To wrap up Commuter Appreciation Week, here are some takeaways just for you - the ones who wake up early, endure morning rush hour on the T, trudge up hills and through wind tunnels for class, only to make it home long after the sun has set. Here’s to you, commuter! Below is a collection of tips and tricks to make your mornings a little more efficient and your days a little more commuter-friendly.
Some Things To Do Before Bed
Commuting can be an annoyance in the morning while you’re rushing to get to school, work, or extracurriculars. A good way to get some extra minutes for sleep or organization in the morning is a before-bed routine:
→ Straighten out your room.
Knowing your room is clean and everything is organized can help you relax and get a better night’s sleep.
According to the Chicago Tribune, LCD screens have actually been shown to prohibit the body’s production of melatonin (which makes you sleep!) Getting away from your phone even five minutes earlier before you go to sleep will help.
→ Pack up.
Get your schoolwork and supplies for the next day organized. This will save valuable time in the morning!
One of the toughest things about living off campus is not being able to run back to get that sweatshirt, snack, or assignment you forgot in your room! Here is a checklist of things to do before you walk out the door:
Here are a few more tips to making your life as a commuter as easy as possible:
→ Bring a granola bar/snack and water with you. You never know when your day will go longer than you planned, and staying hydrated will keep your energy up.
→ Have a to do list. This helps keep your tasks and responsibilities organized, and it feels good to check off a task when you’ve completed it!
→Carry an extra layer. New England weather, as well as the temperatures in classrooms, can be unpredictable, so be prepared!
→ Get the MBTA app. If you use the Commuter Rail or T this free app is great for checking schedules and buying tickets.
Last, balancing your school and home life while living off campus can be stressful, so remember to stay positive! Always leave home with a reason to smile and set small, accomplishable goals for each day. This blog is dedicated to just how important the commuter lifestyle is at Suffolk; hopefully these tips and tricks can help any student living off campus!
(Images via MBTA.com)
As a college student, living sustainably seems to be a topic that is widely discussed but rarely put into action. According to Boston College’s Sustainability Facts, “the average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, including 500 disposable cups and 320 pounds of paper”. Earth Day is coming up, so it’s a good time to start thinking about our consumption habits and taking steps to live more sustainably. It is a common misconception that you have to completely change your lifestyle in order to make an impact; if we all take small steps toward going a little more green, we can make a change.
Paper & Plastic
The amount of office paper wasted each year in Massachusetts is enough to fill Fenway Park to the height of the Prudential Building! (bc.edu)
Water is a huge part of the sustainability movement, and learning how to conserve a little water is easier than you think.
Photo: Suffolk Environmental Club
Now that you know how to live a little more sustainably every day, join Suffolk Environmental Club’s Earth Day event! This event will celebrate Earth Day, and all the individuals and communities who are doing their part to live sustainably.
The event will be held on Earth Day, April 22nd, in the Donahue basement from 12-4PM.
Hope to see you there and Happy Earth Day!
What is a desk? A workspace? A motivation station? A surface upon which your inspiration comes to life? If you find yourself sitting at your desk in a sea of sameness--awash with your familiar objects and distractions-- and unable to motivate yourself to do any work, you might need to just get up and try an unfamiliar space to spark your motivation again.
Try something new, be more productive, test your faith in free Wi-fi:
You haven’t seen the Sun in a while. It misses you. The Vitamin D will put you in a better mood so that you can get your work done. You need Wi-Fi? Try the Norman B. Leventhal Park or the Courtyard at the Boston Public Library.
Check Out Your Local Library
They aren’t dead yet. In fact, they even offer ergonomical 1980’s inspired wooden desks, outlets to plug your computer in, and access to the internet! What more could you need? So why not isolate yourself in the cozy catacombs of your local library and bust out that essay? Best part is, no one knows you there so you can slum it as hard as you need to, to ace your midterm.
Try a Cafe
When you are surrounded by other people who are trying to get work done and are energized by a steady stream of caffeine, the motivation is infectious.
Free Wi-Fi found here:
Waffles, Ice Cream, and Bread
Need I say more? Sweet treats with a side of Free Wi-Fi respectively:
Find a rock….Gym?
It’s a little hard to grasp.. (pause for the pun).. But these gyms provide Wi-Fi with your membership so that you can get your work done, and then go work it out on the ropes and in yoga; but mainly on their rock walls.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of studying away from your traditional desk, think of it this way: when you are stranded in an unfamiliar place you will cling to anything familiar. That familiar thing being your work. So whether it’s outdoors, between dusty books, surrounded by the aroma of coffee, positioned in view of decadent delights, or between a rock and a hard place, you might just find motivation in some of these crazy places.
OR if you’re not into gambling take this Quiz and it will tell you where you should study.
Casey Lugli is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in PR. When she’s not working as part of our CR staff, she is working at SWEET bakery or at her internship. She is graduating in May, and decided it was finally time she went on one of the Alternative Spring Break trips Suffolk offers. For her last Spring Break, Casey went to Triangle, VA, in Prince William Park. She worked as part of a team of ten students to help the national park service clean the grounds and the cabins, and build an extraordinary amount of picnic tables.
Here is what she had to say about the incredible Alternative Spring Break experience she had.
Why ASB? Where did you first hear about it?
I did the environmental trip because it worked with my interests and majors. I had always heard good things, and I really enjoy service work so it combined all of my interests into one trip. Last semester my roommate had done it before and she was telling me about her trips and how great they were.
Did you feel stressed trying to fit in the meetings/classes every week with all of your other jobs and school?
Not really, packing was difficult because you didn’t have much space. It wasn’t as relaxing as some Spring Breaks, but I still had a really great time.
What was your favorite part?
I think my favorite part was seeing the amount of work we could do, and I was with a really great group. It was really incredible to see that a group of ten people could make such a significant impact in a short amount of time.
What happened on the trip that you weren’t prepared for?
I dont think I expected to learn so much about myself. I learned a lot about what I want to do with my career. I learned how I wanted to combine my passion for the environment and my career and what aspects are important to me. I always knew I wanted to work in environmental activism, but working on that trip I realized how important environmental education is, and I think that I definitely would like to do something with that at some point.
I especially was surprised at how close my team got. Before the trip, we had class together and we would all sit spread out in the room. Now that we are coming back, we all opened up to one another. We had such an incredible experience that I can’t wait to go back to class and see them. This time we all are going sit pretty close.
Why do you think other students should try ASB?
ASB in general is such an amazing experience because you get to see how much a little bit of service means to people. It really shows you how important service work is.
Why should students try the Environmental Trip?
My environmental trip was really awesome because in the class that went with it, we spent the first part of the semester learning about the Civilian Conservation Corps. That definitely helped. We came to the site knowing a lot about the history of the park and the history behind the buildings that we worked on, which really helped us appreciate it.
It was life-changing.
Now that you’ve trudged your way through plenty of snow and midterms, Spring Break is finally here! If you are going to a far away, sunny, sandy place, take some time for much deserved R&R. For those of us who aren’t going on a tropical getaway, here are some ideas to make the most of your Spring Break!
New York City: Take a Peter Pan bus from South Station! This is a great day trip idea if you’re willing to spend a little extra for a fun day. If it's your first time, go to Times Square, Chinatown, or Central Park. If you've been there before, find a neighborhood you haven't seen yet and roam around. Either way, relax and enjoy your mini-vacation. You don’t have to be a NYC expert to make the most of a day here, and that’s the adventure of it!
Photo Courtesy of INEtours.com
Museum of Fine Arts: A classic Boston trip. You may not have the time to stroll around the museum during midterms, but now that you’re on break, pay it a visit and take your time. Even people that aren’t typically fond of museums find something they like at the MFA, and it always has an interesting visiting exhibit. There are also tons of local restaurants across the Fens behind the museum, so a quick visit can easily become a fun day trip.
Photo Courtesy of Twobuoyslobster.com
St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Make the most of your last day on break by attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston on March 15th at 1pm! This is a Boston tradition that you should definitely take part in at least once during your time at Suffolk if you aren't from the area. Wear plenty of green and join in the madness!
Photo Courtesy of Steven Senne/AP
Dine Out Boston (March 1-6 & 8-13): Participating restaurants have a designated menu just for these two weeks. Lunches are priced $15/22/25 and dinners at $28/33/38 on Beacon Hill, the North End, etc. Treat yourself while sticking to your budget and try out some of the restaurants you've been dying to go to since freshman year!
Restaurants offering deals include Aria Trattoria in the North End, 5 Napkin Burger in Back Bay, and Aquitaine in the South End.
Photo Courtesy of Restaurantweekboston.com
Sonic: If you’re not looking for fine dining, take a mini road trip (or an adventure on the Newbury/Rockport Line) to Sonic! The closest location is in Peabody, so many Boston residents and out-of-state students have never been. Take an average day and turn it into a goofy adventure in the name of drive-in fast food.
Here’s the menu:
Photo Courtesy of In News Weekly
Volunteer: If you’re not signed up for Alternative Spring Break, but you feel the urge to give back, you can still get in some volunteer hours! Volunteering locally will help you get to know a new side of your city by giving back - plus it leaves you feeling more refreshed than sitting on the couch all day might.
Volunteer match lets you plug in your location and the causes you care about to match you with volunteer opportunities near you.
Then again, you are absolutely allowed to binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix and catch up on sleep; that’s what breaks are for! And I know the last thing you want to think about on break is school... but take this time to get organized. Make sure you have all the supplies you need for the second half of the semester. There are probably a few projects and papers that you could could choose to neglect during break, but try not to. Block off some time each day to get some work done. I promise, it’ll pay off for the rest of the semester!
Try to remember the “spring” in Spring Break. We’re almost there! I hope you have great break and come back to Suffolk motivated to end the year strong!
This day remains one of the most patriotic holidays in America. Those who have lived in or near the lovely, historic city of Boston know just how awesome Fourth of July celebrations are. But some of you in Boston this season come from different parts of the country—or from another country entirely—and maybe don’t know about all these festivities. Although fireworks are a staple tradition that everyone looks forward to, there is so much more going on to celebrate Independence Day.
Here’s a list of some of the festivities in the area:
July 2nd—July 6th (times vary)
Ever wanted to see an historical reenactment of the Revolutionary era? Well now’s the perfect time! This five-day extravaganza is great for residents and tourists alike. Hop aboard ships like the USS Constitution. Take a quiz to see which side you would have aligned yourself with. Walk the Freedom Trail with a “colonial” tour guide for free. Watch the flag raising ceremony and parade. These are only a few of the many (and I really mean many) festivities going on at Boston Harborfest. Not all the activities are free, but many of them are!
For more information, visit www.bostonharborfest.com
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
July 4th (10am-10:30am)
Come and witness a reenactment of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence! As one of Boston’s finest traditions, the Declaration of Independence is read from the balcony as it had occurred on July 8, 1776. This free event is located at the Old State House at State and Division Streets.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
July 3rd (8:30pm-10am); July 4th (12pm-11pm)
Who doesn’t love some Fourth of July fireworks? Although the fireworks don’t begin until 10:30pm on July 4th, there are musical festivities going on both the 3rd and 4th. If you can’t make it to Boston for the fireworks, fear not! The whole thing is usually televised and available on multiple news stations, and typically followed by a showing of the famous NYC fireworks.
For more information, visit www.july4th.org
There are so many activities going on that it is nearly impossible to list them all, so there is plenty to do in this area to celebrate the holiday.
Enjoy the festivities and Happy Fourth of July!
I consider myself to be a bit of a foodie. I love pretty much all types of food, especially Italian. When I’m open to spending a little money on the weekends, I like to try out new places in Boston. After living here for almost four years, I’ve learned a thing or two about some pretty good eats that are close to campus.
Top local eateries in Boston:
You’ve probably gotten coffee from Capitol Coffee House and walked right past this little diner on your way home. It’s a hole in the wall type place, which in my opinion is the best kind of establishment. The diner might specialize in Greek food, but they also make a mean burger. It’s only five dollars for a burger and they give you enough fries to last into the next three days. And if you want to stop in here for breakfast, they make their muffins homemade every morning. As a bonus, they’ll even toast them with some butter.
If you’re a fan of sushi, go to Fin’s. They’re a pretty popular chain restaurant and there’s good reason for that. The crazy maki is insanely good and if you aren’t a fan of raw seafood, they have plenty of other options. The chicken katsu is my personal favorite.
Zen Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar
While they do have pretty good sushi, my main reason for going here is the yaki ramen. I love pretty much any Asian noodle dish, but this one especially is worth the eleven dollars. You can get it with vegetables, chicken, or beef. They also give you enough to feed a small army so you can make at least two dinners out of this meal.
This one’s a little farther out, but its worth the fifteen minute train ride to Harvard Square. If you’ve ever watched “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” then you might have heard of this place before. It’s been christened by Guy Fieri himself. They have over twenty burgers to choose from, all named after different pop culture or political references. I myself love the Mindy Kaling burger. This place might get a little crowded on the weekends, but the burgers are the size of your head and the onion rings are reason enough to wait in line.
My friend introduced me to this place and I will forever be grateful to her for suggesting it. This restaurant is in the heart of Chinatown and it gets pretty busy during the evening hours. The reason: pork noodle soup. While I have tried other things on the menu and have enjoyed them all, my true love can be found under the soup portion of the menu. The soup is hearty and it comes in a gigantic bowl so come here with a friend. Order some fried dumplings off the appetizer menu to go with it and you’ll leave a happy camper.
Boston Common Coffee Company
If you live in the 10 West dorms, then you really have no excuse as to why you haven’t been here yet. This is hands down my favorite lunch spot in Boston. They have about nine pressed paninis to choose from, and for about two dollars extra you can get a side of their delicious tortellini salad. Pair this with an iced chai latte; grab a window seat and do some people watching.
This is a newer addition to the Downtown Crossing area and I couldn’t be happier with it. If you’re a fan of Middle Eastern food, then this is the place to go. I’ve had my share of falafel, but this is the only place I’ve had so far that cooks it just right. They also have beef or chicken shawarma pita wraps or plates that come with rice and pita bread. As an added bonus, they give you a sample of their falafel with homemade hummus while you are waiting in line. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Here are some tips on surviving finals week.
Plan ahead! When I have too many things going on in my head, I get overwhelmed. If I write down everything I need to do, it helps me to say organized. Before the start of finals week, I like to make a list of everything I have to do for each class. I’ll even organize it by the day of the week so that I can give myself a better handle on time management. This way I can give one assignment more priority over the other, depending on when it’s due.
If you can, study with friends! That math exam will seem a little more bearable if you have people to commiserate with. I also find that if you don’t know the answer, someone in the room will. It’s always better to laugh with your friends over that ridiculous topic you went over in class, than to stress about how difficult the exam will be.
Listen to music! Not only does music release endorphins, but it’s also a simple way to relieve some of that built up anxiety. If you feel the stress getting the best of you, take a ten-minute music break. I personally like to put on some fun upbeat eighties music and dance around my room lip-synching to “Love Shack”. It works every time.
Take food breaks! It’s important to keep yourself fueled throughout the week. If you skip dinner and head to the vending machine instead, you’re only refusing your body the energy it needs to get through the day. Skip the bag of chips, and get a burger instead.
Lastly and most importantly, do not psych yourself out! It’s an age-old theory, but positive thoughts equal positive outcomes. If you keep telling yourself you’re going to fail, then you probably will. Surround yourself with positive energy and good vibes and you’ll be just fine. As long as you prepare to the best of your ability, there is no reason you shouldn’t do well. Just take a few deep breaths, and tell yourself that it CAN be done. This really is the secret to success.
The iStudy Star has been making its way around Boston! Where will it go next?
The Haiku Grove!
Here is the winning Haiku!
"Fran the Man" by Michael Smith
Fran is pretty cool.
He knows how to rap and stuff,
but this does not rhyme.
Here are 9 other great Haikus( in no particular order).
1. "Give me Summer" by Siobhan Sullivan
Starting to enjoy
The weather of the seasons
Can't wait for summer
2. "The Wanderers" by Tyler Gambino
Though the winds of change
Spread my flames across the land
They carry my wings
3. "Gratitude" by Dan
Thank a Professor
Or they will remove your brain
With final exams
4."Brett + Carmen" by Ashley Labour
Brett and Carmen talk
Carmen and Brett take a walk
Brothers from the block
5.Haiku #19 by Hillary
Sassfrass plum cakes
Snickerdoodle cake frosting
I really like cake
6."Am I Right" by Maddie McGreavy
Student Enters CLAS
Do you have an appointment?
Thank god for C.R's.
7."Seoul" by Kayla Cash
Men of dirt and heart
and Seoul...These are my people
These are the only
8."An Ode to Katy Perry" by Siobhan Sullivan
Do you ever feel
Like a plastic bag drifting
Well don't, that is weird.
9."The Narwhal" by Anonymous
Look! Over yonder-
The gray, majestic narwhal