By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
Hello friends! I hope you all had a great winter break filled with great food and good company. Here we are at the start of a new year, time for new beginnings and new life hacks to try out.
But before we turn over a new leaf, it’s important to take a look at the past and learn from our mistakes. Why don’t we take a close look at the fall semester and rectify the mistakes we made (if you didn’t make any, good for you – but let’s be real: we’ve all made mistakes).
Here are five things we (hopefully) learned from first semester:
This does not mean simply skimming. It may get the task done quickly, but not very well in the long run. When it comes to studying, websites like Sparknotes and Cliffnotes are helpful to refresh your memory, but the only way to actually know what’s going on is to read the real deal. Don’t have the time? Try an old elementary school tip and apply it to college by reading a portion of the assignment each night. You can also make a habit of active reading by taking notes or by quizzing yourself at the end of chapters, another great study tool.
2. Monitor your party habits.
Partying is fun, I get it. The experience is unlike any other, but at the same time, don’t be that desperate freshman looking to “turn up” every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. First semester it might hard to find the delicate balance between having a social life and partying too much, but now that we’ve had a semester to assimilate, it is no longer acceptable for you to stagger into your dorm every single weekend. Instead, plan out your weekend. One night out, another night in. Your body will thank you for less toxins and more sleep.
3. Get involved.
Academics are great, and should be a huge part of your life. However, if you spent your entire first semester hitting the books, it’s time to get some fresh air. Thankfully, BU has over 500 clubs and organizations, including the Community Service Center (CSC), that you can always find something to do. SPLASH may be over, but another way to find out what BU has to offer is through this great site that lists all our student organizations. If you don’t have the time to commit to anything specific, at least make a late New Year’s Resolution to explore Boston. Go see a Red Sox Game, visit a museum, the list goes on.
4. Make an effort to keep your friends.
This one isn’t as obvious, but if you notice, your friends have been coming and going all throughout first semester. The friends you thought you would keep all four years from orientation are no longer your friends and the random kid you met in math class is suddenly your best friend. Unlike high school, you don’t see your friends every single day, which makes things more difficult. Take the time to keep in contact with people, by making a lunch date to catch up. It will be worth it in the end.
5. Social media is not that important.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. We’re all obsessed, and while we say we can stop at anytime – the truth is, we can’t. Document how much time you spend on social media everyday for a week and you’ll how bad your media addiction really is. By learning to cut back, you can increase time spent on studying and spending time with friends, and therefore improve your grades and relationships. If you can’t stop checking your social media sites, look into applications such as Self-Control (Apple) that block you from accessing those pesky sites you go to by instinct.
Best of luck in making this semester even better than the last.
By Alex Diantgikis, Staff Writer
For the past couple of weeks my phone has been taken over by the new craze– an app called Snapchat. The smartphone application allows users to edit and send a picture to their friends or contacts. Which pretty standard.
The catch is that the photos are only visible to the recipients for a set amount of seconds, decided upon by the sender, and the pictures don’t save to your device. The sender can see when the receiver has opened the picture and if they have taken a screenshot of the image.
Every day my phone is bombarded by Snap Chat. Pictures of food. Pictures of shoes. Pictures of tongues. Pictures of lecture halls. Pictures of this too close for comfort guy on the T. Pictures of the hot guy on the T. Pictures of painted nails. Pictures of snow. Pictures of the Citgo sign. Pictures of freshly rolled out of bed hair.
In the beginning, I was skeptical. The idea sending photos for a set amount of time seemed sketchy to me. “Snap me,”seems to have become an everyday phrase. Particularly embarrassing photos usually get a screenshot.
And where do the pictures go if they are not saved to your device? Are they just floating out in cyberspace? Are they deleted? Or is there some massive database warehouse of selfies where Snapchat workers laugh as they scroll through your most embarrassing shots?
Besides, what was the value of sending pictures on a timer? Why was this such a craze?
And then my hipster, I’m too cool for mainstream-attitude caved, and I downloaded it. I’d like to say I was peer-pressured into it, but it was simply curiosity. I wanted to understand the madness.
Then it hit. The hurricane of images.
And slowly, it started to seem less weird. It allows me to connect with my family and friends at home. It’s cute and harmless and slightly addictive. Bottom line: it isn’t what it appears to be and, like most forms of social media, its content and usefulness is created by the consumers. You can use it to your own purposes–I certainly do.