Anika B: Managing Time (and Staying Sane) During Junior Year

Managing Time (and Staying Sane) During Junior Year

Welp, we made it. After a chaotic hybrid freshman year and a fully remote sophomore year, it seemed like the dust was finally starting to settle when I started my junior year: my first full year on campus. Of course, “normal” had a different meaning during the pandemic—staying on top of regular COVID testing, continuing to social distance, and being vigilant of ever-evolving public health guidelines in Boston. Oh, and, all of the regular chaos that comes with being a junior in college.

Having such a weird first two years of university felt like a time warp. I had still enjoyed my classes, formed close relationships with professors, and gotten deeply involved in extracurricular activities, but I hadn’t realized just how quickly time was going by. When I got back to campus, I found myself among peers starting who were starting to make long-term career plans, and I still felt lost. My friends who were a year ahead of me in school were starting to apply to graduate programs across different disciplines and geographic locations, and it got me thinking about what exactly I might want to do after graduation.

With all of this existential thinking running in the background of my mind, it became clear I needed a better system to manage the upper division course work I was taking, my extracurricular activities, and planning for the future. During my first two years of college, I used a paper daily planner to write down my homework assignments and projects, much like I did in high school. However, during junior year, I was starting to find it tough to figure out just when in my schedule I was going to get all of that done.

Let me insert a caveat here: I used to swear by paper planners, and know many people who still do! But, when I realized it wasn’t working for me anymore, I decided to ditch that lifestyle and become a Google Calendar Girlie™ through and through. I created a “Work Block” calendar, to which I add tentative blocks of time to my calendar to work on specific assignments, projects, or to study for exams. This helps calm my nerves about not having enough time to get things done, because I now have physical evidence that it is, indeed, possible for me to work through all my goals. It also helps me know how much free time I really have on a given weekend or after class.

Inserting tasks into my Google Calendar doesn’t automatically make me more productive—but I’ve noticed a marked improvement. Mostly, it helps me conserve the mental energy of stressing about whether or not I have the time in my week to finish my work, attend extracurricular activities, and have free time for myself.

 

Sarah K: Where to Study When You…

Where to Study When You...

Do you ever get stuck trying to decide where to go to get work done? Not
anymore! Here is a guide for picking the best spot on campus to hang out at. I've spent months culminating a list of the best places on campus to hunker down at,
depending on my current desire: social, productive, or hungry.

Where to Study When You…

Want to be Social:

1. BU Central - 8/10
The pros:
1. Usually pretty empty
2. Quiet and removed from the busy campus
3. Non-school vibes allows you to escape
The cons:
1. No windows

2. COM Lawn - 7/10*
*Weather dependent
The pros:
1. There are tables which are nice for doing work
2. There are different food trucks everyday!
The cons:
1. It can be tricky finding an open spot
2. It can be hard to use a computer in the sunlight

3. BU Beach - 6/10*
*Weather dependent
The pros:
1. Very spacious
2. Fresh air!
3. Lots of people around
4. By the river
The cons:
1. Very few tables
2. In nice weather, it's pretty packed
3. It can be hard to use a computer in the sunlight
4. It's less of a study vibe, and more of a hangout vibe (aka you might get
hit in the head with a frisbee or a soccer ball or both)

4. GSU - 3/10
The pros:
1. Several food options
2. Very social
3. Large, open room aka no claustrophobia!
The cons:
1. Packed
2. Loud

Want to Focus:

1. Howard Thurman Center (HTC/808 Gallery) - 9/10
The pros:
1. Comfy seating
2. Productive energy
3. Lots of natural light coming in from the floor to ceiling windows
The cons:
1. Can be busy with COVID testing going on

2. Yawkey - 9/10
The pros:
1. Always empty
2. Comfy seating
3. Productive vibes
4. View of the city
5. Lots of natural light from the several windows
The cons:
1. A little far from most classes

3. Law Library - 9/10
The pros:
1. Nice view of the river
2. Comfy seating
3. Productive energy
4. Good sandwich shop
5. Lots of seating
6. Good natural light from the floor to ceiling windows
The cons:
1. Mostly law students, so may feel out of place as an undergrad

4. COM Lounge - 4/10
The pros:
1. Convenient location
2. Several seating options: bar, large round tables, armchairs
The cons:
1. It can be tricky finding a seat
2. The vibes are inconsistent - sometimes it is very quiet and focused,
other times it is very loud and social

Want to Eat:

1. Cafe Nero - 7/10
The pros:
1. Lots of windows
2. Cozy vibes
3. Productive energy
The cons:
1. Hard to get a seat

2. Questrom Starbucks - 7/10
The pros:
1. Lots of seating
2. Very open
The cons:
1. Can sometimes be loud

3. Einstein's - 4/10
The pros:
1. Convenient location
2. Hidden and slightly removed from the busy campus
The cons:
1. No windows
2. Not a lot of seating
3. A little dark and claustrophobic

4. West Starbucks - 3/10
The pros:
1. Convenient location for those in West Campus
2. Good natural light
3. Quiet and more reserved
The cons:
1. Very little seating
2. Claustrophobic

5. Pavement - 2/10
The pros:
1. Cozy study vibes
The cons:
1. Usually packed and hard to get a seat
2. No windows by the tables
3. Very busy and bustling

6. Warren Starbucks - 2/10
The pros:
1. Cozy fireplace
The cons:
1. Terrible seating options
2. Usually pretty packed

Suzanne C: Congratulations to the Incoming Class of 2026!

Congratulations to the Incoming Class of 2026!!

Congratulations to everyone who just received their acceptance from Boston University (and also to the early decision applicants who received it previously)!! We are so excited to welcome y’all!

It’s so crazy for me to think that I decided I wanted to go to BU and received my
acceptance over three years ago — the time has gone by so fast! I’m usually an indecisive person, but one thing that wasn’t hard for me to decide was where I wanted to go to college.

I toured BU the summer before my junior year of high school basically by chance
because, at that point, I thought I wanted to go to college in New York City. I flew into Boston for a tap dance intensive in Vermont, so I thought I might as well tour a few colleges while I was in the city. I didn’t know much about BU before the tour, but my tour guide was amazing, and it was the best college tour I’ve been on!

Flash forward a year to the beginning of my senior year when I was starting to apply to colleges. Although I still had it in my head that I wanted to move to New York City, I couldn’t ignore how much I loved my BU tour. So, I took a quick weekend trip to Boston to tour BU again and also tour the College of Communication (definitely a full circle moment because I now give tours of COM)! During this trip, it was clear to me that I loved Boston and that BU was the
school for me.

I applied to BU early decision because I was absolutely sure of my decision. When the decisions came out, I was so nervous about opening mine that I waited a bit. When I finally opened my decision and saw that I was accepted, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life! I couldn’t wait to be in Boston, meet new people, and learn about journalism at one of the
best programs in the country!

I know many people currently at BU had similar experiences of excitement when opening their acceptance letters, and I hope people in the incoming class of 2026 also did too! Being from Texas, coming to school in Boston was a huge leap for me that wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it!

Meryl B: Advice for Living Off-Campus

Advice for Living Off-Campus

After my freshman year living in a dorm in west campus, I felt it was time for a change and decided to move off-campus. I wanted to switch it up from having dining hall food to having my own place where I could cook. My sister told me that south campus offers a nice way to get out of the “BU bubble,” but still be close to classes. I found a great apartment and could not be happier about my decision. There is not only a Tatte five minutes from my new place, but
Timeout Market, Whole Foods, and more!

Moving from a dorm meant having more responsibilities. I had to set up an Eversource account, budget my spending on dining out and groceries, and file maintenance requests when needed (which can take weeks to be completed).

Here are my tips for living off-campus:

1. Research each apartment you visit

Even if you like it, you do not want to sign a lease on the first apartment you see. Make sure you ask current tenants about their experience, and why they are moving out. Also, be sure to inquire about whether the building or appliances have any problems and, if so, how quickly the
landlord responds and fixes the issues.

2. Create a budget

Living in Boston can be expensive. Takeout, groceries, and household items can add up. In addition, off-campus housing requires utilities and internet among other incidentals. I write down my weekly spending on the notes app, or you can use a journal to track expenses to ensure you are not overspending.

3. Buy basic items in bulk

Going to Target or Star Market is not only time-consuming if you run out of necessities, like toilet paper or hand soap, but it can also be expensive. Buying in bulk helps you to save money, but you should also be careful not to over purchase as space is limited, and to monitor your inventory so that you have everything when you need it.

4. Introduce yourself to your neighbor(s)

I introduced myself to my neighbor across the hall on move-in day. You do not necessarily need to be close to them, but knowing who they are and getting their contact information can help you in the future. What if the power goes out and you need to borrow a flashlight, or use their cell phone because you accidentally locked yourself out? It has happened to me. An emergency can
come up, and it is a relief to know that your neighbor is near and can lend a hand.

5. Clean your apartment

Cleaning is essential. Boston is riddled with rats, mice and roaches. Consistently vacuum your floors, do your dishes, take out the trash, and clean your counters and bathroom.

6. Set up auto payment for rent

Apartment owners and landlords are very rigid about when your rent is due and you want to avoid a late fee. Set up auto-payment, if possible, and if it isn’t an option, put a reminder in your calendar for when to send the payment each month.

Helena B: Less is More – Tips from a High School Overachiever

Less is More – Tips from a High School Overachiever

Arriving at such a huge school with so many awesome clubs, events, and opportunities, can be overwhelming. Trust me, I know. 

I spent the first few weeks going to every event, joining every club, and trying to meet everyone I possibly could.  

I’m now halfway through my second semester of college and have realized that in some cases it can be a lot easier to approach such a huge change in life by narrowing down the possibilities into just what’s necessary.  

I saw everyone around me joining a myriad of clubs of all different types, and so I thought of doing the same. I joined about 10 to 15, and then started receiving a thousand overwhelming emails about club meetings and I realized that maybe that wasn’t needed ( especially considering I couldn’t make it to all of them and was then left feeling bad about my ability to commit). 

So I tried something different… the one thing I knew for a fact was that I wanted to take any occasion to gain knowledge in Film and TV ( my major), so I joined the one club I knew I could dedicate genuine time and effort to: BUTV10. 

Whether you choose to join BUTV10 or any of the other clubs COM has to offer, sticking to fully investing my time into one allowed me to be more active in what I love and gave me the opportunity to gain confidence in my major while adding something concrete and major-related in my CV. 

After a few months of only participating in BUTV10, I stumbled across the opportunity to become a COM Ambassador. Since I took the time to adjust without overloading in activities, now that I had found something else I was genuinely excited to participate in I was able to go through the whole hiring process calmly and without feeling overwhelmed! 

I now find myself at the end of my second semester with only two things I am part of, and although sometimes I feel lesser than for it, I like to remind myself that there is no rush and frankly no reason why I should do more than I feel is healthy for me. 

Focusing on a few things at once also allowed me to gain meaningful friendships and relationships, to have time every week to network, and to go well academically! 

And I promise, if you think this will make you less amusing for employers in the future, it won't! You bring worth to everything you do. As long as you apply yourself to the few things you feel are genuine reflections of your character, you will gain recognition for it! 

Best of luck, and remember, sometimes less is more! 

 

Mia C: A Guide to BU Dining

Mia C: A Guide to BU Dining

Yes, the dining halls at college are as mundane as the myths say but there are ways to make it more bearable. 

At Boston University, if a student lives in a dormitory residence they are required to be on a meal plan. There are five meal plans ranging from the 14-Plus, Unlimited, Kosher, 330, to 250 Plans.

Each dining plan contains a combination of meal swipes and dining points. Meal swipes are used to get into five dining halls located around campus. Each time you leave a dining hall, you will need to use another swipe to get back in. Dining points can be used at on-campus restaurants, cafes, or campus convenience stores and include Starbucks, Panda Express, and Raising Canes. 

The BU website explains each meal plan in-depth. Now, I am going to delve more deeply into how you can make the most out of your meal plan. 

As a freshman, I am currently on the 250 meal plan. On this meal plan, I eat at the dining hall once per day and I get more dining points than any other meal plan. Typically, I eat breakfast in my dorm, lunch at the on-campus restaurants, and dinner with my friends in the dining hall. 

A tip I learned from personal experience is to begin the first semester with the 330 meal plan. Then at the beginning of the second semester, you change to the 250 meal plan. I did this myself at the beginning of my second semester and received a much greater amount of dining points than I would have if I started the year on the 250 meal plan. 

Another function of Boston University dining that gets underutilized is the ordering ahead system. At BU, most restaurants and cafes that take dining points are on the Grubhub app. The Grubhub app has grouped restaurants based on location and allows you to order online using dining points. 

This is my personal favorite feature of the BU dining system. It is a lifesaver to order coffee ahead of time so I can pick it up when I am running between classes. Each restaurant also displays wait times and in-person line wait times. Also as a BU student, you get a free Grubhub+ membership giving you access to unlimited free delivery for off-campus restaurants and other member perks.

Overall, dining at Boston University is fairly convenient and customizable to fit your needs, you just need to know where to look!

 

Ali A: Four things to do (and one not to do) during your senior year

Ali A: Four things to do (and one not to do) during your senior year
    1. Take as many pictures as you possibly can! Use your phone or a camera (I personally love using my Polaroid!) and take photos of people, places, and events you want to remember. I have so many amazing memories from my time at BU, and I wish I had taken more pictures to remember them by. It’s not like you’ll forget those experiences, but having a physical reminder of them makes them even more vivid and lets you hold onto them forever.
    2. Say yes to everything. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s a good chance you won’t be seeing a lot of your college friends on a daily basis anymore after you graduate, so take advantage of the time you have together now! Go to movie nights and coffee dates and soak up as much of it as you can, because you’ll be surprised at how quickly it flies by.
    3. Don’t be afraid to say no. Senior year is stressful for everyone, between classes and extracurriculars and trying to figure out what you’re going to do after graduation. It can be exhausting, and it’s important to take time for yourself. Make time to relax and unwind so you don’t fall victim to burnout. This also gives you time to catch up on classwork and make sure you don’t fall behind in any classes — especially if you need the credits to graduate!
    4. Start figuring out how to be an adult. I personally think the phrase “adulting” is cringey and overused, but there’s some truth to it. Learning some basic cooking techniques beyond making buttered noodles and maintaining a budget are just a few of the skills you can work on while you’re still in college that will make all the difference when you graduate. The transition from college to being a full-time adult is already challenging, but if you can mitigate some of that by being prepared to live on your own and take care of yourself, you’re already halfway there. 
    5. Don’t compare yourself to your friends and classmates. It’s hard to not scroll through Twitter or Instagram and see everyone you’ve ever met posting about the amazing, exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities they’re pursuing after graduation. It’s even easier to start doubting yourself — Am I behind? Why does everyone else seem like they know what they’re doing, but I don’t? It’s cliche but it’s true: you can’t measure your own success by comparing yourself to others. It’s a toxic way to think and will make you miserable if you let it. You’ll figure it out at your own pace, and that’s okay! Try to live in the moment and not dwell too much on the future when you have so much left to experience and enjoy before you graduate. 

 

 

Jess S: My Journey to COM

JESS S: My Journey to COM

When a glitch in my high school’s registration system accidentally landed me in a journalism elective freshman year, I would discover a passion for the field of communications that has grown ever since. And ever since I went on my first tour of Boston University's College of Communication five years ago, I knew that COM was the right place for me and that I wanted to become involved in a meaningful way. COM has provided me with so many incredible experiences; from dynamic classes, internship leads from professors to writing for The Boston Globe. As a COM ambassador, I have been able to give back by helping other students navigate and make the most of their COM experience. 

Since that fortuitous accident in high school, I have been pursuing every avenue to gain experience in communications and hone my skills. When I got to BU, I was that student that put my email down at what felt like every single table at Splash. I wanted to dive in and learn what I loved to do the most. Now as an Advertising & Journalism double major, I am continuing to let communications skills flourish and am learning more every day. I have become involved in many different extracurriculars so I could truly experience everything COM and BU has to offer. More than anything I wanted to figure out my place here and where I fit in, and I have to say - that’s the only way to do it. It’s important to dive right in and immerse yourself in the endless opportunities COM has to offer. 

As I am approaching my senior year, I have started to reflect on my past 3 years at BU. Although COVID got in the way at times, I still feel I took advantage of everything COM can provide. Whether you just arrived at BU or you’ve been here a while now, get as involved as you can because it goes by in a blink of an eye. You will never look back on your time at BU and say “I wish I had gotten less involved.” So make the most of your time here, I promise you won’t regret it. 

 

Melina N: What Clubs to Join, From Someone Who Loves Clubs

What Clubs to Join, From Someone Who Loves Clubs

For all of the kids who have been in various clubs throughout high school, BU offers an endless list of on-campus clubs and organizations. I remember walking through dozens of tables and enthusiastic student representatives at my first SPLASH. I must have signed up for at least ten newsletters that day. However, I have compiled a selection of my favorite clubs that I am a part of; hopefully, some of these appeal to you and convince you to explore this school’s bountiful supply of clubs.

Stage Troupe
If you were a former theatre kid pre-college times, Stage Troupe may be the perfect fit for you. I was stage manager in high school, and I was afraid I would be too busy with my classes and work to do theatre in college. However, Stage Troupe, the oldest and largest extracurricular performing arts group at BU, allows us flexibility in our schedules. I never have to worry about
missing important commitments for a rehearsal—as long as I communicate beforehand. During my time at Stage Troupe, I help in the paint department which has a lower time commitment than other departments. Still, I have been able to find friendship and support in this tight-knit community. Consider joining Stage Troupe or a similar extracurricular theatre group if you still crave acting or tech-ing as a hobby.

Boston University International Affairs Association (BUIAA)
I was a major Model United Nations nerd in high school, starting with the General Assembly and transitioning into the Department of Public Affairs. I didn’t want to seriously compete on the Model UN team in university, but I was interested to see if I could still be involved in the process. Luckily for me, BUIAA is one of the largest and most varied organizations on BU's campus, branching out into different sub-organizations. For example, I am a part of the layout
team for the International Relations Review, a student-produced journal of policy-oriented analysis. This spring, I also served as Assistant Crisis Director at BosMUN, the high school conference. Although it is one of my bigger time commitments during the peak season, I gladly make time to work with my friendly members and organization e-board.

COM Student Government (COM StuGov)
And, of course, COM Student Government is an essential part of the COM community (the COMmunity, if you will). I recently accepted the position of Graphic Designer for COMStuGov. The e-board has been nothing but welcome and helpful, and it is heartwarming to see fellow COM students excel within and outside the organization. I hope to help advertise the club’s events, and meet more COM students. COMStuGov is the perfect way to dive into COM and
make COM connections.

My experiences with BU clubs have been overwhelmingly positive. While these are my top choices, there are so many other clubs I probably missed. Be sure to attend SPLASH, contact clubs if you wish to join, and follow their social media. You may just find your next mini-home within this vast campus.

Mia P: BU Study Spots, Ranked

BU STUDY SPOTS: RANKED

BU is definitely a pretty large campus with many spots to study at. Whether you enjoy the lively buzz of a coffee shop or the quiet of a library, there is definitely something for everyone. Over my almost two years here, I’ve studied or done homework in almost every place I can think of (mostly because I get bored of studying somewhere too often.)

So, here are my top five BU study spots! 

  1. Mugar Memorial Library

Mugar is great for when you really need to get in the zone. As you go up every floor, it’s supposed to be quieter (although some people on Reddit have complained about the lack of understanding this.) 

What’s nice about Mugar is that no spot is exactly the same –– some areas provide more seclusion, while others (like the basement) allow for more interaction. There are also some spots with some really great views! 

  1. StuVi 2 26th Floor Study Lounge

As a StuVi 2 resident myself, I definitely do not take advantage of our top floor study lounge enough. With windows around the entire room, it provides a breathtaking view of Boston and the Charles River. 

I like this lounge because it isn’t too quiet, but it’s never too rowdy. It’s a great option for people who live in West campus and don’t want to walk all the way to East campus to do work at night. 

  1. Buick Street Market

Honestly, I didn’t even know that Buick existed until well into freshman year. Buick is another great West campus study spot, especially because you have direct access to the Dunkin and snacks whenever you want! People are usually pretty quiet, and there are also lots of outlets around to use. 

  1. George Sherman Union

As someone who enjoys a lively buzz surrounding me when I’m studying, I can’t recommend the GSU enough. It’s perfect to sit at in between classes to grab lunch and work on some homework. I also always end up seeing people I know there, so it can always keep things fun socially. 

With so many different places to eat inside, it’s super convenient to go there for a meal or even study there all day. Make sure to avoid going during peak rush times though, or it’ll be super hard to get a table!

  1. Questrom Starbucks

The Questrom Starbucks is great for morning or afternoon study sessions. First of all, being in Questrom always makes me feel cool because it’s so nice inside. Second of all, such close proximity to caffeine is always a plus.

Although this spot is a bit smaller, it’s definitely an amazing place to study with friends or do work before/in between classes if you have the time! You might think that this is an odd choice for the number one spot, but there’s something about the vibe and buzz of the place that makes it most appealing!