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 

#IWantAWorld Photo Shoot

Hi First-Years,

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all doing well and pushing through these last few weeks of school. Summer is right around the corner; hand in there! What better way to take a study break than to go to an event on campus!?

Today’s blog is going to focus on a really awesome event that’s happening TOMORROW. The event centers around the #IWantAWorld campaign. According to their website, their goals are twofold: “to spread awareness about sexual and domestic violence LGBQ/T communities and to ensure that services, systems and the public respond and meet the needs of LGBQ/T survivors and victims.”

So, use your voice to help shape this campaign! Come take a photo and share how you envision a world free of sexual and domestic violence.

Be sure to come show your support for this powerful and important event!

Date: Friday, April 14th
Time: 11:00am-1:00pm
Location: 
Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

 

Using Apps for College Success

Hey First-Years!

With the end of the Spring semester right around the corner, it’s more important than ever that you’re on top of your schoolwork, assignments and other responsibilities like staying healthy, managing your money and making time to relax! While that may sound like a tall order, the good news is that there are a ton of apps (many for free and some paid) that can help you be more productive and have fun doing it. Below is a list of some of my favorites that I’ve found useful (and others from the Internet).

**I’ve also provided links to all of the apps mentioned below by clicking on their name**

  1. my homework app
    MyHomework
    – This awesome app is like a virtual agenda that you can keep on your phone or laptop. It keeps track of all of your assignments and homework while also showing you upcoming work and what classes you have that day.
  2. clear app
    Clear
    – This application allows you to create an easy-to-use to-do list. It’s super helpful for keeping track of everything from grocery lists to tasks and reminders.

  3. mint app
    Mint– 
    Keeps you financially organized by helping you set budgets, pay bills and lots more!
  4. self control app
    Self-Control
     This is an app for your laptop or desktop computer (works with Macs or use Cold Turkey blocker for PCs) which eliminates the temptation to go on distracting social media sites when you should be doing your work by temporarily blocking access to them. Use this one when you really need to focus! 


  5. MyFitnessPal– 
    A complete fitness app that allows you to track calories and log exercise so that you can stay on track with your fitness goals.

  6. canvas appCanvas
     This is a mobile version of Salem State’s eLearning system (Canvas). Use it to stay up to date on class announcements, assignments or to shoot your professor an email- all from your phone!  

  7. breathe appBreathe– 
    It’s also really important to practice self-care and de-stress at the end of a long day. The Breathe app offers a modern and elegant way to squeeze in meditation to your life. It offers meditations covering mindfulness, relaxation,  falling asleep, practicing kindness and many more. The best part? Most of the meditation tracks are only about 5-10 minutes long, offering the perfect quick fix for a mental vacation.

I hope you’ve found this list helpful but there are many more apps out there, so do some digging and stick with what works best for you! Finish the semester strong, I know you can do it.

All the best,
FYM Patrick

Let’s Set Some Goals

Hey First Years,

With the advising period right around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about your goals! Goal setting is a useful skill to have in order to help you get the things you want out of life and well, achieve the goals that you set for yourself. Let’s tackle this goal setting thing so that you walk away knowing what it is and how to properly do it.

  1. Defining Goal Setting

    Goal setting involves being aware of what you would like to achieve as well as planning and an immediate readiness for action. Proper goal setting requires creating a plan of action that fosters focus, motivation, a sense of purpose and vision. Goals are the stepping stones that will ultimately help you achieve your dreams.

  2. How to Goal Set

    Stick to only a few goals: Research shows that people can only focus on about 5-7 things at a time. With this in mind, focus on a handful of goals that you can easily repeat from memory.
    – Keep a Goal Setting Notebook: Write down your goals! And then write them down again and again. Writing down your goals helps to physically bring them into the Universe and puts the process in motion for you to achieve them.
    Focus on What You Want: Phrase your goals in a positive way, instead of a negative one. For example “Eating healthy and exercising is easy and fun for me.” sounds much better than “I’m sick and tired of gaining weight.”
    smart goals
    – Make your Goals SMART:  SMART goals stand for ones that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can find out more information about this methodology in the links below or just Google it for a wealth of info.
    – Review you Goals Frequently:  Review your goals either daily, weekly or monthly depending on what fits best with your schedule. Doing this will help you to make your goals a reality. When reviewing, ask yourself “What is the next step that I need to take toward this goal?” 

    Here are some ways you can review your goals:
    visualizing goals
    – Read your goal list every morning
    – Close your eyes and visualize yourself accomplishing your goal
    – Read and visualize your goals every night before you go to sleep

  3. Importance of Goal Setting
    subconscious goal
    Goal setting has several benefits. Here are some of the ways that doing this properly will help improve your focus:

    – Goals trigger behavior and should be compelling and specific enough to motivate you
    – Goals guide your focus
    – Goals sustain momentum
    – Goals align your focus
    -Goal setting promotes self-mastery: Achieving your goals builds character

    I hope this has been helpful to you and if you have any more questions about setting goals stop by the First-Year Experience office in Meier hall room 100A.

    Enjoy Spring Break,
    FYM Patrick

    Sources:
    You can find more info on this topic:
    – Here
    – Here
    – Here

All About Advocacy Day

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Looking to learn more about social justice issues? Want to engage with other students and gain valuable activist skills? Well, SSU’s Advocacy Day, hosted by the Center for Civic Engagemet is the right place for you! Here’s everything you need to know about the event! You’ll move from simply talking about the issues to gaining skills needed to take action! The event includes a keynote speaker, activist panel and breakout sessions.Here’s the rundown:

Date: Monday, February 27th

Time: 11am-4pm

Location: Vet’s Hall- Ellison Campus Center (ECC), North Campus. 1 Meier Drive, Salem, MA 01970

 


 

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The specific schedule is as follows:

10:50 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Keynote by Nazda Alam, who will draw on this year’s FYRE book by addressing her work in immigration and voting rights activism

11:45 – 1 p.m. Lunch and Activist Panel addressing: women’s rights, higher education/student debt, economic and housing justice, racial justice, and LGBTQ rights.

1:10 – 2:20 p.m. Breakout Session: Digging Deeper. Learn more about a specific social justice issue you would like to take action on.

2:30 – 4 p.m. Roundtable Workshops and Closing Reflections: Learn activist tools like voter mobilization, social media activism, peaceful assembly, arts activism, etc.

You’ll definitely want to check out this event because this year’s First-Year Reading Experience (FYRE) book selection will be announced!  

Additionally, lunch will be served to all attendees. But, be sure that you register for this event in order to guarantee your spot! Register here

Find out more info about the event here  and here 

 or contact Cynthia Lynch by email at clynch@salemstate.edu.

Go be an Advocate, I know you’ll rock it!

-FYM Patrick

What I Learned From Quitting Snapchat

snapchat-logo

Hello First-Years,

Today I want to talk to you about an app that you all know, love, and I one that I bet (if you’re like me) you’re constantly on: Snapchat! Now, I should let you know that I was (and still kind of am) OBSESSED with Snapchat. I love snapchatting my friends, boyfriend, and even keeping up with the latest trends through the apps featured Stories from places like Buzzfeed and Tastemade. My friends even like to tease me that I only make 3 or 4 set Snapchat poses. See an example below:

sc-example-me

 

 

 

 

(This is pose #4 by the way.)

 

As you can see I loved Snapchat (and its many filters). But, last week I decided to quit Snapchat for a little while. It was getting in the way of my schoolwork and I found myself on my phone when I was surrounded by friends. With that being said, here’s what I learned from my time of snap-less-ness:

  1. It’s okay to not constantly be plugged in. 

It may sound like a crazy idea but sometimes it’s beneficial to go “off the grid” sometimes. Once I quit Snapchat, I found myself feeling more relaxed from not constantly worrying about what what happening on my phone.

 2. Quitting made me more productive. 

  I found that when I deleted Snapchat from my phone, I was able to get my homework done more quickly and had greater focus on my assignments and during study time. Snapchatting was arguably one of my biggest time consuming activities, so naturally, I found myself having more time to get other things done.

    3. I felt more connected 

Previously, I would always find myself on my phone all the time even when my friends were in the room. While I know we’re all guilty of doing this at times, I definitely noticed how much more connected I felt with my friends when I wasn’t always Snapchatting and checking my phone. I found myself having more conversations face-to-face than over text which was a really nice experience.

    4. Opportunities to check other social media 

Going off Snapchat allowed me time to check other social media sites that I don’t normally use as often. I found myself a lot more active on my Twitter and Instagram accounts. While these apps didn’t allow me to use a rainbow filter or cute Bitmoji, I had a greater appreciation for the beautiful photos and interesting tweets that I saw.

So, where am I at now? Well, I made the decision to re-download Snapchat. However, I definitely find myself checking it a lot less frequently and putting more of a focus on friends and academics. I’m curious to see whether quitting another social app (like Facebook) would have similar benefits.

Next time you find yourself snapchatting, tweeting, posting and commenting constantly, consider taking a step back and deleting the application you use most. I think you’ll be surprised at what you find.

 

And always remember: Love yourself, right now wherever you’re at!

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-FYM Patrick

 

 

I had the weirdest dream…

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Hi First-Years,

Today I’m going to be talking to you about dreams. As a certified Dream Specialist I work to help people sleep better and interpret their dreams. With that said, here are a couple tips that will help you remember your dreams more easily and find some meaning in them.

1. Keep a Dream journal 

It’s helpful to keep a notebook to log your dreams in. Put a notebook or some paper and a pen next to your bed. When you wake up in the morning, write down your dream. Every dream has something to teach us about our lives. So, writing the dream down is one way to honor it.

2. Use a gentle alarm 

Most alarms are blaring in the morning and by the time your alarm goes off, you will have forgotten most or all of your dream. Using a more gentle ringtone for your alarm will ensure that you wake up in the morning properly and you’ll be able to better remember your dream. Ask yourself “how do I feel?” when you first wake up and the dream should come to you.

3. Get proper sleep 

Do your best to get between 8-9 hours of sleep per night. In order to increase your dream recall, you need to give your body enough sleep time. Many people have trouble remembering their dreams because they don’t sleep properly. It’s simple: fix your sleep habits = remember dreams easier.

4. Don’t give up 

It make time a little bit of time for you to start remembering your dreams. But, by following these tips you should be sleeping better and remembering your dreams in no time!

good god

Sleep tight,

FYM Patrick

Navigating Difficult Family Conversations

Hi First-Years,

conversation

Yes, it’s that time of year again: Thanksgiving! Along with the good food and Netflix binge-ing that the break will bring, there is also another element that goes along with the holidays- family time. Now regardless of whether you’re close with your family or not, chances are that you’ll be having some interesting conversations with those you call family. This applies to friend and colleagues too!

Whether it’s discussing world events, the recent Presidential election or other personal issues and stories, these conversations can sometimes quickly turn sour if they aren’t handled in the right way. With that being said, here are a few tips on how you can survive the twists and turns of conversations:

1. Listen, think, and then respond.

Oftentimes we have a tendency to “zone out” when people are talking to us. As they’re speaking, we’re off in la la land thinking about what our plans are for later or daydreaming about our pets. So, for example, when aunt Gladice is talking to you about her views on climate change LISTEN FIRST- really hear what the person is saying to you. THINK about what they said and what your response will be and then RESPOND in an appropriate way.

2.  Agree to disagree 

Sometimes there are certain people or topics of discussion that you might want to stay away from. Examples include issues like politics, religion, environmental concerns etc. Now I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t have these conversations at all. However, use caution when talking with family/friends/co-workers about hot button issues. Some people are so set in their ways that it can be difficult for them to hear anything else besides what they know to be true. Make sure you know when to agree to disagree and move the conversation along.

3. Make sure you’re in a safe space

Another important element to having these tricky conversations is to make sure that you are in a safe space where there isn’t a threat of you being harmed in some way. It all has to do with how you feel inn those moments. For example, you might feel safe talking about religious issues with your uncle but may not feel comfortable having the same conversation with a friend who is very set in their ways when it comes to that topic. Above all- trust your gut and if you don’t feel safe walk away.

4. Know where you stand  

Knowing where you stand on issues that may be talked about is equally important. It’s a good idea to do some research on world events, politics, religious issues, local events as well as the good things that are happening all the time. This way, you’ll start to form your own opinions about where you stand on different issues and it’ll be easier for you to express your viewpoints. *Note: This doesn’t just mean listening to the media (which is often bias or doesn’t tell the whole story). Get your information from multiple sources- newspapers, credible social media, articles, journals etc. and you’ll have a greater understanding of the big picture of what’s going on.

5. Be open to new ideas 

Lastly, be open to new ideas! As you read up on events and issues, hear other people’s viewpoints and form your own opinions, know that it’s perfectly OK for your views to change. The fact is that people change all the time- this includes your thoughts and feelings.When you’re open to new ideas, you’ll come out the other side as a more well-rounded and thoughtful person.

I hope that you’ve found these tips useful for navigating conversations that can sometimes be difficult. Also, if you ever need someone to talk to (about school, family life, work, life etc.) us Mentors in the First-Year Experience office are always down to grab a coffee or take a walk to chat. We’re located in Meier hall 100A-so stop by when you wanna chat!

And remember…

Love yourself with a kung-fu grip. 

GIPHY Studios Originals thanksgiving turkey pilgrim happy thanksgiving

Wellness In College

Hi First-Years,

Today I’m going to tell you about the importance of eating well while in college and then I’ll give you some tips (based off of my own experience and a little help from the internet) on things you can do to promote a well-balanced lifestyle!

1. Redefine “healthy”

One of the things that I think is important is to re-define what healthy means to you. A lot of the times we’re told by society that we need to be “skinny” or really huge and muscular. However, these are extreme examples of stereotypes about how people’s bodies should be. In reality though, people come in all difference sizes and types (and that’s OKAY!) Before you set out on your own journey toward wellness, define what “healthy”means to you and use that as a basis for eating good food and exercising.

matrix-meme2.  Eating the good stuff 

It’s no secret that eating well has amazing benefits. Some of the greatest benefits of eating well include improving your mood, boosting your energy, helps you be more productive, improves longevity and stressing less. Focus on eating things like fruits (such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, berries, mangos etc.)- any fruit will do! Vegetables, grains, nuts and dairy products like yogurt are also important. Start eating some of the food mentioned above & you’ll be feeling great in no time.

3. Managing your time 

bulk-meal

Another part of being well is planning for the times when you need a quick meal to get you through classes. If you’re anything like me, some days you’re rushing around from class to class and need a quick fix to get you by. When this happens, you have a couple options: you can go to Outtakes to either grab a quick meal- like a sandwich and fruit or maybe you’re in the mood for sushi. Another option is you can grab a bite to eat at one of the dining areas on campus (like Marsh hall or Lower North Dining). These are great options to have when you don’t always have the time for a full sit down meal.

4. Exercising 

exercise-gif

Let’s face it: exercising can be tough sometimes! BUT it’s really important for your overall well-being! According to the MayoClinic, exercise has been proven to control weight, combat diseases, improves mood, and promotes better sleep. It’s also been shown that just 20 minutes of vigorous exercise has the same benefits as 1 hour of exercise. SO, even things like going for a quick jog or walk, lifting some weights or dancing to your favorite song counts as exercise. Make sure you set aside some time to get your body moving and you’ll reap the benefits mentioned earlier and you’ll feel and look great too!

5.  Take time to De-Stress

 One last thing that encompasses your wellness as a whole is taking some time to de-stress. Equally as important is taking care of your mental health! These 2 things are so important to your well being. Here are some ways you can de-stress and take care of yourself:


  • Read a good book or watch your favorite movie
  • Meditate
  • Spend time with some friends
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice self-care
  • Play some video games
  • Spend time in nature

To wrap it all up, your wellness is so important to your success in college. Remember to eat well, exercise when you can and take time to de-stress (whatever that means for you)

And remember… Love yourself & you can have it all

FYM Patrick

love-yourself-the-rock

How to Utilize Your Professor

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Hi First-Years,

During your time here at Salem State, taking advantage of your professors is one of the best things you can do to ensure you succeed in all of your classes. I’m going to break down a few of the ways you can take full advantage of your professors so then you’ll be able to continue thriving here at SSU!

   Method 1: Using your Student Email/Canvas 

One of the BEST ways for you to get in contact with your professors is through email.Usually, your professor will have specified if they want you to email them through your regular Salem State email OR if they’d like to be emailed through Canvas specifically.  However, I should definitely mention that some professors only check their CANVAS email. So, make sure you’re aware of which email you should be using to communicate with a specific professor.

Method 2:  Office Hours 

where-are-your-office-hours

Another awesome way for you to get in contact with your professors is to go to their office hours. All professors are required to have regularly scheduled office hours that are meant as a time that they are available as a resource to you. So, if you need some clarification on homework or class material, want to ask about extra credit opportunities, or you just want to pop by and say hello, their office hours are a great time for you to do all of those things! Most professors will have their office hours listed on their class syllabus. Otherwise, they will ask you to email them to make an appointment to meet up. It’s good practice for you to shoot your professor a quick email the day before stopping by their office hours so that they know you’re coming.

I hope that these 2 tips are helpful to you all so that you can effectively communicate with all your professors and thrive in all of your classes. This is a great skill for you to learn early on so that you can foster lasting relationships with the faculty here! Remember: all of the professors here want to see you succeed; utilize them for their advice, knowledge & guidance!

Wishing you continued success throughout the semester,

FYM Patrick

Don’t forget:

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