By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
I’ve interviewed 11 Boston University students and alumni and asked them, “What would you say to your freshman self?” Some people were funny about it, some people were serious, but all answers were straight up honest. Freshmen, I hope you take these quotes into consideration as you spend the rest of your semester growing into your own skin. These students have some great advice.
“Spend more time with good people and less time in SMG. Also make better decisions.” – Will Dunn, 24 (SMG ’12)
“Everything always ends up being fine in the end. Don’t have any regrets for the hard work you put in.”- Sean Marria-Nelson, 22 (COM ’14)
“Never try to finish an entire dinner portion and cheesecake slice at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s a bad idea. Some people are not going to care about the things that you care about. Some people are inherently rude or mean but there will always be loving people to combat those jerks.” – Kathryn Vaz, 19 (COM ’16)
“Pursue the major that makes you happy from the beginning, rather than trying to stick with the one that you feel like you are expected to pursue.” – Beth Whatley, 22 (CAS ’13)
“Get your ass out of bed and go make some friends. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts.” – Christina Garzillo, 21 (CAS ’14)
“Be a little more social and confident.” – Deanna Garzillo, 21 (CAS ’14)
“Break up with your long distance girlfriend. Don’t let your major mandate what you can and can’t do. Find another way to paint.” – Max Davis, 20 (SMG ’16)
“Being physically close to someone isn’t the same thing as hanging out. Remember that when you room with your best friend and keep growing in friendship.” – Doully Yang, 22 (ENG ’14)
“No matter what grade you get, you are amazing. Put yourself over your studies, your social life and your commitments because after this all that matters is that you did what made you happy.” – Avion Cummings, 19 (SAR ’16)
“Kid, you’ll never have free time like this again. Make the most of it.” – Jason Chan, 27 (CAS ’08)
“Worry less, take more risks, and stop procrastinating. Take advantage of more of what Boston has to offer.” – Isabel da Rosa, 21 (COM ’14)
As for my advice to my freshman self and current/future freshmen, you don’t have time to waste on people that don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. People come in and out of your life. Your friends and significant others will change. Let it happen. It’s their loss, not yours.
By Negin Taleb, Video Staff
Music Enthusiast? Battle of the Bands could be your calling.
BU Central welcomed eight bands to play original music and compete for a $500 prize. If you’ve been at BU for a few years now, you may recognize some of these names:
Honey Bee Dance Language, Houseguests, The Orphic Blues, Caleb and the Carlton St. Blues Band, Paul Cappola, Palm Springs Life, Snarknado, and Titans of Industry were all on the set list. Ring any bells?
Among these bands, a few really stuck out to me. Not only does Honey Bee Dance Language have an epic name, they also have an instrument you don’t see very often with younger bands: the cello. I have been to my fair share of concerts, and no instrument has been quite so pleasing to hear live. Though there were two singers, three guitarists and a drummer playing along, nothing could overpower the heavenly chords of the cello.
What else does a band need, besides an awesome cello, to really make its mark on someone? Some would say impeccable style, flawless riffs and killer vocals. While those are important, there’s one thing that makes it all come together: passion.
The lead singer and guitarist in Houseguests represented exactly that. During my interview with the talented musician, Noah Yastrow, he was eager to talk about his band as much as he could. His passion and commitment to his band triggered some anticipation in me for his set. Once Houseguests played their set I knew it was worth it to hear what their band had to play.
While watching their set, I couldn’t help but wonder what bands Houseguests is most influenced by, and when I asked Yastrow about it afterwards, his vague answer fit really well.
“I don’t really know,” Yastrow said. “We sound like everything. Nothing and everything.”
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Static and electrifying – that was what the energy was like on Saturday night. The audience screamed their support as dancers threw themselves across the stage with flips and stunts.
Fusion, Boston University’s leading on-campus hip hop dance troupe, hosted ELEMENTS XIV, its annual dance competition in Metcalf Ballroom. Some of the best dance crews from all over the east coast performed, including The Mooks, Northeastern’s Kinematix, and UFP.
Using a blend of contemporary dance and hip hop, Static Noyze, a group known for its visionary themes and story-lines in its sets, earned first place with its unique telling of a power struggle between an Egyptian queen and king.
Capital Funk and PROject Nailz also performed sets that stood out from the line-up of competitors. PROject Nailz had arguably one of the funniest and most memorable sets of the night, and highlighted some of its dancers by dressing them as various characters from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.
Many of BU’s own dance groups also competed. Aside from Fusion, who opened and closed the competition with two separate sets, Unofficial Project (also known as UPro), an Asian hip hop dance troupe that “combines elements of Asian and American hip hop culture,” and Vibes, BU’s only all-female hip hop dance group, also performed in the first half of the show.
Beau Fournier played host to the event once again this year. Fournier is a dancer and choreographer of the Los Angeles-based crew, Fanny Pak. His commentary and antics served as transitions between the competing crews’ sets.
In addition to Fournier, Vinh Nguyen, Pat Cruz, and James Alsop served as judges for the competition, all of whom are dancers and choreographers with stunning credentials. Alsop has even worked and choreographed for the Queen of Pop herself – Beyoncé.
Crazy impressive, right?
It was definitely a night to remember for the dance community. The atmosphere was so intense that even non-dancers were sure to have a good time. And if you missed out on getting tickets for the show, don’t fret. On Sunday, Nguyen, Cruz, Alsop, and Fournier will hold workshops all day in Metcalf Ballroom. Prices can be found on the ELEMENTS XIV Facebook event page.
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Spring semester is going by in the blink of an eye (how are we halfway through February already?) and BU is racking up the events for senior semester, like a trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino this past weekend, and an upcoming on-campus Matt and Kim concert, as well as parties counting down to graduation.
It’s all fun and games until someone asks the dreaded question feared most by seniors: “So, do you have any plans for after graduation?”
This week The New York Times tackled the issue of how, in a suffering economy where jobs are few and far between, many recent college graduates are feeling trapped in an endless cycle of internships that neither pay nor lead to permanent jobs.
For college students, landing an internship is a great way to boost your resume and learn valuable skills outside of the classroom. But many graduates, especially those aspiring to break into the fashion, film, or magazine industries, are finding themselves at a point where it is becoming increasingly difficult to break free from the cycle of unpaid work.
According to The Times article, post-graduate internship opportunities are far more abundant than job openings these days, making them easy bait for those fresh out of college. But some question whether it’s worth taking the time to work as interns, thereby delaying real employment, and if there’s even a light at the end of the tunnel.
The overall job economy is a major part of the reasons why most companies cannot afford to hire their interns. The overall unemployment rate was 7.4% in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, though it has decreased to 6.6% as of Jan. 2014.
And of course, the unemployment rates vary depending on what your major is. Those studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are probably better off than those studying liberal arts. A 2013 study conducted by Georgetown University shows that there have been lower unemployment rates for recent graduates in education (5%), engineering (7%) and the health sciences (4.8%), all areas that are “tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.”
The future seems bleak for students. While it never hurts to build your resume and gain experience and add to a growing network, for some there may come a time when you’ll have to settle for an office job outside your desired field.
Party hard while you still can, seniors. But don’t let your last hurrah distract you from the “real world” you’ll be entering in a few months.
By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
Housing, much like opinions on politics or the best Girl Scout cookie, can be a sensitive topic. Drama can arise out of just about any situation from whose rooming with who, why this person doesn’t want to live with that person, where the best place to live is and about a thousand other issues.
Luckily, there is a way to avoid the drama, and many are finding the solution in the form of a single, or the now trending super single (a room big enough for two yet used by one).
An Atlantic article released Tuesday discusses how many colleges, in competition to provide the most comfort and convenience on campus, are accommodating a rising demand for single rooms. College of Arts and Sciences freshman Disha Wagh chose a single to avoid being put with a random roommate.
“I was really worried at first because my sister kept telling me, ‘you’re not going to make friends, everyone’s going to hang out with their roommates,’ but then I really like it because I can have my own space,” Wagh said. “if I want to hang out with everyone else there’s always the common room, but if I need to do my own work or Skype people I have my own room to go to.”
But is being in a single really as nice as it seems? College of Communication freshman Alex Siracusa isn’t sure.
“I hate my roommate. I’m living with roommates next year, but I prefer to live alone,” Siracusa said.
So why bother with roommates if he prefers his space?
“You just gotta do it. A part of it is money, but another part is in a lot of dorms a single would be too lonely,” Siracusa said.
Some find it fine to live in their own space and seek out others when feeling social, while others find the prospect of going back to a room every day to a party of one too secluded. But does the singles dispute really come down to a matter of personal space versus human interaction?
College of Communication junior Linsay Kopit thinks it may be the constantly changing trend in living situations.
“With the increasing use of social media and talking to others online, people are much more afraid of face-to-face, interpersonal interactions,” she said.
With the number of people per household dwindling and the increasing role of technology in everyday life, the need for personal space may just be another side effect of 21st century advancements. However, some basic life lessons — like how to deal with other people — are a learn-by-experience deal, no matter what century you live in.
Housing really is a deal that differs person to person. But whether the trend of singles continues on its way or not, the general consensus seems to be that roommates, good or bad, are a helpful learning experience for becoming socially acceptable, suitably tolerant human beings. And that’s something to seriously consider when debating what to do next year.
After all, isn’t college supposed to be a boot camp for the “real world”?
By Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor
Trident Booksellers and Café is the ideal location for a literary magazine launch party. Lined with shelves upon shelves of colorful books, the Newbury Street bookstore’s dim lighting is perfect for a poetry reading, and their menu has everything a college student needs to convince their friends to show up (namely beer and Trident’s deluxe grilled cheese).
Boston University’s Literary Society came to the same conclusion when they decided to book Trident for the launch of their lit mag, “Coup de’Etat.” BU Literary Society President Abigail Clauhs explained that the lit mag title translates to “overthrow of the government.” Putting a creative spin on the French motto, Clauhs said that they chose the title to symbolize an “overthrow of literary forms and traditions.”
The lit mag’s message comes across loud and clear, the logo of their lit mag featuring a grenade topped with the head of a fountain pen.
At the launch party, Clauhs introduced several contributors from near and far, without which the publication would be nothing but blank white pages. Several of the contributors — including a man from Michigan— took turns reading excerpts from “Coup de’Etat,” from humorous prose to heartfelt poetry.
Although it is hard to pinpoint my favorite contribution, one of the most entertaining entries had to be a prose piece submitted by Graduate College of Arts and Sciences student Kyle Jepson. His fictional story involved an enraged man who lost his love to someone else, a knife and a picnic (I know, I wanted to know what the ending was too). Sadly, Jepson stopped reading just when it was getting good, and everyone in the room was left wondering what would happen next.
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
6. Britney Spears Saves “How I Met Your Mother”:
We’re starting this week off with the Princess of Pop. After guest-starring on the popular CBS comedy, Britney Spears has been credited with saving “How I Met Your Mother” from getting canceled in its fourth season, according to HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. She portrayed Abby, a stalker-eque, crazed receptionist in love with Ted Mosby. Her appearance came right after the writers’ strike, and HIMYM was teetering on the edge of getting the axe. Luckily, Spears swept in and boosted ratings that have been high ever since. Now the show is nearing the end of their ninth and final season, with the last episode set to air on March 31.
5. Justin Bieber:
By now, everyone’s eyes are on Justin Bieber. From peeing in buckets to posing for pictures with ladies of the night, he is one train wreck that we just can’t give up. But his latest legal woes have a bit of a new development.
Police pulled Bieber over for speeding late last month but it turns out he wasn’t actually speeding at the time he was pulled over. Although, according to his rented yellow Lamborghini, which has a built-in GPS system that recorded the car’s speed just hours before his arrest, Bieber was going over 136 mph at one point in his joyride. That, paired with the alcohol and drugs in his system, could have had serious repercussions. On the bright side, no one was hurt, and the pop star hasn’t become another prison cautionary tale (yet).
4. Jimmy Fallon’s last show:
Moving on to big and better things as the newest “The Tonight Show” host, Jimmy Fallon wrapped up his last episode on his “Late Night” show. In true Fallon fashion, he went out on a high note with jokes and music, saying he would really miss his 12:35 a.m. time slot and competing for viewers with a “vegan chopper commercial.” He ended his show with The Muppets — because of course why wouldn’t he — and got a little emotional in his monologue.
Fallon will replace Jay Leno as “The Tonight Show” host, as Seth Meyers moves into “Late Night.”
3. Sage Kotsenburg:
American Olympian Sage Kotsenburg won the Winter Olympics’ first gold medal by utilizing a move that he had never used before. And that’s all fine and dandy, but what I think the real story here is just how much of an awesome bro Kotsenburg is. He has a brother named Blaze, and he uses words like “mega” and “stoked.” It’s nice to see an Olympian with a real, honest personality. I’m not afraid to admit that I want him to be my best friend.
2. Pitch Perfect 2:
Pitch Perfect 2 is happening and I am getting all of the feels again. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have signed on, and Kendrick even signed on without reading the script. I don’t even know if the movie even needs a script. In my opinion it only needs Kendrick reading her Tweets, Wilson speaking words, and a capella versions of “We Can’t Stop,” “Young and Beautiful” and “Timber.” You heard it here first, readers.
1. BU SnowBrawl 2014:
Okay, this might not be worldwide pop culture news, but it sure has a big impact on our little community. Wednesday, Boston University declared a snow day for the Charles River Campus, as I’m sure you are all aware. And if you’re not aware, then seriously what were you doing?
Anyway, in true snow day spirit, a Facebook event was created for one fantastic, gigantic mega-blowout snowball fight on the Esplanade. It was epic and beautiful. And — shameless plug — if you check out BU Today’s Instagram account and look up their SnowBrawl picture, you’ll see me. You’re welcome, world.
By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
I clearly remember researching colleges during the summer before senior year, trying to decide what qualities of a college were really important to me. Sure, academics were the forerunner, but my teachers kept emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded college career.
They stressed that the college I would end up going to had to be the right “fit” for me. That idea really resonated with me, and I began to research colleges for other qualities rather than solely academics, which my parents supported.
With almost eight years of dancing under my belt, I knew I couldn’t let it go so easily. So, when it came down to my decisions, it was basically Boston University vs. Emerson College (I’m sure you can figure out which one I chose).
Upon deciding on BU, I did a bunch of research, and yes, that included dance teams. Despite how embarrassing it is, the fact of the matter is that I knew I wanted to be on Boston University’s Jalwa team when I got here. After being part of an all girls group for so many years, I wanted a change without straying too far from my favorite dance styles.
Not long after starting the Fall semester I became a member of BU Jalwa. We practice from 8:45-11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2:45-4:00 on Sundays. To give you a small idea of how intense this dance group is, being late results in a fee depending on the amount of minutes you were late. Let’s just say that you will rarely find me being late to practice. Oh, that broke college student life…
We begin each practice with stretches. After that, we usually focus on practicing one type of number of dance styles. Among these styles are bhangra (traditional dance from Punjab, India), hip-hop, contemporary and Bollywood (a fusion many different dance styles, but primarily from classical and modern Indian dances), not unlike this video. Occasionally we dedicate to a practice to stunts, which, believe me, is as scary as it sounds.
This may not sound that bad, but enter competition season and everything changes.
All of a sudden, practices are ramped up to most (if not all) days of the week. The stress of learning different choreography, formations, and using costumes begins to pile on. During this period, the guys and girls on this team basically become like family – people I’m forced to like.
I’m only kidding, promise!
Seriously though, it takes a lot of dedication and effort from everyone, especially from our board, the individuals responsible for organizing our entire team.
But all this for an eight minute routine? You may wonder why. College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Rohan Rastogi has one answer:
“Competition season is grueling in terms of physical and mental stress, but it’s by far the most rewarding experience. There’s no feeling comparable to performing in front of a huge crowd and seeing an entire year’s worth of hard work pay off in a span of just eight minutes.”
Speaking of competition season, we are currently preparing for South Asian Showdown, a competition for Bollywood and Fusion dance teams. It will be held at John Hancock Hall right here in Boston on Saturday, February 8th starting at 6 p.m.
If you’d like to see all our hardwork finally being put onto stage, buy a ticket and come out and support BU Jalwa in our hometown!
Here’s a video of BU Jalwa performing in a dance competition a few years ago:
By Alex H. Wagner
Although the idea of dueling pianos tends to share connotations with a Bugs Bunny cartoon, in reality the act of playing music in a pair or group brings unlikely groups together. In this instance, that divide is the Charles River separating Boston University and Harvard.
For the first time, BU and Harvard students played a joint recital at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, as part of the Two Piano Project, a collaborative effort between piano programs at the two schools. The projected was formulated last summer by BU’s Piano Department chairman Boaz Sharon, BU doctoral candidate Anna Arazi and George Ko, Co-President of the Harvard College Piano Society.
Auburn Lee, one of the Harvard pianists, agrees that the shared recital between schools is something special. Having pianists from both schools “coming together to make music…that’s really the coolest part.”
When asked what his personal goals were for the evening, Lee kept it simple: to play well, and to tell a story.
The Two Piano Project turned out to be quite a treat, especially after several pianos hit the streets of Boston last Fall for the “Play Me, I’m Yours” art project.
Check out BU and Harvard battle it out on the piano below:
By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
Interested in architecture and want to learn more about it? Here are some ways to get involved with architectural opportunities at Boston University!
The Architecture Club
BU’s Architecture Club is the first club dedicated to enjoying and learning more about architecture. The club acts as a resource for students interested in architecture programs by providing seminars on furthering education and portfolio development.
BU Chapter of the US Green Building Council
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization that focuses on sustainable design and construction. The student group aims to raise awareness for sustainability and promote interdisciplinary interaction. The club sees sustainability as a non-exclusive field that inherently involves the joining of many facets of society and academia.
The Global Brigades
The Global Architecture Brigade is part of the world’s largest student-led health and sustainable development organization called Global Brigades. Each year, Global Brigades mobilizes thousands of university students around the world to participate in nine different skill-based programs to improve the quality of life in under-resourced communities. The Architecture Brigades work with engineers, designers and community members to meet local educational and health needs by designing and constructing schools and health centers.
Upcoming Event: “Asia and the City” Forum
What: A forum on the changing nature of the Chinese capital between the late imperial and contemporary periods. Speakers include Ya-chen Ma from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and Shuishan Yu from the School of Architecture at Northeastern University.
When: Wednesday, February 5th from 5-7pm
Where: 154 Bay State Road on the 2nd floor in the Eilts Room
If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Architectural Studies Program at BU, contact Keith Morgan, the Director of Architectural Studies, at email@example.com.