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 Samantha Wong, Blog Editor
This was the first time I spent my birthday at home in years. Home for me is Manila, Philippines, a populous (read: overcrowded, heavily polluted) country composed of 7,107 islands. It was my 20th birthday. No more teenager-isms, just a straight dive into adulthood. Though I could not have been prepared for the events that transpired.
My birthday started innocently enough. I reported to work at 10 a.m. and assisted with a photo shoot for my internship. This was fine, except that the shoot ran late. I was then tasked to assist carrying bags of Louis Vuitton bags back to the shop. Bags of bags. On top of the leather bags being heavy, the bags of bags were also bulky. I had to be sure not to scratch, scuff or drop the merchandise. The first and last of my weightlifting this summer.
After dropping off the bags, I was free to go home. Unfortunately, my dad informed me he took the car to attend a meeting, going in the opposite direction. The time was 5:30 p.m.
For those that don’t live in Manila, the traffic that occurs during rush hour, especially on a Friday, is particularly horrendous, to put it lightly. It’s bumper to bumper for hours. I ended up getting home three hours later after finding a ride with a friend. To illustrate the difference traffic makes, I can get home in about 25 to 30 minutes when there’s no traffic.
I had organized a birthday party a week earlier and getting home at around 9 p.m. set me back just a couple of hours. I was able to have dinner with my family, but then I had to quickly head back in the same direction that I came from.
Though, as fast as traffic appears in Manila, once 9 p.m. rolls around, it disappears. However, the same trend cannot be said for inside parking lots. This particular lot was chaotic and it took me around 30 minutes to find a parking space. No exaggeration.
While I arrived late, the party could not have gone better. That was, at least, until I had to go home. I left with a couple of friends when we decided that we were hungry. Upon leaving to go back to my car, I realized my bag had been stolen.
I thought I knew what the protocol was for birthdays at home. I thought that, at the most basic level, you’re supposed to have a delicious cake, sing the birthday song, blow out candles and learn a lesson or two. However, on this particular day, I’m pretty sure I learned at least ten, very different lessons. One being, you can never be prepared for what adulthood might throw your way. That being said, despite all that’s happened, there’s no place like home.
Watch the clip below to see even more of the wonderful Philippines: