Housing & Residential Programs Staff Spotlight: Will Halko

Millersville’s Housing and Residential Programs is proud to showcase our staff and all of the incredible work they do to make the residence halls at Millersville safe and a great environment for students to live and learn in. This week’s staff spotlight pick is graduate assistant Will Halko. Continue reading to learn more about Will, what he loves about being a graduate assistant of west village, and his advice for students.

What made you want to become a Graduate Assistant (GA)?

Will: Honestly, the fact that it seemed so out of my realm! My whole life I had worked with children, behavior, and psychology – after a few years of doing that I realized I wanted a complete change-up, so I applied to work in housing. My goal in any job is to make people’s lives a little better in any way I can, and it makes me happy that I get to do that in the residence halls. If the people around me feel supported, then I’m doing my job.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a GA?

Will: That’s a tough question because there really is a lot. Overall, I’d say my favorite part of the experience is getting to learn and grow alongside my co-workers. I’ve learned so much from the great people that I work with and I think we have a really great network of support for each other. I love when my coworkers and I can guide each other through new or difficult situations. Everyone is so eager to lend a hand and it’s really refreshing!

How have you been handling everything caused by COVID-19?

Will: Day by day. A lot of things nowadays seem pretty far out of our hands, which can be overwhelming. Right now I’m staying grounded by leaning into things that I have control over and showing gratitude whenever it’s possible. My two friends and I have been watching horror movies outside on Friday nights or taking morning hikes on weekends. So staying social when it’s possible has been super important to me, I just usually have to improvise.

Do you have any tips for succeeding academically given the various changes?

Will: I think staying confident and motivated are the most challenging but useful things you can do right now. Confidence and motivation go hand in hand sometimes. Like, if you think that your effort isn’t going to pay off, it’s way more tempting to accept defeat. Be forgiving to yourself, but know that you are smart and capable – pandemic or no pandemic.

Do you have any advice for residents regarding how to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19 this Fall?

Will: Do the easy stuff right: wash your hands, cover your mouth, you know! Are you going to stop every cause of COVID-19 by doing these things? Probably not! But if you keep a person or two from getting sick, missing school, or generally stressing out – then wasn’t the small effort worth it? Also, mental health care is always important, but especially right now. Show yourself and your neighbors a little extra love during these times, we all can use it.

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What I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year

Heading into your freshman year of college is both exciting and nerve wracking. You’re going to a new place filled with new people and experiences. While everyone’s freshman year experience is unique, there are some general words of wisdom from upperclassmen that every freshman should hear before they go to college. Here’s what I, a senior at Millersville, wish I knew my freshman year of college:

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1. Make relationships with your professors

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Professors are there to help you however they can, along with your advisor. Reach out to your professors with questions you have about their course(s), or just general questions you might have about applying for jobs, getting on track for graduation, which classes to take, how to succeed in school, and so on. Making connections with professors will be beneficial to you during and after college, so start reaching out to them!

2. Give yourself time to adjust

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How you study in college will most likely be different from how you studied in high school. There’s more independent work in college, so you’ll be responsible to do more individual work outside of class. Your first semester may not go as you planned, and that’s totally okay! Each semester you’ll learn more about how you study and get work done. You’ll get better at managing your coursework over time, so don’t panic if it takes you a bit of time to get used to college courses.

3. Create a budget for yourself

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I definitely spent more money than I thought I would my freshman year of college. From going out to local restaurants to buying Millersville merch, my bank account looked pretty depressing when summer came around. I’d highly recommend making a budget for yourself and only spending a certain amount of money each week on things that aren’t necessities. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and treat yourself every now and then, just spend your money wisely.

4. Being an undecided major is totally fine – so is changing your major

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When I went to college, I felt pressured to pick a major and stick with it. I didn’t want to go into college without a plan. Once I got there, I realized that it’s perfectly normal to major undecided or feel uncertain about your major once you take some courses. If you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, it’s okay! Your time in college is meant to be used to find out more about yourself, what you enjoy, and what you want your future to look like. Take advantage of this time and set yourself on the path you want to be on.

5. Enjoy every moment, because time flies

Source: https://tvgag.com/gag/i-wish-there-was-a-way-to-know-youre-in-the-good-old-days/

Don’t take your freshman year of college for granted. Make the most of your time on campus and create memories that will last you a lifetime. Take advantage of everything you can, because it won’t be long before you’re in a cap and gown. Get involved on campus and in the Millersville community while you can. Spend time with people and go out to different stores and restaurants in Lancaster city – or just have a night in and watch Netflix, pop some popcorn, and enjoy yourself! Just try to make every moment meaningful and take advantage of every opportunity that the ‘Ville has to offer.

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10 Rules For Living Your Best Marauder Life

Are you truly living your best life? If that’s a question you have to think about, or if the answer to it is “No”, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn our 10 rules for living your very best marauder life:

1. Leave the past in the past: It can be hard not to dwell on the past, but it’s so much better for you when you don’t. You can’t change the past; the only thing you can control is the present and your future. Accepting what has happened and being hopeful about what will happen will help you move on and enjoy every moment of your life.

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2. Help others: One of the EPPIIC values that members of the Millersville University community live by is compassion. Being compassionate and helping others is a great way to give back and find happiness. Click here to learn about some volunteer opportunities you can take advantage of right now.

3. Remember what you’re working towards: Keep in mind that everything you’re doing has a purpose. Even if you can’t see the benefits of your actions now, they’ll pay off in time. Continue to work hard and set goals for yourself – the results of your work will be worth it!

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4. Love yourself: Life is hectic and stressful. Show yourself some love and give yourself a pat on the back for how you handle all of life’s craziness. Be proud of who you are. Remember to also take time to yourself and do things that make you happy. Click here to read our blog post that includes self care tips that will help you show your mind and body some love.

5. Live your values: Like I mentioned before, Millersville University’s core values are EPPIIC. EPPIIC stands for exploration, professionalism, public mission, inclusion, integrity, and compassion. Marauders should strive to be EPPIIC whenever and however they can, while also reinforcing their own personal values. Click here to read more about EPPIIC values at Millersville.

Continue reading 10 Rules For Living Your Best Marauder Life

Best Student Discount Sites and Deals

As a college student, it’s safe to say I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Like most other students, I try my best to budget and look for the best deals to save money. Fortunately, there are some great discounts out there that help students like me keep some extra money in their bank accounts! Here are some helpful links to sites and deals that will make you and your wallet happy:

*Disclaimer: We are not endorsed by any of these sites or brands. This post is simply offering suggestions based on popular student discount sites and deals*

Sites

1. Unidays

Unidays is a website that lists student discounts in different categories like fashion, food & drink, technology, beauty, and more. Unidays also has a free app that you can download.

2. Student Beans

Student Beans is another popular website for finding the latest student discounts. They have a page called “Top 20” which they update regularly with the best deals going on right now. Student Beans also gives you the option to save discounts that you’ll want to use.

3. ID.me Shop

ID.me Ship is a website that posts a wide variety of discounts. They have an entire section dedicated to student discounts. You can sign up to recieve email alerts when discounts you may be interested in become available. You can look at a large amount of discounts at once, or you can look at discounts for certain stores.

4. Save The Student

Save The Student is a great resource for students. The site has a student discount directory, and they also offer advice about banking and finances. Save The Student posts a deal of the day everyday, and if you subscribe to their emails, they’ll send you weekly deals.

Deals

  1. Spotify Premium Student: For $5.39 a month, you can get access to Spotify Premium as well as Hulu and SHOWTIME. Without this offer, you’d be paying about $27 for all three services, so this is a great deal.
  2. Amazon Prime Student: Prime Student costs about $6.49 per month and provides you with free 2-day delivery, free same-day delivery in eligible areas, as well as unlimited movies, TV shows, music streaming, reading, and photo storage.
  3. Nike: Students can get 20% off for a limited time (used to be $10 off). Plus, you can use this offer more than once.
  4. Chick-fil-A and Chipotle: Get a free small drink at these restaurants by showing your student ID.
  5. For more deals, check out this post on RetailMeNot.com and this discount guide that includes a downloadable PDF from Dealhack.com.

Check out these sites and deals and see the savings for yourself! Comment your favorite student discount, and make sure to subscribe to our email list to receive notifications whenever we make a new post!

Continue reading Best Student Discount Sites and Deals

Residence Hall Essentials From Amazon That You’ll Want to Buy

Moving away from home and moving into the residence halls is super exciting, but can seem daunting if you don’t know what to pack. If you’re unsure about what you need to bring with you to college, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here is a short list of some residence hall essentials you can buy from Amazon to help you prepare for living on campus once the fall semester begins:

(Here’s a helpful tip: College students can take advantage of Amazon Prime Student, which is a discounted Amazon Prime membership program. Click here to learn more about it!)

1. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Mrs. Meyers multi surface everyday cleaner is a great investment because it limits the amount of cleaning supplies you have to buy and store since its multipurpose, and it’s inexpensive. This multi surface cleaning spray is also available in different fresh scents. Click here to purchase a 3-pack from Amazon.

2. First Aid Kit

Something a lot of students wouldn’t think to bring with them to college is a first aid kit, but they’re actually really convenient to have. Amazon has a great first aid kit available that includes 100 pieces but is still compact, and it’s only $8.00! Click here to see details and buy it.

3. Laundry Hamper

Laundry hampers like this one are an essential because you can use them to carry your clothes to and from the laundry room easily. This laundry hamper from Amazon comes with carrying straps and a side pocket for detergent and dryer sheets, as well as comes in different colors. Click here to check it out.

4. Foldable Storage Bag Organizers

Continue reading Residence Hall Essentials From Amazon That You’ll Want to Buy

Self Care Tips

It’s so important that we take care of our bodies and our minds in order to stay healthy and happy. Make sure to make time for self care in your daily routine. Even little things like taking a walk or listening to your favorite music can have a positive impact. It can be easy to forget to take good care of ourselves when there’s so much going on around us, so here are some tips to remind you of how and why you should look after yourself:

1. Get Organized


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I’ve noticed that when my room is cluttered, my mind is cluttered too. Having a clean and organized living space makes it easier to focus. When I’m finished cleaning, I always feel accomplished and like I have one less thing to worry about. It can be hard to get the motivation to organize your stuff but once you do, you’ll thank yourself for it! Check here to check out an article that shares 100 organization tips.

2. Meditate

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Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Meditation is a great way to help you relax and reflect. It’s a nice pause from everything going on around you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to spend some time to yourself, meditating is a great way to clear your mind and be calm. There are plenty of YouTube videos, articles, and apps that help you learn how to properly meditate, like this article or this website that also has a free app you can download.

3. Take Time for Yourself

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Even if you have a super busy schedule, it’s so important to take time (even if it’s just a few minutes) to do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s online shopping, drawing, playing a game, calling a friend, or listening to your favorite song, just schedule time in your day to spend doing what you enjoy. You’re never too busy to show yourself some love! Click here to read an article on Oprah.com about how and why you should prioritize spending time with yourself. 

4. Stay Healthy

Source: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=354975365104205

Getting a good night’s sleep each night, eating right, and exercising are all good ways to take care of yourself and your body. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the motivation to workout, eat healthy foods, and not stay up until 3am watching Tik Toks, and that’s okay! You don’t have to be a gym rat or vegetarian to practice self care, but staying healthy in a way that is sustainable and makes you happy is really beneficial. Click here to learn some simple ways to improve your health and happiness. 

5. Don’t Pressure Yourself to be Great

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I’ve seen a lot of posts, articles, and videos about people using the extra free time they have because of quarantine to lose weight, develop a new skill, etc. Don’t feel pressured to use this time to be more productive than usual. It’s okay to take this time to relax without making a major change. As long as you’re doing what makes you happy, there’s nothing else you need to do. 

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Millersville University Named Safest School in PA for the Second Year in a Row!

We are very excited to share that Millersville University was ranked the safest school in PA for the second year in a row by YourLocalSecurity! Millersville’s Housing and Residential Programs is just one of the departments on campus that makes student safety a priority. Our staff works hard to ensure students have a safe environment to live and learn in.

Here are some of the things our staff has to say about safety in the residence halls:

Michael Davis, one of the Residential Area Directors on campus, says, “I want to highlight the staff (both DA’s & RA’s) for helping to keep the buildings safe. The DA’s are the first line of defense and the RA’s going on rounds/tour and knowing their residents all helps to maintain the effort we see.”

The Resident Assistants at Millersville have an emphasis on safety and put a lot of work into making the residence halls safe for students. When asked about their thoughts on safety in the residence halls, here’s what they had to say: CJ Longo says, “The health, safety and security of my residents is my top priority. I am constantly on the lookout for potential safety hazards when I am on duty to prevent an incident before it arises. I also educate my residents during floor meetings about safety procedures in the halls as well as other campus safety resources.” Lauren Taddeo, another Resident Assistant, stated, “Ensuring residents are safe and secure ultimately increases the overall productivity and quality of ResLife.” 

The following shows how students ranked their satisfaction on certain areas of hall safety and security in a survey (Note: Satisfaction rankings were on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest):

  1. Satisfaction of security of possessions in their rooms was ranked 6.13 out of 10 on average by 526 students.
  2. Satisfaction of how safe students felt in their rooms was ranked 6.26 out of 10 on average by 526 students. (This was one of the top 3 highest scored factors in the survey)
  3. Satisfaction of how safe students felt in their hall building was ranked 6.23 out of 10 on average by 526 students. (This was one of the top 3 highest scored factors in the survey)
  4. Satisfaction of how safe students feel walking on campus at night was ranked 5.75 out of 10 on average by 526 students.

Student safety always has been and always will be a top priority to Housing and Residential Programs staff. Gabby Vaxmonsky, a Graduate Assistant, said, “The safety and security of residents is extremely important to me. At the front desk I work with the DA’s and RA’s to check ID’s and sign guests in and out so we can help to keep the halls safe. Also, I encourage residents to stop by during my office hours to talk with me about any questions or concerns that come up.” 

To learn more about how we are keeping the residence halls safe, visit our webpage. To learn more about campus safety at Millersville University, visit the campus safety webpage. 

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New Blog Feature + Giveaway!

Housing and Residential Programs created this blog to inform readers about important housing updates as well as to create content that people could enjoy and learn from. In order to keep students updated on the latest news and make our readers lives easier, we’ve added a new feature to our blog: A blog post subscription.

We are very excited to now offer a blog post subscription option that will send instant email notifications to anyone who subscribes. Subscribing is easy and completely free! In order to sign up, all you have to do is go to the top of our blog web page, the site you’re on right now (i.e., villehousing.org), and put in your name (optional) and email under where it says “SUBSCRIBE.” We won’t send you spam emails – just updates whenever we upload a new blog post so you can have instant access to quality content and important information.

Here are some answers to potential questions about the blog and the blog subscription:

1. Why should I subscribe? The Housing and Residential Programs’ department blog shares a wide variety of relevant, helpful, and engaging content. We post about important housing information, help our readers with educational content, recognize student success, and post about activities on campus. Getting email notifications for our posts provides you with a quick and convenient way to access the blog and hear about announcements as soon as they are released.

2. What kind of emails will I receive as a subscriber? Like I mentioned above, we won’t fill up your inbox with junk mail. You’ll receive emails with a link to read our latest blog posts whenever they are published. This will include important announcements on this site about housing information. Subscribing to the blog makes staying updated easier than ever.

3. How else can I connect with Millersville’s Housing and Residential Programs? Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@villehousing) for even more content! Click here to visit our University website for additional information. You can also always reach out to us with any questions or concerns by sending an email to housing@millersville.edu.

Right now, we’re offering subscribers the chance to win a $50.00 gift card to the Millersville University Store! Even though the store isn’t open physically, you can still order products online by clicking here. See below for information on how to enter:

We will announce the winner of the giveaway in a blog post, so you’ll get an email notification once the winner is posted since you’ll be subscribed! We’ll have more giveaways coming up, so stay tuned!

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How You Can be an Ally in the Fight Against Racism

I want to start off this blog post by saying that I am White and could never begin to understand the struggles that Black people face everyday. It is my responsibility not just as a White person, but as a human being who believes people should not have to live in fear because of the color of their skin, to educate myself on the struggles of black people and learn what I can do to help. I may not be able to share the experiences of Black people, but I can learn about their suffering, stand with them, grieve with them, and fight for change. Being an ally means struggling with others, acknowledging the issue and drawing attention to it. I want the Millersville University community to come together and support our Black brothers and sisters by being allies. By recognizing their suffering and suffering with them. One of Millersville’s EPPIIC core values is compassion. Now more than ever members of the Millersville University community must show compassion and demonstrate leadership to bring about positive change. Here’s how you, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, can educate yourself and become an ally in the fight against racism: 

  1. Visit this link to check out anti-racism resources including articles and books to read, videos, TV shows, and movies to watch, organizations to follow, and more: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcp7Zjak*JaTmVVS2r9dqi2IRgtTFHg
  2. Learn about how to show support by reading this article: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcp7Zjak*JaTmVVS2r9dqi2IRgtTFHg
  3. List of books you can read to learn more about racial justice: https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/project-collection/racial-justice 
  4. Click the link to learn how you can support Black-owned businesses: https://refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9849096/find-black-owned-businesses-online-apps
  5. Here is a resource with links for places and organizations you can donate to, petitions you can sign, and representatives you can contact: https://www.slamonline.com/the-magazine/where-to-donate-support-black-lives-matter/
  6. List of bail funds: https://bailfunds.github.io/
  7. Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund to support his family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
  8. Another good resource showing different ways you can help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
  9. Text “JUSTICE” to 55156 to join Color Of Change, a nonprofit organization, in their efforts to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot on February 23rd, 2020.
  10. Text “ENOUGH” to 55156 to join Color of Change in their efforts to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home on March 13th, 2020.

Millersville University is proud of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are using their voices to promote positive change in society and are doing what they can to educate themselves about systemic racism. We must remain compassionate and be allies. We must support the Black community and those who are suffering. We must fight for freedom. We must do better. Remember to stay aware and active, but also be sure to stay safe. If you are going to protest, protest peacefully. Continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect yourselves and others from COVID-19. Head over to https://linktr.ee/thevillecounselingcenter to visit Millersville University’s virtual calming room to deal with any stress, anxiety, anger, and so on that you may be feeling. Remember that you are not alone. Millersville University is here to help all members of our community in any way we can. Together, we can educate ourselves and support each other, and hopefully make this world a better place for everyone.

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Who’s Hiring Right Now?

Finding a summer job is tricky enough, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. Fortunately, a lot of companies are hiring right now, and Millersville University is here to help you get hired too. Keep reading to learn more about who’s hiring and how you can get a job this summer: 

LinkedIn is a great tool for people trying to find a job. It helps you connect and network with a ton of employers and shows job listings for companies. An editor at LinkedIn posted a list of companies currently hiring. The list is updated regularly and includes links that redirect you to the employers LinkedIn so you can apply directly from there. Here is a link to the post, which you can view even if you don’t have a LinkedIn account: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/heres-whos-hiring-right-now-4525187/. Other sites that post job listings include Glassdoor, neuvoo, Indeed, and Monster.com.

Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM) at Millersville University helps students get internships and jobs both during their undergraduate career and after they graduate. They currently have virtual services which include resume and cover letter critiques, LinkedIn profile feedback, interview assistance, and more. They are also offering students a lot of opportunities to connect with employers virtually. The virtual job and internship fair is being held on June 3rd, 2020 from 11am to 4pm. Here is the link to sign up and learn more: https://www.millersville.edu/elcm/fairs-events/job-internship-fair.php. Students can always contact ELCM via email (careers@millersville.edu) or by phone (717-871-7655) for assistance and more information. 

I also recommend that you take a drive around your neighborhood and look for “Now Hiring” or “Help Wanted” signs for stores that are currently operating in-person. Stop inside businesses that interest you with these signs in their windows and ask them how to apply. Bring copies of your resume along and give one to the manager to show that you’re prepared and so they can see your qualifications and skills. It’s also important to remember that even if you don’t get the job, it’s still helpful to you to go through the process of applying and interviewing so you gain experience. That way, you’ll do even better next time and get the job you’re looking for! Also, emailing your resume and some information about yourself to employers you are interested in working for (even if they do not currently have jobs available) is a great way to show them you’re dedicated and highly interested in what they are doing. 

Good luck on your job search! Leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear from you! Make sure to follow us on our social media accounts for updates and other helpful information: @villehousing on Twitter and Instagram. 

717-871-4200 | housing@millersville.edu

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