Tips for Ending the Semester Strong

It’s finally here, the semester is nearing its end and all that anyone can think about is sun and sleeping in. As hard as it is to focus near the end of the semester, it is very important to finish the semester strong, and ensure that all of your hard work for the last three months pays off. Now that my PSA is complete, here are a few tips for surviving and thriving in the last two weeks of the semester.

  1. Stop procrastinating- With classes beginning to wrap up, you undoubtedly have some semester-long projects that are approaching their due date. Don’t wait until the night before they are due to complete them. 13944701232_56f04f4c49_z_Fotor-e1476926940322
  2. Try not to get overwhelmed- It can be tough to stay relaxed when 3 months of procrastination is about to hit you in the face, but stressing out doesn’t make you more productive.3350364_orig
  3. Take care of yourself- If you find yourself overwhelmed with stress, make sure to visit Counseling and Health Services, in Ellison Campus Center, suite 107. Now here is a picture of a puppy to help you relax.puppy
  4. Use a planner- Map out as much of the remainder of the semester as you can. This will help you to plan your time wisely and complete all of your assignments on time.planner
  5. Stop skipping class- With only a few lectures left in each course, there is a good chance that you will miss something very important if you skip any of your classes.class
  6. Start studying for finals- If you have some extra time before reading day, use it to get a head-start on studying for finals. This will prevent panic later on when you try to cram for finals.

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Tips for Declaring a Major, Minor, or Concentration

It’s that time of year that everyone sort of loves and hates at the same time. It’s the home stretch of the semester and you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, but on the other hand, it’s time to stop procrastinating on those semester-long projects and essays, and finals are right around the corner.

Anyway, back to the exciting part, you’re about to complete your first year in college! If you’re a student who is undeclared, you’re probably starting to consider declaring a major, or maybe you need some more time (that’s ok too.) You might also be a student who has already declared a major, but maybe you are thinking about adding a minor or a concentration inside of your major. No matter which of these categories you fit into, we have some tips for you!

Tips for Declaring (or Changing) Your Major

  1. Consider what your passions and strengths are
  2. If possible, take an elective in your desired major before you declare it
  3. Consider your desired career path
  4. Discuss your plans with your faculty advisor
  5. Discuss your plans with other students in your desired major
  6. Use the “what if” feature on degree tracker to see how your credits will count in your new major
  7. You must declare a major by the end of your second year, if you are a freshman, or as soon as possible if you are a transfer student (don’t panic, there’s still time)
  8. Where to go: The Academic Advising Office on the 1st floor of the library

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Tips for Declaring a Minor

  1. Find a minor that will aid you on your career path, or something that you are passionate about
  2. Make sure that you aren’t spreading yourself too thin and taking time away from pursuing your major
  3. Some majors incorporate a minor into the required courses, make sure to declare the minor to get credit for the work you already have to do
  4. Where to go: The Academic Advising Office on the 1st floor of the library

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Tips for Declaring a Concentration

  1. Consider all of the concentration options in your major
  2. Consider your desired career path
  3. Carefully look over the flowsheet for your desired concentration
  4. Discuss your plans with your faculty advisor
  5. Where to go: The Academic Advising Office on the 1st floor of the library

Help Us, Help You!: The importance of taking the campus climate survey

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In the past two years, Salem State University has put a lot of time and effort into developing a survey for students, faculty, and staff. The point of the survey is to help the university and other officials create an overall better environment for students and staff on campus.

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The Problem: We need as many students to fill out the survey as possible, that way, there will be enough data for the university to utilize, and affect positive change on the climate here on campus. If only a small percentage of students take the survey, then it will be difficult to make positive changes for everyone on campus.

The Solution: Fill out the survey! It really is that simple.

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Our Goal: 100% response rate!

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This survey really can affect positive change on the Salem State campus if everyone could just offer up a few minutes of their time.

If enough people participate in the survey and make their voices heard, the university can utilize these responses to affect change in areas of vital importance, like homelessness and sexual assault.

The deadline for participation in the survey is Friday, Mar 24th. So please, help us, help you.

Take the survey now!

MARCH FOR SCIENCE

Many of you have probably seen a lot of news lately about marches being planned across the country. We have all witnessed the support that a great cause can rally when we watched as millions of women marched across the nation to force people to pay attention to what they had to say.

Another great cause has presented itself, and is steadily gaining support.

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The March for Science is a public movement to show our leaders that we demand publicly communicated research and we deserve to know the results of research performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government agencies directly from those researchers.

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Most of the planning for actual marching dates are still in the works but, like the women’s march, the march will be centered on Washington D.C., with “satellite marches” being planned and led across the country.

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It’s alright if you can’t travel to Washington to show your support, you can start or join a march closer to home. Even if you don’t feel comfortable marching at all, there are other ways to show your support. Something as simple as a post on social media will help to spread the word and gain additional support for a cause that needs our support RIGHT NOW! 

To be clear, this is not political and crosses all parties, genders, economic classes, and religious lines. This is an issue of protecting the rights that we hold dear as Americans and as human beings. This is about protecting the advancement of our society and standing with the people who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of science and the improvement of our lives.

For more information, visit the March for Science webpage.

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6 Tips for Getting Back to the Daily Grind

WELCOME BACK FIRST YEAR STUDENTS!!!

For many of you, this is your second semester here at Salem State and hopefully you feel a lot more comfortable at the start of this semester than you did last semester. For others, this may be your first semester here at Salem State and it’s all new to you. Either way, these 6 tips will help get you more comfortable being back at school.

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  1. Start the semester off right by not skipping classes and getting an early start on homework, studying, and semester-long projects
  2. It can be tough to readjust to your school schedule after being on break for a month, so do your best to make sure that you are getting enough sleep
  3. Make sure that you are comfortable with the courses that you are taking before the add/drop deadline arrives on January 23rd
  4. Order all of your textbooks and other supplies as soon as possible, that way you won’t fall behind in your classes
  5. Always remember to keep stress levels down by spending some time doing something that you enjoy
  6. Come visit us here at the First Year Experience office in Meier 100A if you have any questions!

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It’s FAFSA Time!

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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.

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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!

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“Ketchup” and Turkey

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It’s almost Turkey Day!!!

I know everyone, including myself, is thinking that Thanksgiving will be a great time to decompress and relax, and it definitely is, especially at this point in the semester. That being said, it can also be a great opportunity to catch up on any long-term projects that you might be behind on or get a head start going into the home stretch of the semester.

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Of course any time off from classes is a welcomed break from the stress and an awesome chance to catch up on sleep, but you’ll thank yourself later if you also remain productive.

The holidays are about kicking back, spending time with the people you love, and food…lots and lots of FOOD. I’m not trying to take away from any of that excitement, but this is the point in the semester where any sort of procrastination begins to come back and haunt you. That’s exactly why you should use your free time to catch up on any overdue assignments, study, and prepare for what you know lies ahead.

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So, enjoy your feast and family. Make up some ground on the evasive monster we call sleep and enjoy your time off, but when that food coma wears off, and those Black Friday sales are in the rearview, hopefully you will also be calm, cool, and collected going into the home stretch.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Registration and Stress

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Handling Stress:

By this point in the semester, you all are probably realizing that stress is a constant factor in the life of a college student. This is exactly why it is so important to learn how to balance stress so that it is a positive impact on your education and your life. Stress is important because it is why you feel the need to get homework done on time and study for exams, but it can often become overwhelming and result in a negative impact on your education and your life.

One way to prevent overwhelming stress is by planning out your schedule in advance. With good time-management skills, you can minimize bad stress by planning ahead when you will have time during each week to work on homework and long-term projects. That way, you are able to slowly complete homework assignments without getting overwhelmed by too much work all at once.

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Getting Help:

One of the great things about Salem State is that there are so many resources available to students (especially first-year students). If you are struggling in a particular class for any reason, it is a great idea to talk to your professor and discuss how to succeed in that course. There are also peer tutors available for many classes free of charge, which can be an enormous help if you are struggling in a class.

The First Year Experience office is also a great resource for just about anything. We can provide guidance in all sorts of issues, from stress management and trouble with classes to housing problems and other personal issues. The mentors and student success coaches here all very friendly and welcoming and are always here to talk or point you in the right direction. The FYE office is located in Meier Hall 100A.

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Registration:

Registration for freshmen is this Friday November 4th. This can be a very stressful time, even for upperclassmen. It is very important to always have a backup plan, which you have discussed with you advisor. Be prepared with extra classes that you could enroll in, just in case the classes that you had planned on taking get filled up. Also remember that some students may drop classes after registration opening up space for students who were unable to get in. If your backup plan doesn’t work out either, the next step would be to contact either the professor who is teaching the class that you wish to get into or the department chairperson for that class, in order to be placed on the waiting list for that course.

Don’t hesitate to contact the FYE office with any questions! We are here to help!

Get Out and Vote!

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For many of you, this presidential election will be your first opportunity to voice your opinion in American politics. The very foundation of democracy is dependent on the willingness of people to voice their opinion.

It’s 2016 and the largest potential portion of the voting population now belongs to the Millennials!millennialnametag_0

It is time for us to take this nation by storm and tell our representatives what we want done. Politicians are in the business of getting votes and their biggest concern is always reelection. This means that they are going to be most concerned about the issues which matter to the largest portion of their potential voters. If we show Washington that our votes matter and that we can make or break them, then they will start to care about what we have to say.

I understand that this presidential election is causing a lot of discomfort for many potential voters, so much so that many people are even considering avoiding the polls all-together. But election day isn’t only about the presidential election!

There are four enormously important ballot questions in Massachusetts. The questions involve a new casino in the commonwealth, expansion of charter schools, farm animal welfare, and even the legalization of marijuana. Click here to see the official Massachusetts 2016 ballot questions.

Whoever you support or however you feel about the candidates, exercise the most important right that so many brave men and women have fought to defend.

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GET OUT AND VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8TH!!!

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7 Tips For Balancing College and Life

College can often be overwhelming for anyone who is trying to balance multiple commitments, especially if it is a completely new experience for you.

These 7 tips are things that I have learned in my personal experiences through the first two and a half years of my college education.

  1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Seriously, nothing will benefit you more throughout your college education than sleep. If you are dozing off in the middle of class then you’re not really benefitting from being there to begin with. (P.S. This isn’t always easy, it’s still a work in progress for me.)sleep
  2. Don’t procrastinate– At the beginning of a week, try to plan out when you will have time to do homework, study, and work on any long-term projects that you have. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed on any single day.
  3. Find a convenient job– If you need/want to make money during the school year, find a job that is flexible and easily fits your schedule, and try not to over-work yourself. There are lots of employers who are open to hiring college students and understand that you will sometimes have a hectic schedule. Also, on-campus jobs are a great choice!
  4. Don’t “spread yourself too thin”– Before you commit your time to a new project, think ahead and contemplate whether or not you have the time to dedicate to it.spread-too-thin
  5. Education first– Completing a college education is no easy feat, so it needs to be your top priority.
  6. Save time to unwind– Always make sure that no matter how crazy life gets, you need to take some time to “stop and smell the roses.” Spend time with your family and friends, relax, just do something that you enjoy and let your brain rest. roses
  7. Take a deep breath– When all of the stresses of school and life get to you just take a step back and a deep breath, then come back to your life with a clear head.