 a.m. for a 3 o’clock show. This was the same day as the second day of the Supreme Court “Obamacare” hearings, so I packed up some equipment at Field Production Services and headed down to the State House to get reaction and film a quick report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiuZk9N3gww.

Although it’s tough to turn a package on a deadline, those two pieces are some of my best work. As a journalist, I was forced to tighten up my reporting; as a broadcaster, the adrenaline that comes with a looming deadline ups my on-camera performance: it’s do or die at that point, and not turning in a package isn’t an option. My COM education has placed me in real-life situations, and I know I’m prepared to cover a breaking news situation when I finally arrive at my first job.

Tom: Getting the Most “Noms” from Your Dining Points

Tom ImageHey guys! Unfortunately, it’s my last blog for you guys for the semester. First off – Congrats on your admittance to the College of Communication! We hope to see all newly accepted students at our Open House dates on April 14th and 21st!

For this blog post – I’ve decided to give a Top 5 guide to the various places on campus where Dining Points are accepted and tips for using your dining points wisely. Follow this guide and the George Sherman Union (the GSU) will become your new friend and customized salads will become a way of life.

Place #1Looseleafs

Location Union Court in the GSU

Looseleafs is a customized salad station where students can come and make their own salad. You choose your own base, then six toppings of your choice and a choice of dressing, bread, and extra topping (chicken, steak, etc.). The salads are HUGE and you never get bored because you can customize a different salad every time. My favorite part of looseleafs is the themes. Each week, looseleafs takes on a different theme (favorites include Italy and Southwest) and you can customize your salad with different topping options related to that theme! By far, looseleafs is my standard go-to option in Union Court.

Place #2Cranberry Farms

Location – Union Court in the GSU

Are you the type of person who wishes Thanksgiving could be every day of the year? If so – Cranberry Farms is your one-stop shop for a delicious home style dinner. You get the choice between a variety of dinner options such as Turkey Dinner, BBQ Pulled Pork, and Meatloaf and then you get to add two sides. Some of my favorite sides include the Mac and Cheese and the stuffing. If you are looking for a lighter lunch meal, they also offer sandwiches!

Place #3 Breadwinners

Location2nd Level of the School of Management (SMG)

I love having my own private place to study and unwind after finishing my classes in the afternoon. My ideal pick for weekday lunch is at Breadwinners in the School of Management (open to all students at the university – not just those in SMG). At Breadwinners, you can pick from delicious sandwiches, sushi, yogurt, soup, and much more. Breadwinners is also right across from Starbucks, so you can pick and pair your favorite coffee with your favorite sandwich.

Place #4 – Café 575

Location – 575 Commonwealth Avenue (Hojo)

If you are lucky enough to live in beautiful 575 Commonwealth Avenue (also known as “Hojo”) you will have access to Café 575. A small café style, Café 575 is an excellent place to get delicious coffee in the middle of your day or for late night studying. They also have a customize your own Panini station so you can pick and pair ingredients to make your own grilled cheese.

Place #5 – Einstein Bros.

Location – Basement of The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS)

If you are looking for a pit stop for a coffee or bagel sandwich in between your classes, stop down to the basement of CAS. Einstein's has a variety of options to choose from for both breakfast and lunch. I love stopping there on Friday mornings and picking up a Ham/Egg/Cheese on a bagel thin with an iced coffee. They also have sandwiches, salads and a variety of muffins and other snacks.

While this is my Top Five, there is also a number of other locations on campus that accept dining points. Feel free to explore the campus if you come here in the fall – I find something new to fall in love with each semester. Spend wisely! Have a great summer and I hope to see you at the Open House!

Richie: Final Projects over Final Exams at COM!

Richie ImageCongratulations 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!

Tiffany: Favorite Places in Boston

Tiffany ImageCongratulations COM class of 2016! I can’t wait to meet you all at the Open Houses coming up in the next couple weeks. Open House is not only a great time for you to learn more about all the exciting classes, programs, clubs, and activities at BU and COM, but its also the perfect time for you to fall in love with this city that has stolen my heart. I know many of you will only be in town for a couple days so here’s a short list of some of my favorite places in Boston that I recommend you visit during your short stay:

  • Newbury Street: Great shopping, beautiful scenery, and delicious restaurants
  • Fanieul Hall: Historical sites + architecture, delicious food in Quincy Market
  • Legal Seafood: My favorite Boston clam chowder
  • North End: Dessert at Mike’s Pastry
  • Boston Public Garden: On a nice day, take a relaxing stroll and see the historical Swan Boats

Safe travels to those who are coming out of town and I can’t wait to meet you in a couple weeks! Congrats, again!

Jason: The Last Month of School

Jason ImageSo it looks like the weather won't be getting warm any time soon, but I figured I'd talk a little bit about what I'm looking forward to as we enter the last month of school. Coming up next week is a Boston holiday when the Boston Marathon comes through the streets of Boston. You guys may recognize it from an episode of last seasons COMlife. But this isn't your regular old marathon. There are runners from all over the world and the entire city of Boston (including the schools) close down to celebrate the big event.

Just before that though we've got our first open house for COM! On Saturday many of you will be coming to Boston to hear about all the awesome things we've got going on in COM. It's a great opportunity meet and chat with current students, faculty and staff! You'll get to have lunch in Warren Towers and hang out with the COM ambassadors and fellow perspective students. It's going to be great weather and I'm looking forward to meeting you all.

Looking ahead to the summer, I'll be staying in Boston and continuing my internship with WGBH. By that time we'll be underway with production of the JFK documentary so I'm excited about that. Also by the time you read this I should have found out whether or not I'm going to Madrid for the documentary film program!

Anyway, that's all for now! Hope to see some of you in the next couple weeks at our open houses!

Julianna: Boston- The Ultimate De-Stress

Julianna ImageFirst and foremost, CONGRATS on your acceptance to BU COM! Time to attend Open House, submit your final decision and rock your new BU gear in school. Next up is finishing senior year on a high note and attending summer orientation. Believe me when I tell you that once you go to orientation you’ll never want to leave Boston for the rest of the summer. By the time the weekend is over you’ll be planning lunch dates with your new friends for September. While at orientation you will get a small taste of Boston’s vibrant culture. Just wait until you get here in the fall when you can fully explore (and eat and shop your way through) the different neighborhoods.

Take advantage of the city as much as you can because as the semester goes on and your workload builds up, you may venture out into the city less and less. Here’s my advice: the best time to actually enjoy Boston is when you’re super stressed. Manage your time, hide out in a quiet space in-between classes and then at night unwind by taking a mini shopping trip to Newbury or attending a concert. You’ll see that by taking a few hours off from assignments will feel incredibly therapeutic.

On a recent Monday night my best friend and I went to the Chairlift concert at Brighton Music Hall. Getting the chance to dance just a few feet away from one of my favorite current bands not only helped me to de-stress for a few hours, but gave me a boost of energy for the rest of the week. So be spontaneous, enjoy Boston. YOLO.

julianna image

Lauren: COM Events!

Lauren ImageBeing a COM student gives you so many opportunities that you wouldn’t have at other colleges. Our school is always hosting informative and entertaining specials events, panels, seminars or film screenings on campus, bringing in alums and other business professionals to educate their students! On March 30th, I had the opportunity to attend the “New Media: What Comes After the Basics” panel, a FREE event open to all BU students and alums.  It was a truly fantastic experience, despite the fact that the event started at 8:00 in the morning!

The three panelists at the event, Edward Boches (Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen, @edwardboches), Mike Schneider (SVP Digital Incubator at Allen & Gerritsen, @schneidermike) and Todd Defren (Principal at SHIFT Communication, @tdefren) were unbelievably intelligent, witty and hilarious.  They gave those in attendance incredible insight into the ever-evolving world of new media and its role in advertising, marketing and PR.  All three men are also extremely successful!  Edward Booches created the #BrandBowl, and I was so star struck to be in the same room as him!

Moderator Steve Quigley (@stevequigley), a beloved Public Relations professor at COM, was also incredibly entertaining with his sharp remarks and stimulating questions.  The discussion consisted of everything from trends in the new media industry, to ways to connect with industry professionals, to advice for applying for internships!

The entire experience was also very interactive!  In the days leading up to the panel, COM held a contest on Twitter to see which attendees could come up with the most creative and interesting question to ask the panelists by tweeting with the hashtag #AskBUNM.  The winner of the contest was revealed on Friday and received an iPad 3!  How cool is that?!    There was also a live Twitter stream on the screen behind the panelists, so audience members could see their tweets on the big screen!  After the discussion and a question and answer segment, students also had the chance to talk one-on-one with the panelists!  What a great way to network with communication specialists!

The COM Connection has a remarkably long reach, and I am always amazed by the phenomenal and numerous opportunities students have to make connections with industry professionals!  This really sets COM apart from many other communication schools!  I suggest that students try to take these opportunities and attend as many of these special events as they can!  Just another reason why #COMstheBOMB!