Preparing for MTELs

Education majors- this one is for you!! If you are an education major on the licensure track, I am sure you have all heard about taking your MTELs. Some of you may be feeling nervous, stressed or uncertain about taking these tests but don’t worry! I am a mentor with the First Year Office but I am also an MTEL tutor for the MTEL center! Here is some information that you should know about MTELs:mtel_logo

Get Started Early:

The thought of taking your first MTEL may want to send you running for the hills but it is better to get prepared and start taking them as early as possible! You will need to have your MTEL exams done to student teach and your Communication and Literacy exam needs to be passed before you do Curriculum block. It is even more stressful to cram in studying and taking more than one exam in a short period of time so it is better to spread them out over a couple of years.

Resources are Available:

MTELs are not something you have to prepare for and go through alone! The MTEL center provides free bootcamps as well as information about the tests. There are also some new exciting programs coming out to help you feel as confident as possible for when you take the test!

Don’t Believe the Rumors:

I have heard so many negative comments about the MTEL exams around campus. Of course taking a test is not fun but there is a lot of talk about how impossible they are to pass and how many times people fail them. In reality, if you take the time to use the resources available on campus to prepare yourself before you take it, your MTELs will be a breeze! You will be so happy you believed in yourself and got them done early when you are a junior and not worrying about any more tests!

Come to the Education Office:

If you have questions, feel free to contact the education office, or MTEL center. You can stop by, have a piece of candy and chat with the experts about how to set yourself up for success!

Lastly- even if you are not an education major, it is important to keep yourself educated on what requirements are necessary for your major! It is never too early to get on top of things and get on track!

Happy National Coming Out Week!!

This week is National Coming Out (NCOW) week and here at Salem State the Alliance and the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office are hosting many events to get students involved with their LGBTQIA+ community on campus! This is a great opportunity for you to become more aware of the diversity that Salem State has to offer and how you can get involved in activities that help make you a more well-rounded person.

The start of this week will begin with the Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony. During community time students are welcome to gather outside of Ellison Campus Center for some quick regards from members of the Salem State community, a representative from the city of Salem, and President Meservey herself. The flag was raised outside of the Ellison Campus Center for all to see. This is a very important moment for the University, as it shows that this campus is one that prides itself in diversity and acceptance for all students. Also, at this event students were invited to place their hand in paint and create their stamp on a NCOW banner that will be displayed on campus. On Tuesday there will be 2 events held:

  1. An Anti-Bullying campaign that will be held at North Dining Hall from 11-1 where students can gather information and support against bullying in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  2. Safe Zone Training 101 which will be held by the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Enrichment in their office in the Ellison Campus Center, room 202 at 5 pm. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to become trained on LGBTQIA+ issues and how to create a safe place for those who identify on the spectrum to be themselves. This is a great opportunity and is something that can be added to resumes and makes someone much more knowledgeable!

On Wednesday there will be a Rainbow Resource Fair in McKeown Amphitheatre from 11-1 pm. This will offer students the opportunity to get information from resources on the North Shore and at SSU. NAGLY, Counseling and Health Services, Career Services, and The Alliance will each have their own booths where students can gather information about the LGBTQIA+ community. (check out The Alliance booth to see me and ask any questions you may have about the Alliance, the LGBTQIA+ community, or even the FYE office!!) On Thursday there will be 2 events that people can attend to gain more knowledge:

  1. Coming Out Stories from 11-1 in the Petrowski Room (2nd floor of Marsh Dining). This event will feature students, faculty, and staff of Salem State discussing the story of when they came out. This is a very personal event, so if you chose to attend, remembering to be respectful and kind is something that is necessary.
  2. Safe Zone Training: Queer People of Color (QPOC) starting at 5 in the MLK room of Ellison. This will be similar, yet different to the safe zone training that is done on Tuesday, because it will be focused on people of color in the queer community, which is a group of people who sometimes, unfortunately, get even more unequal treatment in society. This is a great learning experience and will make the Salem State Community more inclusive community.

Finally, on Friday there will be a Speak Out from 11-1 in Alumni Plaza. This event gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts, stories, art, poetry, pretty much anything they want to the community of people that has to do with the LGBTQIA+ community.

After this week of events I encourage people to continue to seek more knowledge and resources about this community of people. The more knowledgeable we are as a community, the more love and acceptance we can spread! With all of the great things happening around us like the legalization of gay marriage in the United States and even more locally, like the Preferred Name Policy being implemented at Salem State starting in Fall 2016, we are becoming a school that others want to be similar to and a school that more people want to apply to by taking these great strides in equality.


Enjoy Coming Out Week at Salem State!!

First Year Mentor, Stella

Mid-terms: The Secret to Your Success!

With mid-terms just around the corner, you might be getting a lot of tips about how to prepare and even how to study, but what do you do after mid-terms are over? It may seem early to start thinking about but, the choices you make when mid-terms are over can really affect your final grades! Here are a few ways your can use your mid-term to improve your grades:

1. Look it Over

Once you get the results of your mid-terms, don’t just look at the grade and throw it away. Review each question carefully and correct the answers you got wrong. These can be great study tools for your finals as well as a great way to learn, so keep them in a safe place where you can find them in December.

2. Make an Assessment

Asses your grades and figure out which subjects might need a little extra attention. A less than stellar grade on your midterm isn’t a death sentence, think of it as a way to see what subjects you might need to try a little harder on. Once you figure that out, visit your professor, take extra detailed notes, and spend a little more time on your homework! You might even want to get a tutor or visit the writing center for help on your next essay. Don’t let a low grade discourage you, use it as motivation to do better next time!

3. Use it as Inspiration

Many professors will ask you to do an essay or project in addition to a written exam as part of your final grade. Why not use your mid-term for some inspiration? Chances are, the concepts in your mid-term were important ones, that’s why they’re on the test, so some of them would could be great topics for a project or essay. Choose a topic or concept from your mid-term, make note of it, and set it aside for later. It’ll really help when things get stressful later in the semester if you already have an idea of what you want to write or present about.

Remember mid-terms are all about checking in and seeing what you’ve learned this semester so far, use them to make the rest of your semester even better!

Stress Management

The further into your degree you get, the easier it is to deal with stress. Trust me, the work doesn’t get easier, you just get to know yourself more. College is a high stress environment. Between papers, exams, quizzes, presentations, homework assignments, readings, labs, and so much more, students almost always have something to stress about. If you have the time, and you feel that you could benefit from it, there are counselors at Counseling and Health Services at Ellison Campus Center on North Campus, their number is (978) 542 – 6413.

If you just get stressed when you have an exam, and feel that you need some in the moment techniques, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few that could be helpful to you!

Student in a library surrounded by piles of books

  1. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This is a technique that most people with anxiety use when they are having an attack. It is meant to make you realize that you are okay, you are going to be okay, and even if the worst happen you will make it through in one piece. Here’s how you do it. You think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch (and touch them!), 2 things you can smell, and then you take one slow, deep breath.

Here’s an example. If you are at Upper North, and you are getting lunch before a practical that starts at 1:30 and you start to get anxious, here are some things you might see, hear, touch, and smell. You could see Burger King, the giant tree outside, a friend, the IDS office, and the microwaves. You could hear the conversation of the group next to you, one of the cashiers ringing someone up, the alarm on the oven at Sandella’s, and chairs being pushed back. You could touch the table, the chair, and perhaps some sort of food item/wrapper/paper plate. You could smell Burger King, and probably something from Sandella’s (I can usually smell the peppers!). Then you take one, long, deep breath. I usually count to five breathing in, hold for three seconds, and count to seven while breathing out.

  1. Describe Your Surroundings

If you tried step one and that didn’t work too well for you, don’t worry! There are many more ways to calm yourself down. Like describing your surroundings. This is a technique that is used to bring you back to your exact moment. It is also a distraction. You would be surprised how hard it can be! Pick a color, any color, and then try to name everything in the room that is completely that color. When you run out, name items in the room that have some of that color. When you run out, if you are still anxious, pick a new color.

  1. Describe an Activity

If that doesn’t work, try describing whatever you’re doing. Say you are walking to class with some friends. If you are starting to get anxious, let them know and ask if they’re okay with you trying something that could calm you down. Explain every detail of your walk to class, or explain every detail of a routine activity– like brushing your hair or teeth.

For some people, these don’t work. If you feel that you are feeling anxious often, you should contact Counseling and Health Services. Some people have a Grounding Object, like a small stone or even a piece of jewelry that keeps them in the present.

keep calm and dont stress actually
Good luck in the rest of the semester, you can do it! :)

-FYM Kaitlynn

Haunted Happenings

When you tell anyone outside of Salem that you are going to SSU there is one typical response you will get. The person will either mention witches or Halloween. I’ve heard the same lame joke about me fitting in with the witches from too many people to count. But we do live up to our name in one way. Halloween in Salem is an event.

Starting with the parade tonight downtown there will be a series of events relating to Halloween almost every night in a yearly ceremony called Haunted Happenings. If you are a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show it will be showing every week downtown. Molly Ringwald will be coming to Lynn for a 30th anniversary screening of the Breakfast Club and there will be a question and answer session.

There will be a multitude of events similar to these during this entire month and I recommend getting involved with as many as possible. It’s something that sets our town and school apart from all others. Take advantage of it. And remember, be safe this month.

For more information of Haunted Happening events visit their website:

Happy Halloween!

FYM Kayla

haunted happenings



Did you know about all the resources on campus related to academics? There are numerous ones that are very accessible and they are completely FREE. Yes I am serious, there is no charge to go to any of these resources on campus. Just to name a few that I personally have gone to and thought that they were very helpful-The Writing Center located in the library is a great place when you are having trouble writing a paper. The staff are great in being able to help you accomplish your goal for your paper.

The Peer Tutors which are a part of Center for Academic Excellence are awesome to help you learn material that you are confused on and even help with studying for exams. I went to a peer tutor for my lab last semester and she was great at helping clear up some confusing ideas/parts of the lab.

Another resource on campus are the Academic  Mentors that are located in the residence halls. They’re great with helping with papers, giving study tips and helping with homework. The Academic Mentors have office hours during the week and that designated time is to go ask for help but they will help you at any time that you need! Office hours are a great time to do your homework and receive some help also you can meet new people that also go to the office hours.

I wish you the best of luck this year and I hope that you go and utilize these resources that are available on campus!

Go Greek!

Have you ever seen the movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon? It is one of my all time favorite movies and features a more accurate view of Greek life than other movies do. With supportive sisters, Elle Woods is able to make it to Harvard and become a successful lawyer!

Greek life is a way to make connections and get involved on campus. There are a total of 4 different organizations to choose from, including two fraternities and two sororities. The two fraternities are Alpha Sigma Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.The two sororities are Phi Sigma Sigma and Theta Phi Alpha, which is the one I am a part of.

I was drawn to Theta Phi Alpha because I immediately felt like a part of the family. I get the opportunity to work with Lifebridge shelter in downtown Salem, work with the children of Salem public schools, meet others from Greek life, and have a home away from home. With so many different types of girls, but all so passionate and loving, I am proud to be known as a sorority girl.

Like Legally Blonde, Greek life is a way to join a supportive and compassionate community of men and women who share the same values as yourself. With philanthropic, social, fundraising and so many more events, joining a sorority and fraternity is a great way to create that home away from home right here on campus.  


If you are interested, recruitment for the sororities start October 6th, 2015. Recruitment for the fraternities start the next week, October 13th, 2015.


For more information, visit the Salem State Greek Life Facebook page or read the Go Greek! brochure! Hope to see you at recruitment!

Dorm Room Exercises

I know for some it is difficult to find the motivation to walk all the way to O’Keefe to get a good workout in; here are some exercises you can do right in your dorm room to keep in shape and avoid that “Freshman 15” (it’s real – I gained 20 lbs my freshman year).

If you live in Marsh Hall or Atlantic Hall there are gyms on the ground floor available for your use! They have cardio and strength training equipment!


  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator – yes, even if you live on the top floor. Run the stairs even! Just watch out for other people and watch your step!
  2. Jumping Jacks
  3. Dancing


  1. Triceps: dips from your desk chair
  2. Biceps: Triangle Wall Pushup
  3. Abs: Planks, Crunches, Crunch with Twist for Obliques
  4. Legs: Squats (this also works out your butt!)

It is always important to make sure you stretch when you workout to avoid straining your muscles, tendons and joints. These workouts can be intensified with the purchase of tension bands or weights, but on their own are totally free and doable in your dorm room!

For some motivation, have your roommate do the exercises with you!
I found this information here.

Good Luck
FYM Kelly

CESA Training Program!

Hey First Years! Looking for a group to get involved with on campus or maybe you just need an extra credit? CESA (Campus Educators on Sexual Assault) training begins Tuesday, October 6th from 4:30 to 7:30 in Marsh 210. The training takes place once a week for 5 weeks through October. The program is organized by other Salem State students interested in educating people on sexual assault. During the training topics like rape, myths, statistics, current issues and survivor support will be discussed in detail. Each night a different topic will be discussed and dinner will be provided! This training is open to any Salem State student that is willing to commit to the 5 nights of training. Students that complete the full training will be a certified peer educator and will qualify for an academic credit.

2015 Training Schedule

Date/Location                                                  Time

Tuesday, October 6                                 4:30-7:30pm                                                          Marsh Hall Room 210

Tuesday, October 13                               4:30-7:30pm                                                          Marsh Hall Room 210

Tuesday, October 20                               4:30-7:30pm                                                          Marsh Hall Room 210

Tuesday, October 27                               4:30-7:30pm                                                       Marsh Hall Room 210

Tuesday, November 3                             4:30-7:30pm                                                          Marsh Hall Room 210

For more information, email

Follow CESA on Twitter and Instagram: @SSU_CESA

Find CESA on Facebook: Salem State University CESA

So, if you’re looking for a credit or an organization to be a part of, be sure to save these dates and join CESA this fall!!!

Get Involved!

Congratulations First Years! You’ve made it through your first month of college life. Now that you’ve begun to familiarize yourself with campus and your courses now is the time to get more involved! SSU has a ton of different groups and clubs that can fit anyone’s needs. Last week there the Student Involvement Fair was held outside of the library but if you missed it here is a list of some of the groups and clubs that were there.

  • Resident Housing Association (RHA): RHA is a group on campus for resident students that advocates for change in the Residence Halls and on campus. Each building has a Community Council with a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and RHA representatives. Members of Community Council meet in their building once a week and then with the other councils once a week. They put on programs and advocate for change in the residence halls. Last year one advocacy project that they had was to get HBO for the residence halls. A program that RHA already put on this year was the welcome back carnival after move in. Like their Facebook page at:
  • Program Council: Program Council is an organization run totally by and for students and is responsible for many of the major activities on campus. Program Council meets every Monday at 4:30 pm in the Ellison Campus Center and all students are welcome and encouraged to come to meetings. The group divides it’s programming up into chair positions, which include: night programming, day programming, diversity programming, comedy programming, and off-campus programming. Program Council members coordinate events. Like their Facebook page at:
  • Reparatory Dance Theater (RDT): RDT is an active and visible student dance company at Salem State. The group consists of about 50 dancers from the college and the local community. Students with the support of a faculty advisor organize the company.

To find out more about the different groups and clubs on campus visit Student Involvement and Activities in 218 in Ellison Campus Center.