8:00 AM classes are easier said than done…
Back in high school, I was so used to waking up between 6:30 and 7:00 AM, and arriving at school ready to learn by 7:45. Because of this, I thought that 8:00 AM classes at Emerson would be a piece of cake, but I was wrong. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to stay awake in an almost-two-hour class that early in the morning. Plus, it’s way too easy to oversleep and miss class because there’s no one holding you accountable and making sure you’re awake. Taking an 8:00 AM or two while at Emerson may be unavoidable but if you can take a class at a later time, definitely do so.
Take advantage of Emerson’s location.
When you’re caught up in school work, organizations, and a social life, it’s easy to forget that Emerson is located in downtown Boston, arguably one of the best areas of the city. Of course the Boston Common and Public Garden act as our campus, but what else does Boston have to offer? One of my favorite spots is the Esplanade dock on the Charles River. This scenic spot is only a fifteen-minute walk from campus and is a great place to catch the sunset with a friend or unwind on your own. Cambridge is also a really cool place to explore and is only a couple stops away on the Red Line. If you’re looking for a different college town feel, I encourage you to hop on the Green Line and explore the areas around Northeastern, especially the Back Bay Fens. While there is plenty to do in a short walking distance from Emerson, it’s also super easy to hop on any of the T stops near campus and venture out. I encourage you to go explore at least once a week even if you are super busy, as an opportunity to relax and appreciate all Boston has to offer.
Take the T over Ubering.
I don’t even want to know how much I spent on Uber last semester, but I can tell you that it was hundreds of dollars. The T intimidated me, and when I was traveling to somewhere off campus I found it easiest to call an Uber. While this may be the easier option, it is not worth the expense. Since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I suggest walking when possible. Whenever that’s not an option, give yourself a few extra minutes of travel time and take the T. You can look up your destination on Apple Maps and the transit option will show you which line will get you there the fastest. Save taking an Uber for when it’s late at night or you can split the fare with friends.
You can use meal swipes at The Max.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but you can use Meal Swipes for grill items at The Max. The next time you order chicken fingers and fries or a cheeseburger, grab yourself a drink that works with a meal swipe (the cooler is labeled and right next to the grill) and ask to use a meal swipe upon checkout. Unfortunately a meal swipe only works for grill items, but nonetheless, this tip will definitely help you save your Board Bucks.
Backstage Cafe serves Starbucks.
Again, I don’t know why I didn’t figure this out sooner, but Backstage Cafe has a variety of Starbucks products. While it’s not a full Starbucks, they serve iced coffee, cold brew, lattes, and more. If you’re a coffee addict like I am, consider buying your iced coffee from Backstage once in a while using your Board Bucks. Your bank account will thank you.
Avoid Friday classes.
I was lucky enough to never be placed in a Friday class at Emerson. Having an extra day to do homework and laundry before the weekend officially starts is great. I also use Fridays to sleep in and work out at the Fitness Center. Even though you may be used to a full week of classes, I can promise you that Friday classes aren’t worth it. Avoid them when possible!
Don’t always prioritize homework.
You’re obviously at Emerson to study and get your degree, which should be your priority…most of the time. Sometimes it’s okay to put studying or a paper on the backburner if it means doing something fun with friends or taking a mental health break. Definitely don’t abuse this tip, but at the end of the day you’ll want to look back on your college experience fondly. Years from now, you won’t remember that one mediocre test grade, but you will remember a night out with friends.
Designate one day a week for laundry and cleaning.
You definitely don’t want your laundry to get backed up, or your room to feel so messy to the point where it’s overwhelming. Pick one day out of the week that isn’t too busy, and wash your clothes, towels, and bedding. While those things are washing and drying, take the time to vacuum your room and dust down surfaces. Due to COVID-19, sanitizing is more important now than ever. Invest in some antibacterial wipes to wipe down your desk, laptop, and door handles.
A few close friends are all you need.
When I first arrived at Emerson, I was so concerned with being liked by everyone and having a huge friend group. I didn’t have a big friend group in high school either so I convinced myself that if I didn’t find one at college, I failed. However, this is far from the truth. Once I found my three closest friends at Emerson, I quickly learned that they were all I needed. Sure, I have other friends and people that I hang out and talk to here at Emerson, but my friends Dylan, Elise, and Morgan are the ones that I do everything with, and rely on for support. They make me laugh the hardest and have truly made Emerson what it is for me. Trust me when I tell you—you’ll find your people!
Start saying “yes” more.
I said “yes” to almost every opportunity while at Emerson my freshman year, and I can honestly look back and say I have no regrets. Know your limits so you don’t overextend yourself, but take risks. Go on that date, explore the city, try that new restaurant, stay up late chatting with your roommate, go to that party (once the pandemic is over, of course). If there’s something you want to do, do it already. If you learn nothing else from me, then take away this piece of advice.