Morgan: November is for Food and Family

Friendsgiving- a holiday that you cannot find on official calendars, but a holiday that liters Snapchat filters and lingers in the schedule planners of college students across the country.

Thanksgiving has always been a time for family.  An opportunity to see cousins that you haven’t see since last Thanksgiving.  A time for your grandparents to fill you up with food after swearing that you’ve lost weight since they’ve seen you last.  And a chance for your parents to catch you up with all the latest news and gossip from the family.

In college, however, friends are the ones who take on the role of your family when your blood relatives are not within reach.  For many students, college is the first time that they find themselves truly fending for themselves.  I heavily relied on my family to be my number one support system.  Yet, when I left the comfort of Queens, New York and settled on Commonwealth Avenue in 2016, my new friends were the ones who filled the void that my family holds when I am home.  Friends are the ones who are immediately there for you as you learn to clean the bathroom, they are the shoulders that you lean on when you receive a low score on the exam that you spent weeks preparing for, and the ones on the other end of your text messages when you’re looking for someone to eat dinner with.  

This is why the concept of Thanksgiving has taken on a new level of importance in college settings.  Friendsgiving becomes a time for us to show our friends who have become our family how much we really appreciate them.  Sure, the food may not be up to par with your mom’s homemade turkey and apple pie, but the company is why we really celebrate, the food is just a bonus.

As I write this blog post I am on the bus back to Boston after four fun filled days back home.  Every time I leave home I am sad.  Sad to be away from my family until our next break and sad to return to the work that is sure to follow in the weeks ahead.  However, this four-hour bus ride has given me the opportunity to reflect on all that I gain while at BU.  The people both back home in NY and at school have provided me with a “family” in two cities.  Now I know that sadness is the wrong word to describe how I feel while exiting the New York borders.  Rather, I would say that I feel bittersweet.  While it is always bitter to say bye for now to my loved ones at home, now I know the sweetness of having a second family in Boston to eat turkey with, to support me, and a second family to give thanks to this November.

Morgan: My Two Cents on Change

It’s true.  I’m a junior.  I have entered my third year post high school and, well, not too much has changed.  I still feel semi lost on my journey to finding a career fit for me. I still don’t know why people always make the “hate to BU” joke every time I tell them what school I go to.  And I still don’t know when to expect the BU shuttle to arrive. Well, I guess, one thing changed. I got contacts and said goodbye to my heavy framed plastic glasses. I’m still lost but at least one thing I don’t have to fear about losing too much anymore are those glasses.

I entered sophomore year with an unintentional fresh new look.  I started wearing contacts out of convenience, but the removal of those glasses seemed to really throw people off. Former floormates did double takes not realizing it was me.  Some people from my previous classes looked confused when I waved to them passing by on the sidewalk. I felt like Hillary Duff’s character when no one knew it was her behind that white Cinderella mask in A Cinderella Story, or The Joker from The Dark Night when Harvey Dent didn’t recognize The Joker’s heavily made up face behind a thin surgical mask covering only the bottom half of his face.  By altering this one part of my identity, I became unrecognizable.

To finalize my transformation, by January of the next semester I removed the glasses on my Bitmoji character, and putting on my contacts was inserted into my morning routine.  

Basically, this has been my long winded way of saying that change may throw others off at first, but as long as you feel comfortable with yourself, embrace it.  In high school, the phrase “you’ve changed” seemed to always be tainted with negative connotations. But I’ve decided that it is one of the highest compliments to receive.

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Now that I have settled into my junior year, I am excited for change.  I’m open to new experiences from a change in setting when I potentially study abroad in the spring, to a change in how I approach the summer internship search.  Change is not always a bad thing, instead it could stand for improvement. Once junior year hits you become an upperclassmen, and that title comes with a whole new set of responsibilities.  You’re expected to be a mentor and a source of knowledge for underclassmen, and I was not ready for it--or so I thought. The COM Ambassador program as well as leadership positions that I’ve taken up in various campus organizations were catalysts for me in positively adjusting my character.  I still have my childlike sense of humor and am in constant confusion, but I’ve also learned how to stand up for myself and manage my responsibilities better than before.

Change provided me with the ability to see without needing something atop my nose at all times.  But, perhaps more importantly, change allowed me to see that I personally was capable of doing more than I thought possible.  Don’t stay stagnant because you feel that it may inconvenience or distract those around you. College pushed me to practice independence and self care, and naturally with that came personal development.  College is a time to discover where your true limits lay and you can’t reach higher until moving outside of your comfort zone.

Morgan L: A Love Letter to the Dining Hall

Pure bliss during my first Lobster Night at BU
Pure bliss during my first Lobster Night at BU

I always say that my favorite place to be in Massachusetts is in Boston University’s dining halls.  Most people are convinced that I am kidding, or maybe have never tasted food at an authentic dining establishment, but the truth is, I genuinely love the dining hall. 

My question is: What’s not to like?  The dining hall is essentially a buffet offered to you every meal of the day, and every single day of the week.  Sounds like a dream come true to me!

In my mind, all three dining halls possess distinctly different personalities with my favorite being Marciano Commons.  Although Warren and West also check off everything on my list for things I desire from a dining hall, including good food and a kind staff, Bay State does it all with a little extra charm.

Let me start off with the food.  Yes, I admit, I have not had the best meal of my life while on Commonwealth Avenue, but I do admire the dining hall’s consistency.  I can always find a dish that catches my interest, and if not, I make a stop at the trusty sandwich station.  To make things even better, the dining hall’s special events are something to look forward to.  I’m that girl that puts the Visiting Chef Series and Lobster Night in their planner.  It would also be a fairly good guess to assume that I would celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day or National Clam Chowder Day at the two-story cafeteria.  Food is what makes events special, and BU Dining Services understands that.      

The dining hall isn’t only a place to get food, it is the ideal study place. There are a variety of comfortable seating options, many of which have easily accessible outlets. Food is always readily available, and if you’re a snacker like me, you can pick at some cereal of goldfish throughout your stay.  A small tip is that you can stay there all day, and eat all three meals for the cost of one swipe.  It is not rare to catch me working on my COM papers at a booth in Bay State with a stack of plates piling up beside me.

Sure, the dining hall could get better noodles, a wider variety of fruits, or cook their rice so that it’s not still hard, (and if your reading this BU Dining Services, please do!) but overall, I have never walked out of 100 Bay State Road unsatisfied.  If it wasn’t clear, I love the dining hall—why wouldn’t you?