Sleep – The Best Friend You’ll Ever Have

As First Year Students you may be juggling a new and unfamiliar schedule, new course loads, living in the resident halls with classmates, working jobs. It is important that in your busy day you make time to sleep! College students tend to put sleep on the back burner, behind their homework and sports practices and theatre shows, among other things. What happens when we sacrifice that sleep?

Repercussions of Sleep Deprivation

  • Lack of sleep makes it harder to think – During sleep, your brain consolidates memories; if you don’t sleep, you’ll forget all of the information you learned in classes all day long! Alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem-solving skills are impaired when you stay up all night.
  • Lack of sleep adds an emotional burden on your shoulders – Sleep loss often plays a strong contributing role in the development of depression; it aggravates its symptoms, like sadness and lack of motivation
  • Lack of sleep leads to accidents – Fatigue is one of the biggest playing factors in car accidents and injuries on the job.

What Should YOU Do to Develop Better Sleep Habits?

  • Try your best to go to bed at a reasonable hour – if you have to talk yourself into believing that 2 am is a reasonable hour, then you’ve probably been up too late!
  • Find a quiet environment to sleep – interrupted sleep is not ideal sleep; try and find a quiet place! I know this is difficult in the resident halls, but always keep in mind there are quiet hours at night and courtesy hours all the time. If you need quiet, politely ask for quiet!
  • Put your technology away – the bright screens and information that come with our technology stimulates our brain, making it difficult for us to fall asleep, so shut off that TV, end the Netflix marathon and put your phone away; it’s time to go to bed.

You’ll find that when you get a good nights sleep, you’ll take on this campus with a whole new view!

- FYM Kelly

“Happiness is a state of activity.” ― Aristotle

As a first year student, you are going to be bombarded with fliers, emails, and announcements trying to get you to go to different on campus activities. While it would be impossible to go to all of them, it would be a mistake to go to none of them. Going to on campus events allows you to meet new peers, both in your year and older. You will get see how the upperclassmen who run the clubs are getting involved in areas they truly care about. By going to events you will be able to make personal connections and be able to have fun with your friends or make some new friends.

The full list of events by month is located on the Salem State website at: http://www.salemstate.edu/calendar/

To RSVP to the events on facebook, check out our events calendar here: https://www.facebook.com/events/calendar

The more events you go to, the more you will get used to life on campus. The events on campus are usually on a smaller scale, and are always really fun. I hope you all get to experience a really cool event soon!

-Megan

Oh All the Places You Can Go During Halloween Week!

Halloween in Salem is a unique experience. People of all ages and from all places come together to basically have a giant party in the streets of downtown Salem. This does come with a few drawbacks like the influx of tourists that we’ve been experiencing all month gets exponentially worse and roads to downtown Salem close around 4pm, making escape impossible from the Halloween fun in the form of fireworks at 10:15pm. Leading up to the big night however there are a ton of fun things to do in the residence halls thanks to the efforts of your building Community Councils.

Here are a list of events going on in the halls leading up to Halloween:

-Peabody Hall: Halloween Dance on Wednesday October 29th at 9pm
-Peabody and Bowditch Hall: Haunted Hallways decorating competitions Thursday October 30th 6pm
-Bates Hall: Fall Festival Thursday October 30th 7pm

Get Involved

My first year here I was very exciting. I joined the Spirit Squad my first semester. It was one of the best times I had being here. It was a new group and many people didn’t know what to expect from it. But the memories and people I met was very exciting. Joining a group on campus can open up so many opportunities for you. You have a chance to meet new people on campus and start being more active on campus. There are so many different clubs and organizations on campus, there is bound to be one that is just right for you. If there isn’t a club that you like, you can always start your own club. It is very easy and all you need is about five friends to start. Once you join a group on campus it can improve your experience here.

The people that you might in a group or club can have a lasting impression. I am still friends with the people I met my freshman year even though I’m not apart of the group anymore. It is all about making connections and meeting new people. Here is the link to check out the different groups and clubs: http://www.salemstate.edu/student_life/427.php

Don’t wait until it’s too late to join!

-Rayna S.

Campus Events that Can Change the Way You View the World and Those Around You

This past Tuesday, October 21st, I attended The Ferguson Forum Panel and Discussion on Systemic Racism, the Law and its Relevance for Communities of Color. Three campus professors and one lawyer were on the panel to discuss and provide information to those attending. They spoke about race, racism, and racial oppression in regards to the incident that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. The four panelists, professionals in law, sociology, geography, and criminal justice, explained that aside from the tragedy in Ferguson, racism is still in issue throughout the United States. This struck me as odd, considering the year that we’re living, and the amount of acceptance that is being shared country wide. Although, the panel taught me that our society needs help accepting MORE, to get rid  of bias and look at difference amongst people as a POSITIVE thing. What I can agree on, is that negativity and judgment walk hand and hand. People will always judge, and that is the unfortunate reality that the generations living in 2014 are facing. We need to learn to overcome the negativity towards others, and learn to accept and sympathize. Walk a mile in each others shoes, and understand that people are not ever going to  be exactly like you. I personally think the unique differences people have are such amazing traits that make the world go ’round. Differences are good.

The things I learned by attending this discussion have really opened my eyes and changed the ways I view the United States and people as a whole. I am so happy my professor told me about this panel! I benefited so much, and received extra credit for broadening my horizons and opening my mind. I highly recommend YOU look into upcoming discussions and attend with an open mind and a positive attitude. You never know, you may walk out a completely different person with a completely different way to view the world!

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events, just like this one!

http://www.salemstate.edu/calendar/cas/

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.