Glassblowing and the First Year Experience

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First Year Experience staff had the opportunity this past week to observe some amazing artists-in-residence at The GlassWorks Studio.  Part of the Rosenberg Institute for Passionate and Emerging Artists, these individuals demonstrated how one creates a work of art.  GlassWorks is one of the unique experiences that students at Salem State University have an opportunity to take advantage of – how many colleges do you know that have a working glass studio on campus where you can take classes?

Witnessing the amazing pieces that the summer artists created made us think about the lessons that first year students can take away from an experience like this.  Web_Rosenberg Demo 4 074

Creating a work of art in the glass studio isn’t a solitary endeavor.  Each of the artists worked together to keep the glass moving, to shape the piece, to provide just the right amount of heat at all times so that the glass didn’t cool and become unworkable.  Similarly, first year students have a team of people around them working to ensure their success.  Whether it’s family, faculty, friends, or staff it’s critical that first year students recognize and take advantage of the team around them.  Succeeding in college involves collaboration and working together.

As the artists were navigating the various spaces where they were working on the piece, they needed to be in constant communication so that no one got in someone’s way while they were carrying the hot glass, using the blowtorches, or opening the doors to the furnaces.  Similarly, communication is key to navigating your first year of college – you will need to learn to ask for clarification, seek out additional information, or connect and develop relationships with your professors, peers, and administrators on campus.  Constant communication = success!


At the end of the demonstration, as the final piece was being carried into the oven, the door hit the back of the heron and shattered part of the glass.  Two hours of creating that fabulous piece of art and a small mistake changed everything.  What was amazing was that the artists looked at each other and instead of being upset, they began giving high fives and congratulations for a job well done.  It didn’t matter that the final product was negatively impacted – what mattered was that they still accomplished something and they knew that at the end of the day it was more important to be positive and continue on than dwell on what didn’t go well.  That is pretty true to your first year of college – sometimes things won’t go well, sometimes you will fail at something – but don’t let it stop you.  Instead pick yourself up, brush it off, and keep going….perseverance will get you to your end goal despite a few bumps along the way.Web_Rosenberg Demo 4 168

Want to learn more?  Check out the GlassWorks online at and consider taking a class during your undergraduate time at Salem State University.  It is one of many amazing opportunities offered at the university!

What do I with All of These Books?

Now that the semester is over, you’re probably facing a dilemma all students have at this time of the year. What are you going to do with all of those textbooks? You may even have books left over from last semester. With limited space in your cars on move-in day, you might not have room to take them all home. Before you sell your books back look through them and make sure you won’t need them for future classes, some textbooks can be helpful as reference tools, especially if the topic relates to your major. If you decide you want to sell, the easiest place to sell your books is the bookstore on central campus. They’ll immediately give you cash or a check for your book. If you’re willing to wait a little longer, you can visit Chegg  or Amazon and see how much you can sell your books for there. They’ll give you a quote immediately but it’ll take a little longer for your check to arrive.  Another great option is selling or giving a book to a friend or classmate who’ll need it next year! Post a picture of your book one Facebook, you never know who might need it. This is another method that’s quick and convenient! If you rented your books be sure to return them on time. Check online for information about how to return your books and be sure to send the right books to the right company. Enjoy your summer!

Bucket List

Now that the semester is winding down you all must have some free time on your hands. Do you find yourself asking what you could be doing in Salem to keep you and your friends entertained for the remainder of the semester? I am here to offer you some suggestions to take into consideration when you need an afternoon away from campus and a break before finals!

  • Take a walk to Salem Willows to hangout by the water, play tennis, soccer, etc.! There are endless opportunities to burn off some energy and a cheap alternative of entertainment! Along the way you pass by coffee and ice cream places where you would be able to refresh yourself after a long walk!
  • Check out the Peabody Essex Museum for free with your clippercard! There are countless art pieces that can be discussed and viewed with friends!
  • Head down to Pickering Wharf to window shop and explore the downtown area! Not only are you outside getting fresh air but also seeing new parts of Salem!
  • Hop on the Friendship! Down by Pickering Wharf you will see a huge ship that can be explored for free during certain parts of the day! Why not take advantage of this beautiful ship and scenery?!

Overall, enjoy the end of your freshmen year with your friends to make memories that will last a lifetime! The time you put into finals week should be rewarded with some fun! Good luck with finals and see you all next fall!

-FYE Mentor, Jordan

Other suggestions can be found here: 

It’s Closing Time

Congratulations! You’ve made to the end of a rather hectic semester from the endless amount of snow to the surprisingly sunny days we have today! Just remember that just because the snow is over, doesn’t mean school is. Here are some helpful tips to get you through the remainder of the semester and finals!

1. Stick to the same schedule that you have for homework. Just because you’re not in class anymore doesn’t mean that your work ethic should decrease.

2. Finish all of your final papers! Look at your syllabus for each class to make sure that you are not missing anything!

3. Double and Triple check your finals schedule! Nothing is worse than skipping a final or not knowing what time your final is taking place. If you miss it, chances are you won’t be able to make it up!

4. Make time for sleep! Even though everything is wrapping up and you have more time to hang out with your friends, make sure you are working on your work, but make sure you are leaving time for sleep!

5. Have Fun! Within your last few weeks of the semester it is very important to take a break from all of the studying to reward yourself for a hard semester’s work. Take some time to hang out with your friends, go out to eat and celebrate everything that you have accomplished this semester!

Happy Summer!

– Ashley

Hilarious GIFs To Start your Summer

It’s that time of year again!

Time to get away from classes and assignments :D

Feel yourself blossom into the beginning of summer

Open up to the endless adventures

If you don’t have any fun plans yet, don’t sweat it!

The only thing to sweat is the heat

So pull up a chair and let the waves of summer take you away…

Okay, well not that literally

Just make a few plans with friends and get together.

Nothing says summer like hanging out with your friends

Dive into adventures


Don’t let fun opportunities slide by! Good luck and be safe, see you all next year!

The Summer Daze

As the semester enters its final lap all of us are guilty of daydreaming about what Summer 2015 is going to look like. Whether this includes an internship, summer, job or exciting trips anywhere really here are some ideas to have in mind while working towards the end of the semester.

  • May 28th is the taste of Fanueil Hall where your ticket gets you samples of all of the food offered in Fanueil Hall while you get to enjoy a lively atmosphere with a great crowd, good food and a DJ
  • May 31st is the Color 5K at Gillette Stadium where runners will be bombarded with colored cornstarch and glitter as they run
  • June 5th-7th is the Salem arts Festival which will feature art created and performed in Salem as well as some awesome food
  • June 13th is the Boston Pride Parade and Festival which begins at Copley Square and ends at City Hall Plaza
  • June 14th is the Boston Dragon boat Festival which features dragon boat races on the Charles River as well as martial arts demonstrations, drumming and food
  • July 31st- August 2nd is Boston Comic Con where Stan Lee will be making an appearance
  • Fenway Family Day will be in July but the date is yet undetermined, the event will have discounted tickets and concessions as well as live entertainment and autograph opportunities
  • August 28th is St. Anthony’s feast in the North End in Boston with great food, live entertainment and games
  • The Picnic at Fenway will also be in August where visitors can enjoy BBQ on Fenway’s outfield and and autograph session with players

Over Whelmed

It’s starting to get closer to the end of the semester and we only have a few weeks left of school. It is time to start planning out everything you have to accomplish for the semester. Also, to start working on any late assignments. The last few weeks of the semester are the hardest, it’s when professor starts to pile on the work. Some tips are to relax! I know things can get overwhelming and stressful but stressing about something isn’t going to make it any better. If you are trying to type a paper try to set goals by the hour. If you set goals and accomplish them then reward yourself. This might sound weird but it can actually help. Being productive for an hour or two then having a half an hour to yourself to relax is a great way to stay on top of things. Also, try to accomplish your work right when you get out of class or in between classes. When you sit around and take naps all day you won’t be as productive when you do your work when you get out of class. Another tip is to change your scenery. If you are always doing homework in your dorm trying going to the library or going into a lounge. Changing your scenery can help a lot if your tired of studying in the same place all the time. My last tip is to switch topics when you feel like you studied or wrote everything you had to say. It is better to always come back to a topic then start to get distracted because you don’t have anything to study.

Outstanding First Year Advocate Award

At Salem State University, faculty, staff, and students help first year students achieve their goals inside and outside the classroom. The Outstanding First Year Advocate Award is given to faculty, staff, and students who are nominated by others in the Salem State community because of their enthusiasm to help, support, and encourage first year students.
Salem State University is very happy to have people who:

Assisted in the successful acclimation of first-year students to the university
Provided tools or support, Helped first-year students to achieve academic and/or personal success
Promoted a welcoming campus environment among first-year students
Exhibited a positive attitude that fostered a positive first year experience
Demonstrated outstanding commitment to first-year student success in and/or outside of the classroom
Encouraged student involvement on campus and/or within the community among first-year students

Nominations for these people ended on March 27th. All nominees are invited to this event.

The Luncheon ceremony is going to take place in the Ellison campus center MLK Room on Wednesday April 29th 2015 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Nominees will be presented with a certificate of excellence for their continued support of first-year students. Those chosen as Outstanding First Year Advocates will be awarded with a token of honor for their outstanding commitment to first year success.

Congratulations to all nominees for their hard work and concern about others’ success!

FYE Amine


Its The Final Countdown

Second semester is winding down and there’s less than a month left until the end of the school year. It’s time to start preparing for the end! Now is a great time to check in with your professors  and see what your grades look like, there’s still time to give them that final boost! Do extra credit, keep up with your reading, find out if you can make up overdue assignments, study a little extra for your final test and quizzes before the exam and most importantly keep going to class! It’s easy to start skipping now that the weather is getting warmer, but you’ve come too far to stop showing up now! It’s also a good time to take a look at your syllabus and se which classes actually have final exams and which professors may expect a final project or portfolio. While a final project may seem easier than an exam, it’s important not to wait to the last minute so you can get the best results. It’s especially important to start planning out meeting times and assigning tasks if you’re doing group work. A great final project can really boost your grade, and with the right topic and a little creativity it can be fun too! If you know you’re having a final exam, and aren’t sure exactly when, the First Year Experience office has put up signs on the first floor of Meier Hall that will help you figure it all out. Simply look up the days and times your class meets and our posters will tell you when your final exam will be.  Good luck!

Cute Animal GIFs That Represent Your Final Weeks

Just two more weeks left and you’re running around in a panic to finish!

Oh no, oh no, oh no!!! AHHHHH!!!!

On the other hand, Netflix keeps distracting you.

Just one more season, then I’ll start on that essay.

If it’s not Netflix, you’re floating around trying to figure out what to start first.

Should I start that English thesis first or should I get going on another project? 

Looking outside and daydreaming of summer isn’t helping either.

It’s soooo nice out! Maybe I’ll peak outside…

It would also be easier to study if your friends stopped bothering you.

Leave… me… alone…

But you know that sometimes, it takes that leap of courage to get started.

I got this!

Just remember that after you finish this semester, you can go back to feeling fabulous!

Just doing what I do best ;)