Staying Active on Campus

For first year students especially, it can be difficult to stay involved on campus. Commuters with jobs and busy schedules can find it especially difficult to get connected with activities on campus. Those living on campus may get lost in the numerous posters and emails listing various ways to get involved. Your first step is to think about the level of campus involvement you’re looking for. Here are some things to consider: How many other commitments are you currently balancing? How do you feel when you’re consistently busy? Accomplished and satisfied? Frantic and stressed?  This will indicate how much more involved you’ll want to be. If being occupied all of the time makes you feel accomplished, two or three activities a week might be right for you, but if being busy stresses you out, you might consider sticking with one activity a week. Don’t feel pressured to do everything at once! So, how do you choose? Why not start by looking at Salem State University’s student organizations page, right here http://www.salemstate.edu/student_life/427.php Next, take a look at the meeting times for the groups you’re interested in. This should narrow your selection down a little bit more.  A great way to decide which of the remaining groups you want to join is by attending one of their meetings. From there you’ll be able to figure out which ones interest you most. If you’re interested in event planning, why not try Program Council? If you’re interested in journalism you could write for the Salem State Log. There’s something for almost everyone, from academic groups to performing arts.  If you don’t see anything you like, you can always start one of your own. Getting involved on campus will make it feel more like home!

Keep It Organized!

I’m sure many of you are beginning your year off and realizing that you’re getting a little disorganized. Here are some helpful tips to keep yourself in line:

  1. Get a calendar: Keeping a calendar of all y0ur homework due dates, work, appointments, and other important events will help you visualize what needs to be done. Color code your events if it helps you see what you have to accomplish. Personally, I like to keep a white board calendar so I can erase each month and rewrite every thing, even putting little magnets on very important dates. If eraser boards are not your thing, a regular calendar or even printing out a month by month calendar from the internet works too.
  2. Technology: It’s our best friend for staying on top of schedules and reminders. If you have a smartphone, go to the calendar app where you can add events. For example, on an iPhone, I can add the title of the event, location, add the time start and end (or make it an all day event). The event can reoccur; whether it is every day, week,  two weeks, month or year. For this, I add in my class schedule and add every week, making an alert also so my phone alerts me beforehand. Sometimes I use the notes at the bottom to add in information about it that I might forget. Adding in all of your events into your smartphone is helpful because you can check your events on the go.
  3. Binders: If you feel like you are accumulating a lot of papers and need to keep them organized, get a binder, a three hole punch, and dividers. Every time you receive a handout, three hole punch it and put it in a divider that will be kept for handouts specifically, or you can put it in with your notes for that day. Keeping old tests and quizzes are a great idea for a review during midterm and finals in its own divider as well as graded work that you receive back. For important information, keep it at the front of the binder which. This includes the syllabus and handouts that you may refer to often throughout the semester.
  4. Other ways to keep it organized: Some small ways to keep organized everyday is to use sticky notes and take quick notes of tasks that need to be completed or things to remember, use an agenda to remind yourself of homework. In your class syllabus, highlighting due dates, midterms and finals are helpful too!

Using any one of these strategies will help keep your schedule in line and organized, good luck!

-Sarah M

 

Student Success Series

I hope each of you have had a great first few weeks and are adjusting well to campus! These first six weeks have been crazy for everyone but I want to give you an insight to what is going on that could benefit you in your first year. When I first came to SSU I was overwhelmed by my classes and new found freedom. I felt that I didn’t know where to turn for help. However, I am here to tell you the First Year Experience office is here for you and we are ramping up some new activities to get you well-adjusted and make you feel at home! We understand that these weeks have flown by and you still might be left with questions so we want you to take part in our events so we can help you!

In the upcoming weeks the First Year Experience office will be holding Student Success Series for the newest members of our campus, specifically freshmen and transfer students. These sessions will be held Monday th​rough Thursday from 4:30pm-5:30pm. There will be a variety of topics that will be discussed from academics to tutoring to advice to testing and more! The weekly series will be led by FYE student mentors and faculty. When you come to the workshop you will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card for participating in the event. The more you come to the more times your name will have a chance of being called to win! At the end of each week two names will be pulled at random and those whose names were chosen will receive the gift cards. Who couldn’t use a little extra spending money in the middle of the semester?! Starting the week of October 27th we will be hosting these events, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as your emails for updates and locations of the workshops!

Benefits of Talking to your Professors

The semester is in full swing and everyone is working on midterm papers, studying, and working on keeping grades from slumping during the second half of the semester. This may be a high stress time in the semester but it is important to remember that there are so many resources on campus available to help you and one of the best resources are your professors! As students of Salem State, we are lucky enough to enjoy small class sizes where the professors get to know us by name and even by our work. It is so important to take advantage of the access we have to our professors and keep in mind that they are here to help us succeed!

What Can I Do to Help my Professors Help Me?

  • Utilize office hours- Professors are required to have office hours where you can pop in and get help on things you are having trouble with, express concerns about the class or your performance, ask any questions you may have, or just simply say hello and ask about how to be the most successful in his/her class
  • Talk Before or After Class- Come to class a few minutes early and ask any questions you might have or simply chat with your professor or stay a few minutes after and ask any clarifying questions you didn’t have time to during the class
  • Email- Don’t be afraid to send an email to your professors if you need help when it is not their office hours or you are not in class

What Are the Benefits of Talking to My Professor?

  • Improved Grades- getting clarification on parts of the class that are confusing as well as gaining a better understanding of what the professor is expecting of you can make you more successful in class.
  • Good Relationship with Professor- Professors are always impressed with students that take responsibility for their own success and learning. They LOVE when students come to their office hours and show that they really care about their class and doing well!
  • Letters of Recommendation- Whether you need a letter of recommendation for a job in the future or for a scholarship, professors will be willing to write you them if you start a conversation with them over the course of the semester and they know you. They will have plenty of positive things to say about you if they know that you are working hard in the class and coming for help when you need it!
  • Save Money on Books- When a professor posts the books needed for class online each semester, they can really add up. A lot of times they post the newest editions of the book but not much changes from edition to edition. If you email your professor and politely ask if it would be okay to use an early (and cheaper) edition, most of the time they will say yes and you can save a ton of cash!

At first you may be nervous about talking one on one with your professors, but remember that they want to see you succeed and they are always happy to see students take the initiative to talk to them!

Welcome to Advising

As we are in the mid semester of the fall session, we have come to a small bump in the road that everyone knows as advising. Everyone has an adviser that they meet with in terms of tracking their progress and picking classes for the upcoming semester. Meeting with your adviser is a very important time because they are the ones to give you your access code so that you can pick your classes.

In your first semester the process of picking classes can be very overwhelming. However, having the trusty flow sheet by your side makes everything much more manageable. The flowsheet is a list of all the classes one must take in order to get their degree in that subject matter. You will start the advising period by checking off what classes you are taking this semester. Then you would look online to see which classes are being offered for the upcoming semester. You would then build your schedule off of that. Being prepared before walking into advising will help you in the long run. This will save you time and allow your adviser to see everything that you have to do in order to graduate on time.

Although advising can seem like this long and daunting task that everyone despises, in the end it is a very beneficial process. Since after all, you do need that code in order to even register.

How to Save Money While in College

Every college student knows that money is tight while you’re in school. There are classes to focus on, and if you have a job chances are you can’t work as many hours as you would like to. But luckily there are ways that you can make the most of the little money you do have.

Textbooks

Try and get the best deal possible when paying for your textbooks. Let’s face it, textbooks are expensive, and it can be difficult to know where the best place to buy from is. Check every possible resource; the bookstore, amazon, chegg, ect. Figure out what each place is asking for and make a decision based on which one is the least expensive. This may vary, for one book amazon could be asking for more then the bookstore and vice versa. Buy used or rent as much as you can, it really can save you a lot of money.

Plan Ahead

Decide ahead of time how much money you are willing to spend. Every time you get a pay check, decide how much of it will be going to food, how much will go towards fun things, ect. Jot this down in a notebook or in a file on your computer and make sure you stick to it.

Take Note of What You’re Spending

Ask for receipts every time you make a purchase, so you know exactly what you did spend. Then take note of it in your “finance” notebook or internet file. This will help you see how much you are actually spending, so you know if you are on track or can figure out how you can spend less on items you may not need in the future.

Summer!

Make the most of your time during the summer. Summer is the perfect time to save up money for the school year when you have less time to work. Try everything you can to get a summer job and then safe a big portion of the money that you make for the next two semesters.

Transportation

As a freshmen you may not be able to have your car on campus, which can actually be good for your wallet. But even when you do have access to your car, try and save money on gas as often as you can. Do this by carpooling with friends and sharing the price of gas, or using public transportation as often as possible. The school has its own shuttle system which can take you to many places around the area, try and use this as often as possible.

Every Little Bit Helps

You may not think that the spare change you get on your coffee order is worth much of anything, but it certainly can be. Save it in a jar and eventually it will add up. After a while you can cash in that money at a place like coinstar and you have some new cash in your pocket that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Just remember when trying to save money in college, every little bit helps and there are many things you can do to make the most of whatever money you make, even if it’s not too much.

-FYM Kayla

Not Everything Can Be Forgotten

Not Everything Can Be Forgotten

With all of the technology available nowadays and all of the different social media outlets that go along with them you have to be kind of picky as to what you post on your social media pages. Not only do you have to think about who an view it right now, friends, family and acquaintances but also those who could potentially view it in the future. Companies, Colleges and Universities do sometimes look at the Facebook or Twitter accounts of people they potentially want to hire or invite to be in their institution. So when these institutions or people you aren’t friends with look at your account, no matter how high you think your security settings are, they can probably see some of the stuff you post.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you log on to your Facebook or Twitter account:

​Would you say this to your Grandma?- If the answer is no you should probably rethink that status. While social media can sometimes be a tool to vent your frustrations on, keep in mind those anonymous or unknown people who are looking at your status update and wondering if that is the kind of person you really are.

Less is More- While you may not notice that you make statuses for every little thin going on in your life, other people do. there’s nothing inherently wrong with this but it can get annoying and in some cases you come off sounding more immature than you would like to be thought of by say a potential employer.

Out of Sight is Not Out of Mind- Just because you delete something off of a social media site does not mean that it’s gone forever. People with some kind of computer background can very easily retrieve that deleted status or pictures, so just be aware of what you are putting out onto the Internet and who you are sharing personal things with.

Plagiarism – What is it and how do I avoid doing it?

As Salem State First Years begin their academic careers here at Salem State, they will be diving into the world of collegiate essays and research papers. It is important that we expand ourselves through our writing by conveying our own ideas and writing in our own styles; but, there are times where others’ ideas and writings help support our own arguments in papers; when we use other people’s works as contributions to our own, we must give credit to the original author – otherwise, we are plagiarizing, which is a very serious offense.

What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is academic theft. It refers to the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution or credit. An author’s work is his/her property and should be respected by documentation. Even unsigned materials, anonymous works or works without listed authors, must be given credit to retain academic integrity. Plagiarism includes claiming someone else’s ideas as your own, copying and pasting from a web document without attribution, and paraphrasing others’ works without attribution.

When Do I Need to Give Credit?
Credit must be given to another in your writing when:

  • A direct quotation of any length is used
  • When a work is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in your own words
  • When information provided is not “Common Knowledge” (“Common knowledge” is defined as information that appears substantially the same in several general sources such as textbooks or encyclopedias) – an example of Common Knowledge would be something along the lines of, George Washington was the first president of the United States.

How Do I Give Credit to Another For Their Work?
In writing, we give credit to another for their work and ideas through citation; citations include information such as the name of the author, the company that published the work, when the work was published and other valuable information. There are several different forms of citation with different structures used for different subject materials including MLA format, APA format, and Chicago style. Information on how to write a correct citation along with bibliographies can be found at this link: Purdue Owl

How Do I Avoid Plagiarizing?
To avoid plagiarizing, here are some tips:

  • Don’t leave your citations until you are done with your paper: this is a lesson many students learn the hard way. They write their essay and say to themselves, “Oh, I’ll just do my citations later – what matters is that I finish the content of this paper.” The issue with this is that we often confuse ourselves or even forget which source we got our information from, especially in cases where you are using many, many sources. Create a citation for your bibliography immediately, and do your in-text citations properly as you write; this way when your paper is done, it is actually in all completeness done! The proper author’s have been given the credit they so rightly deserve and you will have avoided plagiarism
  • There’s no such thing as too much credit: if at any point in your writing you think to yourself, “do I need a citation here?” the answer to your question is probably YES! Write that citation into your paper, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This brings us to our next point, which is
  • Talk to your professors: if you think you are citing things you do not need to be citing, or maybe you are not citing enough, your professors should be able to help you; they will tell you if your citations are correct, ways to simplify your citations and can inform you where there should be a citation in your work.

In the spirit of giving credit to others, this information was found and can be accessed by others on the Salem State Website!
I hope this information will be helpful in your academic writing adventures!

- FYM Kelly

Advising

Its that time of year again…advising time. Advising is a two week long period before registration, in which students meet with their academic advisor to plan out your classes for next semester. It starts on Monday October 20th this year. If you have not found your academic adviser you can do so using Navigator. Simply log on, click “My Academics” in the left hand tool bar. Once in that subject, click on the link “View my advisors”, there should be a name there. That name is your academic advisor!

The next step you should take is to search your advisor’s name on the ssu website. This will lead you to that professor’s information page; which will tell you what their email is, where their office is, and it may even have a copy of their professional resume or a picture of them. This will give you some more information on how to contact your advisor. For a first time meeting, I would suggest going to their office as listed. They should have a sign up for open advising time, sign up for a slot and make sure you attend it. If they don’t have any slots available, email them as soon as possible. Each faculty member has multiple students to advise, so make sure your email is sent on the earlier side so you have more time to schedule a meeting.

When you attend advising, you should always show up with a plan and questions. While your advisor may not know all the answers, they are the ones who are here to help you find them. By using the class search tool in navigator, you can plan out what classes you would like to take and when they are offered. If you show up to advising with no plan your adviser will be able to help you construct a schedule, but having a plan will give you more time to ask questions and generally get to know your advisor.

Hope these tips help your advising run smoothly.

-Megan

Studying

As we start to get further into the fall semester it is going to start to get stressful. Around this time of the semester, professors start talking about midterms and exams. I would personally tell you, you should start going over your notes. During my freshman year I didn’t think I had to study too early before the exam came, but I was wrong. During the week of midterm I was so stressed because I left all my studying for the day before. Don’t make the same mistake I did. It is never too early to start studying for a test. You can start looking over your notes from the beginning of the semester. As the time gets closer to the exam, you can always refer back to your notes.

Here are some different studying habits:

  • Make sure you take notes – If you miss a class make sure you have a friend email you the notes from class. You could have missed something important for your exam.
  • Try to color code – When you color code your materials it helps you know what assignments are for a specific class.
  • Have everything written down – If you have all your assignments written down in one place it is easier to keep track of everything that you need to do.
  • Ask Questions – If anything is unclear about the exam, email your professor. Professors love to get emails about anything that is unclear.
  • Look over old notes – It is always good to freshen up on notes from the beginning of the semester. It helps you remember the old information from the beginning of the year.

I hope these tips help you improve your studying!   — Rayna S.

Here is the link for more information: http://homeworktips.about.com/od/studymethods/tp/studyhabits.htm