What to expect. What to do.
If you’re an incoming freshman or are considering attending Boston University College of Communication (COM), you’re probably wondering what it will be like. As a leading research university in a major metropolis, BU offers so many choices that your experience will largely be what you make it. Still, we can give you an idea of what to expect. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your first year.
Engage your new community.
One of the first things you’ll notice as a COM student is that you’re part of a vibrant community of talented students and faculty who share a passion for storytelling, learning and making a difference. Students form close bonds and often work together. Mentorships turn into lifelong friendships between professor and student. So interact with your faculty and fellow students in the classroom, on social media and around campus.
BU is a university of 30,000 students. That’s big. And big means lots of resources, diversity, choices, clubs, activities and opportunities. You’re sure to find plenty that caters to your interests. The more involved you become, the more personal and manageable your experience here will be.
Within COM, you’ll find activities and groups related to your field of study. To name a few: AdLab and PRLab, our student-run agencies; BUTV10, a University-wide resource that creates television programming; and the Daily Free Press, a student-run newspaper. You can learn more about these and all our other groups at the COM Activities page.
The BU Student Activities Office caters to an even wider variety of interests. There are more than 450 student groups active on campus. Almost certainly, at least one is right for you.
A good way to learn more about clubs, events and organizations is to attend BU Splash and the COM Ice Cream Social, both held at the beginning of fall semester.
Talk to your Ambassador.
All new, incoming students select a COM Ambassador, a peer who will assist you with your transition to BU and COM. They can give you a student’s perspective on classes, dorm life, clubs and activities and things to do in the Boston area. Feel free to ask for advice, opinions and information.
Visit Undergraduate Affairs.
The excellent advisors at Undergraduate Affairs will help you with course requirements, majors, minors, study abroad and many other matters related to your education. We recommend you meet with them once each semester, preferably before registration for the following semester. You’ll find Undergraduate Affairs in Room 123 of the COM building.
Break a sweat.
There is no shortage of ways to stay active and fit at BU. Our Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec) features comprehensive state-of-the-art facilities including an aquatics center, selectorized weight systems, ellipticals, squash courts and a rock climbing wall. FitRec also offers personal training and classes ranging from Aqua Aerobics to Zumba. You’ll have 12 intramural sports and more than 30 club sports to choose from. We even have a sailing pavilion on the Charles River.
Get to know Boston.
BU lies in the heart of a vibrant, international city. There are dozens of colleges and universities—the nation’s highest concentration. Social, cultural and entertainment options are myriad and varied. History is rich here. Fenway Park is practically in BU’s backyard. And, despite its large size, Boston is considered one of America’s most walkable cities.
Isn’t that the main reason you’re here? You’ll find academics at BU are demanding but also very rewarding. You’ll get out as much as you put in.
Your academic introduction to COM will be CO 101: The World of Communication. In addition to attending classes, you’ll be part of a small discussion group each Friday led by an outstanding, talented teaching assistant. Chances are you’ll take this class during your first semester here. It’s the springboard to your next four years and a grade of “C” or higher is required. So make sure you attend class, join the discussion, earn extra credit and get to know both your course instructor and teaching assistant.
Who is my target audience? What is my call to action? How do I build a powerful narrative arc? What is the best medium to deliver my message? You’ll learn to think like a professional writer in CO 201: Intro to Communication Writing. You’ll sample writing projects from all the majors, get hands-on experience writing for the world of communication and media and work one-on-one with a writing teacher on drafting and revising. Writing portfolios from this class are often instrumental in helping students land internships.
CO 201 students are invited to submit memoirs crafted in class for our biannual Coffeehouse Readings in the COM student lounge. If selected, your memoir will be read aloud to what is usually a standing-room-only crowd. In addition, authors of the best writing in CO 201 each semester receive cash prizes through the Nachman Writing Awards.
Write even better.
You can get free private tutoring to help you hone any phase of the writing process at the COM Writing Center. Our tutors are talented COM graduate students who will guide you through everything from first drafts to troubleshooting and refining later drafts. You can schedule appointments online or drop in for last minute help during operating hours at our office in the basement of the COM building.
Check your BU email. Often.
The University sends out important announcements via email, sometimes several times a day. And BU Today, which contains the latest scoop on what’s happening on and around campus, is sent out every Monday through Friday, except holidays. So make sure you check your BU email every morning. Noon and night wouldn’t be bad ideas, either.
Ask for help.
When in doubt, ask. BU is a friendly place with people ready to offer everything from directions to opinions. And remember, COM Undergraduate Affairs (Room 123 of the COM building) is always here to answer your questions about the College or just tell you how to get where you’re going.
Your freshman year can be many things: exciting, challenging, confusing, interesting and edifying. Make sure “enjoyable” is one of them. You’re about to start an experience that will shape the rest of your life and this is a great place to do it. So welcome to COM. You’re in for quite a ride.