Thanksgiving Break Checklist

Hey First Years! Can you believe it is already Thanksgiving break? You are almost finished with your first semester at Salem State University! Unfortunately, the end of the semester also means final exams and last minute assignments. However, it is important to enjoy your break and relax so that you can come back refreshed and ready to tackle the end of the semester. Here are a few things to put on your Thanksgiving break checklist to ease your mind about finals week.

  1. Spend time with family and friends: Catching up with friends from home and your family is a relaxing way to spend your break. Be sure to fill them in on all your new experiences and what you have been up to at SSU!
  2. Go to all your favorite hometown hangouts: Nothing makes me feel more at home than going to my favorite coffee place in my hometown and eating one of their famous muffins. Being away from home for a while always makes me appreciate the small things.
  3. Make a checklist of things to do for finals week: I know you may not want to think about final exams but having a plan on how to attack the end of the semester will keep your mind at ease. Being prepared is half the battle!
  4. Set your end of the semester goals: What do you want to accomplish by the end of the semester? How will you do it? Keep these questions in mind so that you come back with a new sense of motivation and the power to finish up strong.
  5. Think of what you are thankful for: This is a stressful time but reminding yourself of all the amazing things you have to be thankful for will boost your spirits. A positive attitude will lead you on the path to success!

Thanksgiving break is a mini vacation to spend with your family and friends before the stress of finals week sets in. Be sure to make the most of your time off from class and come back relaxed and ready to finish the semester strong!

The Grapes of Wrath

Looking for something to do when you return from Thanksgiving break? Thursday, December 3, is the opening night of the theatre department’s production of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati.


Directed by Peter Sampieri and performed by a cast of 24 actors and musicians alongside a backstage crew, this play tells the epic story of the Joad family’s migration across America during the Great Depression.

Performances are as follows in the Callan Theatre, located in the basement of the Administration Building:
December 3-5, 7:30 pm.
December 6, 2:00 pm.
December 10-12, 7:30 pm.
December 13, 2:00 pm.

The show is FREE for all Salem State students, so long as you bring your clippercard to the box office the night of the show you wish to attend! Otherwise, tickets are $15 general and $10 for non-Salem State students and seniors.

We hope to have you in our audience!
For more information click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!
FYM Kelly

Elf, The Musical

Looking for something to do on the weekend? Want to de-stress before final exams? Look no further! The Student Involvement & Activities group on campus is sponsoring a trip into Boston to see “Elf the Musical.”  elf the musical

Here are all the details you’ll need to know for the event:
Date : Sunday, December 6th
Location: Citi Center in Boston,MA
Ticket price: $10

Ticket sales start on November 23rd and can be purchased on the first floor of the Ellison Campus Centerat the Information Desk.
Transportation will also be provided from the O’Keefe Center at 4pm for the 6 o’clock show.

This will be a great event to attend! Come for an evening full of laughs and entertainment. Be sure to bring some friends along too! :)

See you at the show,
FYM Patrick
elf gif

Winter Session Courses

Hello First Years!

When it comes to winter break, I love being able to relax with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. However, not everyone has the time for that. If you’re someone who doesn’t have time to relax over winter break and you want to get some classes out of the way, it could be a good time to take a class either on campus or online!

Winter session courses are very intense. It’s such a short amount of time to get a full course in, so if you do take a course make sure you are prepared to be doing a lot of work over a short amount of time


Here’s how you register for classes:

First, log in to Navigator.



Next, go to “Registration”



Select “Spring 2016”



Then, you will want to click “Search”



Next to Academic Group, switch it from “Undergraduate Day” to “Undergrad Continuing Education”



Next to Session, scroll all the way down and pick either “Winter Session – First” “Winter Session – Online” or “Winter Session – Second.” Winter Session – First and Second would be on campus, and Winter Session – Online would be online.



Then click “Search”



Finally, success!! Winter session courses! :)

tina fey

And there you go! Winter session courses. For pricing and if you have any questions about enrolling, speak with the Registrar’s office in the Nav center– (978) 542 – 8000.


And, as always, if you have any questions you can call the First Year Experience office at (978) 542 – 2618, e-mail us at, stop by our office in Meier Hall 100A, or message us on Facebook.


–FYM Kaitlynn

Writing the Perfect Essay

Hey First Years! We are less than a week from Thanksgiving, can you believe it? This fall semester flew by, and we are coming up on the dreaded Final Exam season. In addition to studying for those exams, you probably have an essay or two due soon, right? I know I have a few due dates looming over the horizon!

Writing a good essay can be difficult, especially research papers that have a lengthy word count or page requirement. So, I’m going to direct you to some resources and give you some tips to help you write the perfect essay!


  • The Writing Center: located in the library, the writing center has tutors ready to help you write any essay you can think of. You can walk in to set up an appointment, or call 978-542-6491. Typical tutoring sessions will help you overcome writer’s block, identify your audience and their needs, develop and organize ideas, or even help you start and plan a paper if you just have no clue what to write about. Here are their hours: Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.09.33 AM.png
  • Databases: Salem State has a huge amount of research sources, journals and documents available through online databases, which can be accessed via! Click on the library tab at the top right side of the page, and then click research in the drop down menu. From here, you can click links directing you to the type of works you are looking for, including books, e-books, journals and articles. If you have trouble navigating these databases, there are research librarians who are experts in researching specific subject areas who can help you find the perfect source! wikipedia-blog-week-4.jpg


  • Identify Your Purpose: it is important to know what you are trying to do in your essay. Are you answering a question? What is the question you are answering? What is the argument you need to make? If it is unclear to you why you are writing, ask your professor to please explain further.
  • Brainstorm: get all of your initial ideas down on paper before you start researching and reading. This way, you know what you are looking for when it does come time to research.
  • Outline: Figure out what order you are going to write your paper in. Often times, teachers will ask multiple questions or ask for multiple components for your essay in their prompt – Here’s one I’m working on right now:
    Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.26.55 AM.png
    Here’s where we open Microsoft Word, and make an outline for our paper – an outline is sort of like a fill-in-the-blank template you can work on as you find the information you need! Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.43.25 AM.png
  • Research: Now it’s time to find all of the information you need, using the databases we talked about before. Even though online sources are great, actual books can be very helpful too, so don’t forget about them! Once you fill in all of the information you need in your outline you can …
  • Write a Draft: the first draft is the hardest one to write, but once its done you can only get better from there. Turn your bullet points and listed information from your outline into complete sentences and boom – you have your first draft complete! Make sure you cite your information as you go! 
  • Edit and Revise: this you can do a countless amount of times. I always suggest reading your paper out loud, so you can hear weird grammar and spelling mistakes you may have missed while reading over your paper. Have a friend read your paper, or even a classmate, to help improve your work!

Congratulations! You just wrote an amazing paper! grade
FYM Kelly

Repertory Dance Theatre’s Fall Show: In Motion

          Repertory Dance Theatre or RDT is one of SSU’s largest dance groups with almost seventy dancers and choreographers. Our club is completely run by students with some assistance from our faculty advisor, Jim Morrow. Each semester we put on a show with about twenty dances which are all student choreographed. The dances range in style each semester but usually include tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, and even some musical theatre numbers.

Since September, RDT has been working on our Fall show In Motion. A lot of people, time, and money goes into producing a show each semester. In an effort to fundraise, we will be selling raffle tickets before and during our shows for a variety of prizes. Prizes include: two bruins tickets, a tastefully simple basket, a homemade afghan, an Avon bag set, a movie basket, a holiday basket, and a miscellaneous basket. It’s only $3 a ticket, $10 for five, and $20 for ten. If you’re interested, contact any member of RDT including myself, Angelina Benitez. We thank you for our support!

We will be performing in the multipurpose room of  O’Keefe at 7:30pm on Friday December 4th and Saturday December 5th and 2:00pm on Sunday December 6th. Tickets are free at the door with an SSU ID and $5 otherwise. If you are a student that finds yourself wanting to be on stage (even if you don’t have any experience), consider auditioning for RDT next semester!  If you’re interested, save the date Saturday, January 30th for our dancer auditions. If you have any questions, please contact .



You and Your Roommate: Keeping the Peace

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During this busy time of the semester, everyone’s a little stressed out. Tensions may flare, especially with the person (or people!) you’re living with. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your relationship with your roommates continues to be a good one!

  1. Walk away

Feel an argument coming on? Sometimes it’s best to just leave the discussion before things heat up too much. That doesn’t mean you can’t reopen the discussion later, but sometimes it’s easier to wait until the two of you aren’t as stressed, and can really hear each other and have a relaxed discussion.

  1. Yours, Mine and Ours

When you’re hungry or in a hurry, it may be tempting to grab some of your roommate’s food or even borrow their clothes, but unless you have permission, it’s best not to. Just think how you’d feel if some of your belongings went missing!

  1. It’s the Little Things

Things like cleaning up, offering to take out the trash or recycling and checking on your roommate to see how their day went are little gestures that go a long way. These may seem small but they’ll really add up!

  1. Quality Time

When you’re going to a movie with friends, invite your roommate, even if they don’t go, it’s a nice gesture! Find things you both enjoy doing, and spend a little time together. It’s a great way to distress. Even if you aren’t the best of friends, who’s got your back like you’re roomie?

Having a sick semester?

Hi First Years!

Hope your semester is going well and you are starting to wind down before Thanksgiving break! I don’t know about you but I have had a hard time keeping up with my health while being so busy with classes. Therefore, like many others I have been sick and fighting the flu. It really has affected my energy and drive for homework and long term assignments. But I am determined to get better and finish off the semester strong! I have some advice for all of you and food to consider eating while maintaining or improving your health.

According to if you are sick you should eat:

  • Garlic
  • Homemade chicken soup
  • Green tea
  • Honey

Make sure you are eating two to three servings of vegetables, carbs, fruits, and fats every day! Also, be sure to rest and drink lots of fluids! Other campus resources that will be beneficial to your health would be Counseling and Health Services. Information can be found on the following site: Make an appointment as soon as you know you are sick so you stop the spread of germs! Stay healthy!

FYM Jordan

There’s a Busy Week Ahead of You!

Hey First Years!!

It’s beginning to become that time in the semester where the assignments are getting harder, the papers are becoming longer, and your sleep is probably decreasing! What I mean to say is, it’s the week before Thanksgiving break!! This is when most of your projects, papers, and assignments are going to be due, which is going to cause you some stress! Here are some helpful hints that will help you to get through this long week!

  1. Organize and Prioritize!

It can become very overwhelming when you have things due for every class that have varying due dates. I suggest creating a list of the things you have due and then organizing that list by when they need to be submitted. Obviously you would want to complete the assignments that are due on Tuesday before the ones that are due on Friday!

  1. Ask for help!

Salem State has many resources to get you through this difficult week when it comes to class work! The writing center is a great resource to help you write that long paper, the Center for Academic Excellence offers FREE tutors if you need some help studying for that exam, and the library has several resources to help you gain some extra knowledge about the topic you need (library databases, over 325,000 high-quality scholarly books, periodicals and media resources, 150 public access computer workstations, and much more!)

  1.  Make sure you’re staying healthy!

When school and turning in assignments becomes your main priority, sometimes we can let our health and wellbeing slip a little bit. Make sure you are staying hydrated, eating well-balanced meals, and taking a mental health break every now and then to keep yourself from becoming too run down! You’d be surprised what a 10 minute break, a granola bar, and some water can do for your health!

  1. Reward Yourself!

At the end of this week, make sure to reward yourself for all of the hard work you have done! This week will cause you a lot of stress, so make sure when the week is over to catch on some sleep and fun! Go out to your favorite restaurant, go buy yourself the new shoes you’ve been wanting, or just take a day to be lazy and stay in your pajamas all day. Treat yo’ self!!635817648244404869-1723012806_anigif_enhanced-14041-1413259986-1


Writing Center

Location: 113 of the Berry Library and Learning Commons on the North Campus (LIB 113)


hours of writing center

Center for Academic Excellence

Location:  first floor of the new Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-5 pm

First Year Experience Office

Location: Meier Hall Room 100A

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm

LGBTQ Military Experience Panel

With Veteran’s Day having already passed, many like to immediately move on to the next holiday: Thanksgiving. But here at Salem State, with a high population of Veteran students, we like to give them resources throughout the year that will enable them to get help and transition out of the military. Along with that, Salem State has an extremely diverse population, including the LGBTQ community.

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The Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Veterans Affairs hosted a panel Monday about LGBTQ in the military. At this panel, there were three panelists that have experience as LGBTQ vets or working with them. One woman, one of the founders of North Shore Pride, served in the army and hid her sexuality in a time that it was not acceptable to be an out lesbian, especially in the military. She was involved when there would be something called “The Hunt”, where officers would come in in the middle of the night and look for any evidence of LGBTQ soldiers to then discharge them. This woman even went as far as to marry a gay man, while her girlfriend was a witness at the wedding, to protect herself. She now works for OutVets, can organization that helps veterans who have been affected by being in the LGBTQ community.


Another veteran who was there served for over 10 years in the military. He said himself he does not like to say he was in the military and that he was queer, so you could tell he struggled a bit throughout the panel. He was extremely courageous throughout the panel, explaining the ways he dealt with being in the military and being LGBTQ.

The third panelist is a psychologist who works at the VA for veterans, and he shared some of his insights that he has seen in his time helping these veterans.

This panel was extremely eye-opening. There are so many more LGBTQ in the military than one would imagine, and this panel was a great way to honor the troops that may be forgotten. One of the things that a veteran said was to connect with them, not just thank them for their service. Many do not want to be thanked–just to be treated with respect. Ask them where they are from, where they served. Be engaged. Because these veterans, including those in the LGBT community, have sacrificed a lot for what we have today.

If you want to connect with the organizations that put this event in place, Veterans Affairs is in Ellison Campus Center and Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is in Ellison Campus Center 204.