Mental Health Awareness Week


Salem State University provides awareness to the importance of maintaining body health and how it can be neglected during the busy time of the semester!

There are an immense amount of events that are set up this week.

To begin on Tuesday, March 28:

  •  11am-2pm stop into Viking 123 for the Fresh Check Day for booths with free food, prizes, and t-shirts.
  • 3:30pm-5pm in the Petrowski Room QPR Suicide Prevention Training is taking place.
  • 4pm-5pm in Viking 123 there is Service Animals vs. Assistance Animals

Wednesday, March 29:

  • 2pm-4pm in Viking 123 for #EndTheStigma
  • 3pm-4:30pm at Ellison Campus Center Underground come to the Supporting the ‘New Student Veteran’
  • 8pm-9pm at O’Keefe Complex Pool there is Glow Paddle Yoga Class

Thursday, March 30:

  • 1:30pm-2:30pm at Ellison Campus Center 219 there is a Bereavement Support Group
  • 2pm-3:30pm in Viking 123 Helping You Help Others: Careers in Mental Health
  • 3pm-4pm at the Northeast Animal Shelter there is Yoga with Animals so pre-register by emailing

*Self-care is for everyone and is also the same for everyone! If you are unable to attend these events there are a few tips to remember (; It is not a sign of weakness whatsoever.

Some Alternate Options-

*Take deep breathes *Drink some water *Make time for yourself or go exercise * Meditate *Practice positive self talk!! * Listen to your favorite music or go to bed early * balance the stressors of life


Us at the First Year Experience Office located in Meier Hall 100A are always here throughout the year and on any stressful day you may have. We look forward to seeing you and helping you in any possible way that we can.

~Thank you, FYM Dara


How to Reduce Cabin Fever

Are you sick and tired of the cold, wintery mix that has repetitively struck the New England Coast over the past week? Well, I am exhausted of sitting inside a not-so cozy college dorm; bored, from light until dark due to Mother Nature’s calling. Yes classes have been called off and we are free from Salem State education for one more day-but with the snow on the roads and the brutal conditions we are left with nothing at all to keep ourselves occupied. Here are a few ideas to help keep you active and relieve your cabin fever!!

1. Watch Movies 

Movies are a wonderful way to pass time as well as enjoy your free-time either by yourself or with your friends. There are many different genres of movies, such as the classics, the originals, along with the new releases. With many options to choose from there is no excuse to be thinking of snow! Wrap up in a blanket with relaxing clothes on and a side of hot chocolate(:


2. Gather your friends and go eat at the diner 

The dining halls are open for your adventure out of your residence buildings, including the diner that is located across from Viking Hall right next to the commuter parking lot. The food is delicious and you can use dining dollars or clipper cash! Not only that but you can grab a group of friends and join each other together.

3. Utilize the lounge areas in the dorm

In each residence hall is multiple lounge areas, with at least one on each floor. These are great community spaces that are modern, open-spaced, and available all day long. They also allow for quiet time or activities such as groups watching sports games or doing group projects. The televisions, chairs, and desks are to be respectively used and it is a perfect way to unwind from your room but still stay warm and have the comfort of your pajamas without having to leave your dorm.

4. Do homework or study-even organize!

Although the library is closed, you can still complete any homework, assignments, or work that you need to accomplish and this free time is perfect for it! If you do not have the motivation to do so, get together with a group of friends and review for your classes. You do not have any homework? There is always need for organization for the future weeks ahead as well as the organization of your room or personal belongings. This could make time go by faster than you think.

5. Build a snowman…or a fort

Snow only falls a few times a year so get out there and build that snow man or make snow angels with your friends. If none of those ideas sound interesting, have a snowball fight..safely of course. And if you are just not an outside person, well there are forts! Forts can be made inside your dorm room with friends just to do homework or watch movies in. A little activity to relieve the stress.


6. Cook or Bake

If you enjoy cooking or baking, you have all day to do so! You could meal plan for the week ahead or just make a yummy meal for during the storm. Doing this alone or with friends can be entertaining and fun, along with the beneficial aspect of being able to enjoy these recipes. Make sugar cookies with jimmies or chocolate chip cookies then have a cookie exchange and everyone who made a batch can share them with others for even more fun! Always be stocked up, you never know what could happen.


7. Read a good book 

Education is such an important aspect of life and books add to that! If you have a lot of time on your hands you can begin to read a book of your choice to enjoy and engage in. No one is forcing you to read the book or complete any assignments for it so it should be more enjoyable. We are lucky to have books and reading an insightful book can help you become more relaxed. Sometimes to just sit and relax and read a good book is beneficial, especially on a long snow day…or two.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and do not get bored on snow days.

-Stay warm-


downloadThere are some interesting events coming up on campus here at Salem State University in the next few weeks.

*To begin; today and tomorrow, January 23, 2017 and January 24, 2017 the 27th MLK Convocation is occurring at the Ellison Campus Center at Vets Hall. The event is the conclusion of our weeklong celebration of the life and works of Dr. King. There will be members of the university community, representatives from area schools and the community at large who will gather to be inspired together. *If you are further interested or wish to be a part of this event in the future you can refer to the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment.

*The next event is on Thursday, January 26, 2017 and You’re invited! The Asian Student Association (ASA) will be hosting the annual Lunar New Year event from 6-8 pm at Ellison Campus Center in Veterans Hall. Please contact Sean Morrow in Alumni Affairs at for complimentary tickets. Note that tickets are first come, first served, so act fast!

*Furthermore on Friday, January 27, 2017 an event, A Small Death in a Big Country, by Professor Bill Cunningham’s original play that was premiered at Salem State in February 2016 will be shared. We are thrilled to share that it has been selected to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Join us for a staged reading 7:30 pm until 9:30pm before the cast heads off to their festival performance at Western Connecticut State University. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door.


*What Are Our Rights Under the First Amendment?
Please join faculty from the communications and political science department to learn about our first amendment, what rights it extends and what rights it does not on Monday, January 30, 2017. This will be held at Viking Hall, Central Campus VH-123 71C Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970 from 11am until 1pm. Gain a better understanding of how this powerful tool can be used to uphold democracy and fight for social justice. This event is sponsored by the communications department, the political science department and the Center for Civic Engagement and the contact information is Cindy Vincent (978.542.7089 ).

*To the Sea: A Song Recital. On Monday, January 30, 2017 from 7:30pm until 9pm at the Center for Arts join us for a special evening of art song by American composers inspired by the sea, including works by Rorem, Duke, Bacon, Wheeler and Boston composers Arthur Foote, George Chadwick, Edward MacDowell and others. The program includes early maritime songs, parlor music of the 19th century, and beautiful, highly expressive, poetry and song spanning the 20th century into the 21st century. Over a dozen composers (living and dead) and as many poets are represented, most of whom hail from coastal Massachusetts or have ties to New England.

These are just a few of the many events we have circulating around campus throughout the next week. To keep up with these events you can check out our Facebook page!! (:

-FYM Dara

Strut Your Mutt Event

As humans we are lucky to have pets, they can change lives and create so much positivity and happiness in ones life. Do something for your dog and the community as well by coming out to the event on campus to help raise money for the Northeast Animal Shelter!!

On Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 10 am bring your dog of any breed, size, or color to the walk which starts at 10am. Arrive a bit early to register your dog at 9:15am at Viking Hall on campus located next to Starbucks on Central Campus. When you register you and your dog you will receive a doggie treat bag as well as a colorful bandana. In addition there will be a bake sale for pets and their owners as well.

This event is a great way to raise money for the shelter and all donations are welcome including any supplies that the shelter can utilize.

Monday, December 5, 2016 is the drawing date for the raffle you can enter to support the Northeast Animal Shelter. The tickets can be purchased for $2 each or three tickets for $5. These will include prizes of scratch tickets, tasty treats, surprises for your pup, relaxation, or even the movies!!

If you have any further questions you can contact Amy Everitt at This event is supported by the newly established “Katzman Cup Award” through the center for Entrepreneurial Activity. My dog Snicks and I hope to see you all there in cheerful spirts! We have so much to be thankful for, including these animals.

Dealing with the Stress of a Poor Academic Grade

Not all of our strong suits is school work, for some of us it may athletics or music and the arts and that is okay. How you manage and choose to handle this bump in the road is up to you. Being proactive is such an advantage when it comes to recieving a poor grade because instead of sitting back and letting time slip away you can begin creating steps in making positive improvements.

Talk to your professors! Although they can sometimes be intimidating they do care about your overall success. If you are struggling in any class please be sure to speak with them and use their office hours that are scheduled. If none of those times work for you because of classes or other circumstances speak with them before and after class, they will put aside time another day or time to assist you. When you show your concern instead of waiting until the end of the semester or the end of a deadline it means more to them and seems as if you are making an effort to fix your mistakes.

Use your outside resources! Salem State University has an outstanding amount of support on campus and you can be directed towards many important, helpful offices such as the library which includes the writing center, many many tutoring sessions for each distinct subject, and even the center for Academic Excellence. You can also set up an appointment in the First Year Experience office with the Peer Mentors who major in various subjects and the Grad students who will assist you with anything you nee whatsoever.

Along with that, never ever give up!! Do not get down on yourself about one grade because it happens to everyone. Pick yourself back up and learn from that mistake so that it does not occur repeatitvely. The main concern is to not make receiving poor grades a habit because then it will negatively affect your life. Prepare yourself beforehand, you got it!

Dealing With Homesickness


Being homesick is a very overwhelming feeling that causes stress due to an actual or anticipated separation from home. Transitioning from high school to college with the work load, social involvement, extracurricular activities, and expectations is already difficult. In addition to all of those items, add on the stress of living on campus with another person in a dorm…without parents! This means you actually are now responsible for making your own food, motivating yourself to attend classes, and even wash your own clothing. At the age of eighteen or nineteen of course that is going to create extra stress.


But know this, you are NOT alone, at all! It is completely normal to miss home or want to return home, especially if you are far from home. It is also easy to miss home when you are only a twenty minute ride because there is an enormous change compared to what you were used to for the past eighteen years of your life. Last year as a freshman I was seven hours away from my home in Pennsylvania and experienced a degree of homesickness to the extent at which I would be upset and down every single day about wanting to return home; crying in class, googling every way to transfer, an completely blocking out the possibility of staying at college.

There are an outstanding amount of resources on this campus to help. To start, there is the First Year Experience room which is located in Meier hall down the hallway of Dunkin Donuts in 100A. Not only is there free food and little give always but mentors and grad-students are constantly in the office available to give advice, comfort, or anything that you need at all. Also counseling and health services is open from 8am until 5pm and all of the counselors are there to help you throughout the semester. Not only are these offices an option but getting involved on campus can really make a difference. The amount of groups and clubs on campus is awesome and relate to many interests which is a great way to become social and not have as much time on your hands to think about missing home.


Homesickness is completely normal in the first few months of transitioning from high school to college, especially when you are away from everything that you have ever known; home. Think positive and live DAY TO DAY because everything does get better and in a few months you will not even want to go home. If I did not fight through the change I would not have had this wonderful opportunity to grow to the person I will be in these four years and would have never left home. We are lucky to experience this; embrace it and be yourself.

What FYE can do for you!!

Now that the first month is over most of ya’ll are probably feeling pretty comfortable and know a good amount about Salem State. You’ve come to our office and asked your questions, got some candy, maybe met a mentor?! Awesome, we’ve done our job, we’re done for the rest of the year, time to go on a vacation…. JUST KIDDING! There is so much more that First Year Experience has to offer for First Year student throughout your ENTIRE first year! Here are just some of the great opportunities we have to offer you:


  1. FAB- First Year Advisory Board

The First-Year Advisory Board is a chance to get involved in your first year, make a difference, and serve as an advocate for your fellow students! Their three main goals are to give a voice to first year students, impact the campus community, and to have fun!! Some of the events they did last year were creating Holiday themed treats and handing them out to students studying in the Library for finals! They also created vision boards at one of their meetings to help students map out their goals! Here’s a picture of how great one of the boards came out last year:


If you’d like more information, check out the facebook page:


  1. ALD- Alpha Lambda Delta

Alpha Lambda Delta is a nationally recognized honor society for students achieving academic excellence in their first year at Salem State University. Being a member of Alpha Lambda Delta is an excellent opportunity to be recognized for your academic success in your first year! As a member you will be presented with leadership opportunities, civic engagement opportunities and scholarship opportunities through the national chapter. In order to be consider you must have a achieved a 3.5 or higher GPA and be in the top 20% of your class during your first term or your first year of study at Salem State University. News about ALD will go out during the beginning of your second semester!


  1. Mentors, Grads, and Office Assistance

In our First Year Experience office we have 16 mentors, 5 grads, and 7 office assistance who are here for you! You can stop in at any time (Monday-Friday, 9-5) to ask questions, set up a meeting, or just talk to someone about how you’re feeling! Our staff is here to make sure you’re exceeding to the best of your ability during your first year at Salem State!



  1. FYRE- First Year Reading Experience

Each year a common book is selected by the university community for all first year students to read and discuss the day prior to classes beginning. In addition, faculty utilize the book throughout the course of the year in various courses and as inspiration for programs and activities across the entire campus. Through our office we offer many programs that centralize around the First Year Reading Experience. Look out for announcements about upcoming event on our facebook page!


Just a reminder, these are only a FEW of the program we have to offer through our office, if you have any questions, come talk to us in Meier Hall room 100A!

16 Facts for FYM Dara!

Hello! Here are some interesting facts about me.


1.) I am a sophomore here at Salem State University studying social work.

2.) I am an out of state student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

3.) I play on the Salem State women’s ice hockey team as a forward.


4.) This is my second year working in the wonderful First Year Experience room.

5.) I have a younger sister who is a freshman at Illinois State University.


6.) I love to travel and am planning a trip out to the West Coast for this upcoming May.

7.) My favorite kind of food is either seafood or Italian food…but lets be honest, all food is my favorite.

8.) My favorite place on campus is one-hundred and ten percent the O’Keefe center (if you have not been there you should go).


9.) I am extremely close with my family.

10.) When stressed there are many close places to de-stress; Forest River Park and Castle Rock are relaxing and beautiful!

11.) I have been to Germany, Italy, and Canada but hope to further my out of country experiences as I get older.

12.) My favorite quote is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky

13.) The motto I live by is “when you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe that’s when you’ve become successful”.

14.) I believe that being positive is motivating and being active on campus helps you stay involved and keep busy.

15.) I hope to skydive one day… P.S. I love adventuring

16.) Most importantly, my favorite thing in this world is my dog, Snicks, that I rescued spontaneously on December 20,2015. He is a lovable one year old pit-bull mix with terrier.

img_3463  I am always here to help or answer any questions. I will be in Meier Hall 100A Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! (: