Megan: You Can Do It! Mid-semester Tips

Merry Midterms! I hope you’re staying warm and keeping it cool as we approach the middle of the semester. 

New Year’s Resolutions great, but I find myself a less “put together” towards the middle of the semester. During the pandemic, it’s easy for even the most organized students to find themselves in a pit of unfinished assignments, unresponded to text messages, and undesirable sleep schedules. 

So with that in mind, here are a few ways you can nudge yourself back on track.

  1. Get a Not-So-Scary Planner

My biggest grievances with planners is the dates. If I forget to use it, I feel bad that I’ve bought something that’s going to waste. When I’m in the paper pressure cooker of January 2021 – December 2021, I feel bad on my messier days.

However, I’ve found a solution – get an undated planner! I didn’t know these existed until recently but now that I have mine, I’ll never turn back. For example, this one from ban.do.

You add in the date you want, fill it out the night before, and use it the next day. If you forget to plan a day or even a week, no worries! It’s your schedule, not the planner’s.

  1. Get Some Sleepy Headspace

I know, every COM newsletter and that one kid in your psychology class told you to use Headspace. But I’m here to talk about the best part of Headspace: the sleepy part.

With every passing day, my sleep schedule gets crazier. Sometimes I go to bed at 6 am and sleep until noon. Other time I fall asleep on my desk at 8 pm. But a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.

However, if you’re a real insomniac like myself, falling asleep is easier said than done. Headspace’s sleepcasts and music are the perfect way to lull yourself to sleep and as someone who’s tried most other sleep methods, I can guarantee a wind down playlist will help you reset your sleep schedule.

  1. Schedule Weekly Friend Hangouts

During the pandemic, it’s become increasingly difficult to respond to texts and make plans. Having people in your life is important, but remembering that isn’t always easy. 

Instead of worrying about constantly scheduling, schedule it once and call it done. Pick a day when you and your friend/significant other are free, make a plan, and pop it in your Google calender. Then you don’t have to worry about those pesky text messages, because you know every Tuesday night you’re going to Netflix party with your pals and every Friday afternoon you’re going to suburb walk with your buddies.

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These tips are good, bu above all else, remember YOU are your top priority. Self-care comes in all forms. Sometimes that means cooking a healthy meal. Sometimes it means laying on the couch all day eating and listening to Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo on loop. You are unquestionably the most important thing in your life, so remember that when the going gets rough.

Take care of yourself,

CA Megan

Megan: Autumn Activities for the Safety-Conscious College Student

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Congratulations everyone, you’ve successfully made it to Spooky Season (aka autumn). While we’d usually all be gearing up for our fall favorites of coffee shop dates and costume parties, things are different this year. However, that doesn’t mean you have to cancel the idea of fun this season. Here are just a few ideas for safe adventures and activities for autumn…

Apple Picking

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Okay, I know some of us have been invited to go apple picking and rolled our eyes, but hear me out because when I finally went apple picking I had a wicked good time. There’s something about being in the crisp autumn air with a friend or two that embodies that classic fall feeling we’re searching for. There are farms in the Boston and greater Boston areas, so you can get off campus and make a day of it!

Zoom Baking Parties

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One of my favorite activities is baking, so baking with friends is even more fun. Even though we can’t be in each other’s homes, we can still cook together through Zoom. Just set up a Zoom call with your friends and pick a recipe. You can all make it at the same time while chatting and enjoying each other’s company. For even more spice, you can make it a competition. Whose looks the best? Whose tastes the best? Who made the fewest mistakes? (an award I never win!)

Pumpkin Carving

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The quintessential spooky season activity! College kids are always forgetting their favorite childhood schemes, so now is the perfect time to try an age-old fall favorite. You can Zoom your friends and family or you can go to one of Boston’s public parks and social distance for a more authentic jack-o-lantern experience. (Just make sure to bring your own trash bag for all those pumpkin guts!)

I hope these ideas give you something to look forward to or inspire you to find an autumn adventure of your own. Keep your head up and your Jack-O-Lantern’s lit this spooky season!

Trick or Treat,

Megan

Megan: Three Free Ideas for Valentine’s Day Fun

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The holiday that, despite being well-displayed, seems to creep up on me every year. It’s not until all the restaurants are booked and all the movies are sold out that I remember I need to plan something! Well, not this year! Gone are the days of overpriced, last-minute gifts and not-so-delicious CVS chocolates. Here are three free things you can do for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s just you, you and your best buds, or you and your significant other.

  1. Museums, Museums, Museums!

Did you know that The BU Arts Initiative provides students with FREE membership to some of Boston’s finest museums? Bring your BU Terrier Card to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Harvard Art Museums, or The Institute of Contemporary Art. And guess what? You don’t have to reserve anything! Just show up and enjoy some fine culture.

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  1. Music, Music, Music!

Another great BU Arts Initiative resource is the Boston Symphony Orchestra College Card which BU provides at absolutely no cost! All you have to do is pick up a BSO College Card and register it online. From there, free admission to concerts and open rehearsals is available. You can dress up in your finest clothes and fall in love with classical music this February 14th.

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  1. Books, Books, Books!

One of the perks of living in the heart of the city is the plethora of unique local businesses. This Valentine’s Day, head over to Trident Booksellers and Cafe for their free Trivia Night every Friday. The theme is always changing, so one week you might be the master of the subject. If you’re not a fan of trivia or would prefer a quiet night, you can try their Silent Book Club. At this event, everyone has an hour of silent reading, followed by a reading wrap-up with socialization and drinks. Nothing says “I love you” like cold, hard silence. 

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The best part about all these events, other than the price, is that you can go with anyone! Take your friend to the symphony or yourself to book night. But this year, the pressure is off. Good luck!

CA Megan

Megan: Life Lessons from BU

After 7 semesters and 3 summers, my time at Boston University is drawing to a close. I will carry the memories and lessons I’ve learned long after I graduate in January, but it feels very bittersweet for my time as a student to be ending after such a wonderful experience! I’ve decided to go through and reflect on what I learned during the time I was a BU student.

Fall 2015
I was so nervous before I moved in about making friends and getting to know a city I had only visited for short periods of time. But, I was able to form a community by doing FYSOP my first week of college, befriending all of the people on my floor in Warren Towers (5C!), and joining lots and lots of clubs. It seemed silly to be afraid after meeting so many people I could relate to.

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Spring 2016
This was the semester that I found my home at BU: COM Undergraduate Affairs. I really looked forward to being, and to stopping by whenever I was in COM. It was where I really found people with similar interests and passions. I also learned how much fun PDP’s are while I took a golf and swim class!

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Summer 2016
I spent my first summer after college back home in Maryland, and it was the second-best summer of my entire life! It was so important for me after a school year of change to be able to come home and be with the friends I had grown up with, to nanny for the kids I love, and to sleep in my own room.

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Fall 2016
This was undoubtedly the best semester of my college career. I became best friends with the greatest friend I’ve ever had, CA Claire, and realized what it meant to find a near-perfect friendship. I also worked harder than I ever had on Bay State, the BUTV10 show, and felt more confident than I ever had in my classes and what I was doing.

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Spring 2017
I went from my best semester in college to my worst. Though I was doing lots of fun things, like being an assistant stage manager for BU On Broadway’s Legally Blonde, and directing on Bay State, I was doing totally too much and my mental health suffered. But, I learned how to prioritize the activities and friendships that matter, and to stick close with the friends that would be there for me through the tough times.

Summer 2017
Staying in Boston for the summer was an outstanding experience. The weather was great, I was working for Orientation, and I did my first internship. Claire and I did our fair share of cooking, and visited as many beaches as we could. We also took time to visit family in NYC and Maryland, which was super important after not being home for so long.

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Fall 2017
This was the semester that I had an hour long lunch break at my internship in the heart of Boston, meaning I was constantly exploring and visiting my favorite place, the Boston Harbor. I also got to read feature film scripts for the first time, and made some really wonderful new friends as I took on bigger leadership roles.

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Spring 2018
My last semester in Boston was amazing because I interned at WGBH in their Children’s Programming department, and finally felt like I had found where in the entertainment industry I belonged. It was the best feeling in the world getting to go there, while also experiencing my favorite things in Boston for the last time. I miss Regina’s Pizzeria in the North End every day.

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Summer 2018
The BEST summer of my life! I got to go abroad to London and explore England, Ireland, France, Belgium, and Amsterdam, and learned what it meant to really fall in love with a city. I had never felt so clearly that I belonged somewhere, and I miss it every single day. I also got to teach a bunch of Europeans how to make s’mores, and changed their lives forever!

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Fall 2018
My final semester of college has been devoted to “studying abroad” in Los Angeles, and preparing for a post-college world. I have had the opportunity to intern at what I think is probably the best place in the world, DreamWorks, and feel ready to enter the workforce and begin to make the magic I always dreamed I would.

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There are so many opportunities I haven’t gotten to mention in my final blog post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much being a COM Ambassador has meant to me. I have been able to make wonderful friends, meet amazing prospective students and their families, and share my love of BU to thousands of people. That’s craziness, and I am so so thankful for COM. I’ll miss college very much, but I know it has helped me get right where I need to be.

Megan: How Studying Abroad ~Actually~ Changed My Life

Why BU?

I have been asked this question a lot over the past 4 years, by my friends, prospective students, and parents. There are so many reasons why I chose to attend Boston University all the way back in 2015, but one of the biggest reasons was BU’s incredible study abroad programs. I always knew I wanted to study abroad in London. And as a film student, I knew “studying abroad” in Los Angeles was the right move for my career goals. But how was I going to do both?

Well, after sitting down with the advisors in COM Undergraduate Affairs, I realized I could do both programs and get credit towards graduation. I spent this past summer in London, and now I’m getting ready to graduate in January while living in Los Angeles. For a girl who grew up on the East Coast, it’s been a life-changing experience.

In London, I learned how to live without air conditioning anywhere and how to look the wrong way when crossing the street. But, I also learned how to navigate a huge city and an entirely new form of public transportation, the Tube. From the Tube I could go anywhere in London, including the outskirts of the city where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake came from.

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I learned all about Britain’s art history and how its television works, plus got to floss (the dance) on live TV (check out the video in this vlog.) I learned how to film all of the big moments so I could remember them forever, but also to appreciate picnics in Hyde Park that turned into evenings sitting in the Churchill Arms.

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My best friend Claire and I discovered the rich history of London, but also Paris, Bruges, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Dublin. I experienced the wonder of a concert on palace grounds in Oxfordshire. I tried to drink tea, but never got through a full cup. I did, however, enjoy lots of fish and chips.

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In Los Angeles, I’ve learned how amazing it is to live somewhere that’s always warm. I can sit by the pool or go to the beach whenever I’m not working, and take my lunch breaks at picnic tables under palm trees that are too photogenic for their own good.

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I’m learning how to take advantage of traffic. I listen to Harry Potter audiobooks or talk to my Grammie in the morning on my way to my two different internships, and call friends and family in the evening on my way back home. Wanna chat? Call me at 9:00 ET and keep me company!

 

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I’m also learning how amazing it is to follow my dreams in the city where they can come true. I’ve learned what it means to wake up in the morning looking forward to going to my internship, where I see magic happen every day. And I’ve learned that I’m going to chase this feeling for the rest of my life in the children’s animation field.

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Boston University gave me an amazing 3 years in a city I love, filled with Red Sox games and cannolis and the best friends I have ever had. Best of all, it gave me the opportunity to explore the world beyond New England with my best friends, and experience things that have changed my life for the better. I am so grateful, and so happy.

Megan: Reflections on the Start of My Last Semester in Boston

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.)!

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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Megan: My Favorite Place in Boston is a Rock

My favorite place in Boston is a rock.

Now, it isn’t just any rock, in fact, you have to do a little bit of traveling to get there. You start the journey at the entrance to the Long Wharf, by the Marriott hotel and Faneuil Hall.

Follow the wharf down until you approach the water…

And, once you’ve reached the far-right end of the wharf, you have reached my favorite place in all of Boston to be: The rock right on the corner.

It boasts some pretty incredible views of the Boston Harbor:

And the wharf it is connected to has some pretty insane history too. It dates all the way back to 1710, and is the oldest still-used wharf in the city.

But, beyond that, this is my happy place in the city (I know what you’re thinking, a rock?!). Whenever I have a day or few hours to myself, I am most definitely going to end up sitting on this rock looking out into the harbor.

Sometimes I get there by walking basically the entire length of Boston from BU to the wharf, and sometimes I’m already downtown for my internship and am just on lunch break. But, no matter what, my explorations always lead me back here.

I’ve done a little bit of thinking about this, why this is the spot I always make it back too. For the one thing, I love being close to water (maybe it’s because I’m a water sign, or maybe it’s because I’ve lived close to large bodies of water my whole life), but it also shows me how much life is happening around me in Boston at all times.

From my spot, I can watch airplanes take off from Logan, listen to tour guides on the harbor boats talk about Boston, and witness a photoshoot or two for Instagram. I’ve sat at my rock and done homework, but I’ve also just sat taking everything in and listening to music, like the one time this summer I sat there for three hours listening to The Great Comet of 1812 soundtrack.

Sitting on my rock provides me an enormous sense of comfort, and I’ve realized just how important it is for me to have a place in the city that really feels like home to me.

Megan: What BU’s Orientation Taught Me

This past summer, I had the absolute joy and pleasure to work as a Student Advisor for COM at BU Orientation. I broke out of the COM bubble I usually find myself in and formed friends in every single school at Boston University (which was great for me since I love friendship!) In fact, some of the closest friends I made in the program are from our College of Engineering, where they study things I could never fathom understanding.

Along with having a ton of fun and meeting new students left and right, I also learned a great deal about BU and how to run a successful Orientation session. Here are some facts I learned during each of the six weeks we had session (including things I learned from our Sustainability Ambassadors!):

**Note: pictures best viewed not on iPhone (its a WordPress problem!)

Session 1:

Along with figuring out how to run an Orientation session, I learned just how hungry students can get after a full day of moving around and registering for class, and how important the Zinneken’s waffle truck is.

Sustainability tip: the plastic cups in the GSU are compostable!

Session 2:

I brought out my dance moves for this session as I danced the iconic Terrier Shuffle to one of the great songs of the summer, 24K Magic.

Sustainability tip: The Victory Gardens in the Fens have a rich history of growing food and flowers stretching all the way back to WWI.

Session 3:

This session, instead of having a group of students, I learned what it meant to work with parents, and how sometimes you can sit with a friend during lunch in complete silence and still completely understand each other.

Sustainability tip: There are people in the dining halls that compost our food when they disappear down the conveyor belts!

Session 4:

I learned the number of different people you can have in a session, from the quiet one to the ones who call you mom to the ones who do their best to find trouble, and how you can still like each and every one of them.

Sustainability tip: Our Center for Integrated Life Sciences building, or CILSE, has different walls all over the building to be more energy efficient!

Session 5:

I learned the difference between a transfer student and incoming freshman student’s orientation experience, and found a new Instagram account that posts the best cookie decorating videos.

Sustainability tip: BU promised to reduce their carbon footprint by 2020 by 50%, but we’ve already reached that goal!

Session 6:

This session really taught me how to go with the flow, and reminded me of what I had learned from the first session: that people need to be fed! I also learned the incredible work and dedication that goes into an international student’s decision to come to BU.

Sustainability tip: When you’re moving in, break down your boxes and and throw things out where they belong (we have to save the planet!)

Something that I learned in every session, however, is how to work as a team, both within COM and BU. Orientation could not have been as successful as it was without our entire team coming together to give first-years the best experience possible.

Hi New COM Students!

Hey everyone, and welcome to COM! We are so excited for you to join us for a fantastic four years at Boston University. This blog is run by the COM Ambassadors detailing our experiences with all things Boston and BU, from the best places to eat or study to ways we deal with stress, or some of the amazing experiences we’ve had during our time here. You’ve seen our profiles, now it’s time to learn even more about us. Either scroll through all of our most recent posts or click an individual name on the right to learn more about a specific ambassador. Good luck, and we’ll see you in the fall for our welcome barbecue and many more fabulous events!

-Megan, CA Content Coordinator and Student Advisor for Orientation

Megan: How I Handle Stress

We’ve entered a very busy time of year, and sometimes it can be very difficult to juggle everything us college kids have on our plates. From our extracurriculars to our internships, and from our classes to preparing to be people in the real world, stress happens. A lot!

It has taken me a long time to figure out how I deal with my many stressors, and I’m still learning! It is a different experience for everyone, but I’ve put some of my tips below just in case you need some inspiration.

1. To-Do Lists:

I am the biggest fan of to-do lists. I put them everywhere: sheets of notebook paper, specific to-do list notebooks, my phone… wherever I can. I like to make them super colorful so its not quite so sad looking at everything I have to do. I organize everything I need to do for each class, then each activity I’m a part of, and then my real world problems. I also write everything down in my planner too, so I can see how it all looks over a few weeks or months. I can think of few things better than crossing everything off my list after a stressful week!

2. Getting Some Exercise:

Staying active really helps me maintain my calm during times of stress. I always strive to get all my steps on my FitBit every day, and when I’m really stressed I try to get up and walk around every hour. Just like the to-do lists, it is really nice to track my progress and see that I’m accomplishing things. I also always make sure I’m going to my PDP, I have to do it anyway and its a nice way to be active for a little bit.

3. Maintaining Your Routine:

This one is really important for me. When I start to lose my routine because I’m stressed, I feel even more upset than I was before. Taking things away from my routine leaves me freaking out because I feel like I’m losing control. Although there are times when you have to cut things out to accomplish the most important things on your list, knowing that I’ve done my best to stick to my routine helps me maintain my stress levels.

4. Setting Time Aside for Work, Setting Time Aside for You:

If I give myself a time frame to get my work done, I find myself more willing to sit down during that time and do it. However, I also try to remind myself that it is okay if I don’t get it all done within my time frame, as long as I’ve tried it’s fine! However, at the end of the day you have to give yourself time to take care of you. Take a super long shower, or a 20 minute nap, or do a face mask (I love a good face mask, let me know if you need any recommendations)! When you’re taking care of you, it will reflect in your work.

Stress happens, and that’s just a fact of life. Once you figure out what helps you stay calm, you will be able to do everything and anything you set your mind to!