Staying connected through #My100Days

Starting your college career with a gap semester presents a unique challenge how to balance the freedom and possibility of your gap semester with feeling connected to and ready to join the campus community. The CGS program is designed to make it easy to stay connected throughout your gap semester, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Below, Natalie Seara (CGS’20, COM’22), shares her best advice for staying connected throughout your #My100Days, from one CGS student to another.

Connect with your classmates

When I got accepted to BU, I immediately joined the BU and CGS Facebook groups for my class, as well as put “BU’22”in my Instagram bio. On Instagram, I got multiple friend requests just from putting BU in my bio! The Facebook groups were extremely helpful to find information about clubs, classes, housing, and more. The CGS Facebook group for my class led me to actually meeting a friend in-person before I came to campus in January, and we are still friends to this day. Knowing some of the people who were going to be on my team was extremely helpful in easing my nerves.

Make an appointment with your academic advisor 

I knew that I wanted to get ahead in terms of academic credit. I had an advising phone meeting where my advisor and I went over which classes would work best for the school I wanted to transition to after CGS. She helped me find the form to submit my gap semester classes for credit and she helped me pick my elective for the first semester. Ensuring that you’re making the most out of your gap semester can help you feel productive and excited to transition to life on campus.

Stay on top of your to-do lists 

Planning classes for the spring semester is a huge step to prepare for your time on campus. I used the pathways page to see what classes I needed to take for my intended major. It was helpful to see not only the classes I was required to take for CGS, but also to see my whole four years at BU sketched out. I also heavily relied on the monthly CGS newsletter to keep track of what was due each month and to stay on top of upcoming events. Make sure you read the newsletters carefully!

Maintain existing relationships 

Being able to maintain friendships with friends and family throughout the gap semester was huge in helping me learn how to balance relationships with those who are far away. I was able to catch up with my friends from high school and could get college advice before I came to Boston. Once school started, I was already in the habit of staying in touch with people, which made it easier to maintain those connections as my schedule got busier.

Follow CGS on social media 

A great way to get more information about what’s life like on campus and what resources are available is to follow CGS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and to check their website blog for new stories. Their platforms are helpful to be updated on virtual events and see what other people are up to on their gap semester. It was also a good way to share my gap semester adventures and connect with other students. I even was entered in a raffle for convenience points because I used #My100Days on my posts about my gap semester! The Instagram account also has weekly Terrier Takeovers where students answer your questions about life on campus, which is super helpful in preparing yourself for what to expect.

Remember that you’re not alone 

When I was connecting to my fellow CGS classmates, I realized that everyone is going through the same experience. Everyone was worried about starting a new school, moving away from home, and making friends. I also saw a pattern that everyone was excited about having a fresh start, a new place to explore, and the chance to study what they are passionate about. It made it easier for me to connect with people because I knew that everyone had the same feelings and it was a way of bonding. Also, CGS faculty and advisors are open and love to help out students so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions and help.

Make a plan for January (but be open to new experiences) 

During your gap semester, you have time to think about what you want to get out of college and what interests you. It’s a great opportunity to look into clubs you’d like to join, classes you want to take, and places in Boston you want to explore! I looked at Greek life and ended up going through formal recruitment that spring. That said, college is all about being open to new experiences. Come in with an open mind and a willingness to change your plan if needed. I promise you’ll be in great shape when January comes around.

— By Natalie Seara