Spring Week 2017!

Hey First Years!

You are almost done with your first year of college – how crazy is that? To celebrate the spring, and incoming nice weather, Student Involvement and Activities is hosting Spring Week 2017!

Check out some of the fun events happening next week!

  1. Paint Night – April 24th, 7 pm, Vets Hall; Sign-up for Paint Night at the Info Desk in the Campus Center now!
  2. Glass Etching and Caricatures – April 25th, 12-2 pm, Viking Starbucks
  3. Red Sox Game vs. New York Yankees – April 25th, 7:10 pm;  28 Tickets go on sale at 10 am starting Tuesday, April 18th in the Campus Center at the Info Desk for $10, Maximum 2 tickets per person, Transportation is not provided
  4. Boogie Party Wonderland Sponsored by Music Society – April 25th, 7-9pm, Viking Starbucks
  5. Treat Yo’ Self Sponsored by Program Council – April 26th, 12-3 pm, Vets Hall; Come meditate, get a massage, and eat chocolate and other treats!
  6. WMWM Presents: Big Prize Musical Chairs – April 26th, 6 pm, MLK Room
  7. Comedy Night with Chris Garcia & Grandma’s Third Leg – April 26th, 10 pm, Marsh Dining Hall
  8. Kompa Night – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 27th, 7 pm, Underground and Metro Room; Enjoy a night in the island of Haiti! Featuring island finger food, Kompa dance and other cultural dances along with a special guest Kompa dancers.
  9. Fashion Show – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 28th, 7 pm, Vets Hall; We are ready to rip the runway. Indulge in a night of fashion, glam, performances and culture.
  10. Pool Party – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA – April 29th, 11 am – 4 pm, O’Keefe Pool; Get ready to turn up the heat in your bathing suits at MSA’s annual pool party! Get there early for door prizes, as well as best swimsuit contest.
  11. Foam & Glow – Takeover Weekend Sponsored by MSA & UAT – April 29th, 9 pm, O’Keefe Hockey Rink; UAT’s biggest event of the year! Come join us for a night of music, dancing and of course, foam. And this year, we have lots of FOAM. You don’t want to miss out!

Celebrate your success by attending some or even all of these events! For more info, you can look hereSpring Week 2017!, or contact Jamal Lawson:

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 1.49.33 PM.png

Have an awesome weekend Vikings!
FYM Kelly

Save the Date – The Drowsy Chaperone opens April 20!

Hello First Years! 

In just a few short weeks the Salem State Theatre department will be opening The Drowsy Chaperone, their debut performance in the BRAND NEW Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.


Photograph by Ken Yuzskus

The Drowsy Chaperone is directed by the ever dedicated and loving David Allen George, with a huge cast, and even huger scenery. Here is a little bit about the show: 

“Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another.

With the houselights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins as the man in the chair looks on. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight.

Hailed by New York Magazine as ‘The Perfect Broadway Musical,’ The Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre.”

There are multiple opportunities to see the show – SSU students get FREE admission with their Clipper Cards! Tickets are $15 general, and $10 non-SSU students/seniors. Here are the dates and times to see The Drowsy Chaperone:

Thursday, April 20, 7:30 pm
Friday, April 21, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 23, 2:00 pm
Thursday, April 27, 7:30 pm
Friday, April 28, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 29, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 30, 2:00 pm 

Tickets can be purchased in advance at salemstatetickets.com or at the door through the box office, and Salem State Students will be able to pick up their free tickets at the box office the night of the performance they wish to see. More information can be found here

We hope to see you in the audience! 


Photograph by Ken Yuszkus

Be sure to stop by and support live theatre!
FYM Kelly

Advising and Registration for Fall 2017

Hello First Years and Transfers!

The time has come – advising for the Fall semester is here, and it’s time to make your schedule for the start of sophomore year. You can refer to First Year Mentor Kaitlynn’s blog on how to make the perfect schedule, but here we are going to talk about the steps you need to take to register for classes here at SSU for Fall 2017.
f0a4f75084b648cac9d5163aadf75a6a_registration-clipart-class-registration-clipart_562-232.pngThere are a few things you need to do before you can register for classes:

  1. Plan a Schedule: log into your Navigator and see what classes are being offered for the fall that you need to take. You can check what your requirements are in your degree tracker. Know that this is just a preliminary plan, as things may change when it actually comes time to register. Sometimes the classes you want fill up, so make a back up plan too. Take your number one choices, and add them to your shopping cart. To do this, click the green “select” button on the course, then the green “next” button and boom – it’s in your shopping cart!
    Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 2.01.43 PM.png
  2. Meet With Your Advisor: this is probably the most important step in registering for classes. Your advisor will check over the schedule you have planned to make sure that it will work for you and fulfill the requirements you need to fill. They will then give you an ACCESS CODE. You cannot register without your ACCESS CODE. This string of numbers needs to be entered into navigator before you can click the register button and be enrolled into classes.
  3. Check Your Registration Dates and Times: To know when you are supposed to register, you need to know how many credits you will have completed by the end of this semester. <30 credits = Freshman, >30 and <60 credits = Sophomore, >60 and <90 credits = Junior, 90+ credits = Senior. It is likely you will be registering as a sophomore, so long as you completed 15 credits a semester. You need to be completing 15 credits a semester to stay on track to graduate in four years.

Senior Registration: March 28, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Junior Registration: March 29, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Sophomore Registration: March 30, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm
Freshman Registration, March 31, priority 7 am, regular enrollment 3 pm

If you have questions about how or when you should be registering for classes, feel free to stop by First Year Experience in Meier Hall 100A for help, email us at firstyear@salemstate.edu, or call at 978-542-2618!

Happy Monday!
FYM Kelly

Know Your Resources: Gassett Fitness Center

Hey First Years!

With the winter season over (is it over? this nice weather is confusing), you might be feeling some cabin fever. It’s time to get up and get active as we make our way through the rest of this Spring semester!

The Gassett Fitness Center, or the GFC, has a TON of amazing resources for you to use to get moving, on top of their regular gym hours. Plus, membership is free for SSU Students!

So what can you do at the GFC?

  1. Group Exercise: For some of us, going to the gym by ourselves is just not fun. Maybe you haven’t worked out much before and the gym is new territory. Group Exercise Classes are the way to go to have a structured workout alongside peers. GFC offers a large variety of classes, like Zumba, Yoga, Kickboxing and more. These classes are free with your GFC membership – just get a pass for the class at the front desk, and keep in mind they can fill up fast!image_handler.jpg
  2. Recreational Swim and Swim Lessons: The GFC has a short course 25 yard pool, with 8 lanes, starting blocks, diving boards and equipment. This pool is open for recreational swimming on weekdays! If you don’t know how to swim, swim lessons are also offered. Use of the pool is included in your GFC membership, so it can be used at no extra cost to you!
  3.  Ice Skating: The Rockett Arena is available for recreational Ice Skating as well as Pick Up Hockey until March 10th. Grab some friends and head on over to skate before the rink is gone! Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 2.03.26 PM.png
  4. Equipment Rental: Equipment for recreational sports is available for rental at the front desk of the GFC, including basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, dip belts, weight lifting belts, TRX systems, tennis balls & racquets, table tennis balls & paddles, shuffleboard discs and foosball. This equipment must be used at the facility and returned within the same day.images.jpg
  5. Gassett After Dark: the GFC offers late night recreational exercise events throughout the semester. Up next is the Basketball Skills Challenge on Friday, March 24th at 8 pm. After that, on April 21st there will be Black Light Volleyball. To register for these events, email Michelle Cunningham at mcunningham@salemstate.edu.image_handler-2.jpgimage_handler-3.jpg

All you need to know about the Gassett Fitness Center can be found here.

Happy Monday!
FYM Kelly

Cheap Spring Break Alternatives

Hey First Years!

Your first spring break is coming up – for some of you, that might mean a trip to Florida or someplace tropical with warm beaches to escape the snowscape that is Massachusetts in March. However, for many of us, we don’t have enough money to take a week long vacation across the country.

So what can you do over spring break that won’t totally break the bank? Here are some options for cheap(er) vacations and activities:

Day trip to NYC
Bus fares to New York are fairly inexpensive, so you don’t even have to drive. Times Square is buzzing with energy, even in this cold; do some shopping, or even make your way to a Broadway show!

Make your way to Montreal
It may be cold in Canada, but it’s someplace new and to travel the world is always a good idea. Invite some friends to take a road trip, make an awesome playlist, grab your passport and head on up to our French Canadian neighbors. Make the trip just a few days, or make it last the whole week if you really love it there!

Hiking Trails in Massachusetts
There are lots of parks right here in MA that have beautiful hiking trails and sights to see. Some of them are Borderland, Blue Hills Reservation, Ames Nowell, Lynn Heritage and more. Take it back to nature to get some real rest from the world during this break from school.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 
Break out the shamrocks and go out and celebrate the holiday at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston. This year’s parade is on Sunday, March 19th. It begins at the Broadway MBTA stop and ends at Andrew Square, South Boston.

Keep it Classic
The standard “I’m bored” activities are always a good idea for spring break. Grab a friend and go see a movie. Go out to lunch with your family. Go window shopping, just because. Have a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Or Harry Potter. Binge watch your favorite show on Netflix that you haven’t had any time to watch because you’ve been drowning in homework. Take your dog for a walk, I’m sure they would love to get outside some more and spend time with you. SLEEP!

Know that not going on a cool vacation for spring break is pretty normal, and that a lot of people just hang out at home. There are plenty of options to keep occupied over spring break (can never forget about that homework due as soon as we get back) but make sure you take some time to yourself to relax and have fun – that’s what break is for!

Have a good weekend!
FYM Kelly



Taking the “W” – Withdrawing After Add/Drop

Hey First Years!

So you need to drop your class. It happens to the best of us. You’re just not doing well enough or you are falling too far behind, you are struggling with the content, you and your professor are having trouble establishing a relationship, you’ve overcommitted yourself – whatever the reason, know it is ok! It’s important to work at your own pace and make the most out of your education. Chances are you know someone who has taken a “W.”  When dropping a course after the add/drop period, it is important to consider the consequences:


  1. The Dreaded “W – when you drop a course after the add/drop period ends, that course WILL still appear on your transcript. For a grade, the letter “W” will appear, to show that you have withdrawn from the course. You receive no credits, and this does not affect your GPA.
  2. Will I be able to graduate? – a “W” on your transcript will not prevent you from graduating. However, if you do not complete a course that fulfills the requirements you were fulfilling before you took the “W,” you won’t be able to graduate. Make sure when you withdraw from a course that you have a new plan of action to complete your graduation requirements. You should have a new course picked out for a future semester that will replace the one you withdrew from.
  3. What will grad schools think? – A lot of people are going to grad school these days! A master’s degree is the next step for many on the way to their dream career. Grad schools will see your complete transcript when you apply. Know they may ask you why you withdrew from the course. Be careful with your words, and know that a “W” looks much better to a grad school than an “F.”

I hope this information eased your academic fears on withdrawing from courses! If you have any further questions about withdrawing from courses, feel free to stop by First Year Experience in MH 100A, give us a call at 978-542- 2618, or send us a message on Facebook!

Having trouble accepting that it’s almost February,
FYM Kelly

Boston Women’s March for America

Hey First Years and Transfers!

Looking for a way to get involved and speak your voice in this up and coming political climate? Tomorrow, January 21, 2017 at 11 am, is the Boston Women’s March for America.


Marchers will gather at the Boston Common’s “Carty Parade Ground” on the corner of Beacon and Charles St. The route is one mile long, and participants are marching for the ideals and spirits of democracy.

This march is led by women, though men and children are encouraged to attend and support. Here is the mission statement of BWMFA:

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 1.20.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 1.21.23 PM.png

The program and event schedule can be found here, and information on how to prepare to march can be found here. You can register for the event here for FREE, but know that it is not necessary to register in order to march – it just helps with their estimates of how many people will be attending!

Now more than ever, it is important to stand up and show enormous love to those around us. Good luck this spring semester!
FYM Kelly

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 

10 Lessons I’ve Learned in College as this Semester Comes to a Close

Can you believe we only have a few weeks of classes left for this Fall 2016 semester? Each semester goes by a little bit faster than the last. Next Spring was supposed to be my last semester, and I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would; I still have a year to go, so I suppose this list is semi-incomplete, because who knows what this next year could bring. These last few years have been a whirlwind of experiences, emotions, essays and existential crises. I think that’s just part of the college experience. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned as we near the end of the Fall semester of my 4th year of college.


Illustration by Elliana Demarco

  1. If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.
    I’ve found that a lot of the times I was doing things was simply because I felt obligated to do them. I didn’t want to be labeled a quitter. Lose that attitude. If you’re in a club and you’re miserable and dread going to the meetings – quit. If you hate studying pre-med, change your major. If you would rather stay in and binge watch Netflix than go out until 1 am, stay in. There is no wrong way to do college (this isn’t the movies, people). It’s YOUR life, and there is not enough time to be doing things that do not make you happy.
  2. If they want to leave, let them.
    A lot of people you meet in college are temporary. And a lot of the friends you had before college started might seem to drop off the face of the Earth. It’s ok. The people who want to be around, will be. Make sure you are an active presence in the lives of people you care about, and they will do the same for you. We all have different paths, and it’s natural we move in different directions. Remember people who leave with fond memories, and know that sometimes, you might be the one to go.
  3. Be honest about how you feel.
    Speak up. Sometimes the people around you don’t know if they’ve hurt you. Tell them – most of the time, they will do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. On a different note, if you think something nice, share that thought with the world. If you like someone’s new haircut, tell them. If you love someone, let them know (yes, I’m talking about platonic relationships, too). If someone invalidates your feelings, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship.
  4. Don’t let the world get you down.
    Sometimes existing can be really hard. Sometimes all you can see and hear around you is the negative. Sometimes people will tell you that your field is useless. Sometimes people will make you feel stupid or embarrassed. The weight of it all can get pretty heavy. Rise above it. Be sure that you are someone spreading positive vibes and standing up for what you believe in. Be who you want to be, and don’t let anyone decide for you what that is.
  5. Quit looking for love.
    So many people think this is make it or it break it time when it comes to romantic love. The truth of it all is that we are so young. I’m not trying to bash on anyone who has found their forever-person, don’t get me wrong; love is cool and all, but it’s not everything, and you have plenty of time. If you are unapologetically yourself, and give all the love you have to give, someone will give it back. It’s time to love yourself first. Learn who you are, learn what you want, figure out what you need, and go get it. The people who want to be along for the ride, will be.
  6. Check in with yourself.
    Stop. Stop everything you are doing. Evaluate. Ask yourself these questions. Am I happy studying what I am studying? Am I happy here? What can I do right now to better my life? What do I need to be doing to reach the goals I have set for myself? What can I do to better the lives of those around me? Am I doing my best work? Have I taken time for myself today? We are constantly growing and changing, and the first step to success is knowing yourself. Take some time to be introspective and to understand who you are.
  7. Check in with your loved ones. 
    Your family misses you. As awesome as it is to be out of your house and living on your own or with your roommates, you should be checking in with home. A lot happens while you are away. It’s amazing what a phone call with mom can do; sometimes there’s just stuff you need to get off your chest that no one else could understand. Even if you just send a text to your siblings or parents, aunts or uncles, grandparents or friends, let the people you love know that you are thinking of them – even if you don’t talk so much anymore.
  8. Your best might not be the same as someone else’s best. 
    Do not, I repeat – DO NOT – place YOUR value in someone else’s work. By this, I mean, don’t compare yourself to others. We are all fighting different battles, and what other people are able to do does not reflect on what you are able to do. Sometimes the people around you are doing amazing things, but that is no reason to feel inadequate. Support the hardworking people around you, and support yourself. So long as you are doing your best with what you have, you are doing just fine. Attitude is everything.
  9. Your value is not based on your productivity.
    Contrary to what this world seems to be, you do not need to be busy 24/7 to be considered a good person. I know our society is incredibly competitive, and often times our schedules are packed and it’s not even our choice – it’s just the way it needs to be for us to make it here. With this in mind, know that it is ok to have nothing to do. Seriously, it’s even good for your health. We’re not robots, and we are not made to work as much as we do. Our bodies start to fight against us, our brains turn to mush. Don’t be filling your schedule with stuff you don’t need or want to do simply to feel like a productive person. If you need the break from the world, take it.
  10. Find balance.
    It’s easy to become consumed by one thing. Don’t let school take up your whole life. School is important, you should be going to classes and getting your work done, but you need to find the time to have fun and to be human. There have been weeks at a time where I would forget to eat until 6 or 7 pm because I was so consumed by the work I was doing for school. It’s not healthy. Take time to see your friends, your family. Take time for yourself. Make sure you are eating, cleaning, showering, sleeping. Make sure you get to class. Finding that balance can be difficult, but it will be fulfilling.

Know that these lessons are what I’ve come to find with my own personal experiences. We are all living different lives; you might find some of this really helpful, you might find that some of this does not apply to you – that’s alright.

I wouldn’t want my college experience to have been any other way, and I’m open to learn as much as I can.
I hope you are too,
FYM Kelly

Every Vote Counts – Early Voting and Absentee Ballots

Hey First Years!

For many of you, this may be the first time you have been eligible to vote in an election. The 2016 Presidential Campaign is very quickly coming to an end, and it is now time to VOTE! Every vote counts, so it’s time to head out to the booths or mail out your ballots. Here is some information on how to vote early, how to vote with an absentee ballot, and general Election Day information. i_voted_sticker-r9e8abad0ab5d4e9fbe7d9321b3b15060_v9waf_8byvr_324.jpgEarly Voting: For the first time ever in Massachusetts, you can vote early for this election! Early voting runs until November 4th. Depending on where you are registered to vote, you can go to an early voting location and cast your vote now! This is a huge convenience, as lines for voting can get VERY long on Election Day. If you can, take advantage of this! Here is what you need to know about early voting:

  • All Massachusetts voters are eligible to vote early – if you are registered to vote in MA, are a United States citizen and a MA resident, then you are good to go!
  • At this link, you can find out where your early voting location and times are. These differ depending on the town or city you are registered to.
  • If you registered to vote here at Salem State, the early voting location and times are below! Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 9.02.45 AM.png

Absentee Ballots: You can vote as absentee if you cannot make it to your polling location during regular polling hours. Many college students vote with absentee ballots as they are far away from home/where they are registered to vote, and this is also a good choice! To get an application for an absentee ballot if you do not already have one, click here. If you plan on voting absentee and have not applied for an absentee ballot, you should apply NOW! Applications need to be in by November 7 at 12 pm; if you wait too long, you will not be able to get your ballot in on time. Here are the steps below to vote with an absentee ballot.

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 9.11.31 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-31 at 9.11.40 AM.png

Election Day: Election Day is Tuesday, November 8! Polls are open from 7 am – 8 pm. If you are in line to vote by 8 pm, you are allowed to vote. Some polls can open as early as 5:45 am, depending on your polling location. To find out your polling location, click here and enter your address information for the location you are registered.

Happy Voting!
FYM Kelly