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Spread Love This Valentine’s Day!

It is that time of year again! Whether you call it Galentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day or good, old Valentine’s Day, it is the day to love and show love. Many people usually view Valentine’s Day as a day for couples and romance. Although that is partly true, Valentine’s Day is a day that is all about celebrating love and showing the people in your life that you appreciate them. There is a stigma around the holiday, viewing it as this day only couples can celebrate , but it is time to change that. On Valentine’s Day,  we should all take the time to spread love and positivity to our friends and family members. 

Photo courtesy of Canva.

 Anyone can celebrate Valentine’s Day and spread love to those around them, surrounding yourself with people who make you feel great and alive is the best way to celebrate this holiday. This Valentine’s Day,  grab some chocolate and enjoy the love-filled day with your best friends, significant other or family. “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”- Charles M. Schulz

 Here are a list of some things you can do this Valentine’s Day to spread love here at Millersville . Let’s make everyone feel loved this Valentine’s Day!

 

  1. Give a compliment to a stranger.
  2. Surprise one of your best friends with a small gift
  3. Make Valentine’s Day treats and share them with friends
  4. Call your parents and tell them you love and appreciate them
  5. Pay it forward at Starbucks or Saxby’s
  6. Make someone smile
  7. Wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day

These simple acts can make a person’s day better and create a chain effect of kind gestures. We hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Tips For Surviving Finals Week

🎶“It’s the most stressful time of the year.”🎶 Yes Marauders, it is Finals Week. Finals week is one of the most stressful weeks in the whole semester. Somehow during this time you have what feels like a hundred papers due and an exam in almost every class. Tensions can run high and you may pull all nighters just to prepare for your exams. To get through this tough time, I created a list of some tips I have accumulated to successfully get through the storm.

 

  1. Start Early.

If you start studying or creating a study plan early, you will feel less overwhelmed when finals week arrives.

2. Stay Well-Rested

Getting a good amount of sleep each night is essential to feeling well-rested. This will also give you higher energy levels to get the right amount of studying done each day.

3. Attend Office Hours

This is a huge tip! Attending office hours can be very beneficial because it gives you one-on-one time with your professor to ask any questions on material you may not understand. Also, this is a big way to show your professors you are serious about your work and you are trying your best with the material. This can be very beneficial when grading comes around.

4. Create a Plan and Stick To It

If you have a plan in place, you are less likely to stray from it. This will act as a motivator to get your studying  done daily and to cross things off your checklist. I have to say crossing things off your checklist is one of the best feelings.

5.  Don’t Stick Strictly to the Study Guide

If your professors give you a study guide, make sure you also look at information that was not on it. Professors mainly give study guides to give students an idea of what can be on the test, but they might also add other information to make sure you reading the material and know it very well.

6.  Take Study Breaks

Sometimes spending too much time studying  without a break can be bad for your brain. If you take small breaks in between certain content, it can be beneficial. For example, you can take a quick walk outside or watch a short video in between.

7. Do Not Study In Your Bed

One of my biology teachers taught me this tip in high school and it has always stuck with me. Your brain associates your bed with sleep and relaxation, so when you try to study in your bed, you are less productive and you can disrupt your sleep patterns. The next time you will go to sleep, your body will take more time to adjust to it and you may lose out on hours of sleep.

8. Create Acronyms or Rhymes To Memorize Lists or Difficult Information

This is a very helpful tip that I use when I study. When I have to know long lists of steps or types of information, I create an acronym to spell out the first letter of every word. This is kinda like how teachers would use PEMDAS in elementary school to remember math operations. For example, this acronym stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication , division, addition and subtraction.

9. Review Your Notes Daily

Taking time each day to review your notes will pay off in the long run. When test time rolls around, you will know the information better and be able to recognize the words in the questions quickly.

10. Dress Nice To Your Finals

“Dress well, test well” simply implies that those who dress well on the day of their exam or presentation are likely to perform better, or at least feel, better. Dressing nicer makes you feel more confident with the information and may help you do better.

11. Put Your Phone On Do Not Disturb or Turn It Off

Your phone can take away time from your studying and distract you from learning the information. Turn your phone off during your time studying to avoid this distraction and to decrease your time spent on one subject.

12. Eat Healthy

If you eat foods that are unhealthy and that do not provide nutrients, they can make you feel groggy. This can make you feel lazy and make you not want to study even more. Instead of choosing fried food or a bag of chips , eat a salad or some apples. Your body will thank you later.

13. Have a Positive Mindset

You are not going to get anywhere or have any confidence in yourself if you do not have a positive mindset. Studies have also shown that if you write positive affirmations on your exams, you will do better because it will make you more confident in your responses.

14. Study With Other People in Your Class

Having other people to study the information with you, will help you learn the information as well as teach you new study techniques. This is also good because if someone knows some information better than you, they can help you piece together what you are not understanding.

15.  Treat Yourself

This is a tough week and you are putting a lot of time into your studies, you deserve to treat yourself with a candy or maybe a coffee you like. Don’t feel bad about treating yourself or taking the time to do something you love, you deserve it!

We would like to wish everyone good luck on their final projects and exams! Stay motivated and do your best!

 

Picture source

 

Best Study Spots On Campus

Finals season is approaching and for many of us it is time to start putting our study plans into place. This time can be stressful and nerve-racking , but creating a schedule and sticking to it can help your grade. For me, I like to plan out when I will study for each of my exams. Another helpful tip I use is to make sure I am comfortable and focused  in the area I am studying. There are many different places to study and each of them have their pros and cons. Here is my list of the best places to study on campus.

  1. Study Rooms in the Residence Halls

Pros: These study rooms are very quiet and you also do not need to leave the comfort of your hall to trek to another spot. They also have whiteboards to help you study.

Cons: They are rarely empty because students fill them up real quick when no one is occupying them. 

2. Study Rooms on the 5th Floor in the Library

Pros: These spots are very private and provide a big area to study with friends. They also have TVs in the rooms incase you are working on something that needs to be presented.

Cons: These rooms are very hard to get and they are always taken by students. Also, there are not a lot of them.

 

This is a picture of my favorite study room. The room is very big, has a couch and many windows to look out!

3. Area Behind Starbucks

Pros: This is the perfect spot if you do not need to really focus on something. This area is close to Starbucks, so it is easy to get a pick-me-up while you’re studying. The big tables are also nice to spread your work on.

Cons: Sometimes this spot can get noisy because of its proximity to Starbucks. It also gets very busy around common hour.

4. The 6th Floor of the Library

Pros: This is the quiet floor of the library , so it is a very good place to go if you need to focus. There are also many individual desks.

Cons: Sometimes I feel self-conscious of the noise I am making which makes me uncomfortable. Many people go on this floor, so it is hard to find a seat.

5. Saxby’s

Pros: This is a great spot if you have work that does not require a lot of focus. This is also a good spot to meet with friends to get work done because of the large tables and location. It is also closer to the residence halls than the library or Starbucks.

Cons: It can get very noisy with people coming in to grab dinner or the music they play. During the day it gets very busy, so it is hard to study there.

If you have a favorite study spot, tweet us! Our username is @villehousing . Happy studying!

Cover photo courtesy of Canva. 

World Kindness Day

November 13th, is World Kindness day! This is a day celebrated annually on November 13th and promotes making the world a better place by spreading kindness and participating in good deeds. On this great day, people are encouraged to participate in spreading love and kindness . Celebrate with these fun and easy random acts of kindness!

Picture source: https://www.ftd.com/blog/celebrate/kindness-quotes

  1. Compliment your friends or random people.

Tell someone you like their outfit, or they have a great smile or tell them they are smart and ambitious. Being complimented is one of the best feelings in the world and can make someone happy for the whole day.

2. Say good morning to people you see on your walk to class.

This is a friendly and easy way to make a stranger’s day.

3. Pay it forward at Saxby’s or Starbucks.

If you haven’t heard of this concept, it occurs when you pay for the person’s item or coffee behind you. It is a sweet little surprise.

4. Write a handwritten note to your friend or favorite professor.

This shows the person that they are appreciated and doing a good job or being a great person.

5. Say thank you to someone you appreciate.

Saying thank you is a kind and sweet way to show someone that you care for them and recognize how they impact your life.

6. Make someone smile.

Smiling is contagious and can make someone feel happy. This can happen by telling a joke, a story or just by talking to them.

7. Send an uplifting text to a friend or family member.

This is a great way to make someone’s day who you cannot see everyday. I like to send my best friend from home a small little text each day to inspire her to keep going and to show her my appreciation of her!

Let’s make kindness here at Millersville the norm. Being kind to those around you will create a fun and friendly environment. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

Barista Picks My Drink for a School Week

I am a coffee-addict and coffee has become a staple in my everyday routine. But, sometimes I never know what to get, so I resort to buying the same drink every time. So instead of trying new things, I buy a medium , hot or iced depending on my mood, vanilla latte with almond milk. This week I wanted to experiment with one of this season’s trends on Youtube, so I asked the baristas everyday of this week to make me their favorite drink or a random drink and to see what I would be given. These drinks can range from any type meaning they could be a latte, frozen drink, hot chocolate or iced coffee and so on.

This is a fun and different experience that opened me up to trying new drinks and seeing what other people like to drink. So every time I bought coffee during this week, I documented the name of the drink I got and I also took a picture of the drink. I went to the Starbucks on campus and Saxby’s so, I will also say which place the drink is from.

Day 1 – White Chocolate Maple Pecan Latte 

Starting the week off, I went to the Starbucks in McNairy Library. When I ordered the drink, I asked the student worker what her favorite drink was and she said she recently has been getting this drink because the Maple Pecan is a seasonal flavor. My first sip of this drink was interesting. Overall, the drink was delicious and tasted like a french toast hot chocolate. I would definitely recommend trying it.

Day 2 – Raspberry Caramel Macchiato

The next day, I went to Starbucks once again. This time it was a different barista that gave me a drink idea. This time I was recommended to try a caramel macchiato but add in a few pumps of raspberry. This was a unique drink because it tasted like a fruity dessert. I thought it was delicious and it was also a cool experience because the raspberry syrup tints the drink a pink color.

Day 3 – Iced Chai with Almond Milk and a Pump of Caramel

This drink may seem complex ,but it was worth the lengthy order. I went to Saxby’s for this drink. The barista said that she liked this drink a lot and that it was good iced or hot. Once I tried this, I loved it. I usually love chai, so it was a great twist and added an extra nutty taste from the almond milk.

Day 4 – Vanilla Iced Latte with Almond Milk

I thought that it was ironic that the drink that was recommended to me because it just so happens to be my favorite drink to order. I ended up getting this drink from Starbucks. I recommend this drink to anyone because it tastes good hot or iced and has a very unique taste! I was also very excited that our library had the new cup lids that do not need straws.

Day 5 – Marshmallow Mocha

On the last day I went to Saxby’s. I asked the barista to make me her favorite drink. She had to think about that , but then asked another barista what her favorite drink was. The second barista said her favorite drink was a marshmallow mocha. I thought this drink sounded so good and interesting. As soon as I tasted the drink, I loved it! It tastes just like a s’more in my opinion, I would definitely give this one a try .

Overall this has been a very cool experience and I recommend trying it for yourself. My favorite part about doing this experiment was seeing what someone else’s favorite drink was and seeing them get excited about it. If you try any of these drinks, make sure to share it with us on Twitter or Instagram. Our username is @villehousing.

Happy sipping!

How to Have a ‘Suite’ Halloween

Since it is officially October, spooky season has begun. Halloween is a great holiday that many college students like to celebrate, but do not know how to while living in the residence halls. Although it seems like there are no ways to celebrate this fun holiday, I created a list of some ideas you and your friends can try out.

 

  1. Host a movie marathon.

One way to get in the Halloween spirit is to host a scary movie or Halloween themed movie marathon. You and all your closest ‘ghouls’ can watch Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus or Halloween in your residence hall common area where there is a lot of room to sit and enjoy these classic films. My favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus, I can recite the whole movie from beginning to end.

 

  1. Have a door decoration contest with people who live in your hall.

Another option can be to ask your RA if you can have a door decoration contest for Halloween. Decorating your door can be fun and a great way to bond with your roommate while trying to beat the competition. If you need some ideas for door decorations, you can always check our Pinterest out , our username is @villehousing !

 

  1. Plan a small Halloween party.

Ask your RA if your floor can have a Halloween party or ‘trick or treating’. Having a floor Halloween party can be a fun reason to get dressed up , but it can also help you to meet more people who live on your floor. This is also a great excuse to eat a bunch of Halloween Oreos and piles of candy.

Photo courtesy of Canva.

 

  1. Bake themed treats with your friends.

For example, you and your friends can make Halloween cut-out cookies or the always delicious Pillsbury sugar cookies in the residence hall kitchens. These kitchens are a great resource that students can take advantage of especially when it comes to baking yummy treats.

 

  1. Carve or decorate pumpkins.

When I hear the word Halloween, the first thing I think about is pumpkins. Decorating pumpkins is a great way to be creative while being festive. This can also be a fun activity to do with your friends or roommates to take your minds off of schoolwork and tests!

 

Have a spooky and fun-filled Halloween! Also, if you live in West Village make sure to check out the pumpkin painiting, costume contest, food and crafts as well as a Halloween movie night that is happening on October 25th starting at 6:30 pm.

Most Instagram-Worthy Places on Millersville’s Campus

As Millennials and Gen Zs, we love to use social media and post pictures of everything.  I’m sure many of you want to post pictures of our beautiful school to show to your friends who attend other universities. I have the solution for you , I compiled a list of my favorite spots on campus to share on Instagram.

  1. Biemesderfer Center

Once upon a time, this was the old library. But now, it’s an administrative building. This stunning building and can be identified by its beautiful color and stained glass windows.

  1. University Pond.

Home to Miller and S’ville, the pond is one of the most recognizable parts of campus. This is great place to watch the ducks swim around.

  1. The Quad.

The Quad, located in the center of the residence halls,  is a great place to hangout with friends. You can often see a football or frisbee being thrown around.

  1. The Millersville University sign.                                                                          

This sign is located at the edge of campus and lets visitors or locals know that they are entering Marauder country.

5. Saxby’s

Located within Gordinier Hall, Saxby’s is a trendy and delicious cafe that is student-run. This is a great place to relax with friends or grab a bite to eat before class. It is also a great place to study.

  1. Chryst Field (Biemesderfer Stadium)

Home to our football, women’s field hockey, women’s outdoor track and field and women’s lacrosse teams , this is the place to cheer loud and proud for our Marauders.

These locations are great for showing your school spirit during your time here at Millersville.  If you take pictures at these locations, be sure to share them with us on Twitter or Instagram. Our username is @villehousing .

National Mental Health Awareness Week: Tips on How to De-stress

October 7- 13, 2018 is National Mental Health Awareness Week (Also known as Mental Illness Awareness Week). This week is important because it brings awareness to the crucial topic of mental health and mental illnesses. In a recent study from spring 2017, researchers from the American College Health Association found that nearly 40% of college students said they felt so depressed it was difficult to function (Reilly, 2018). The researchers also found that 61% of college students said they had felt “overwhelming anxiety.”  Anxiety, depression, stress and sadness are all challenges that college students face , but there are many resources and ways to cope with these challenges.

To help you cope with stress and anxiety here is a list of tips and tricks on how to de-stress and relax.

  1. Make minor adjustments to your room.

A cluttered space can make you feel disorganized. One way to create a less stressful environment is to open your bedroom blinds to let natural light into your space. Students can also decorate their rooms in soothing colors such as light blue or grey. These colors may make you feel calm . Another option is to buy a small plant. Plants bring life to the room and give you a chance to take care of a living being.

  1. Take time to read a book.

One of the best things to do when stressed out is to engross yourself in a book. Some of the best books to read during stressful times are motivational or inspiring works. Examples of books that help you feel great again are Eat, Pray, Love, The 5 Second Rule, or Milk and Honey

  1. Write in a journal.

Putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to avoid stress. If you write out your troubles, it can help you express your worries and help you assess the situation with fresh eyes. Writing in a journal can also help you to recognize when you overcame obstacles and give you the confidence to overcome obstacles in the future.

  1. Plan and get work done ahead of time.

Personally, one of the best tips when it comes to lessening stress is to plan ahead to get work done. There are so many deadlines for assignments, and students tend to get overwhelmed and forget to do them. If students make the switch to writing out deadlines in the beginning of the semester and using free time to complete work, they can get ahead and alleviate the stress of completing the assignment on time.

  1. Turn off your phone.

Sometimes phones can do more harm than good. They can produce constant worry about likes, retweets or receiving messages back, that by the end of the day this adds stress. Turning phones off for a couple minutes a day can help to relieve stress and give more time to think or do other activities.

  1. Visit the University Counseling Center.

Millersville has  resources on campus such as the Center for Counseling and Human Development where students can set up counseling appointments to talk about their stress or anxiety. The Center for Counseling and Human Development will also be introducing light box therapy starting October 2nd, which can help students who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or depression during the winter months.

  1. Just breathe.

This may sound cheesy, but it can really help in any situation. If you take a deep breathe, it can slow thinking down and release built up tensions. It can also bring the realization that things will be okay and to just be patient.

 

Photos courtesy of Canva. 

Reilly, K. (2018, March 19). Anxiety and Depression: More College Students Seeking Help. Retrieved from http://time.com/5190291/anxiety-depression-college-university-students/

Lower Your Stress and Anxiety During Exam Season

stress

College can be stressful.  Balancing your academics with work, friends, family, clubs and organizations, athletics, or whatever you’re involved in can be a lot to handle.  And with finals quickly approaching the stress may be mounting.  Feeling stress or anxiety is actually pretty common for college students.  According to a survey conducted in 2011 by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students at 41.6%, closely followed by depression at 36.4% and relationship problems at 35.8%.  If you are interested in reading the overall report from the survey just click here.

While stress and anxiety may be a growing issue on college campuses there are always ways to reduce them.  Self-care is a huge part of that.  Here are some self-care tips to help you de-stress and lower your anxiety.  Some of these may seem basic or obvious, but some of these things are the first thing to go when we get stressed.

present

  1. Do nice things for yourself.

Treat yourself.  This doesn’t necessarily mean buy yourself a present, although you could do that.  In college, funds can be pretty tight.  So find others things to treat yourself with.  Take an extra-long hot shower or bath, not because you’re dirty but because it can be relaxing.  Build in an hour of me time in your schedule where you put aside school and work, maybe watch something on Netflix.  If you want to buy yourself a present get that set of headphones you’ve been admiring, maybe get your favorite candy.  It’s nice to be nice yourself.

  1. Keep to a schedule.

Keeping to a regular schedule can cut down on stress and anxiety quite a bit.  You know your class schedule and how that interacts with your work schedule if you have a job.  Write that out.  Now add in a specific time block every day to study and get homework done.  Make sure you schedule times to eat and relax.  If you’re involved in any extracurriculars add them in too.  Sometimes there will be fluctuations, things can happen unexpectedly.  But keeping the same general schedule every week will get you into a routine that will become second nature.

Paint

  1. Do something fun!

What is your favorite thing to do?  When is the last time you did it?  Personally, my favorite thing to do it paint, and I can’t remember the last time I did it.  Try to do this thing regularly.  Having fun is important to leading a low-stress life.

  1. Get enough sleep.

I’m sure you’ve heard this quite a lot.  But it really is important.  If you get a full night’s sleep you will be more alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic! (Anybody else get that song stuck in their head as a kid?)  You will be more attentive throughout the day, which means getting done what you need to get done more efficiently and quickly.

food

  1. Don’t skip any meals.

You need to make sure your body has the proper fuel to run.  This means eating regularly.  If you skip a meal you may not be able to function properly while studying, going, to class, take a test, doing homework, going to your job, etc.  So make sure you eat!

  1. Say no!

Don’t be afraid to say no to things.  You don’t have to cover every co-worker’s shift whenever they ask.  You don’t have to spearhead every project for all the clubs you’re in.  It is okay to put yourself first.  Essentially don’t overload yourself.  Making that schedule could really help with this.

friends

  1. Spend time with friends and family.

Make time to be with your friends and family.  Sometimes you just need to take a break with those people who love you most.  I often find I feel much more relaxed after a night of hanging out with the fam and my bestie.

These are just some of my favorite ways to de-stress and lower anxiety.  Looking for more?  Why not check out this boss article from Huff Post?  20 Scientifically Back Ways to De-Stress Right Now

If you are in need of any health or counseling services they are available right here at Millersville University.  Click here for counseling.  Click here for health services.

 

Photos courtesy of Canva.

Kristi Shorter is an Intern for Millersville University’s Housing and Residential Programs.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Five Tips for Writing in College

At this point in the semester, you may have written a paper or two.  If you haven’t you may be preparing to write a final paper for a class.  (End of the semester is just six weeks away.)  Here are five tips from a past writing major to keep in mind as you work on your papers.

Writing 1

  1. Pace Yourself

It is too often the case that students wait until the night before to start a paper.  They’ll stay up all night, writing right up until the time it’s due.  Don’t do that!  Start at least a couple weeks in advance.  Take your time to formulate your thoughts and find your resources.  If you spend an hour a night writing you’ll find that in a couple weeks you will be done with time to spare.

  1. Outline

Now that you’ve decided to start sooner than the night before one of the first things you should do is outline.  Here are the basics: The intro paragraph, the body, the conclusion.  The intro should be no longer than half a page.  It should have a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paper.  The rest of the intro should quickly outline each point you hope to hit in the body.  The body will follow the order of the points you outlined in the intro.  Finally, the conclusion is not just a summary of your paper.  The conclusion should be the place where you explain your findings.  It is the culmination of your paper’s viewpoint or argument; it should be the resolution to the problem or topic.

Writing 2

  1. Don’t know how to start?

Sometimes writing the intro is the toughest part of the paper.  If this is the case for you then skip it!  Start with the meat of the paper.  Once you get the ball rolling on the body you’ll find it will be easier for you to go back to the beginning and write the intro.

  1. Draft and Edit

Your first draft should never be what you hand in.  Make sure to re-read and re-work.  Do you need an apostrophe here?  Did you use the wrong word there?  Always draft and edit!

  1. Careful Sourcing

Double check your sources.  Are they reputable?  Or are they some random Tumblr blog?  Don’t use Wikipedia as your main source.  And DO NOT plagiarize.  If you are quoting someone else, make it obvious.  If you want to summarize what someone said, make it obvious.  The best way to do this is to follow the in-text citing guidelines of the style of writing you are using.  Whether it is MLA, APA, or something else there will always be a specific way to cite.  Save yourself a headache. Don’t mistakenly plagiarize by not following style rules, and don’t outright plagiarize.

If you need some help with your writing check out the Writing Center in the Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum here at Millersville University.  They opened in their new Library location on September 18th, and have many tutors to help with all your writing needs.

The Writing Center in McNairy Library.  Photo courtesy Millersville University.

Other Graphics and Photos courtesy of Canva.

Kristi Shorter is an Intern for Millersville University’s Housing and Residential Programs.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.