At Boston University, students receive lessons in fields outside of their declared majors without the hassle of having to register for them. All freshmen are forced to take the required course “How to Cross Commonwealth Avenue Without Being Pancaked by Boston Drivers.” Thanks to recent renovations, “Territorially Marking a Table at the GSU 101” has also grown in attendance. And, of course, “Mastering the Art of Procrastination Infinity” boasts an ever-evolving curriculum — its latest lesson focusing on utilizing BU-related blogs and websites to self-distract at all times.
In recent months, websites such as RateBU and LikeALittle have drawn students in for their arguably creepy coverage of the BU community. But a wide variety of other blogs created by Boston students have also been growing in readership.
One of these new additions is nChooseTwo, which has recently branched beyond Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and opened its love-filled links to BU.
At nChooseTwo, students get a chance to play Cupid – they can suggest love matches for their friends, or indicate their own “crushes.”
While the website may still sound foreign to many on this side of the river, Harvard ‘10 graduate and co-creator, Tim Hsieh, said he expects “steady growth and persistence in the BU community.”
In order to avoid the embarrassment of rejection, Hsieh has incorporated a so-called “Minimized Awkwardness Index.” This means that responses to pairings remain a secret unless mutually accepted.
Student response to this innovative way of dating has been largely positive.
“I can only imagine what it’s going to be like during exam weeks. This will dominate Mugar. Girls will attack,” said School of Hospitality Administration sophomore Siranush Khachatryan.
While Hsieh said he takes pride in the hundreds of already successful matches and “crushes” at Harvard and MIT, some BU students meet the new phenomenon with skepticism.
“I would probably not use the service, maybe to amuse myself but not seriously,” said College of Arts and Sciences junior Shoaid Sargeant.
But students aren’t just relying on bloggers across the river for their entertainment. Recently set up BU-related Twitter feeds, such as BUBroProblems, BUGirlProblems and BUGayProblems, provide students with endless amusement.
“When I’m too tired to really focus, I read tweets from StuffBULikes or BUBroProblems during class. They’re funny and keep me in the loop in a weird way,” said College of Communication junior Sydney Lindberg.
Stuff Boston University Students Like, which is both a WordPress blog and a Twitter feed, illustrates qualities that most BU students can understand or relate to in some way.
The blog’s author, a CAS senior who wished to remain anonymous, sums up her style in the “About” section on her website. It reads, “All posts are highly sarcastic. Sorry. Or sorry I’m not sorry.”
“I wanted to write something that other BU kids would read and think, ‘Hey, that’s what I was thinking,’” she said.
The blog received backlash following a post on COM students which sarcastically poked fun at their low workload.
“It’s funny that I’ve gotten a lot of anger about the COM post,” the author said. “That’s awesome that you love what you do, but you’re missing the point. Everyone takes themselves so seriously at BU.”
On average, the site receives approximately 300 page views per day. Its high point was at 2,500 hits per day, the author said.
“One of the best moments related to the blog was when my friends told me that they saw a girl reading it during class and laughing,” she said.
Even blogs with more personal touches and no blatant air of mystery can bring individuals at BU together.
Sylvia Kim, a COM junior, runs a BU-related photo blog called I Hate Being Explicit. It boasts a variety of photographs from around campus as well as occasional Allston party and lifestyle medley posts.
Thanks to tracking software on Blogspot, Kim can see exactly what countries people view her posts from. For students abroad, Kim’s blog functions as way to keep up with their alma mater. Random subscribers, on the other hand, enjoy a thoughtful visual trip with witty commentary.
“Some people around the world look at it that I don’t know. Like I don’t know anyone in Malaysia. But most people know me either directly or indirectly,” Kim said. “I just figured if I’m going to have interesting experiences, I don’t see why I wouldn’t share them within certain conditions.”
Bloggers said they feel the evolution of blogging is an important one, though a certain stigma remains attached to it.
“In journalism, blogging still isn’t prestigious enough,” said Kim. “Everyone thinks it’s easy, but it’s a lot more work than you’d expect. My first photo shoot for my blog took three hours.”