Christy: A Time for Lasts

Since coming to Boston University in September 2014, I have experienced so many “firsts.” I went to my first college class, I survived my first Boston winter (it was the storm Juno…) and lived in my first apartment, just to name a few. 

I just celebrated my birthday with all the wonderful friends I’ve made over the last three and a half years at BU, and it hit me: this is the last time I will be able to celebrate with all my closest friends in one place. 

Now, I realized, I have experienced so many firsts that it might be time for some of my lasts (such as my last COM Ambassador blog post).

I know it sounds sad and dramatic, but with only a month left at BU before I graduate, I think I am allowed to be. Graduating early comes with its advantages and excitement, but it also means I have a semester less of time in Boston, at BU and with my friends. But, what’s the point of being sad? I don’t have only a month left — I have a whole month left! In this month, I am going to do as much as I can to see my friends, make memories and make the most of this month. To do this, I promised myself I would:

Make it to all the plans, events and activities I am invited to.

I am a homebody and really value my alone time. But, I am just doing myself a disservice by losing out on time with my friends. 

Make plans to go places I have yet to visit.

I already started this by planning trips to both Salem and Martha’s Vineyard last month, but there’s still so much more to do. I have never been to the Lawn on D, and I have SO many restaurants still to try.

Do now, sleep later.

Not later into the morning, but sleep when I am actually tired instead of retiring for the night in bed at 5:30 p.m. with Netflix and mac and cheese.

Say “yes” more.

I am a very indecisive person … but if I don’t say yes now, when will I?

The friendships I have made while in this incredible city have helped me grow, and are invaluable to me. Hellos may become goodbyes and firsts may become lasts, but at least I know when I leave Boston in December that I have made the most of my time left.

Christy: The friends you make in college

Welcome to the fourth week of classes! Crazy, right? Now three weeks have passed me by, and I only have 11 weeks left at Boston University. My time here has been transformative, to say the least; BU and the College of Communication have opened so many doors for me, and I know I am equipped to tackle whatever life throws at me when January comes around. Because of this confidence, I gained through both my education and experiences at BU, I have come to terms with the fact that I will be leaving this wonderful city in a few short months. What I haven’t come to terms with, however, is leaving my friends. 

Thinking about my friends made me realize how much I have learned about friendship over the past three and a half years. Going to college, many people have the perception that their college friends are are going to be their friends for life. I believe I am lucky enough to have found some of these friends for life, but not without a nice blend of happiness, sorrow, confusion and gratitude. 

The friends from day one

It’s okay to not remain friends with all your friends from the first few weeks of school. The first few weeks are an adjustment period, and everyone is trying to find people to surround themselves with. I remember thinking everyone I was friends with my first semester will be my best friends for the following four years. However, it’s inevitable that not all of these friends will remain in your life for four years.This notion is hard to fathom as a freshman because you don’t realize how much you are going to grow in four years. Unfortunately, this growth may not be together because as you find your niche, get involved in clubs and meet new people, these freshman year friends will begin to taper out. Losing a friendship is hard, but it makes you stronger and helps you re-evaluate both what kind of friend you are and what you need in a friend in return.

That’s not to say that none of your friends from the beginning of freshman year will be an active part of your life when senior year comes around. I have been fortunate enough to have a few friends that I have been friends with since my first semester, one of which I actually met before the semester even started through BU’s First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP). I can not emphasize how much these friendships have meant to me; they have been a great source of happiness and support to me, and they have seen me at my absolute worst and best. If you are lucky enough to have at least one friend from day one, you are the luckiest person in the world. 

The friends along the way

As I previously mentioned, you will foster friendships with people you meet through campus activities and jobs. During my sophomore and junior years, that’s how I gained many of my friends. At first, I was hesitant because I was caught up on the ideas that I already had friends and did not need new ones, and that the new groups I joined did not want to add a new friend to the mix. These notions are absurd. Once you open yourself up to new friendships and opportunities, so many doors will open. Suddenly, my circle of friends began expanding, and I had various groups of friends in addition to my friends from freshman year. The timeline in which I met these friends does not matter because each friendship is unique and holds a special place in my heart. Friendships I made junior year hold the same merit as friendships I made senior year. Some of these friends are even friends with other friends of mine from different groups (independent of me), which makes the friendships even better!

The friends you made a little too late

Finally, you will probably meet and befriend amazing people during your last months at school. There are some people that I am meeting for the first time and others that I have always been friends with but finally getting closer with. Seeing these friendships form is bittersweet because of graduation. But, the fact that I am graduating is not deterring me from forming these friendships. They are turning into great friendships that I want to pursue, even if there is not much time together left in the same place. Regardless of the situation, everyone should surround themselves with friends that make them happy!

Christy: A Tip for College Open Houses

This past weekend was the last time I would be representing the College of Communication during Boston University's Open House. For the past three years, I have been a part of making sure prospective students and parents are given a feel for how wonderful the university is and how much my fellow COM students and I love (and thrive in) COM.

Although I applied Early Decision, I attended my BU open house anyway. Four years later, I still vividly remember my open house experience, and can not emphasize enough how important taking advantage of open houses is. I was lucky and already fell in love with BU and committed to it once I was accepted in December (Friday, December 13th... to be exact). For me, coming to open house solidified my love for the city of Boston, the university and the College of Communication. I KNEW after open house that I made the right choice for me, and I couldn't wait to get started in the fall.

But, I know this isn't always the case. Speaking with students as a COM Ambassador reminded me that everyone does not have that "love at first sight" feeling with a school. For some students, open house is the first time they are able to get a feel for the university, and the impression they get on campus is what is going to last and ultimately help them make the decision as to where they will be spending the next for year of their life. I love being a COM Ambassador for exactly that reason -- I get to assist in that decision-making process in any way I can. I know BU was the right choice for me, and couldn't love a school more. So, I want to share my love with perspective students and families in hopes they feel the same way, and I want to be myself as a reflection of the school.

As a prospective student, I know it can be scary. While I was touring schools, I kept one major thought in the back of my mind. Here is a little tip from me to you on how to make the most of your open house experiences while making your college decision:

Ask yourself if you could see yourself being friends with the university's students.

Does your tour guide seem to be someone who you think you could hit it off with? Did you see a group of students in Starbucks talking about a television show you love? Simple observations like that make all the difference. While I was looking at schools, my mom told me if I could see myself being friends with the students I see on campus that it's a good sign. There is no better time than open house to experience students in their natural habitat!

Ultimately, the students you encounter give you a general idea of the students you will be spending four years with. So regardless if you love the university's program or if you love the feel of the campus, your fellow students are also a really important part of your college experience, especially in COM. Your fellow COM students will become your extended family. You will see them around campus, in your extra curriculars, and in classes, and have to work with them on projects inside and outside the classroom. And one day, these students will be the people you enter the professional field with.

So, take a good look now while you have the opportunity at open houses. And who knows, these friendships could last a lifetime. That's what everyone says, don't they?

Christy: It’s Never Too Late to Get Involved With Something New

I am usually a creature of habit and the last person to try something new. There is nothing I hate more than uncertainty; I dislike trying new food, I refuse to drive to a new place for the first time and I tend to not place myself in social situations unless a full handful of people I know are in attendance.

That being said, I even shocked myself when I decided to audition for Boston University On Broadway as a second-semester junior. Being so involved with The Daily Free Press during the first half of my college career dominated most of my time for extracurriculars, so now that I am no longer on the editorial board, I thought this was the best time to try something new on campus.

Theater has always been a passion of mine, and I missed performing on stage more than anything since I have been at BU -- BU On Broadway was the perfect opportunity for me to get back on stage. I went back and forth with the idea of auditioning for a while, but with the support of my friends I auditioned and was cast in Legally Blonde!

At first I was thrown off by the idea of auditioning as a junior because I felt old and felt like I wouldn't be able to find my way in a tight-knit group of people. I actually almost backed out about an hour before I planned on heading to auditions. Now I am still adjusting to this new group, but auditioning has been one of the best decisions I have made during my two and a half years at BU. It pushed me out of my comfort zone to try something new, meet new people and rediscover my love for performing. With every rehearsal and every new cast member I talk to, I have become more comfortable and happy about my decision to audition.

Getting involved in OB has also connected me to the BU community in a greater way than I thought possible. We always say that COM is a small, interconnected community within BU, and I have always found this statement to be true; when I meet a new COM student, chances are we have many mutual friends and somehow have various connections to each other. But, joining OB made me realize how large our campus is and how much larger my web of acquaintances and familiar faces on the street has expanded to in the past month just because of my decision to try a new activity! Now, I get excited when I see another Legally Blonde cast member in passing on campus and to catch up with them at rehearsal.

I am here to say that it is never too late to get involved in something new, on campus or beyond! If you want to pursue a new love or reignite an old, there is no time like the present, especially in college. You never know who you'll meet, what you will learn about yourself and what kind of experiences you will have because of this step out of your old ways. After all, college is all about discovering yourself and your passions, right?

Christy: I Still Don’t Feel Like an Adult, and That’s Okay

I am almost half way through my junior year, and I still don’t really feel like an adult. 

Although I may outwardly exhibit signs of being an adult (“legally” of adult age, living in an off-campus apartment, etc.), I actually feel like I am no where close to mastering the art of “adulting" just yet. The initial transition into college was a taste of freedom that I never experienced before, tricking me into thinking I was actually an adult ready to take on the world. But really, everyday I find that I am still learning so much about myself and it makes me question if I am as ready and grown as I thought I was freshman year.

I actually feel less mature than I did freshman year. I think the biggest reason being I talk to my mom almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes I call just to check in or tell her about my day, and other times I call for advice — both make me feel young. 

Telling my mom about my day seems like I am coming home from elementary school and giving her a full play-by-play. (Yes, sometimes I even tell her what I ate for lunch.) But she takes genuine interest and I love talking to her, so I never see any fault in calling her. But, I probably call my mom more often than my friends talk to their parents. Telling her about the highs and lows of my day not only help me decompress, but also allow me to receive advice when needed. 

Which leads me to what I think is the constant need for advice and approval. More often than not, I call her to help me make decisions. From asking her what I should do for dinner to helping me make more difficult decisions, I always seek her advice and hold her opinion above all else. Always turning to my mom makes me wonder if I am capable of making decisions on my own. Could I be satisfied with making a big decision knowing that my mom was not a part of the decision-making process/I don’t have her seal of approval? There is no shame in seeking advice, though, and especially for an indecisive and anxious person like me, it is in no sense demeaning and childish, but rather comforting.

Through it all, I am still learning. Seeking help and advice from your parents does not necessarily mean you’re a child, but rather means you are on your way to coming into your own as an adult. We have been told time and time again that college is a learning experience; you don’t become an adult the second your parents leave your freshman dorm after move-in day. Being away from your parents for the first time often makes you reach for their support more than ever before because they can no longer come to your aid by calling them from the next room over. So don’t be afraid to call your mom for advice next time you don’t know what to eat for dinner! She will love to help you out.

Christy: How to stay healthy this fall

There is nothing worse the the inevitable fear of getting sick that comes as the weather gets cooler.

If you manage not to get sick between now and December, kudos to you and please teach me your ways. But unfortunately, most everyone will get sick at some point. 

I am currently writing this while wearing sweatshirt, laying under two blankets and waiting for my room mates to return to our apartment with chicken noodle soup for me because — you guessed it — I’m sick. Clearly I don’t sound like the best person to take health advice from, but I do know how I got to this point. So here are my tips on staying healthy this fall (AKA: everything I didn’t do).

1. First, and most importantly, SLEEP. I know it’s hard to find the time between homework, extracurriculars and trying to socializing, but it is so important that you get as many hours in a night as you need to be a functioning person the next day. I know it’s tempting to do literally anything but start your homework until after midnight the night before its due, but you will just hate yourself by the time 5:30 a.m. rolls around and you still need one more page to your eight-page paper due in your 11 a.m. class. 

Oddly specific, but exactly what I did the past TWO Thursday nights. Because apparently I didn’t learn the first time.  

Also, try to stay on as much as a sleeping schedule as possible. Having a schedule will make you feel better and perform better throughout the day. But sometimes, things are out of our control and we have to break our schedule. For example, I spend Sunday-Thursday nights in The Daily Free Press office, and I often don’t get home until about 12:30 a.m., sometimes later. So my sleep schedule is bound to be thrown off, especially if I have to finish some homework after I get home. However, other things, like watching two extra episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix can most definitely wait. Go to bed! You will be so happy you did. 

2. Take your daily vitamins! My mom sent me all my vitamins via Amazon at the beginning of the school year. Have I been taking them? Only sporadically. Take your vitamins everyday and keep that immune system up!

3. Speaking of immune system, make sure to get your Vitamin C. As soon as I felt like I was getting sick, multiple friends told me to drink Emergence-C or orange juice. I can not stand the flavor of either, so I completely ignored that advice. Now I regret not toughing it out, plugging my nose and drinking it. So listen to the friends I didn’t listen to and make sure you are getting your Vitamin C. 

4. Don’t spread yourself too thin. I tend do more things than I can usually handle, and usually thrive off of it. But there comes a point where you just need to step back and relax. Being wound so tight running from one thing to the next is exhausting and will take a toll on your psychical, and sometimes mental health. 

Now that you know exactly how I got sick, I urge you not to make the same mistakes I did — please take care of yourself! There is nothing more wonderful than Boston in the fall, so don't miss it by being stuck in bed. 

Christy: Opportunities arise when you least expect it

Every Monday at 11 a.m., I give my weekly tour of the College of Communication. We have all experienced a rough Monday morning following a fun, but hectic, weekend packed with friends, homework and extracurriculars — this past Monday was that Monday

I woke up later than I wanted to, and walked in the pouring rain from my apartment in West Campus to COM. With the trajectory of the morning so far, I anticipated that I would have make the rainy trek to COM to find out that no one showed up to tour COM. Thankfully that was not the case and I pushed aside my Monday-morning struggles and give a tour of my favorite school.

My fellow COM Ambassador Tyler and I gave a great tour to three prospective students and their parents. At the conclusion of the tour, a mother of a prospective student approached me and asked if I had a summer internship yet. Thinking she asked to gage what kind of internships COM students interview for and are offered, I told her a few of my possible summer plans and upcoming interviews. Little did I know she was the director of communications for a large company in New York City. She handed me her card and said if I was interested, email her my resume and she would forward it directly to several contacts in the city. 

She told me she was very impressed with COM, me and the tour Tyler and I gave. I was so taken aback by her kindness and was not expecting that kind of response. Suddenly, my dreary day took a major turn for the better.  

I know that the education I receive at COM will prepare me for whatever waits for me after graduation. But, little did I know that the physical COM building would provide me with internship opportunities. 

Monday, I learned that not only do opportunities come when you least expect it, but having a positive outlook on each new aspect of your day can work wonders. If I let my rough Mondaymorning define my attitude during my tour, and potentially the rest of my day, this mother may not have given me her card.

So who knows, maybe flashing a smile to or crossing paths with the right person can open a brand new door of opportunity.

Christy: Top 5 favorite “homework shows”

I am not one to sitting in silence. When I do homework, I need to have some source of noise or I can’t get any work done. Although I love Spotify, my go-to for homework noise and entertainment is Netflix. Netflix typically occupies the upper left corner of my screen while I use the rest of academic purposes. I have become a professional at homework-Netflix multi-tasking - it’s easier than you think. Here are my top 5 favorite shows to watch on Netflix while doing homework:

1. Glee
Is there anything better than singing to choreographed dance numbers and high school? Glee is a great homework watch because it doesn’t demand all your attention contains catchy songs so you can get your fix of music in while you do homework.

2. How I Met Your Mother
Of course How I Met Your Mother would is “totally going in my blog!” It is one of my all time favorite shows. It always provides me with a laugh and is easy to turn on in the background and tune in and out of.

3. Parks and Recreation
Similar to How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Rec is another easy watch. The 20 minute comedy doesn’t demand all your undivided attention to pick up the gist of the episode.

4. Friends
I believe I have seen most every episode of Friends more than once, so sometimes I just start a random season and let it play through while I do some class reading

5. Baby Daddy
Thank you ABC Family for this gem. The perfectly cheesy feel-good sitcom complete with a cute baby.

Christy: Breaking Free from the End of Semester Slump

As the weather gets colder and the dark, dreary skies become the new normal, its easy to fall into a slump. We wake up, look forward to going back to be and alternate our favorite end of the semester activities: going to class, doing school work and stressing out.

Last year, I found it hard to break free of this slump, but this semester I have found some ways to force myself to break this trend: the most important being get out and get a change of scenery.

1: Make a date with yourself
Plan a date and time to go to Starbucks or Pavement to get a change of scenery. I know it sounds silly but designating a time to get yourself out is a great way to break habits and routines. Even if you do homework while you’re there, it’s nice just to be somewhere other than the library or your desk.

2: Make a date with a friend
Sitting alone not your thing? Plan to go to lunch with a friend! Whether you plan to go to Starbucks to get some work done or hit up Newbury Street for a nice lunch and conversation, hanging out with a friend will distract you for daily stresses, while catching up with a friend you have probably neglected to talk to as much because your lives have so consumed with stress.

3: Go see The Nutcracker
I grew up both performing in and seeing The Nutcracker so I always associate December with this iconic ballet. There is nothing that compares to the magic of The Nutcracker (in my objective opinion.) Never seen a ballet? The Nutcracker is the perfect first ballet! It is beautiful and upbeat with a timeless story. Take a night to head downtown to the Boston Opera House and get lost in the Land of Sweets rather than your COM101 textbook.

At the end of the semester, don’t be afraid to change it up, go somewhere new and have some fun!

Christy: Requirements are fun!

I spend way too much time looking over the Journalism and Public Relations Curriculum Guides. I am a huge planner and have already tried to plan which COM classes I am taking when between now and my senior year.

This semester was the first semester I could take major specific COM courses so I was thrilled to jump right in, starting with the major core requirements. I am currently taking two of the core journalism requirements, Fundamentals of Journalism (JO 250) and Visual Journalism (JO 303). 

I have to admit, I initially wasn’t thrilled that I had to take Visual Journalism and thinking about the class made me extremely anxious. I got so caught up in the fact that I had very limited experience with a camera, I didn’t take the time to realize that is why this class is a requirement. We all have to learn somewhere! It easily became my favorite class of the semester. 

The first time I checked a camera out from Field Production Services, I felt out of my element. I didn’t even know if I reserved the right kind of camera. (I did.) During the walk back to my apartment, I dreaded the idea of having to take the camera out and actually use it for my first assignment. But, I ended up having a great time! Having one on one time with the camera outside of the classroom gave me the opportunity to play around with the camera and get comfortable with it. 

I know how to take a variety of great pictures now and how to use Photoshop! I definitely wouldn’t have been able to learn this on my own, so I owe all my new skills to Visual Journalism! Now, my class is beginning to shoot video and we will also learn how to use video editing software. 

I know a lot of COM students, especially Film and Television students (shoutout to almost all my friends,) already know how to work a camera and how to edit photos and videos so they don’t understand the little victories that come with taking Visual Journalism and learning how to take a great picture. These little victories were so satisfying, I hope everyone has the opportunity to experience and love the little victories like I do!

Now with my new found interest in photo and video, I can not only incorporate these elements into my work to tell dynamic stories, but also to take pictures and videos for my own enjoyment. So, if you are not looking forward to taking a core requirement, remember there is a reason the course is a requirement and it will undoubtedly help you grow as a student and an up-and-coming professional in your field.