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Mayor: Boston to Be World-Class Biking City BU bike lane is city’s first

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

After two years of construction, Commonwealth Avenue is not only safer and more attractive for pedestrians, with wider sidewalks and crosswalks and more greenery, it’s also more bicycle-friendly.

In addition to eliminating a lane of traffic on the street’s westbound side, crews have built the city’s inaugural bike lane: a one-mile stretch of asphalt from Kenmore Square to the BU Bridge.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino (Hon.’01) unveiled the new lane at an August press conference outside the College of Communication. “I’m proud to present you with Boston’s first bike lane,” he told a crowd of approximately 30 cyclists, who clapped and jingled bicycle bells. “This is the city’s first step in making Boston a world-class biking city.”

Less than a year ago, Menino launched Boston Bikes, which will create a network of bike lanes throughout Boston and add 250 bike racks across the city. (The Comm Ave construction project included the installation of bike racks.) He has appointed former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman the city’s bike coordinator, a position that had been eliminated in 2003.

Officials chose to build the first lane along Comm Ave because it has the highest volume of bike traffic in the city, Freedman said. A 2.2-mile lane along the American Legion Highway in Roslindale is also near completion, and lanes in the Fenway and the South End are being designed. The width of the lanes varies: four feet along curbs and five feet where there is parallel parking.

“Riding a bike in Boston is special because it brings you closer to the city,” said Menino, who gets up most days at 5 a.m. to go for a ride. “But this relationship extends beyond our neighborhoods and parks, because it also creates a fellowship with other cyclists.”

With gas prices at nearly $4 a gallon, he added, cycling is an inexpensive — and green — way to navigate the city. “Biking relieves car congestion and cuts down on carbon emissions,” Menino said. “It also promotes a vibrant economy and a superb way of life.”

To further encourage cycling, the city is promoting the fourth annual Hub on Wheels, a mass bike ride and festival that is expected to draw 4,000 riders on Sunday, September 21. Freedman is also looking into the feasibility of a bike-share program similar to Washington, D.C.’s SmartBike DC. The program would allow riders to pick up a bike at one location and drop it off at another. If all goes well, Freedman says, the city could introduce the program in spring 2010.

The city’s efforts are winning praise, and not just from local cyclists. For the past three years, Bicycling magazine has ranked Boston among the worst cities for cycling. But this year, as a result of Menino’s initiative, the magazine upgraded Boston to its “Five for the Future” list. “Watching a city like Boston turn its city cycling plans into reality has been an incredibly gratifying process for us,” writes editor in chief Steve Madden. “It’s evidence that a much-needed, far-reaching pro-cycling movement is in the works.”

Still, Boston has a long way to go before it joins the ranks of cycling meccas such as Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., which are consistently ranked among the nation’s best for biking. Officer Peter Shin of the Boston University Police Department notes that because more cyclists have taken to the streets since the installation of the bike lane, the risk of accidents has increased. “It’s great that the lanes are being used,” he says, “but additional traffic creates potential safety hazards, particularly if motorists and cyclists aren’t paying attention to one another.”

Cyclists need to remember that by law they are required to follow the same road rules as motorists, Shin adds. “This means stopping at all red lights, using proper hand signals, and not making illegal left turns or biking the wrong way down one-way streets,” he says. “Wear a helmet, and don’t talk on your cell phone or text or listen to your iPod while you’re riding.”

Nonetheless, experienced bikers assure novices that it is possible to safely share the road with cars and pedestrians. Jon Allen, author of Bicycling Street Smarts, an online resource for urban cyclists, has been biking in Boston since 1971. “I’ve never had a single accident,” he says, “because I stay alert and obey all of the traffic laws.” Similarly, the worst encounter that Jon Niehof (GRS’09) has had biking to BU from Watertown was with a pothole.

“The person behind the wheel isn’t interested in hitting you,” Niehof says. “So as long as you’re following the rules and the drivers can see you, you should be okay.”

For additional information about biking in Boston, visit MassBike, Bicycle Riding School, Bicycling Street Smarts, Boston Critical Mass, and Urban Adventours.

Vicky Waltz can be reached at [email protected].

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You're reading Mayor: Boston To Be World

Mayor Signs Off On Bu Master Plan

Mayor Signs Off on BU Master Plan Way cleared for 10-year Charles River Campus makeover

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has signed off on the University’s 2013–2023 master plan for strategic changes to the Charles River Campus. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

In the wake of recent approvals by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the city Zoning Commission, Mayor Thomas Menino (Hon.’01) has signed off on the Charles River Campus Institutional Master Plan (IMP), clearing the way for a series of strategic changes on BU’s Charles River Campus that will reflect the University’s growth and prominence and improve its standing in the future.

The BRA voted to approve the master plan on January 13. “We had a very clear, clean process with no opposition whatsoever, and all the votes were unanimous,” says Robert Donahue, BU vice president for government and community affairs. The mayor’s February 15 signing of the 10-year development plan means that the University can now pursue the design phase for a series of projects.

“It’s a very important milestone because the 10-year plan is a campus-level zoning approval as opposed to approval building by building and the approval of projects that are strategically important to the University,” says Gary Nicksa, BU senior vice president for operations. “We spent a year and a half getting to an approved master plan; now we can begin to implement it.” The mayor’s signature doesn’t give BU the go-ahead to actually build the proposed projects, Nicksa explains, but it allows the University to begin the actual development process and seek architectural designs, which will require city approval.

Approval to proceed with the plan comes after 18 months of review and more than a dozen public meetings, 10 involving BU’s Community Task Force, which considered and approved the plan, Donahue says. One of the first orders of business will be commissioning architects’ designs for a building at 645 Commonwealth Avenue, site of the former Burger King, which will house the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering as well as the College of Arts & Sciences departments of computer science and of mathematics and statistics.

“After we select an architect, we’ll begin the design process, devise cost estimates,” and pursue financing, including donor support, says Nicksa.

Donahue describes the approval process as “clear sailing and blue skies. We broke down every chapter in the master plan, and as the chapters were being written, we were in communication with the task force, a process that went on a year before we went to city boards.”

Today the most visible project on the Charles River Campus is one carried over from the last BU master plan and included in the new one: the construction of the School of Law’s Sumner M. Redstone Building and renovation of the school’s tower. Ground was broken for this work this winter.

When it’s implemented, the 2013–2023 IMP will update the look of the Charles River Campus. One project would replace 30-38 Cummington Mall, a building dating from the 1930s that currently houses a science library, with a state-of-the-art research facility that could have a larger footprint, rising as high as 10 stories, according to Nicksa. In addition to the computational research building and the LAW addition and renovations, projects include: integration of two brownstones, including new construction of a 60,000-square-foot addition of academic and administrative space at 130 Bay State Road; an additional 50,000 square feet of academic space at the existing College of Communication building at 640 Comm Ave; and modernizing Myles Standish Hall (610 Beacon St.) and Myles Standish Annex to provide upgraded student housing.

The proposed projects could cost more than $750 million, according to the plan, which also includes improvements to “create a safer and more pedestrian-oriented campus” along Comm Ave and around the BU Bridge. “Each time we do a major project we’ll improve that public realm—soften the landscape and improve pedestrian and bike safety,” says Nicksa. That part of the plan, the Commonwealth Avenue Improvement Project, would also improve traffic operations and vehicle circulation. A pedestrian mall would evolve in tandem with all major construction projects.

The 296-page master plan outlines a vision for the future for a campus dating back to the 1920s, when the University purchased 15 acres between the Charles River and Commonwealth Avenue. Since then the campus has grown 280 percent in area, with a 600 percent increase in the number of buildings. In 1986 BU was the first educational institution in Boston to implement a master plan in consultation with the local community and the city of Boston.

The master plan ushers the campus into a new era. A lot of the buildings now housing BU departments were built as industrial, residential, or commercial properties and were repurposed after the University acquired them. “But they weren’t designed for their particular purposes,” says Nicksa, noting that other buildings, like CAS and the School of Theology, “are beautiful, but they were designed for another era.”

Current students are unlikely to witness many changes, he says, because the process is a slow but steady one. “It’s not a simple thing to develop a plan and financing,” Nicksa says. “These are exciting projects because they don’t happen very often.”

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Bu’s Ongoing Commitment To “The Kids From Boston”

BU’s Ongoing Commitment to “the Kids from Boston”

“I consider myself to be from Boston,” says Peiling Li (CAS’24), who is attending BU on a Community Service Awards scholarship. Photo by Cydney Scott

University News

BU’s Ongoing Commitment to “the Kids from Boston” Menino Scholars, Community Service programs provide scholarships to public school students

“I consider myself to be from Boston,” says Peiling Li, who came to the city from China with her family when she was 10 and attended Boston Public Schools, graduating from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury last spring.

When it came time to choose a college, Li says, “I applied to a lot of schools, but I got the most financial aid from BU. It made a huge difference for me. If I didn’t have that, I would probably have gone to a community college and tried to transfer.”

Li (CAS’24) is one of 31 Boston Public Schools (BPS) 2023 graduates receiving a Boston University Community Service Awards scholarship this year. Through this scholarship program, Boston University meets the recipients’ full calculated financial need without loans. An additional 27 new transfer students have also received Community Service scholarships. And this year the University is providing 33 graduates of Boston high schools with full-tuition merit scholarships based on their academic record through its Thomas M. Menino Scholarship program. Menino Scholars are also eligible for need-based aid for the cost of room and board. 

That’s 91 Boston Public Schools graduates starting classes at BU this year on scholarships that will total $18 million over four years. And those are just this year’s arrivals. A total of 347 BPS graduates are attending Boston University through the Menino and Community Service programs during the 2023-2024 academic year. All told, more than 2,400 students have received one of the two scholarships since the programs began.

“They are doing this because they want to support the kids from Boston,” Li says. 

“BU is deeply committed to the Boston Public Schools, and this is one manifestation of that,” says Michael Dennehy (CAS’92), executive director of College Access and Student Success at BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. “It’s part of the BU ecosystem.”

Menino Scholar Angelee Verdieu (Sargent’21, SPH’22) was chosen as the student speaker at the welcome ceremony for students in the program held virtually last month. Photo courtesy of Angelee Verdieu

“We are never swayed from our commitment to Boston,” President Robert A. Brown said in a Zoom ceremony in September welcoming all the scholars to BU. “The Menino and Community Service programs are a key component to our service to the city.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh knows the value of the programs. “Ever since I was elected mayor, I have called on local colleges and universities to play a bigger role in providing opportunity to Boston’s public school students,” Walsh told the scholars. “Young people like you deserve access to the world-class education available right here in your own city. BU continues to rise to the challenge. This scholarship program is a perfect example of that.”

The Menino Scholars program has existed under other names since 1974, but in 2013 was named for the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino (Hon.’01), who was a founding director of BU’s Initiative on Cities. Each year’s Menino Scholars meet regularly with Dennehy, who serves as their mentor. “Student meetings are my favorite part of my job,” says the Brighton native. 

The Community Service program welcomed its first scholars to campus in 2009. They are each assigned a faculty or staff mentor they meet with at least a couple of times each semester throughout their BU career. Mentors assist them with such issues as establishing strong study skills and finding tutoring to help them figure out their post-BU plans and serving as a sounding board throughout their years here.

Current Menino Scholar Angelee Verdieu (Sargent’21, SPH’22), the daughter of Haitian immigrants and the student speaker at this fall’s welcome ceremony, says the programs are life-changing.  

“At the time I was applying to college, only one of my parents was working, so we were definitely a little bit worried about how sustainable any type of financial aid would be over the course of the four years,” says Verdieu. “The scholarship was extremely helpful—a godsend one might say—in terms of consistency over the next four years, which is what we were looking for. I am very grateful.”

The Boston Latin School graduate is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in human physiology and a master of public health under a special five-year dual-degree program. She will still have a year of classes at the School of Public Health after the scholarship ends, and she then hopes to go on to medical school, a dream since middle school.

“Around the time I was thinking medicine might be something I was interested in was when the earthquake occurred in Haiti, and just being in communication with family over there and hearing about the living situation and seeing pictures really kind of shook me,” she recalls. “At that age I wasn’t thinking how fortunate I was, and that’s when I started thinking about things on a global scale.”

“Receiving this scholarship is a call to action to find ways to be a leader as you go about your time as a member of this community,” she said at the welcoming ceremony, “and to me being a leader means finding a way to help your group of people if you know that there’s a way that you can.”

“BU is one of the top-10 colleges and universities chosen by BPS graduates, and that’s a pretty cool thing,” says Clare Fitzgerald, program manager for BU’s College Access and Student Success, who oversees the Community Service program. “It adds a richness to life on campus, and it’s a cool thing for Boston students to come to BU and share their knowledge of the city with their friends.”

Starting with their second semester at BU, the Community Service scholars must complete 25 hours of volunteer work each semester. If they meet this requirement through the fall of their senior year, they get their final semester waived. The Class of 2023 scholars contributed 6,798 volunteer hours to the Boston community and beyond during their time at BU.

BPS graduates who start at another school—often a community college or other non-four-year institution—are eligible for a Community Service scholarship if they transfer to BU. One who did just that is Shanice Bryan (CAS’22), a native of Jamaica who transferred this year after graduating from Charlestown High School and studying at Bunker Hill Community College for a year and a half. But she’s had her eye on BU since her high school held its graduation ceremony here. She got lost that day and ended up with a bit of an informal self-guided campus tour.

“BU has always been number one on my list,” says Bryan, who is studying political science and has her eye on law school. “I wanted to go there, but I didn’t think I would be able to afford it. So I went to Bunker Hill and did a really good job, and then I heard about the scholarship. I wrote an essay talking about what the scholarship means to me.

“And now that I’ve got it, I just thought that I have to do really well, because not a lot of people get this opportunity,” she says. “I am humbled and grateful.”

Ultimately, the importance of the scholarships is not what they do for the students, but what the students do for the world.

“I challenge you to broaden yourselves and prepare for life as a citizen of this great country and as a leader in our society,” Brown told the students on Zoom. “We need you. We are counting on you to succeed.”

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Boston University To Open New Lgbtqia+ Student Resource Center

Boston University to Open New LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center

Boston University has announced it will be opening a professionally staffed resource center for LGBTQIA+ students, to be housed at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, near spaces like the Howard Thurman Center. Photo by Janice Checchio


Boston University to Open New LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center Will be housed in 808 Commonwealth Ave., near the Howard Thurman Center

The news was announced Thursday in a joint memo sent to the BU community from Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, and President Robert A. Brown. The center is expected to open at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.

“This is an exciting time for our campus community,” says Morrison, who worked with Brown, the Dean of Students office, BU Student Government, and student groups to bring the center to life.

“Our ability to create spaces where students can feel a sense of belonging, build connection, and enjoy new opportunities for engagement and reflection is central to both our mission and our strategic planning,” Morrison says. “This effort is the culmination of countless hours of conversation around our community and an important step toward our creating a more inclusive and welcoming BU for our LGBTQIA+ students.”

The center, tentatively named the LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Center, will be housed on the second floor of 808 Commonwealth Avenue, near existing spaces like the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground and the LGBTQIA+ Center for Faculty & Staff. 

“The effort of the LGBTQIA+ Student Taskforce to make the case for establishing the center is inspiring,” Brown says. “I have no doubt that this new resource will make Boston University more welcoming for an important portion of our student body. Placing the center adjacent to the Howard Thurman Center will leverage our substantial investment in community space.”

The new center will serve as a community hub for LGBTQIA+ students at BU. It will offer optional training for BU community members, leadership and career workshops for LGBTQIA+ students, alumni outreach and mentorship opportunities, events, and more. Additionally, the center plans to host an archival library dedicated to LGBTQIA+ history.

“This center will be a place to explore queer ancestry, engage deeply with one another to find a sense of community, workshop opportunities to make society more inclusive at present, and build the scaffolding to improve the future,” says Jason Campbell-Foster, interim associate provost and dean of students. “We are a community that is deeply entrenched in American society, and ensuring students have a respect for that is going to be a vital part of what you can see from the center as well.”

The dean of students will oversee the center’s operations. 

The search for a director and administrative staff will begin this spring. The BU community can expect more details about the center’s offerings once personnel are in place. 

For the students who pushed to bring a center to fruition, this moment marks “legacy-leaving work,” Campbell-Foster says. “What an amazing legacy to leave something at Boston University that will be here forever and will continue to grow and serve students in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

“I want this center to be packed with students, and I want this community to feel more affirmed,” he continues. “That will all be made possible because of student leadership. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

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Bu, City Of Boston To Celebrate Mlk On Monday

BU, City of Boston to Celebrate MLK on Monday Commemorations to include readings, musical performances

Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59), receiving an honorary degree from Boston University June 7, 1959, flanked by Walter Muelder (STH’30, GRS’33, Hon.’73), dean of the School of Theology (left), and BU President Harold Case (STH’27, Hon.’67). Photo by Boston University Photography

Boston University’s annual commemoration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) will be shaped this year by growing concerns about the Trump administration’s commitment to civil rights. “In a time when educational bastions are under direct threat from an administration that fears visionary ideas, celebrations that champion King’s scholarship and diverse voices—that remind us of our best possibilities, rooted in freedom—are even more precious,” says award-winning poet Kamilah Aisha Moon, who will speak at the celebration, beginning at 2 pm Monday, January 15, at the George Sherman Union.

Moon, an Agnes Scott College assistant professor of poetry and creative writing, will be among several speakers reflecting “on the depth, power, and ever-increasing relevance” of King’s words beyond the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, says Kenneth Elmore (SED’87), associate provost and dean of students, who is overseeing this year’s program, titled Words Beyond the Dream.

Monday’s event will also include remarks by BU President Robert A. Brown, as well as by Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, poet Danez Smith, Babatunde Alford (CAS’18), and BU trustee Carol Fulp, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership, Inc., which supports a multicultural workforce. Music will be performed by the School of Theology Seminary Singers, the Inner Strength Gospel Choir, the BU Academy Jazz Band, and the Medical Campus Blues Band.

“We will create a chorus of voices that elevate and illuminate Dr. King’s profound thinking and action related to the issues of community, justice, peace, and love,” says Elmore.

Moon says she will read from her poetry and speak about the importance of not giving up in times like the ones we are living through. “It is a distinct honor to participate in a program held at an institution critical to Dr. King’s intellectual development,” she says. “Many of his core ethics and philosophical tenets were explored and formed at BU under the mentorship of Howard Thurman.” Thurman, dean of Marsh Chapel from 1953 to 1965, was the first black dean at a mostly white American university. 

Boston University will also host the city of Boston’s annual King Day celebration, which is being held at the George Sherman Union at 10:30 am on Monday, and like the BU observance, is free and open to the public. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will offer welcoming remarks at the event, titled A Day of Service and Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized in partnership with Boston’s Museum of African American History (MAAH), the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (long in residence at BU), and the University. The city chose Boston University as the site for its observance because of King’s ties to BU.

“It is an honor to join with the city of Boston in celebrating this adopted son who was educated here, met his wife here, and spoke here as a Civil Rights leader,” says Marita Rivero, MAAH executive director.

The city’s celebration will include performances of spirituals and freedom songs by musicians from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Intensive Community Program, as well as readings of King’s words by several distinguished community leaders, including John Barros, Boston’s chief of economic development. Judge Leslie Harris, former associate justice of Suffolk Juvenile Court will deliver the keynote address.

Marsh Chapel will hold a special Martin Luther King, Jr., observance during its regular 11 am service on Sunday, January 14. Walter Fluker (GRS’88), the School of Theology Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Ethical Leadership, who will deliver the sermon, says King’s ideas are vitally important in the current political climate and that the Civil Rights leader’s words can help the nation address current concerns about “the right to speak out, about tax breaks for the rich, about treatment of immigrants, about building a wall, about deals with plutocrats and autocrats.”

The title of Fluker’s sermon, “Plenty Good Room: Contested Democratic Space and King’s Vision of the World House,” comes from a phrase King used in his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, and his vision of a world of interdependence and interconnectedness, where there is a place for all. Music for the interdenominational service will include a selection of American spirituals.

The Medical Campus community is invited to celebrate King’s legacy with a lunchtime event on Thursday, January 18, at the School of Medicine Instructional Building Hiebert Lounge, 18th floor. There will be an invocation by the Rev. Julian Armand Cook, assistant director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, followed by a conversation with Jonathan Woodson, Questrom School of Business Larz Anderson Professor in Management and director of BU’s Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy. Woodson holds joint appointments as a MED professor of surgery and a School of Public Health professor of health law, policy, and management.

Marsh Chapel’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., worship service is at 11 am on Sunday, January 14, and will feature a special liturgy and music, as well as a sermon by Walter Fluker (GRS’88), the Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Ethical Leadership at STH. All are welcome to attend the chapel service, led by Marsh Chapel Dean Robert Allan Hill, with the Marsh Chapel Choir singing; you can listen to the service live on WBUR, 90.9 FM.

The city of Boston’s Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hosted by the city in conjunction with the Museum of African American History, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and BU, and featuring remarks by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, is Monday, January 15, at the George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 10:30 am to noon. The event is free and open to the public.  

BU’s Martin Luther King Day Commemoration, Words Beyond the Dream, with readings by poets Kamilah Aisha Moon and Danez Smith, music by the School of Theology Seminary Singers, the Inner Strength Gospel Choir, the BU Academy Jazz Band, and the Medical Campus Blues Band, and remarks by President Robert A. Brown, is Monday, January 15, in the GSU Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 2 to 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The Medical Campus will host a  Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration at noon on Thursday, January 18, in the School of Medicine Instructional Building, Hiebert Lounge, 14th floor, 72 E. Concord St.

The University is also planning a series of special events from April 2 to 9 to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. Find more information about those events here. 

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10 Ways To Cope With Current World Events

10 Ways to Cope with Current World Events


10 Ways to Cope with Current World Events Tips and resources to stay well during these times of uncertainty

Feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty in response to disturbing current events—such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine—can be difficult to cope with. While these tips may not directly address the causes of this stress, they can help you manage it and keep going.

1. Limit your intake of news and social media

If you’re feeling distressed by the news, it’s OK to take breaks. If disengaging completely feels like too much, create limits for yourself: set a timer that allows you to engage, but reminds you to stop. Read a book, take a walk, or find some time without media. Remember, taking time for yourself is not selfish.

2. Let your voice be heard

When we feel powerless, it’s important to find ways to have a voice. You could get involved in forms of activism, join organizations, attend events, talk to others about what you value, make a donation, or work to protect the rights of others. Consider how to balance action with rest.

3. Maintain your routine and engage in healthy activities

Try to strike a balance between keeping up with current events and going about your daily life. Basic acts of self-care can make a real difference during times of stress: take breaks, connect with family and friends, take on fewer commitments, engage in spiritual or religious practices, or go for a walk. Find what feels good for you.

4. Practice relaxation

Try self-soothing strategies like meditating, breathing exercises, listening to music, or whatever you find helpful. BU offers complimentary access to HeadSpace so you can meditate and clear your mind whenever necessary. Give yourself a bit of sympathy, too. Stress can often cause you to underperform. Make sure you set aside time to treat yourself and enjoy some moments of joy.

5. Move your body

When you experience stress, your muscles tense. Practicing movement that releases tension can help you process difficult emotions. Try shaking out parts of your body, gentle stretches, self-massage, or other forms of movement.

6. Recognize your limits

Remember that you may not be as efficient as usual, and you might need more time or help to complete tasks. It’s OK! We’re all human. Just plan accordingly, show yourself kindness, and ask for support when needed.

7. Seek out community

Check-in with your friends or family. Even when you don’t know the “right” thing to say, just being with others during difficult times can be powerful.

8. Acknowledge your feelings

Reactions to events vary from person to person. Some people experience intense feelings while others may not. Allow yourself to feel what you feel without judgment of yourself or others.

9. Remember that self-care and community care are connected

It can be tempting to prioritize activist work over your own self-care, but they are interconnected. Taking time for yourself helps you show up as a kinder and more compassionate person to others, and can refuel your capacity for activism.

10. Reach out if you need additional support

BU’s International Students & Scholars Office provides information on policies affecting international students and their families. BU’s Dean of Students can provide assistance with personal and financial emergencies. And if you need additional mental health support, you can contact Behavioral Medicine at Student Health Services.

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