Advice From a Senior to a Freshman

Hey First-Years!

This will be my final blog of the school year and final blog as a First Year Mentor. It has been an honor and privilege you write blogs about my experiences here at Salem State and share them with you and hopefully they helped you through your first year of college.

Here are two big pieces of advice from a senior to a freshman that I feel are extremely important!

      1. Take your education seriously, but not too seriously!

As a freshman in college, you are starting at a brand new place, with brand new people, and new experiences. This isn’t high school anymore. You’re paying for your education now and hopefully going into a major that your passionate about. Put your all into your education and take everything you can from it. Also at the same time don’t take things to seriously. Your college years are supposed to be a time that you learn about yourselves and experience things. Give yourself that time to have fun as well! You deserve it!

      2. Be open to new experiences!

As a freshman, I can definitely understand that things can be overwhelming at first because there is so much that you can get involved with and you may not know what you want to do. My advice is to just stay open to anything that comes up. My freshman year I was terrified to join something because 1) I had no idea what you join and what I wanted to be involved with 2) everything was overwhelming to me and wasn’t sure what to do. I realized how I felt about that and changed my outlook on things and became more open and joined more groups. I can now say I am a part of the Salem State Education Club, FAB (First Year Advisory Board), and I am a First Year Mentor. If I didn’t branch out and attend those first year events, I would have never been where I am today. I am a better person because I opened up and did something new.

Your college years are the times where you grow and learn about yourself, change for the better, and take those next steps in reaching that final goal of working and doing what you love in life. I hope by writing this blog you can take something from it to help you through your college career.

Thank you all so much for everything.

And for the final time…

-FYM Kathryn 

De-Stress with Viking Warrior Field Day

Hi Vikings!

   If you’re like me, this semester has been quite a busy one! With final exams right around the corner, it’s important to study. But, it’s also equally as important to take a break and de-stress. With that in mind, there’s a great event happening called Viking Warrior Field Day.

   This field day and obstacle course is sponsored by the Gassett Fitness Center, Wellness U and the Asian Student Association. Students and employees will get the chance to compete on the inflatable obstacle course to be crowned the Ultimate Viking Warrior at Salem State! Additionally there will be:

  • Free Food  
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  • Free Prizes and Giveaways 
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  • Free T-Shirts for the first 150 people there 
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Folks can also come visit President Meservey during lunch from 12:00-1:00pm to thank her for her years of service and wish her well. So, be sure to make it to this awesome end-of-the-year event. 

You can find the Facebook event here 

And of course, best of luck on your finals! I know you’ll do great. 

That’s all from me Vikings! Enjoy your summer and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

– FYM Patrick 

Final Farewells & Special Thanks

It is the end of the semester and with a couple days of classes left and finals coming up it is time to say goodbye. As you reflect on your first year at SSU, you may have realized that you are not the same person you were when you entered in the fall or the spring. You may have changed your major (exactly what I did my freshmen year), made new friends, stopped being friends with old friends, found a new passion, got bored of an old passion, and many more.

As you say goodbye to your first year and enter your second year at SSU it is important to give a special thanks to those who helped you get here:

  1. Your professors: I know personally without some of my professors I would not have had such a great freshmen year and even sophomore year right now. I know a lot of you have made connections with professors in ways you may have never imagined on the first day of class. It is important to reach out to them and let them know how much you appreciate everything they’ve done for you this semester or school year. Image result for good professors meme
  2. Staff: The staff at SSU does not get the recognition they deserve. While many are behind the scene, they are really pushing for student success. Offices like First Year Experience, Center for Academic Excellence, the Writing Center, Mapworks, and many more exist solely to aid you in your college experience. Those tough papers and exams that you didn’t know how you were going to go through that the SSU staff helped you through deserve a special thanks. Looking back now you may have realized that you’ve also built relationships with various departments and being able to have supporters in various places makes getting a job out of college easier because it’s all about who you know.Image result for those who helped you meme
  3. Your peers: Those late nights at the library with people who a year ago did not even know you existed deserve a special thanks as well. You have probably made some meaningful friendships this year or this semester believe it or not. I know personally, a lot of the friends I’ve made here at SSU, especially freshmen year have been my biggest supporters in dealing with tough times on campus.  Image result for college friends meme
  4. Yourself: While all of these people deserve a special thanks a lot of these things wouldn’t of happened if it wasn’t for your own personal drive and ambition. Being away from home is scary. You were just in high school being told what to do and here you are on a college campus without your family basically trying to figure out your whole life. You owe it to yourself for getting through all of the mental breakdowns and the times where you thought succeeding at SSU would be impossible. You owe it to yourself for making it out in the end because a lot of people gave up. It’s only going to get tougher from here, so you being able to conquer freshmen year deserves a big thanks.

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13 Resources After Watching 13 Reasons Why

Hey Vikings!

If you’re anything like me, Netflix has been a blessing in your life! I’ve been able to watch shows from my childhood, gain knowledge through amazing Documentaries, and laugh hysterically from the selection of shows. Netflix itself has a sensational array of original shows that they produce themselves, the most recently being “13 Reasons Why” This Netflix original is based off of the very popular novel by Jay Asher that tells the story of high school girl named Hannah who dies by suicide. The story goes through her life and the multiple reasons that lead to her death and those who impacted her along the way.

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Lately, I haven’t been able to log onto any social media without seeing a reference to the show, so I decided to join society and watch it. While I did enjoy the series and thought that it touched upon several important issues that happen far too often in our society, I do want to be clear that is has very mature content and can be triggering to some folks. After watching it I had a lot of unresolved feelings that I felt needed to be talked through. This was a similar topic with some of my other friends who attend Salem State who said that the show left them feeling a little mentally disheveled. Thankfully, our campus has some amazing resources that are at the fingertips of students after they watch this show, or just in general to talk about issues that they are dealing with. Check out these 13 resources after you watch 13 Reasons Why!

  1. Counseling and Health Services

Counseling and health services is staffed by nurse practitioners, a part-time doctor, psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, post-doctoral fellows and advance graduate interns. Health services offers medical care, consultation on health-related issues, health promotion programs, and referrals and collaborations with area providers and primary care physicians.

Contact Information: Ellison Campus Center, suite 107, North Campus Phone: 978.542.6413 or 978.542.6410 Hours: Monday – Friday, 8AM-5PM

  1. PEAR

The Prevention, Education, Advocacy, and Response Program. In order to reduce sexual and relationship violence, we have to talk about it as an educational community. They provide programs, training’s and discussions on the topics of consent, healthy relationships, gender and sexuality, masculinity, sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, stalking and others. They also provide 24-hour access to PEAR advocate who can support survivors, provide information and connect students to resources. This is a free and confidential resource for students. The free and confidential phone number is 978.594.7089. Feel free to talk or text.

Contact Information: Colleen Armstrong, Room 112, Ellison Campus Center Phone: 978.542.2987

  1. The First Year Experience Office

We are always a resource for our students on campus. Our office serves as a brave space for students to come in and be directed to the proper resources for however they are feeling. We can assure that you will have a safe space and a person to talk to within minutes of your visit.

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Contact Information: 100A Meier Hall, call us at 978.542.2618, Hours: Monday- Friday, 9AM-5PM.

  1. Resident Life Staff

If you are a resident student you can always speak with your RA’s, RD’s, and DR’s. There is always somebody on call at any point during the day in the building or on the campus who will be able to talk with you through how you are feeling. They are there for you, so don’t forget to use them! If your RA is not there during a time of crisis, go tot he desk and have them call the on-duty RA to come speak with you.

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  1. Student Advocacy

Student advocacy is available to listen to student concerns, provide information, possible next steps and guidance. They provide services that: support students in resolving issues which may act as a barrier to success, refer students to appropriate resources on and off campus, and collaborate with, and when necessary, advocate on behalf of a student with faculty, staff and university departments.

Contact Information: Chris Sullivan, 245 Meier Hall, Student Life Suite, Phone: 978.542.7207, Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm

  1. Disability Services

Disability Services promotes an accessible educational and campus-wide experience by coordinating services and accommodations for students with disabilities. Salem State is committed to providing appropriate services and accommodations that allow self-identified students with disabilities to access all resources, programs and activities at the university.

Contact Information: Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons, room 20, Hours: Monday -Friday, 8:30AM-5PM, Phone: 978.542.6217

  1. Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

The diversity and multicultural affairs office strives to lead Salem State University in sustaining an active campus community that embraces difference, and values the significant contributions of all its members. Through examining the intersections of identity, our community is challenged to think critically about issues relevant to diversity and social justice.

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Contact Information: Ellison Campus Center, room 202, Hours: 9AM-5PM, Phone: 978.542.2681

  1. The Women’s Center

Serves as a community network for women; providing support, encouragement, teaching, and resources. They hold office hours where they are able to provide a brave space for any student (not just female identified students) who would like to discuss issues that are affecting them.

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Contact Information: Ellison Campus Center, room 211

  1. The Alliance

The Alliance is a student group that offers opportunities to meet socially, plan events, lobby politically and/or find support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and their straight allies.

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Contact Information: Room 206 of the Ellison Campus Center, Phone: 978.542.7541.

  1. CESA Peer Educators

Campus Educators on Sexual Assault (CESA) is a Salem State University recognized club. Their goal is to create awareness and educate others about sexual assault. Their main goal is to prevent sexual assault from happening. They do this by educating others and providing a 5 week training course that is 15 hours long, certifying you as a peer educator in the end.

Contact Information: e-mail is ssu.cesa@gmail.com or “Salem State University CESA” on Facebook

  1. Spiritual Life

Spiritual life represents a collaboration of departments and student groups that engage the community in multi-faith and spiritual encounters. Programs encourage personal reflection, spiritual practice, and interfaith dialogue. They recognize the importance of offering safe and peaceful spaces for conversations about love, loss, religious differences, sexual assault, compassion, and vulnerability. They provide a quiet refuge for reflection and silence, and a haven for the campus community to discover the power of the human spirit.

Contact Information: Ellison Campus Center, room 219, Laura Biddle

  1. Veterans’ Affairs

Veterans’ affairs at Salem State is here to assist current and former service members of the armed forces as well as survivors and dependents with both state and federal educational benefit programs.

Contact Information: Ellison Campus Center, 2nd Floor

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Press # 1 if you are a Veteran) This is a 24 hour hotline for folks to call if they are overwhelmed and need someone to talk to.

 

 

**These are just some of the amazing resources our campus has to offer! If you are interested in more or would like to talk about how this blog made you feel, please feel free to reach out, we are here for you!

A To-Do List for the Summer

Hey First-Years!

Believe it or not, you are almost no longer first-years! You are just about to wrap up your very first year of college!! And for our transfer students, your first year at Salem State! Congratulations!!!! Summer is rapidly approaching and before you know it, you’ll be back for the Fall Semester. So here are some helpful tips as FYE bids you adieu for a short while and awaits your return.

1.) Relax! Eat! Sleep! Repeat. Don’t enter fall semester exhausted. Make sure to recharge your battery during the summer, so that you can hit the ground running in the fall. I know many students work a plethora of hours during the summer, which is great, but just make sure to remember self-care.

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2.) Hangout with hometown friends! If you have kept friendship connections in your hometown, make sure to get together and you can share each other’s freshman year stories! Don’t forget about your college friends either! Maybe they live in towns you have never been to before (or have never even heard of), so pay a visit!

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3.) If you’re going to live on campus, get in touch with your roommate(s). Figure out who is bringing the microwave, fridge and anything else you want to bring. If you went random, perhaps try to meet with them before you leave for the semester, so you can get to know them better.

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4.) Freshman year, you tend to over-pack, because you think that you need everything or perhaps your Mom wants you to be over-prepared. During the summer, figure out what you will actually need and what you ended up not using during school. This will hopefully make packing easier and lighter.

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5.) Make sure your classes are good to go. Sometimes not enough students sign up for a certain class or the “TBA” Professor ends up not taking on the class; therefore, on rare occasions, SSU drops a class that you may have been registered for. So just make sure your classes are still listed. In addition, sometimes a class that was closed during registration opens up during the summer. If there was a class you were trying to get into, check to see if it is open.

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6.) Make a list of goals that you wish to achieve for sophomore year. Maybe it is to make more friends, get more involved or make Dean’s List! Whatever is on your list will help keep you motivated throughout the year.

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Summer is a great time to decompress from the stressful demands of school. There is the beach, friends, family, and many more! Just remember these helpful tips as you enjoy the blissful summer and prepare for Fall Semester.

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5 Tips to Prepare for Finals

Hello Vikings!

Finals are coming up, and you may feel a mix of anxiety about it, but a bit of excitement for the summer. Finals are stressful, and keeping track of all your deadlines can be overwhelming and daunting. Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track!

1. Create a to-do list

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This one may seem obvious, but create a list of all the final assignments that need to be done from now until the end of the semester. This should include papers, exams, group projects, and even quizzes and homework assignments. Your list can be really long, or really short, but at the end of the year (once you’ve checked everything off), it’s so relieving to look back and see all that you have accomplished in the last few weeks!

2. Get all your notes and handouts together

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When it comes to cumulative finals, you may feel overwhelmed of all the material you have learned. Look around your room for handouts and notes you’ve written throughout the semester. It’s easy to lose papers and notes, so find those items now, so you aren’t scrambling the night before the final.

3. Get started on those final papers nowgiphy (2).gif

You can get started on those papers early! Write some notes down, create an outline, do anything to help you get thinking about the paper. This will help you when you actually sit down to write the paper: you’d be surprised about how much you’ve already planned for.

4. Set up meetings with your professors now if you have questionsgiphy (3).gif

It can get difficult to set up meetings with your professors during finals. So set up those meetings now before the end of classes, so you can ask those clarifying questions about assignments or grades.

5. Take advantage of the library’s updated hours

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During finals, the library will be open 24 hours. While you should get plenty of sleep, take advantage of these hours by going to the library and getting all your work done. The library is the perfect environment for group projects, online assignments, and doing research!

 

Good luck on finals everyone! If you have any more questions about study or organization tips, visit us in the First Year Experience office in Meier Hall 100A, or call us at 978.542.2618.

 

May the 4th Be with You

Hi First Years,

The semester is coming to a close very quickly. I just wanted to remind you of Reading Day that is coming up and a few things that you can do during that time.

First off, let me define what Reading Day is. This day is specifically dedicated for prepping for final exams, getting those final papers and projects out of the way and just getting ready for the semester to come to a close. On Reading day, you will have no classes and then the final exam period begins on Friday May 5th and continues through to May 12th.

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Yes, Reading Day is a a time to prioritize towards academics but here are 3 events that are going on around campus for when you need to take a break from studying and cramming.

  1. The Puppies are Coming! Salem State Greek Life is hosting a free event where dogs from the Northeast Animal Shelter will be visiting campus. You can go and de-stress by playing with the puppies. This is going to be located in Marsh Hall and it is going on 11am-1pm. If you are interested, check out the Facebook page. 17990169_1883109971947525_8174705599339731229_o
  2. The Undergraduate Research Symposium is happening! Take a break by walking through this event and looking at your fellow SSU students present their research work. You can take this time develop yourself professionally and maybe even register to present at next year’s event! The event is going to be held in four different locations- North Campus Dining Commons, Ellison Campus Center, Meier Hall and Sullivan Building.
  3. The Art and Design Student Exhibition.  Stop by this event that is in the library to acknowledge student’s artwork that is on display! It will be going on from 1pm-3pm. If you have any questions, reach out to kgahagan@salemstate.edu

With all of these great events occurring during Reading Day, I encourage you to attend at least one as a study break. We all need a little time away from academics and to refocus our energy. Good luck with the rest of the semester! You’re all so close to completing your first year of college and you should be proud of yourselves! I wish you all the best and May the Force be with you on May 4th!

-FYM Mikaela

End of the Year Reflection

Hey First Years!

I cannot believe we are in our last full week of classes. As the year comes to the close I like to take some time to think back on what happened reflect on myself and the world. It is great to reflect on your big accomplishments or things you achieved during the course of an academic year to help motivate you. You may also have experienced some hardships this year. This is a perfect time to think about those, and how you may have overcome those challenges and moved forward! This blog is going to offer some questions for discussion on self reflection as well as talk about some of my personal experiences this school year.

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Here are a list of questions that you can ask yourself:

Did I achieve a goal that I set for myself this year? If not, why? Is there something I can do or change to achieve what I want?

What was my proudest moment this year?

When was a time where I struggled but was able to break through and overcome my obstacles?

What is something I learned about yourself this year?

Is there something that I want to improve about myself?

What skills or talents did I use this year? Which ones did I not use this year?

What kind of environments do I work best in?

In what areas do I need further development?

What am I looking forward to next year?


 

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I feel as though it may be beneficial if I share some of my experiences with you as you think about some of these reflecting questions. The 2016-2017 school year has been a school year full of ups and downs! Some of my largest academic accomplishments happened this year but also I had a really hard time struggling with personal issues and life. So here are my thoughts.

A personal goal of mine this year was to be very involved with our schools radio station WMWM Salem. This year I served as treasurer and Music Director of the station. I was successfully able to plan and execute two conferences as well get us different donors and I even did a give away with concert tickets to the Proximity tour on campus!

My proudest moment… I have a few… One, I was thrilled to be able to work as a volunteer for the Salem National Parks and receiving my volunteer uniform made me so honored and humbled and proud! I was really proud of myself being elected Music Director for next year. I was also really proud of myself when I won a leadership award in the Honors Program and I got inducted into the National Language Honors Society!

One of my biggest struggles this year was a severe depression that I went through for about 2 months. It was after a surgery that I had done during Winter Break and I was going through a breakup. Thankfully I had amazing friends on campus and was able to utilize on campus counseling from the Counseling and Health Services. I am really happy to be overcoming that because it took a huge toll on my school work, my job and day to day activities.

Something that I learned this year about myself is that it is OK to ask for help. I realized I cannot be perfect at everything and that it is okay to struggle. There are so many resources on campus that are available to help you academically, socially and work related so why not use them.

Something I am looking forward to next year is getting to work with an incredible group of people I met through the radio and to continue my passion for music and continue to help and meet new people that are involved.  I am also looking forward to continuing my studies in the geology dept. and hopefully will get an internship next year!


 

Self reflecting is really crucial to helping people grow and learn. It is important to think and discuss what you do well and what you can improve on. Taking things into consideration may help you to meet new people or find different and new opportunities. Take these last few days to reflect on yourself, Vikings! Good luck with finals and have a great summer!

Spring Week 2017!

Hey First Years!

You are almost done with your first year of college – how crazy is that? To celebrate the spring, and incoming nice weather, Student Involvement and Activities is hosting Spring Week 2017!

Check out some of the fun events happening next week!

  1. Paint Night – April 24th, 7 pm, Vets Hall; Sign-up for Paint Night at the Info Desk in the Campus Center now!
  2. Glass Etching and Caricatures – April 25th, 12-2 pm, Viking Starbucks
  3. Red Sox Game vs. New York Yankees – April 25th, 7:10 pm;  28 Tickets go on sale at 10 am starting Tuesday, April 18th in the Campus Center at the Info Desk for $10, Maximum 2 tickets per person, Transportation is not provided
  4. Boogie Party Wonderland Sponsored by Music Society – April 25th, 7-9pm, Viking Starbucks
  5. Treat Yo’ Self Sponsored by Program Council – April 26th, 12-3 pm, Vets Hall; Come meditate, get a massage, and eat chocolate and other treats!
  6. WMWM Presents: Big Prize Musical Chairs – April 26th, 6 pm, MLK Room
  7. Comedy Night with Chris Garcia & Grandma’s Third Leg – April 26th, 10 pm, Marsh Dining Hall
  8. Kompa Night – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 27th, 7 pm, Underground and Metro Room; Enjoy a night in the island of Haiti! Featuring island finger food, Kompa dance and other cultural dances along with a special guest Kompa dancers.
  9. Fashion Show – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 28th, 7 pm, Vets Hall; We are ready to rip the runway. Indulge in a night of fashion, glam, performances and culture.
  10. Pool Party – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 29th, 11 am – 4 pm, O’Keefe Pool; Get ready to turn up the heat in your bathing suits at MSA’s annual pool party! Get there early for door prizes, as well as best swimsuit contest.
  11. Foam & Glow – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA & UAT – April 29th, 9 pm, O’Keefe Hockey Rink; UAT’s biggest event of the year! Come join us for a night of music, dancing and of course, foam. And this year, we have lots of FOAM. You don’t want to miss out!

Celebrate your success by attending some or even all of these events! For more info, you can look hereSpring Week 2017!, or contact Jamal Lawson:

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Have an awesome weekend Vikings!
FYM Kelly

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning!

Hey First-Years!

It’s that time of year to start packing up some of your belongings and bringing them home! Here are some tips on making your move-out day less stressful!

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1. Bring items home in small doses.

If your like me and you visit home once a week, then this will be an easy process for you to start. Each time you go home, try taking 2-3 items back with you, so you aren’t stuck with bringing everything home at once. This way you can start unpacking the items you’ve brought home, making less work for yourself after move-out day.

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If you are not like me, and you only go home every now and again, then here is a different tip to use. Try taking a trip home or making plans with your parents or friends over the weekend! I’m sure that they would love to see you, and spend some time with you! If someone does come visit, ask if they have room in their trunk to bring a few things home for you!

 

2. Start packing up your winter attire.

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Although New England weather can be unpredictable, at this point in the year we can say goodbye to our winter boots and jackets. Thick snow coats, bulky snow boots, scarfs, and gloves can finally be taken out, leaving more room in your closet! Also, a majority of thick sweaters can be making their way home as well. You should keep a few sweaters for those windy days or chilly nights but as the weather gets warmer, you will want to have the right clothes.

3. Do your laundry before taking it home.

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I personally have never met anyone who enjoys doing laundry, but getting it done before your move home will make unpacking so much easier. By making sure your clothes are clean before you pack them up, there will be less work to do when you get home! Unpacking is an annoying task that we all must do during the move-in and move-out process. Having clean clothes to take home means all you need to do is put them away! Nobody wants to go home for the Summer and have to wash their whole wardrobe, so try and get it done before!

4. Figure out what you use, and don’t use.

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Over the course of the year, we all collect more items than we originally moved in with. For an easy, stress-free move out, start making a list, or packing a box with items you noticed you don’t use anymore. Small trinkets, notebooks, folders, and decorations are all items that you can start packing up to take home. I have already started filling a bin with my small decorations, extra school supplies, and dishes I don’t use!

5. Time to start cleaning!

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Once you have packed away and brought home a majority of your belongings, it’s time to get cleaning! Break out your broom, swiffer, and clorox wipes! It is important to make sure your room is fully clean when moving out, and to make things easier on yourself, DO IT EARLY. Wash and wipe down every surface before your move-out day, this way you can have everything ready to take home in the morning. Spend your last day on campus having fun, not packing and cleaning!

 

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You do not want to wait until the last minute to start packing and cleaning or else you are going to be stressed out. Make the end of the year easier on yourself by only worrying about finals, not packing. By spending a little bit of time each day packing your dorm, it will be done in no time. This will leave you with more time available to prepare for your finals, and say goodbye to your friends who live far away!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog, I know you’ll all do great! Don’t stress, and if you need anymore tips, feel free to contact the FYE office in Meier Hall 100A!