Category Archives: New / Prospective Students

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

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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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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

The Advantages of Living in the Residence Halls

One of the first thoughts that come to mind when thinking about college is the residence halls: What type of room do I want? Who will my roommates be? Why should I live on campus? These are common questions students ask when room selection comes around. There are many advantages to living in the residence halls.

One reason to live on campus is that it is convenient.

By choosing to live in the residence halls, you are within walking distance of your classes, the dining facilities, the fitness center, the library, and your professors. If you forgot something for your class, you have the ability to quickly pick it up from your room. (Trust me, this comes in handy!)

Another advantage to living on campus is the independence.

The college experience is about learning and growing as a person. You are away from home now and are able to set your own routine. It certainly can be nice to have some space that you can call your own. However, flexibility and freedom also comes with responsibility. Your success in college is determined by your own motivation so going to class, studying, and balancing extracurricular activities will be crucial.

You are able to be more involved on campus.

This is especially important for the freshmen and sophomores. When you live in the residence halls you are able to more easily participate in the multitude of activities and programs on campus, club and organizations meetings, guest lectures, athletic events, student government, and cultural and diversity events to just name a few. The residence halls give you a greater chance to be more involved on campus, which will create a more enriching college experience. Additionally, students who live on campus are more satisfied with their college experience and persist at higher rates than those who live elsewhere.

You get a built-in social life by living in the residence halls.

Not only do you have at least one roommate, but you also have a full building of people to get to know. Each residence hall has different activities and events that they host for the students in your building. This is a great way to get to know other students and make new friends.

There are many dining facilities to choose from.

When you live in the residence halls you never have to worry about food. You have a meal plan and a variety of different dining facilities to choose from. You have more time on your hands to utilize for studying and campus activities if you do not have to worry about grocery shopping and having to cook your own meals.

An important part of college life is being involved on campus and taking advantage of every opportunity that Millersville University has to offer. Living on campus easily affords you this experience. We are proud of our residence halls and the community that is created by our amazing students and staff that live here.

How to Send a Proper Email to Your Professor

Back when it was my first semester of college, I learned a valuable lesson. A lesson I have come to realize not many college students have learned is how to send a proper email to your professor. This also goes with any authority figure like your boss or a potential employer. Many don’t include important information or they make the email informal. This is not the way to go when you are trying to sound professional.

Here are a few things to remember when sending an email:

Keep your email professional!

Don’t treat the email the way you would talk to your friend. When emailing an authority figure you want to give the best impression! Be polite and respectful, this will help give whoever is receiving your email the best impression of you.

You want to begin your email by addressing your professor by title and name. An example would be “Dear Dr. Smith.” If they go by “Professor” then call them that.

End the email with your name / signature. It is important that you don’t forget to tell them who is emailing. I have heard professors say that students have emailed them and forgotten to mention their name. They can’t respond if they don’t know who they are emailing.

Keep your email clear and concise!

Make your email easy to understand. If they can’t figure out what you are trying to say or ask you might not get the answers or response you need.

Don’t forget to mention what class you are from! Most professors have many classes they teach, so they are going to have a harder time remembering which students are from which class. Include the title of the course and time or the course number.

Check your spelling and grammar before you send!

I am guilty of this as well. You never want to just send the email without looking it over for misspellings or grammar mistakes. This will not go over well with your professors.

Never leave the subject box empty!

You always want to include what the email is about in a few words.  If you were sending an email about trying to find a time to meet the professor you could say “Appointment Possibilities.”

Do not waste their time!

Your professors have other classes to teach as well as other responsibilities. You do not want to send ask questions that you can answer for yourself. Make sure you honestly can’t find the answer yourself before contacting your professor. If you can’t find the answer then you ask. Don’t forget they have office hours for a reason.

Do not make demands!

If you need something then request it, do not make demands. Make sure you give them enough time to respond to you. It is important to always be respectful and polite. Make sure that you are not emailing them about something that you could use their office hours for. If you are looking for more tips on how to send a proper email check out:

How to Email a Professor

Emailing a professor should be straightforward. You send emails all the time! But emailing a professor is different from email a friend or family member. Professional email etiquette is not something that is often taught which makes sending that first email all the more stressful.

My name is Stephanie Wenger and I am the Marketing Intern for the Department of Housing and Residential Programs. I am an English BA major with a minor in History.

Millersville University Resource List for Incoming Students

Starting college for the first time can be daunting if you don’t know what resources are available on campus. Millersville University offers many different resources, so here is a compiled list of resources both new and returning students can benefit from.

Academic Advisement
Academic Advisement strives to help students develop educational plans, clarify career and life goals, and reinforce self-direction among many other things. Academic Advisement also spearheads the retention initiatives — these initiatives are for students in academic jeopardy. They are here to help you, no matter what!

Campus Ministries
Through Campus Ministries, there are several campus clubs, campus ministers, and off-campus worship opportunities. Wherever faith takes you, Millersville has something to offer.

Center for Counseling and Human Development
The Counseling Center is committed to providing quality mental health care to Millersville’s campus. The Center offers bibliotherapy, lightbox therapy, pet therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, crisis intervention, support groups, and counseling for issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, grief, homesickness, stress, and test anxiety. Students may receive up to five counseling sessions a semester, but if students seek long-term counseling, they may be referred to resources in the community.

Center for Health Education and Promotion
The Elsie S. Shenk Center for Health Education and Promotion (CHEP) educates students on topics including alcohol and other drugs, body image, dating and domestic violence, healthy relationships, safer sex, sexual assault, stalking, and stress. Students have the opportunity to train to become peer educators and teach their fellow students how to lead a healthy lifestyle and safely make the most out of their college experience.

Center for Student Involvement and Leadership
The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL) is Millersville’s go-to place for students who want to get involved. CSIL allows students to get involved on campus, serve Millersville’s community, and develop their leadership skills.

Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness
If you are a victim of sexual and/or dating violence, Millersville and the surrounding community can help. Millersville provides resources and services on- and off-campus to students in need. CHEP has sexual assault and dating and domestic violence advocates that students can talk to on Mondays and Tuesdays, located in the Montour House. The Counseling Center, Health Services, and Title IX can help as well. The Millersville Police Department is also available to students, as well as the YWCA and Domestic Violence Shelter, both located in Lancaster City.

Digital Learning Studio
The Digital Learning Studio offers support for faculty and students with various new technologies, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, iMovie, MU Video, 3D printing, and more. The Digital Learning Studio provides one-on-one instruction to help the Millersville community gain experience with state-of-the-art technology.

Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El Intercultural Center
The Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El Intercultural Center helps to create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive campus. The Center aims to provide students a space to explore their multiple and intersectional identities and learn about the background and experiences of others.

Experiential Learning and Career Management
Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM) provides student-centered career programs, experiences, and learning opportunities to help students achieve their personal and professional goals. They host job and internship fairs, graduate school fairs, and career week. ELCM also assists students seeking traineeships, internships, or volunteer opportunities.

Field Services
The Department of Field Services encompasses Early Field Experience, Advanced Professional Studies (APS), Student Teaching, and Certification. Students will complete several field experiences before obtaining their degree or certification. Clearances are required before students are allowed in the field. Information about clearances can be found here.

Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid helps students obtain financial assistance to help pay for college. The Office answers questions about FASFA, eligibility of financial aid, grants, scholarships, and loans.

Fitness Center
The Fitness Center, located in the Student Memorial Center, is designed to meet the fitness needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community. The Fitness Center has cardio equipment, free weights, weight machines, and open recreation areas. Kickboxing, taekwondo, yoga, and more classes are offered. Membership is included in tuition if students are enrolled in 12+ credits.

Health Services
Health Services sees students by appointment for a variety of services including, but not limited to, athletic physicals, pre-employment and driver’s license evaluations, STI testing and treatment, laboratory testing — both in-house and outside, and evaluation and treatment of acute illness and injury. There is a self-care cart located in the waiting area of Health Services for students who need wound care and upset stomach, pain, allergy, cold, and flu relief. Sanitary supplies and condoms/dental dams are also available in this cart.

Help Desk (IT)
The Help Desk is available to students who need help accessing their student accounts, have questions about Office 365, or need assistance in an on-campus computer lab.

ID Cards
Students will need their IDs to use the facilities and services at McNairy Library, the dining halls, Pucillo gymnasium, Biemesderfer Stadium, the Student Memorial Center, Health Services, the Fitness Center, and other areas around campus. ID Services assists students who have damaged or lost their IDs. If students wish to use Marauder Gold, they will use their ID to access those funds.

MU | Alert
Subscribing to MU Alert allows students to receive text messages and/or emails notifying them if there is an emergency on or near campus and if campus closes or is delayed due to inclement weather.

McNairy Library and Learning Forum
McNairy Library provides many different services to students. The library’s collection includes roughly 300,000 print books, more than 400,000 electronic books, government documents, videos, special collections, thousands of print and electronic journals, and several hundred databases. Students can also access resources held by other libraries through RequestIt and E-Z Borrow. Librarians have created course- and discipline-specific research guides. They are also here to assist students in formulating research questions and identifying, locating, and evaluating the information needed to answer these questions. The library also has an Ask a Librarian service where students can contact a librarian by chat, telephone, in person, or via email. A message board on the main floor of the library indicates who is responsible for answering questions for the Ask a Librarian service and where they are physically located.

Office of Learning Services
Students who are eligible for accommodations will work with the Office of Learning Services to ensure accommodations are provided. Documentation is required before Learning Services can complete a list of accommodations. You can learn about the required documentation here.

Office of Student Accounts
The Office of Student Accounts is responsible for collecting student tuition and fees. If there are any questions surrounding refunds, housing and dining rates, or payment options, the Office of Student Accounts can help.

Registrar
The Registrar assists students in registering for classes and with their degree audits. Degree audits are reviews of past and current coursework that provides information on completed and remaining requirements necessary to complete their degree. Transcript requests are also processed through the Registrar.

Shuttle Schedule
Students may access the MU Xpress, MU Park City Xpress, and Route 16 at no charge by showing their ID during the fall and spring semesters. Students can travel to other locations on Red Rose Transit Authority’s buses but will need to transfer.

Student Conduct and Community Standards
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is in place to educate students about the expectations of Millersville University. Students who wish to file a report of sexual misconduct or aggressive, erratic, or hostile behavior can do so from the Office’s homepage.

Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Millersville will not tolerate any acts of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. If students believe they are the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, Title IX is here to help.

University Police
The University Police provides 24-hour coverage year-round with a full staff of state-commissioned police officers. The Department assists with investigating criminal and suspicious activity, enforcing University rules and regulations and Pennsylvania laws, directing pedestrian and vehicular traffic, providing security, and much more. The University Police are also available to assist with non-emergencies.

Veterans Resource Center
The Veterans Resource Center provides resources for veterans ranging from healthcare to education benefits. Any questions veterans would have for the VA, the Resource Center provides a stepping stone on where to go.

Writing Center
The Writing Center is available for students who are struggling to start writing a paper, are unsure if the paper makes sense, or need someone to look at the paper before turning it in. The Writing Center offers walk-in tutoring, online tutoring, and 30-minute appointments.

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10 Things to Complete During Syllabus Week

Syllabus week is upon us, which means upperclassmen have returned to campus and freshmen have joined the ranks. While everyone gets back into the groove of the semester, there are several things students — both new and returning — should complete before the end of the first week.

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1. Buy your textbooks and school supplies.
As sad as I am for the summer to end, I always get a rush of excitement whenever I go shopping for school supplies. New pens, notebooks, and washi tape help get me in the organizational groove. I want to stay on top of my schoolwork when I keep myself organized.

2. Fill in your calendar.
After I receive each syllabus from my professors, I add the important dates into my agenda. This gives me a quick glance of when exams are, papers are due, projects need to be finished, etc. I’m able to plan ahead when I see I have a midterm in three weeks. You can find 2019-2020 academic planners on Amazon for relatively cheap.

3. Place a penny on the Marauder statue.
Whether it’s during syllabus week, midterms, or finals, I’ve found that putting a penny on the Marauder statue issues good luck and helps keep me focused on achieving Dean’s List or acing exams. Some people are skeptical whether it helps or not, but pennies haven’t failed me yet.

4. Meet your Resident Assistants.
While living in the residence halls, the resident assistants (RAs) serve as a peer leader and mentor of the floor and building. Developing a relationship with them will make living on-campus and adjusting to college life easier. RAs spend a significant amount of time developing individual relationships with their residents, implementing community-wide programs, and ensuring the residence hall is an inviting environment for all.

5. Contact Learning Services if you’re eligible for accommodations. 
Not everyone will be, and that’s okay! If you know you’re eligible for certain accommodations, whether it’s extended time for an exam or accessibility in the classroom, Learning Services can help. You can learn about the required documentation here.

6. Choose your preferred place to grab food.
There are several eateries on campus, from the Upper Deck dining hall to retail locations like the Anchor and the Galley. Each location offers something different and a wide variety of choices, so pick your poison: pizza or sushi.

7. Find the quickest way to get from class to class.
If you have a class in Stayer and another in Roddy/Caputo, you won’t want to dillydally on your way to class. Those ten minutes between classes fly by when you’re booking it across campus. There will be some trial and error the first few times your classes meet to see which way is fastest. If you’re finding it difficult to arrive on time, talk to the professor and let them know where you’re coming from — some professors dock points for habitual tardiness, but many understand the size of the campus. You can use this map to help navigate the quickest route.

8. Decide how to spend free time between classes.
Do you have a three-hour break between classes on Tuesday/Thursday? There are multiple opportunities across campus for student employment. Whether you get a job on campus or bunker down in the library to get ahead (or catch up) on homework, you won’t have difficulty finding ways to pass the time.

9. Add your Millersville email to your phone.
Professors will use email as their primary method of communication. Adding your Millersville email account to your phone allows you easy access to anything your professors or the University deems important. If you only use a computer to check your email, you might miss updates from ‘Ville Daily or your Department Chair.

10. Download the Corq and Livesafe apps.
The Corq and Livesafe apps are available on both iPhones and Androids. Corq lets you view on-campus events and activities and narrow your search to see events that offer free food or free stuff. You can also see which residence halls are programming. Livesafe connects you with University Police, uses peer-to-peer location tracking to monitor your friends or family, shows where the latest campus incidents have occurred, and has fast access to safety resources.

Things Hollywood Got Wrong: Ten Myths About College

It is important to know when starting college, or looking for a college to go to, that there are some things that TV shows and movies got wrong.  By now you may have noticed some of these things.  Here are ten common college myths.

  1. Everyone is involved in Greek Life in college. Sure, at some schools being a Greek is a big deal and a way of life, it may even be a tradition for a student’s family.  But not every single person joins a fraternity or sorority.  Not all fraternity brothers are obsessed with toga parties (Animal House), and not all sorority sisters are mean or out to get you (Sorority Wars).

Bedroom2. Everyone has a perfectly decorated room. When I think about this, Elle Woods from Legally Blonde automatically comes to mind.  Her room was beautiful!  But I think you’ll find most people don’t go to her lengths to decorate their room.  Also, you will not get away with having a treadmill and your best doggie pal in your room like she did.  You just won’t.

3. People are always taking off to tropical locales over spring break. I think you’ll find that most people just go home and veg out on their parent’s couch.  I did this for the vast majority of my spring breaks in college.  My senior year my friend’s and I went to a relative’s beach house in Jersey, though.  It snowed our second day there.

Party

4. There is a wild party every night of the week and everyone goes. While parties are a given in college, you won’t find some huge rager every night, nor will people be inclined to go out every night.  People do actually stay in and study, or hang out with their friends sober.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

5. Everyone is a mature adult. When I was in high school I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to go to college so I wouldn’t have to deal with my classmate’s immature attitudes.  This wasn’t the case though.  It takes time for people to grow up.  It will take time for YOU to grow up too.  You may not be as mature as you think you are.

6. Everyone is dressed to the nines and looking fine every day. Elle Woods, setting unrealistic expectations again!  You will not be dressed to impress every single day.  Sure there will be those students in your 8am that are well dressed and made up but don’t feel pressure to match them.  Most people wear T-shirts, jeans, hoodies, or sweatpants to class.  Prime example, I wore basketball shorts almost every day my first semester of college, and you better believe if I had an 8am there wasn’t a stitch of makeup on my face!  Some classes are fifty minutes, some are three hours.  Dress comfortably and be ready to learn.

Graduation

7. You must graduate in four years! While this does happen, it is not unheard of to go an extra semester or two (sometimes more).  If you need that extra time don’t be afraid to take it.  It took me five years to graduate, and that’s okay.

8. You have to have your major set in stone from semester one. When you’re eighteen you may not know what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Which means you may switch your major several times before graduation.  You have some wiggle room to figure it out.  Most schools actually want you to have your major picked by the end of your sophomore year.  So come into school undeclared/exploratory studies if you’re unsure what you want to do.

9. Professors are unapproachable, stuffy, mean, unhelpful, etc. Did you ever hear your high school teachers tell you, “Your professors in college won’t care about you as much as we do.”  Well, that is just not true.  Your professors care just as much as your high school teachers about you and your education.  Make it a point to personally introduce yourself in larger classes, go to their office hours to talk or get help, and email them when something comes up and keeps you out of class.  If you build a good working relationship with them you will have someone who is a mentor, a friend, and will write a job/graduate school recommendation for you.

Grade A

10. This one is twofold.  One: Freshmen don’t get A’sTwo: The grades you get in your general education classes, or gen. eds., don’t matter as much as the grades you get in your major-related classes.  Wrong and wrong!  Yes, there is an adjustment that all college freshmen must go through.  Your study habits from high school may not work in college.  The pacing and difficulty level of the courses will be different.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn that A!  Now to the second part of this myth.  ALL OF YOUR CLASSES MATTER.  Whether the class you are taking is a gen. ed. or major-related it will count towards your GPA.  You want and need to do well in your gen. eds.  The gen. eds. also serve to diversify your knowledge base, and make you a well-rounded and well-educated individual.

All 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.