Using Apps for College Success

Hey First-Years!

With the end of the Spring semester right around the corner, it’s more important than ever that you’re on top of your schoolwork, assignments and other responsibilities like staying healthy, managing your money and making time to relax! While that may sound like a tall order, the good news is that there are a ton of apps (many for free and some paid) that can help you be more productive and have fun doing it. Below is a list of some of my favorites that I’ve found useful (and others from the Internet).

**I’ve also provided links to all of the apps mentioned below by clicking on their name**

  1. my homework app
    – This awesome app is like a virtual agenda that you can keep on your phone or laptop. It keeps track of all of your assignments and homework while also showing you upcoming work and what classes you have that day.
  2. clear app
    – This application allows you to create an easy-to-use to-do list. It’s super helpful for keeping track of everything from grocery lists to tasks and reminders.

  3. mint app
    Keeps you financially organized by helping you set budgets, pay bills and lots more!
  4. self control app
     This is an app for your laptop or desktop computer (works with Macs or use Cold Turkey blocker for PCs) which eliminates the temptation to go on distracting social media sites when you should be doing your work by temporarily blocking access to them. Use this one when you really need to focus! 

  5. MyFitnessPal– 
    A complete fitness app that allows you to track calories and log exercise so that you can stay on track with your fitness goals.

  6. canvas appCanvas
     This is a mobile version of Salem State’s eLearning system (Canvas). Use it to stay up to date on class announcements, assignments or to shoot your professor an email- all from your phone!  

  7. breathe appBreathe– 
    It’s also really important to practice self-care and de-stress at the end of a long day. The Breathe app offers a modern and elegant way to squeeze in meditation to your life. It offers meditations covering mindfulness, relaxation,  falling asleep, practicing kindness and many more. The best part? Most of the meditation tracks are only about 5-10 minutes long, offering the perfect quick fix for a mental vacation.

I hope you’ve found this list helpful but there are many more apps out there, so do some digging and stick with what works best for you! Finish the semester strong, I know you can do it.

All the best,
FYM Patrick

Join the Outstanding O-Team!

Hey first years!!

Deadlines for everything are coming hard and fast, but this is a deadline you’ll actually enjoy. Every year, the O-Team is put together to welcome the incoming first year students to SSU. The deadline to apply is April 3, 2017, and here’s why you should join our team.

The O-Team assists in coordinating and implementing events during the first week of the semester such as: first year students early move-in, First Year Day of Service, Convocation, and FYRE events. Here are some of the responsibilities:

  • Move-in early (for residential students) and attend mandatory training/team building (all O-Team members) on Wednesday, August 30.
  • Assist in helping first year Day of Service participants move-in on afternoon of Thursday, August 31.
  • Assist in coordinating and implementing the First Year Day of Service for all first year early move-in participants (beginning evening of Thursday August 31-end of day on Friday, September 1).
  • Serve as a volunteer during the annual Convocation for incoming class on Tuesday, September 5.
  • Read the FYRE (First Year Reading Experience) selection over the course of the summer and assist faculty/staff in facilitating a book discussion with an assigned group on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
  • Serve as a resource for students regarding academic, campus services, activities, facilities, and other aspects of Salem State University
  • Work collaboratively with all members of the O-Team and FYE staff
  • Serve as a role model for first year students as well as other members of the O-Team and FYE staff
  • Represent Salem State University and First Year Experience accurately and positively

You must be available on the dates listed in order to volunteer.  In addition to responsibilities, there are some benefits too:

  • That warm fuzzy feeling that comes with making a first year student smile and feel welcome at their new university
  • A couple of truly stylish t-shirts as well as other O-Team swag
  • Early move-in to the residence halls and meals prior to classes starting
  • A resume-building experience and opportunity for a great reference as you apply for other jobs

These benefits are great, but as someone who was an O-Team member fro the past two years I can tell you that it’s honestly a life-changing experience. I’m passionate about helping others, and being part of the O-Team is a great way of doing that.

If you’ve been interested in getting involved with FYE, this is a great way to start! You can fin the application here.

If you’re looking for even more ways to get involved with FYE, check out FYM Stella’s blog on becoming a First Year Mentor!

Have an Outrageously Otherworldly week!

FYM Kaitlynn

Mental Health Awareness Week


Salem State University provides awareness to the importance of maintaining body health and how it can be neglected during the busy time of the semester!

There are an immense amount of events that are set up this week.

To begin on Tuesday, March 28:

  •  11am-2pm stop into Viking 123 for the Fresh Check Day for booths with free food, prizes, and t-shirts.
  • 3:30pm-5pm in the Petrowski Room QPR Suicide Prevention Training is taking place.
  • 4pm-5pm in Viking 123 there is Service Animals vs. Assistance Animals

Wednesday, March 29:

  • 2pm-4pm in Viking 123 for #EndTheStigma
  • 3pm-4:30pm at Ellison Campus Center Underground come to the Supporting the ‘New Student Veteran’
  • 8pm-9pm at O’Keefe Complex Pool there is Glow Paddle Yoga Class

Thursday, March 30:

  • 1:30pm-2:30pm at Ellison Campus Center 219 there is a Bereavement Support Group
  • 2pm-3:30pm in Viking 123 Helping You Help Others: Careers in Mental Health
  • 3pm-4pm at the Northeast Animal Shelter there is Yoga with Animals so pre-register by emailing

*Self-care is for everyone and is also the same for everyone! If you are unable to attend these events there are a few tips to remember (; It is not a sign of weakness whatsoever.

Some Alternate Options-

*Take deep breathes *Drink some water *Make time for yourself or go exercise * Meditate *Practice positive self talk!! * Listen to your favorite music or go to bed early * balance the stressors of life


Us at the First Year Experience Office located in Meier Hall 100A are always here throughout the year and on any stressful day you may have. We look forward to seeing you and helping you in any possible way that we can.

~Thank you, FYM Dara


Join our team! Mentor applications are out!

Hey Vikings!

Do you like encouraging others to be the best person they can be? Do you like making connections on campus with other students, offices, and administration? Does the thought of being a part of a team get you excited? If any of these statements are a “YES!”, then being a mentor in the First Year Experience Office might be the job for you! The link to the job application is out there, but first, check out an in-depth description of the role of a mentor!

What is a mentor?

First Year Mentors are undergraduate student leaders who serve as a resource for first year students in the First Year Experience Office, supporting students’ transition to and through the first year of college.


What do you do?

We do a BILLION different tasks in the office, ranging from the academic realm to student involvement, to resident life, and everything in between! Some of our most common tasks are:

  • Meeting with First Year students one-on-one
  • Presenting in First Year Seminar classrooms on topics like: Time Management, How to use the Writing Center, Ways to get Involved, etc.  
  • Managing social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and more!
  • Conduct phone outreach each semester to first year students
  • Submit bi-weekly blog posts (LIKE THIS ONE!!) on academic and social aspects of Salem State!
  • Staff Student Success Stations (booths) throughout the course of the academic year, distributing materials and responding to questions.


Why be a mentor?

There is no better feeling than helping a person in an area they might need some guidance in. Being able to answer that one questions a student might have, or showing someone where the correct office is to fix a problem is absolutely rewarding! And, not only is this job rewarding, but it’s also a job, which means you’ll be making money! Mentors are able to work 5-10 hours in the office, depending on work study, availability, and funding through our office.


How do you apply?!

Fill out the following application and send it to: or drop it off at our office (Meier Hall, 100A) Applications are due Friday, April 7th!!

How to Survive April

April is coming up and we all know April can be one of the most stressful months second semester especially with final papers, projects, figuring out summer plans, and making sure you end the semester on a good note. Here are some tips on staying organized and getting ahead for the upcoming month.

  1. Make sure you have everything you need to register for the fall semester at the end of this month. If you miss the deadline you will have to pay a fee in order to register for classes and by then the classes you want might not be available.
  2. If you are planning on living on campus next semester be on the lookout for housing emails for your lottery number. If you are planning on living in a suite in Viking make sure you and your suite-mates are on the same page so that when you all are choosing your site there aren’t any complications
  3. Looking for a summer job or internship? Talk to your advisor or go to career services for summer opportunities. Waiting last minute can be stressful with final exams coming up but securing a job months prior will take a lot of stress off your shoulders.
  4. Looking for a job for next semester? Talk to the faculty in your department for any open positions and of course always check the student employment page on the SSU website. 

Image result for semester almost over meme

While April can be a very stressful month there are still many ways to support your peers this month as they express their arts. This gives you the opportunity to take a break from all of the studying and late nights at the library.



  1. UAT’S SHOW (SECTION 7)- March 31st & April 1st at the YMCA in Downtown, Salem 
  2. UAT’S BATTLE OF THE ARTS- April 6, 2017 in Vets Hall in   ECC
  3. MSA’S KOMPA NIGHT- April 27, 2017 in Underground in ECC
  4. MSA’S FASHION SHOW- April 28, 2017 in South Campus gym

(Flyers will start coming out soon) !

Image result for semester almost over meme

Mental Health Awareness Week Kicks Off March 27

 Did you know that mental health problems affect one in four people? Given this fact, it is important that everyone is aware  of how to confront mental illness within themselves and with others. Luckily, Mental Health Awareness Week is going to be very active at SSU by hosting many events the week of March 27th to promote self-care in the community as well as helping to reduce stigmas and misconception surrounding mental illness. Take the following events as the opportunity to educate yourself and others on the subject.

Hope you’re as excited as I am!

Monday, March 27, 2017:

Glow Paddle Yoga Class
Time: 12-1 pm
Location: O’Keefe Complex Pool
Sponsored by: Gassett Fitness Center
Registration: Email Kelly Janos. Limited spaces available.
Contact: Kelly Janos, Gassett Fitness Center

Walking Meditation
Time: 12-1 pm
Location: Ellison Campus Center 219
Sponsored by: Spiritual Life Office
Contact: Laura Biddle, Chaplain

The Art of Racial Trauma: Film Screening and Conversation
Time: 4-6:30 pm
Location: Ellison Campus Center Underground (North Campus)
Sponsored by: CHS, Residence Life, the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office and the Psychology Department
Contact: Hakim Hill, Residence Life

Join us for a film viewing and discussion with filmmakers and faculty exploring themes of racial trauma and healing impacting undergraduates and graduate students.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fresh Check Day: Check-In with College Students
Time: 11 am- 2 pm
Location: Viking 123 (Central Campus, Starbucks)
Sponsored by: The Jordan Porco Foundation and departments across campus
Contact: Jazmin Ramirez, Residence Life

Stop by to participate in interactive booths, and get free food, prizes, and t-shirts focused on mental health awareness on campus
QPR Suicide Prevention Training
Time: 3:30-5 pm
Location: Petrowski Room
Sponsored by: First Year Experience Office and Counseling and Health Services
Contact: Dan Dilling, GA FYE
Presenter: Allison Gagne

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college and university students, but it is also one of the most preventable causes of death. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a program designed for EVERYONE to learn what can be done to prevent suicide. QPR is an approach to confronting someone about their possible thoughts of suicide. It is not intended to be a form of counseling or treatment, instead a means to offer hope through positive action.”
Service Animals vs. Assistance Animals
Time: 4-5 pm
Location: Viking 123
Sponsored by: Veterans Affairs, Residence Life and Disability Services
Contact: Ben Whelihan, GA Veterans Affairs Office

John Moon from the service dog company NEADS, Joseph Kelleher from Disability Services, and a representative from Residence Life will participate in a discussion panel that explores the similarities and differences between service animals and assistance animals.  

Wednesday, March 29:

Glow Paddle Yoga Class
Time: 8-9 pm
Location: O’Keefe Complex Pool
Sponsored by: Gassett Fitness Center
Registration: Email Kelly Janos. Limited spaces available.
Contact: Kelly Janos, Gassett Fitness Center

Community Events Line Up

Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Viking 123 (Central Campus, Starbucks)
Sponsored by: Active Minds
Contact: Meaghan Bransfield, Active Minds

#EndTheStigma is a social-media focused event in which participants can get their picture taken holding a short blurb explaining why they want to “end the stigma” surrounding mental health.  The pictures will be posted to the Salem State Active Minds social media accounts accompanied by the participant’s personal story of mental health if they choose to share. We will also be distributing “self-care kits” and will be discussing the importance of self-care.

Thursday, March 30, 2017:

Bereavement Support Group
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm
Location: Ellison Campus Center 219
Sponsored by: Spiritual Life Office
Contact: Laura Biddle
Helping You Help Others: Careers in Mental Health
Time: 2-3:30 pm
Location: Viking 123 (Central Campus, Starbucks)
Sponsored by: Career Services
Contact: Charlie Haycook, GA Career Services

Career Services is conducting a panel of professionals in the field of mental health education for you to connect with and learn from. We will be moderating so that the employers and graduate students can talk about their own particular jobs, how they got to the point that they are at in their career, and how you can get there too. We’ll be sure to leave time for you to ask your own questions of our panelists and network with them after the event!
Paws-itive Yoga
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Northeast Animal Shelter (Yoga with animals!)
Sponsored by: Gassett Fitness Center
Registration: Contact: Cameryn Tierno before 3/23. Limited transportation available.

Feeling doggone stressed? Having a ruff week and find yourself barking at everyone?

Join Cameryn Tierno and the Gassett Fitness Center at the Northeast Animal Shelter for a fun-filled flow accompanied by some furry friends! We’ll start the class with sweaty, vinyasa style “doga”- leaving you dog tired and ready for a long savasana. By the end of the class, you’ll feel like the person your dog thinks you are. Please bring an old or new towel to donate to the shelter. Mats will be provided by the Gassett Fitness Center. Transportation is limited to the first 11. Space is limited to first 25 students.
If you are student seeking an accommodation for one of these events, please contact Disability Services at 978.542.6217 or


What’s Happening at SSU!

Hey Vikings! Welcome back from Spring Break!

Hopefully everyone is in full gear ready to take on the end of the semester!

As you are coming back into school I thought I would let you know what kind of events are happening on campus!

Going to events and being involved is a great way to support Salem State, make new friends and even experience some new things.

Monday March 20

Tickets on sale now for LASO’s Boston Cruise: We are selling tickets on March 20th for our annual Boston cruise on April 13th. Contact any LASO e-board member for tickets or contact us on social media! **TICKETS SELL OUT FAST**Students 20$Non-SSU 25$
Must have proof of ID when buying tickets!! No ID= No ticket

Tuesday March 21

Chartwells Meet & Greet: We are hosting a gathering  in the faculty dining room at North at 6PM. We want everyone to come who has suggestions, critiques, and ideas on how to make your dining experience(s) better.

Wednesday March 22

Women’s Self Defense Class: Self Defense specialist Elizabeth Cohen will be on campus to teach us how to protect ourselves. Join the SSU Hillel for an opportunity to gain useful skills for all those times you are walking alone. All are welcome to join us. This is free! This event is being held in the MLK Room in Ellison Campus Center  from 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Commuter Appreciate Day: Commuters come one, come all. It’s time you feel appreciated! Come to the Commuter lounge from 11am – 1pm and enjoy some novelties, cotton candy, popcorn and more!


Thursday March 23

Clash of The Decade’s Dance: Come to the 80’s 90’s dance hosted by WMWM. Dress up as characters from either time period and you may be able to win some cool prizes like a pair of headphones or clippercash. Pick a side and jam out. Only open to SSU students. This event is in the Underground and Metro of Ellison Campus Center at 7PM.


Ebony Stewart: Former Sexual Health educator, now touring spoken word poet and artist graces the stage to educate about the mind, body and struggles of women. Come listen as she displays her lyrical prowess for the community of SSU. This event is at Starbucks on Central Campus from 7pm to 10pm


Saturday March 25

New York City Trip: Enjoy the MET or any part of New York City for the day! Tickets are on sale from Wednesday March 1st at 10am to Friday March 24th at 12pm. Tickets are $10 and are for SSU students only. You can purchase your ticket at the Information desk in Ellison Campus Center. We will be leaving Salem State at 6am on March 25th from the bus pick up outside of the library. We will be leaving NYC at 4pm.




Help Us, Help You!: The importance of taking the campus climate survey


In the past two years, Salem State University has put a lot of time and effort into developing a survey for students, faculty, and staff. The point of the survey is to help the university and other officials create an overall better environment for students and staff on campus.

salem state

The Problem: We need as many students to fill out the survey as possible, that way, there will be enough data for the university to utilize, and affect positive change on the climate here on campus. If only a small percentage of students take the survey, then it will be difficult to make positive changes for everyone on campus.

The Solution: Fill out the survey! It really is that simple.


Our Goal: 100% response rate!


This survey really can affect positive change on the Salem State campus if everyone could just offer up a few minutes of their time.

If enough people participate in the survey and make their voices heard, the university can utilize these responses to affect change in areas of vital importance, like homelessness and sexual assault.

The deadline for participation in the survey is Friday, Mar 24th. So please, help us, help you.

Take the survey now!

Advising and Registration for Fall 2017

Hello First Years and Transfers!

The time has come – advising for the Fall semester is here, and it’s time to make your schedule for the start of sophomore year. You can refer to First Year Mentor Kaitlynn’s blog on how to make the perfect schedule, but here we are going to talk about the steps you need to take to register for classes here at SSU for Fall 2017.
f0a4f75084b648cac9d5163aadf75a6a_registration-clipart-class-registration-clipart_562-232.pngThere are a few things you need to do before you can register for classes:

  1. Plan a Schedule: log into your Navigator and see what classes are being offered for the fall that you need to take. You can check what your requirements are in your degree tracker. Know that this is just a preliminary plan, as things may change when it actually comes time to register. Sometimes the classes you want fill up, so make a back up plan too. Take your number one choices, and add them to your shopping cart. To do this, click the green “select” button on the course, then the green “next” button and boom – it’s in your shopping cart!
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  2. Meet With Your Advisor: this is probably the most important step in registering for classes. Your advisor will check over the schedule you have planned to make sure that it will work for you and fulfill the requirements you need to fill. They will then give you an ACCESS CODE. You cannot register without your ACCESS CODE. This string of numbers needs to be entered into navigator before you can click the register button and be enrolled into classes.
  3. Check Your Registration Dates and Times: To know when you are supposed to register, you need to know how many credits you will have completed by the end of this semester. <30 credits = Freshman, >30 and <60 credits = Sophomore, >60 and <90 credits = Junior, 90+ credits = Senior. It is likely you will be registering as a sophomore, so long as you completed 15 credits a semester. You need to be completing 15 credits a semester to stay on track to graduate in four years.

Senior Registration: March 28, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Junior Registration: March 29, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Sophomore Registration: March 30, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Freshman Registration, March 31, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm

If you have questions about how or when you should be registering for classes, feel free to stop by First Year Experience in Meier Hall 100A for help, email us at, or call at 978-542-2618!

Happy Monday!
FYM Kelly

Let’s Set Some Goals

Hey First Years,

With the advising period right around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about your goals! Goal setting is a useful skill to have in order to help you get the things you want out of life and well, achieve the goals that you set for yourself. Let’s tackle this goal setting thing so that you walk away knowing what it is and how to properly do it.

  1. Defining Goal Setting

    Goal setting involves being aware of what you would like to achieve as well as planning and an immediate readiness for action. Proper goal setting requires creating a plan of action that fosters focus, motivation, a sense of purpose and vision. Goals are the stepping stones that will ultimately help you achieve your dreams.

  2. How to Goal Set

    Stick to only a few goals: Research shows that people can only focus on about 5-7 things at a time. With this in mind, focus on a handful of goals that you can easily repeat from memory.
    – Keep a Goal Setting Notebook: Write down your goals! And then write them down again and again. Writing down your goals helps to physically bring them into the Universe and puts the process in motion for you to achieve them.
    Focus on What You Want: Phrase your goals in a positive way, instead of a negative one. For example “Eating healthy and exercising is easy and fun for me.” sounds much better than “I’m sick and tired of gaining weight.”
    smart goals
    – Make your Goals SMART:  SMART goals stand for ones that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can find out more information about this methodology in the links below or just Google it for a wealth of info.
    – Review you Goals Frequently:  Review your goals either daily, weekly or monthly depending on what fits best with your schedule. Doing this will help you to make your goals a reality. When reviewing, ask yourself “What is the next step that I need to take toward this goal?” 

    Here are some ways you can review your goals:
    visualizing goals
    – Read your goal list every morning
    – Close your eyes and visualize yourself accomplishing your goal
    – Read and visualize your goals every night before you go to sleep

  3. Importance of Goal Setting
    subconscious goal
    Goal setting has several benefits. Here are some of the ways that doing this properly will help improve your focus:

    – Goals trigger behavior and should be compelling and specific enough to motivate you
    – Goals guide your focus
    – Goals sustain momentum
    – Goals align your focus
    -Goal setting promotes self-mastery: Achieving your goals builds character

    I hope this has been helpful to you and if you have any more questions about setting goals stop by the First-Year Experience office in Meier hall room 100A.

    Enjoy Spring Break,
    FYM Patrick

    You can find more info on this topic:
    – Here
    – Here
    – Here