It’s FAFSA Time!


Congratulations on making it to the end of the semester!!!

With only a few days left before finals, I know that all that any of us can think about is studying and then getting some much deserved rest and relaxation, and enjoying the holidays.

But before you settle in to vacation mode, I urge you to fill out and submit your 2017-2018 FAFSA. For the first time, the new FAFSA can be submitted before the new year, and it is available right now!

The new FAFSA availability date means that the tax information that you will use to fill out the form has also changed. For the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you will use your 2015 tax information, the same information that you used for the last FAFSA.

A lot of grants and other available funds run on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that if you don’t submit your FAFSA early, then some funds may have already run out by the time that you do.


I understand that filling out the FAFSA can be very stressful and overwhelming at times, which is why the Student Navigation Center is running workshops all about financial aid, during the month of December. So, if you are worried about filling out your FAFSA then book yourself a date and time, before the semester is over.

Of course we are always available here at the First Year Experience office to help you out with anything you need, as well!


The Meteroid

Image result for shooting star

Saturday, November 5, 2016. I saw a comet. I needed that.

It was a comet, surely. Maybe hope. But blink and you will miss it. The extensive and wonderful display occurred more than a flash-fiction of superstitious beliefs. Even in the darkest hour, the comet had become a declaration of direction, beauty, and meaning. Ambition is good. Integrity is good. Purpose is good. All attributes I expected led on to fortunes and riches.

But, per usual, life allowed itself to be an irrationally inflatable object of hope. Life was—is—gritty, harsh, and honest. Numerous occasions I swore up and down, “I got this.” I was wrong. Again, I wrongly assumed college offered professional services and intellectual expertise to do well in the real world. Well, of course, I had been wrong before. For example, in the first grade, I was convinced shooting stars bestowed the power to fulfill wishes. That was okay. At least there was beauty in the attempt. New York Times columnist Alina Tugend wrote, “There are unexpected benefits of being wrong.” Astronomers suppose bright moonlight makes it strenuous to spot a comet. Saturday, November 5, 2016. I saw a comet. And this one had come with a message. I and those alike shall not yet be discouraged at life. In times of forgetfulness and despair…

“Make a wish and place it in your heart. Anything you want, everything you want. Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is going to come from. The next smile, the next wish come true. But if you believe that it’s right around the corner, and you open up your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it, you just might get the thing you’re wishing for. The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it.”

“So make your wish. Do you have it? Good. Now believe in it, with all of your heart.”(anonymous)

How To Make The Most Of Winter Break

Hey First Years!

Finals are coming, and after finals is the break we’ve been waiting for since September. Winter break. A whole month off from classes and school. A month to work, relax, and spend time with family and friends. So, how do you make the most of it? Don’t want it to go to waste? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.


It’s time to celebrate!


I love to read, so every break I set a goal of how many books to read. There’s a genre for everyone, and if you’re not that into books read a couple magazines, newspapers, or even articles online!


Working over winter break can be great. Earn some money for the Spring semester! Yay!

Make something

No matter what your passions are, create something. Paint something, sculpt something, write something, create a piece of art. Spend some time doing something you love to do. During the semester it can be hard to do it sometimes, so now’s the perfect time!


Take time for yourself. The semester can be stressful and you want to prepare yourself for the Spring by relaxing and recharging!

Spend time with family and friends from home, especially since it’s hard to make plans during the semester, and overall, enjoy your break!!

FYM Kaitlynn


10 Self-Care Tips for Finals

Hello Vikings!

It’s that time of the year: finals. Finals is one of the most stressful times of the year. Everyone is on edge, physical and mental health seem to be the last of everyone’s worries, and everyone is anxious to get home! To help deal with the stress of finals, here are 10 things you can do to destress and promote self-care!

1. Color or paint!


Coloring and painting can help you focus, take a break from the textbooks, and help you be creative!

2. Meditate!


Meditating helps you breathe, clear your mind, and gives you a break from the stress of life!

3. Watch Netflix!


Though you don’t want to watch for too long, treat yourself to watching an episode of a show or a movie on Netflix after hours of studying!

4. Read a book!


Finals requires a lot of reading, whether it’s studying for an exam or doing research for a paper. Read a book that isn’t for academics! You can reread your favorite book, pick up one you’ve always wanted to read, or you can even read a children’s book if you like!

5. Go for a walk!


Walking helps you clear your mind, take in the environment around you, and can lead you to discover parts of Salem that you’ve never ventured to before!

6. Exercise!


I am not one to go to the gym, but any form of exercise can help you be attentive, stay healthy, and give you time for yourself!

7. Spend time with friends!


Go to dinner, see a movie, or take a walk downtown! You and your friends can get away from campus for a bit and take a break!

8. Write!


Write about how you’re feeling, write a story, or write about the world around you! Writing can help you be creative and help inspire you for classes, without constantly working on classwork.

9. Get plenty of sleep!


Sleeping well helps you stay alert and will prepare you for the day ahead. Make sure to keep a steady sleep schedule and take power naps if you need to!



Remember to breathe! Finals are stressful, but it’s only a short amount of time for a big payoff. So breathe, do your work, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

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Resident Winter Break To-Do List

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Hi First-Years,

Victoria's Secret PINK reaction girl what school

This semester has flown by! I’m sure that you’re being kept busy by all of your final assignments, tests etc. BUT for those of you who live on campus, there are some important things you need to do before you officially leave after finals. Your RA’s should go over all of this with you but for your convenience here’s a quick to-do list of what needs to be taken care of before you say goodbye to SSU for the next month.

Hint: Start by getting some of these things checked off now so you won’t be so stressed right before your last day!  

  • Make sure your room/apartment is tidy and clean.
  • The windows should be closed and the shades lowered halfway down (if you live on the first floor of your building the shades need to be down all the way).
  • All trash should be thrown away
  • Your refrigerator (or mini-fridge) can stay plugged in but make sure to throw out anything that will spoil.Remember- you’ll be gone for about a month & 1/2… you don’t want to come back to a moldy fridge!
  •   Unplug all other electronics (such as your microwave, toaster or anything else that requires electricity)

And remember to enjoy winter break!


ignore treat yourself not gonna happen

FYM Patrick


Crafty Pinterest Party!

Hello First Years!

Isn’t it insane that it is already the first week of December and we only have a couple of weeks left and then the fall semester is finished! I bet you are running around attempting to get things done such as final projects, presentations, final papers and studying for those exams because I sure am! Also on top of that getting ready for the holiday season whatever that entails for you.

Are you crafty or want to try and be crafty during this holiday season?! Well you are in luck because the club Student Education Association of Massachusetts (S.E.A.M) Salem State University Chapter which I am the treasurer of is hosting a Pinterest Party this upcoming Friday December 9th at 6pm in the Ellison Campus Center. The party will be in the Metro Room which is located in the basement of ECC. Anyone is welcome to come and join us in making some crafts during this season of giving!


We are also having food catered to the party. We will be having assorted calzones and then smaller snacks along with beverages. For the crafts, we plan on decorating sugar cookies, making a Popsicle stick picture frames, salt dough ornaments, a sugar scrub mixture and watercolor painting! You can come and show your artistic expression through any of these wonderful crafts and maybe even give one as a gift to someone this holiday season!



You still have time to purchase a ticket! We are selling the tickets in the Education office for $3. The office is located on the third floor (Room 304). You can just tell the secretary Danielle that you would like to purchase a ticket. Also if you are unsure but think you still will want to come on Friday night, we will be selling tickets the night of the event as well. Tickets will be sold for $5 Friday night. We just request that you try and bring smaller bills to the event if you plan on paying then!

I hope to see you there and meet some new faces! We love having people come and join our events! Have a wonderful rest of the semester and keep pushing through, you’re almost there! Strive for nothing but the best!


-FYM Mikaela

Fun Winter Activities in the Boston Area

Hey First Years! Your first semester of college is almost complete and Winter Break is almost here! Here are some fun winter themed activities around the Boston area that may  be interesting for you to do during winter break!

Take in the View

Visit the Top of the Hub 52 floors above Boston and walk the Skywalk Obsevatory. The cost is $16 for adults, $11 for children, and $13 for students and seniors. The price includes an audio tour and entry into the Dreams of Freedom Museum. Just make sure to call ahead because the Skywalk closes for special events and inclement weather.


Go Ice Skating!

Head over to the Boston Common to glide across the picturesque Frog Pond. Admission is based on the skater’s height — free for those under 58 inches and $5 for those over. Skate rentals cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids. The ice skating season runs from December to March.

Go Skiing!

This activity comes in right at $25 but is too good not to mention. If you like to ski but don’t like spending big money at big resorts, check out Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton. If you don’t mind night skiing, a lift ticket to ski between 5 and 9 p.m. will cost you just $25 on weekdays.


Go Sledding!

It’s a winter pastime that never gets old. Grab a sled and head for the nearest hill near your house. Best of all, it’s free.

Play at the Boston Children’s Museum

Tickets to the Boston Children’s Museum cost $14 a piece, which means an expense of $28 for two and $56 for a family of four. That is, unless you take advantage of Target Fridays every Friday night at the museum, where admission is just $1 per person between 5 and 9 p.m. Now that’s a deal!

Attend a Chocolate Tasting!

If you are a chocolate lover, it doesn’t get much better than this. Learn how Taza makes its Mexican-style organic dark chocolate and enjoy samples while you’re at it during a $6 factory tour. Tours last between 45 minutes and one hour. Currently, $1 of your admission is donated to the Museum of Science to support educational outreach in Cambridge, Somerville, and Greater Boston.


Immerse Yourself in Boston Sports

You can visit famous Boston sports objects such as Larry Bird’s locker, the Beanpot trophy, a piece of the boards and glass from the old Boston Garden, and more. Admission for adults is $12; students and seniors is $6, and kids under 10 are free.

Go Rock Climbing!

In the mood for a challenge? Spend the afternoon climbing the walls at Rock Spot Climbing in Boston. There’s a brand new location opening this month at 30 Old Colony Ave in South Boston. Or head to the Sprague Street location for 9,000 square feet of climbing surfaces that include slabs, steep faces, overhangs, roofs, and a massive 15-foot cave. A day pass will cost you $16 ($25 with gear).


Hopefully you find these idea’s interesting and you enjoy Winter Break!

-FYM Kathryn😀


The Seagull – Experience “Tons of Love”

Hello SSU!

I’m having trouble accepting that it is officially December. Where did this semester even go? I’m sure you are working hard through these last few weeks of essays, projects, presentations and exams – keep on pushing! 

If you need a break from the stress of it all, TONIGHT is the opening night of Salem State Theatre Department’s production of The Seagull, directed by William Cunningham. 


Photo by Alex Portenko

“In The Seagull, Chekhov simply asks us to focus on humanity, which is at times funny, foolish, heartbreaking, beautiful, and full of ‘tons of love.’ This love may not always be requited, but Chekhov shows us that it is always possible.”

The Seagull is running for the next two weekends in the Callan Studio Theatre, located in the basement of the Sullivan Building (North Campus, 352 Lafayette St, Salem MA, 01970), during the following dates and times: 

December 1 – 3, 7:30 pm
December 4, 2 pm
December 8 – 10, 7:30 pm
December 11, 2 pm

Box Office opens one hour before the show, and House opens half an hour before the show. Tickets are $15 general, $10 for students and seniors, and FREE for SSU students with their ClipperCard! More information can be found here. Tickets can be purchased in advance here

All of the students and faculty of Salem State Theatre have been putting in countless hours to create this beautiful production. Make sure you take the time to support live theatre!

FYM Kelly 

Salem Dance Ensemble Presents: Dear Diary


The end of the semester is approaching and so is the Dance department’s semi-annual show: Dear Diary . This concert presented by the Salem Dance Ensemble (SDE) showcases most, if not all, of Salem State’s dance majors and minors. Throughout the semester, students created their pieces and received guidance from faculty members including Meghan McLyman, Jim Morrow, and Betsy Miller. Some faculty members will also present their own work in the showcase. Though the pieces may range in genre from hip-hop to lyrical, tap, or ballet, most are typically in the contemporary style.

Since September, SDE has been creating our Fall show. We will be performing in the Multipurpose Room of O’Keefe at 7:30pm on Saturday, December 10th and 2:00pm on Sunday, December 11th.  Though the performance is free to students with an SSU ID, there is a $10 suggested donation upon entrance for non-SSU students.

Dear Diary, Today I discovered…. Salem Dance Ensemble presents a program of choreography by students and faculty that reflects moments in our daily lives that are both mundane and extraordinary. Dear Diary investigates how those quotidian moments reveal our inner lives and intimate stories. Come share with us as we tell all!

Though SDE is composed primarily of majors and minors, we welcome other students with dance experience. If you are a student that finds yourself wanting to be on stage (even if you don’t have any experience), consider auditioning for SDE next semester!  If you’re interested, keep an eye out for our open dancer auditions in September. If you have any questions, please contact one of our Dance Program Associates who can be reached at, we would be happy to have you!

Surviving Finals Week

Finals Week is coming up and unlike in High School, these exams can determine whether or not you can stay with the major of your choice. Finals week can be very stressful with piles of assignments due: paper, projects, presentations…you NAME IT!

Here are a five tips on how to survive Finals Week:

  1. Do not leave everything for last minute. At this point you should know when your final exam is scheduled for (For some it was given on the first day of class on the syllabus)…Study Guides are coming out for your exams, paper guidelines, project guidelines, whichever, and waiting last minute only causes more stress
  2. Take READING DAY SERIOUSLY! Reading Day is the day after the last day of classes. While you may think this is a relief and the time to get together with friends and stay up all night, you should take advantage of the library and catching up on your studying…Again, cramming and waiting last minute only causes more stress
  3. Join study groups! Studying alone can be tedious and boring, so reach out to people in your classes or close friends and motivate each other. Request one of the rooms in the Library and take advantage of the dry erase walls and resources.
  4. Make sure all of your things are up to date on your part so on the last day of class you’re not chasing your prof for clarification on your grades. They’ll probably have 50 other students sending them emails about their grades as well.
  5. Remember the importance of self-care. Studying for finals is very important but you should also keep in mind that keeping a healthy mental and physical state is important as well. Reach out for help instead of taking on all of this pressure on your own.