Fitness: How to Get Started

There is an ice cream machine in the dining hall, there is no time to do anything but study, and sleep is minimal leaving you with little energy to use for exercising. Working out and staying in shape in college can seem pretty difficult. Even if you were an athlete in high school, you may not be playing any sports in college and be left doing no physical activity at all. The truth is your body NEEDS exercise to help you feel better and focus on your studies. It can actually make you a better student! The good thing is that college is the PERFECT time to get in shape and become a healthier you! All you have to do is get through the obstacles.

Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

  1. “I don’t have time”- Even just 30 minutes of physical activity a day will lead you to a healthier lifestyle and leave you feeling energized and more focused for your studies.
  2. “I don’t know what to do for exercise”- Try to find intramural sports that interest you because Salem State has so many options! Even if you don’t like the gym you can go for a walk with friends, take fun exercise classes at the gym, or try a workout from YouTube in your room!
  3. “I never feel like working out”- Grab a gym buddy or a friend that wants to get in shape too and choose an activity!
  4. “I am too tired”- Exercise can wake you up and leave you more energized and focused for homework during the day, then later at night you will have a better night’s sleep! If you can manage to get yourself to go out and start an activity the benefits will soon follow and you will forget how tired you were before!

It can be difficult to make exercise a priority when you have so much school work and other obligations that must come first, but it is worth it! Finding just 30 minutes a day to do something active will make you feel better, make you more successful in the classroom and boost your immune system during the coming flu season!

Personally, I was not a fan of the gym before I got to college. I was a dancer my whole life and I never had to think about exercise because I would just go to dance class! It didn’t even feel like work because I loved it so much. I knew I needed to find a way to stay active in college but didn’t know where to start. The Zumba and Yoga classes at the Gassett Fitness Center became a weekly ritual with my friends and it became not just exercise but a social event! Working out doesn’t have to be a chore and it is so beneficial to your health, so grab some friends and get active!!

You Live and You Learn

As the saying goes, everything that you will ever need to know you learn in kindergarten. Well I’m going to say that that statement it one hundred percent true. From the time we enter kindergarten we work on life skills that will apply to us forever. To quote the Robert Fulghum poem, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder.Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” As you can see from this poem, you do basically learn all of your life lessons in kindergarten. So anytime you are ever stuck in a sticky situation just think of kindergarten! I mean one of the most important things you could have ever learned is to take a nap every now and then just to refresh yourself!

Can I pass or Should I Drop the Class?

With the last day to drop a semester course approaching (November 21), some of you might be thinking of dropping a class. Here are a few things to consider before you do:

  • If you have a regular twice weekly class, you only have 6-7 days of classes left
  • If you’re taking a once weekly class you only have 4 days of classes left
  • If you have any sort of essay or project due later this month, that often accounts for up to 25 or even 30% of your grade, it’s a great way to recover in a class you’re not doing well in
  • You still have your final exam, that’s another aprox 25% of your grade where you can turn things around!
  • Take a moment to think, are things so bad in this course that you’re willing to take it all over again next semester?
  • Talk to your professor, ask what your grade is so far. It may not be as bad as you think.
  • Talk to your advisor, what options do you have besides dropping the class?
  • Talk to your classmates! Are others having trouble with this class too? What are they doing to fix them? If you’re all confused about the same thing, can you all talk to your professor about it?

Lastly, let’s be honest sometimes you might not be as concerned about failing a class so much as continuing to deal with a particularly difficult professor. Certain personalities don’t always work well together, but if that’s the only problem, remember to stick out and keep going to class. Don’t stop now! With only 7 classes left, you don’t want to throw away all of the hard work you’ve done so far. Keep in mind that after this class, you probably won’t have to take another class with that professor.

Remember to take a look at all of your options before dropping a class, there’s still time to save the grade!

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli

When one contemplates a proper life lesson to share there are many that come to mind. Something I recently read immediately came to mind. It’s a list of reasons why you are good enough. You can find the full list at

Here are some of my favs:

2. You are good enough because you have something no one else has to offer. A killer smile, an affinity for baking, excellent math skills — whatever your specialty might be, you’ve got something no one else can compare to.

3. You are good enough because you make big mistakes. Huge ones. And that’s awesome because it gives you the chance to become better. And you choose to take it.

7. You are good enough because even though you know you have to let go of some people, you also know there are some you have to continue to forgive. You’ve become aware of the people who need to stay in your life, and sometimes those are the ones that need more forgiveness than others.

10. You are good enough because though you may be in a rut right now, or maybe you’re just having a rough day, you know that things will get better. You have hope. You let the beauty of the brighter days ahead of you carry you on until you reach them.


Let’s get real everyone feels insecure and not confident about themselves at some point in their life. And it’s really hard to figure out what to do when you literally have no clue how to handle your life. The one thing that matters is that you take action. It does not really matter what that action is, as long as you do something. By making choices in your life you wither succeed or have an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Use all of your time at college as a learning experience, not just the school part but the other parts as well. In time you will be able to see that most things are a blessing in disguise, and you will be able to take all of your experiences and allow them to shape the person you are becoming.


The “F’ Word

No one wants to talk about them but everyone knows that they’re coming: Finals. I know I know, we just got back from the long Veteran’s Day weekend, we go on Thanksgiving in two weeks, we have plenty of time to worry about Finals.However much we want to believe that we have this infinite amount of time before Finals, we don’t. In reality there are about four weeks left until Finals time and now is the time to start planning out your plan of attack. Start thinking about what you need to study like is your exam cumulative or will it only cover material after the midterm? Start planning out when you are going to study.

If you are anything like me between work, classes and extracurriculars I actually need to plan out a study schedule otherwise I will just put it off and catch up on my shows instead because I believe I have at least tomorrow to study for this big exam that is 20% of my grade. In actuality that day is more like maybe one to two hours if I’m not interrupted. Which is why I need to plan out my study time and who, if anyone, I’m going to share that time with. Most people can benefit from “study groups” if those groups actually study. What I have found is that if a friend or two says, “We are going to start studying right now and we are going to do this for X amount of time till we get through this”, they are lying to me and maybe themselves. What really happens is we will turn on a movie or TV show halfway through study time and then I won’t get any studying done because everyone is making too much noise or is constantly stopping my progress so that I can answer a question for them, study related or not.

For information to actually sink into my brain I need to either be alone or with someone who will study in silence with me. And by silence I mean with my headphones in and my favorite 8tracks playlist going. But that is what works for me, you guys need to do what works for you and if that includes carving out chunks of time in the upcoming weeks to actually study or work on papers, you should probably think about doing that now because time is ticking.

I’m stressed!

Many students in school either have a part-time job or a full-time job while in school. I have two-part time jobs and I’m a full-time student; things can start to get over whelming. When there are too many things on your plate, you start to let some stuff fall behind and nine times out of ten it’s school work. Trying to balance school work and working is a huge task. If you work all weekend and during the week it could be hard to fit in time for schoolwork. There are many strategies that you can do to try to balance everything.

1. If you see yourself slacking on homework, try doing the work right after class. Instead of waiting until the end of the day try starting it early. Or if you have a break in between classes or a class get canceled, I know it’s tempting to go home and sleep but try to do a homework assignment instead.

2. If you work all weekend, try getting all your homework and studying done before Friday. You wouldn’t have to stay up Sunday night doing homework that’s due the next day.

3. Set Goals! It’s great to plan out what you have due during the week. Don’t try to save everything for the last-minute when you have work a few hours away. Its better to set goals of what you want to accomplish for the day.

My best advise is to plan. Its better to have everything planned out that you need to accomplish. I know that it can be over whelming but if you have a routine and balance everything, it should be alright.

What’s New at SSU?

Now that the stressful period of class registration and midterms is over, it’s time to have some fun on campus! Whether you are a resident or a commuter, there is always something to do at SSU. Here are some cool, fun and informative events coming up on campus!

Student Success Series – Geared specifically toward First Year and Transfer students, these series will help you become the most successful student that you can be here at Salem State University. The next one coming up is this Wednesday, November 12, in Meier Hall room 106 from 4:30-5:30; the subject – Study Abroad. Come learn all about how SSU will fulfill your dreams of traveling across the world while getting a few credits closer to graduation.

Sports Events – Show your Viking spirit at these upcoming home games!
Wednesday, November 12 @ 4:30: Women’s Ice Hockey vs. Wizards Junior Team
Saturday, November 15 @ 2:00: Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Framingham State

Arts Events – maybe sports aren’t quite your style; check out these upcoming shows, pieces, readings and more!
November 10 – December 11: Exhibition: Art + Design Faculty Showcase, Winfisky Gallery in the Ellison Campus Center – it’s free!
November 17, 11 am: Tango Dance Master Class with Pamela Slavsky in the dance studio in O’Keefe – it’s free!
November 19, 6 pm: Artists Reception: Art + Design Faculty Showcase 2014, Winfisky Gallery in the Ellison Campus Center – free free free!
November 20, 1:45 pm: Undergrad Reading in the Metro Room in the Ellison Campus Center – FREE!
November 20-22, 7:30 pm and November 23, 2 pm: d.arc water, in the Callan Studio Theatre, $15 for general, $10 for students and seniors

Now is your chance to check out campus and attend some awesome events!
Happy November!

First Year Mentor Kelly

Do’s and Don’ts of Scheduling Classes!

After you have met with your adviser, you now have the list of classes that you need to take next semester. To set up your classes, you need to pick and choose what classes you want from the list and make sure that they fit into a schedule that fits you. Here’s the essential do’s and don’ts for setting up a successful schedule.


  • Look at the course catalog and familiarize yourself with class times, what days they are on, and the professor of the course. The same class could be offered at different times of the day, different days of the week by multiple professors. Ask yourself: Do I want to get up for an 8am if i like to sleep in? What days would I rather take for classes? Who is the professor? For the past three years, I’ve made the mistake of signing up for an 8am and sleeping through it, or choosing a class that I liked but hated it because the professor was not my cup of tea.
  • Have a schedule a with a variety of classes. For example, don’t take all English writing courses (I made the mistake last semester). Have a mix of subjects or some that involve mostly reading or mostly writing. Too much of one type of class can be stressful.
  • Make sure you have asked you adviser any questions you may have.  Never leave the meeting in confusion, if you still have further questions, advisers are more than happy to answer then via email or make another appointment to meet up with you.
  • Make a list of alternative, backup classes. This happens EVERY semester. Students go to register for classes but at least one of them has already been filled. In this case, have a list of back up choices. That way, if there are several that are already closed, you have alternative times and classes that you have planned to take.
  • Look over what professors you have to choose from. Go to and search for professors to see their ratings and reviews. This is very helpful when deciding between the same class taught by multiple professors. If you have no time constraint, let the professor ratings help you decide what to take. Disclaimer: not all professors are on the website.


  • Over-schedule. Minimum 12 credits, maximum 18. Recommended: 15 credits (5 classes). Don’t take the minimum where you are bored most of the week and have to catch up by the end of your college years. Also, don’t take the maximum or you will constantly be stressed and freaking out, resulting in failing or doing poorly.
  • Sign up for all hard or all easy classes. What’s your challenge classes? Which ones are easy? Like mixing up the class subjects to have a variety, same goes for taking easy and hard classes. Have a mix or you will end up with all hard classes at some point. Be careful not to overbook them with another similar course.
  • Postpone your core requirements. Not only will this free up your schedule for your major classes down the road, but taking core classes early on could help you discover interests you weren’t aware of before. Make sure you are not the senior that still didn’t t take writing 101 or public speaking. Get them done asap!
  • Schedule early-morning classes if you don’t function well in the AM hours. Don’t lie to yourself that you can take an 8am when you have to drag yourself out of bed with coffee. Get some beauty sleep, Halloween is over so there’s no reason to look like a zombie.
  • Don’t overlap classes. Give yourself enough time to get from one class to the other. Look at where the class is being held too: you can’t put two classes back to back and have 15 minutes to get from north to south campus. Another helpful hint is not to schedule all your classes on the same day. Two to three classes a day is good. Make sure you have time to eat also between classes. Spacing out classes ensures your sanity so you can nap, eat, or study between!

Happy Registration and may the odds be ever in your favor :D

-Sarah M.

Saving a Last Minute Assignment

So you waited until the last minute on an assignment and you’re panicking. Sometimes you forget the due date, sometimes you just have a lot of other homework. What can you do to save that grade and save your sanity? Whether your project is a PowerPoint, visual presentation, or essay, a great way to start is by making a list of topics your professor wants you to cover and questions they want you to answer. Next come up with examples and points you’d like to make that will answer these questions and cover these topics. Keep in mind the aspects of the assignments or reading that interested you, or made you feel even a little bit enthusiastic about the material. Try to mention these in your project or essay. Even if the class isn’t your favorite or the topic wasn’t your first choice, when you write or talk about something you’re enthusiastic about it shows. Think of a good article you read, or an interesting presentation you watched. Part of the appeal was probably the author or presenter’s enthusiasm. This can work for you too!

Next it’s time to get down to the real work. If you’re doing a visual presentation make index cards so you know what you’re going to say and make sure the visual aspect adds to what you’re saying and illustrates your points. Imagine if you were watching your own presentation, would you be interested? If you’re writing a paper take a little more time to jot down your ideas, until you can’t think of any more. Each of these ideas can probably be turned into a paragraph. Find some quotations from an online article or the text you read in class, and use these to validate your statements, and tie them in with your ideas. Be sure to cite these sources. It can be helpful to go in at the end and add your introduction and conclusion, once you know what you want to focus on. Remember, whether you’re doing a paper or visual project, try not to pull an all-nighter, especially if you have to present in front of your class the next day. If an all-nighter is unavoidable, as they sometimes are, never underestimate the power of a 15-30 minute nap or a coffee break to get the ideas flowing again! Good luck!

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” Hans Selye

If we had to ask many people to define stress, each of them will refer it from his/her experience, which will differ from a person to another.  Generally, stress is known when a person is overwhelmed with many things that has to be done in a specific time with a high pressure. The only good of this pressure is that it make you do the work, but most of the time the work isn’t satisfactory.Stressing over time will potentially be transformed to an illness which make the person suffer and can affect the physical and behavior.
Of course, with the ongoing of scientific researches, every day new ways to overcome this illness are being discovered.
Sadly, the fashion of nowadays, is taking anti-stress pill, where they cost a lot of money and can leave secondary effects on the body that can radically transformer it to a worse state.
According to a survey from people who overcame stress and having a happy and manageable life is therapy and meditation.
It is proven scientifically that a body produces a large amount of hormones that reduce stress and anxiety when breaking a routine with a relaxing exercise. So when you think you are not feeling very well ,or after doing a lot of work make some breaks happen, breath some fresh air, walk around, eat something, and try not to think about the much of work you have is heavy and change your attitude :)
For more info about stress relief methods you can visit this website:

First Year Mentor       Amine