Category Archives: Resources

Managing Anxiety in Times of Change: An Interview With Sinclair Ceasar

Sinclair Ceasar is a mental health speaker and educator whose mission is “to end mental stigma by helping people share their stories, explore their brokenness, and seek healing resources.” On Wednesday February 17, 2021, Sinclair spoke with the University Housing & Conference Services staff during a virtual staff development meeting about how to manage anxiety in times of change. During his presentation, he shared coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety and advice on how to stay grounded.

About Sinclair: He has led content-rich workshops and programs at institutions and non-profit organizations around the country. He has years of professional experience as a higher education administrator, including within residential life, academic advising, and first year experience programming. He has been featured in the London Times, Essence Magazine, HuffPost, and Buzzfeed, and has partnered with global wellness brands like The Mighty and Shine Text.

The interview:

Q: Can you talk about “box breathing” and why it’s important?

Sinclair (S): Box breathing is a centering activity that can be used to manage stress and anxiety. Essentially, you inhale for three seconds, hold for four seconds, and exhale for five seconds – or do any variation of these numbers (1-2-3; 5-6-7; etc.). I’ve found it to be beneficial because focusing on my breath so intently takes my mind off my worries and pulls me from the panic spiral I might currently be experiencing. It’s a useful technique especially during times where the ground seems to constantly be shifting beneath us. Another helpful practice is to notice five objects in your current space whenever you’re feeling anxious. Similarly, this can help bring you to present time and feel much more relaxed.

Q: What is a “when/then habit” and how can people maintain one?

S: So this is adapted from the teachings of James Clear, who recently wrote the bestselling book, Atomic Habits. Essentially, you identify the habit you’d like to build, and you integrate it with unconscious habits you do each day. Say you pick up your phone when you wake up in the morning (unconscious habit), and you want to increase your water intake each day (habit goal). Then you’d practice drinking 10 oz. (measurable goal) of water when (time) you awake (action) in morning, then (reaction) you’re able to go on your phone (reward). To keep track of this, I recommend printing out a calendar, and crossing off each day you accomplish this goal. Try not to miss two days in a row.

Q: Why should people celebrate their small wins?

S: Because, we’re naturally inclined to focus on scarcity, deficits, failure, and danger. Taking a few minutes each week to identify how we’ve won (e.g. I woke up today; I tried my best on this test; I supported a friend even though I was exhausted) can boost our energy, pull us out of a rut, and remind us of hope.

Q: Do you have advice for people who are struggling to stay positive during difficult times?

S: Listen, it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes, just getting to the next right thing, the next breath, is the best you can do. And, you know what, that’s more than enough. You will get through this.

Learn more about Sinclair and his message:

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Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.  When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

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Supporting Your Residential Student During COVID

Parents, supporting your college student is always important, but it’s especially important now that college looks so different because of the pandemic.  Keep reading to find out how you can motivate your student to learn and support them in their journey towards a college degree during COVID.

1. Check in with them regularly: It’s important to check in with your student about their academic progress and general well being throughout the semester. Consider having your student send you their class schedule so you can check in with them before or after a class, especially on days where they have a presentation or a test. Follow different Millersville University accounts on social media to find out about events happening for both students on and off campus, and encourage your student to attend and participate.

2. Offer your student help: If your student is having trouble keeping up with their classes, ask them what is making their classes so challenging and if there is anything you can do to help. Encourage them to contact their advisor and visit the Millersville University website for helpful resources. Knowing that they have your support and that they can come to you when they are struggling is extremely important, even if there isn’t much you can do to help with their specific situation. If they’re discouraged about the fact that most classes and events are virtual, simply listen to how they’re feeling and sympathize with them. Sometimes the best help you can offer is being a good listener.

3. Make sure they have a suitable learning environment: The main way you can positively impact your students learning environment while they’re living in the residence halls is by making sure they have the proper technology to take classes and get their schoolwork done. Having the appropriate technology is important so that students can stay connected in class and can attend every class session without issues. Laptops and computers can be a bit pricey, so if your student needs a new one, we encourage you to let them know about student discounts like this one or this one. 

4. Encourage your student to overcome challenges: Having some or all of your classes online can be difficult, but it is doable. Remind your student that it is there responsibility as a student to make the most of their classes by attending each one, paying attention, participating, and completing assignments on time. If they are a first-time student, remind them that college is an adjustment and it may not be easy now, but will get better with time and hard work. Remind them that they’re not alone – every college student is experiencing challenges. Showing that you’re not giving up on them will help your student not give up on themselves.

5. Remind them they can still be involved in campus life: College students who are living both on campus may feel like they’re not connecting with other students because most classes are virtual. Fortunately, Millersville is offering lots of virtual events and activities for all students to participate in and make connections at. Students can also still join clubs and meet new people through virtual club meetings. They should also reach out to students in their classes, especially classes they may be struggling with, to get help with assignments, hold virtual study sessions, and just have someone to talk to who can relate to what they’re going through. Tell your student these things if you think they’re feeling disconnected from campus life.

6. Show enthusiasm about their success: Students willingness to do their best work  is heavily influenced by the support or lack thereof from the people in their life. As a parent, it is important that you encourage your student to have a positive attitude about college. Boost their confidence by telling them you believe in them and that you’ll be proud of them as long as they try their best. Remember that every student’s “best” looks different, so it’s important to know what your student is capable of and not push them past their limits.

Here are links to some helpful resources:

Whether you went to college or not, or whether your student is a graduate student or a freshman, there are plenty of ways you can support them during their time in college. Be there for them and tell them about the resources Millersville offers students to help them do their best and enjoy their college experience. Remember that you’re on this journey along with your student, and your support has a major impact on their success.

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Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.  When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

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Best Student Discount Sites and Deals Part Two

Love saving money? So do I! That’s why I wanted to make a part two of my previous blog post, “Best Student Discount Sites and Deals”. If you missed out on Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other deals out there for you to take advantage of just in time for Christmas. Here are some more helpful links to sites and discounts that will make you and your wallet happy (again): 

*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. BrokeScholar

BrokeScholar | Scholarships for college, Scholarships for college students, School counseling

BrokeScholar is a great resource for students to find tons of student discounts. They have a web page dedicated to showing student discounts for a variety of brands like Target,  Apple, Nike, Levi’s, Gymshark, and much more. 

2. Offers.com

Offers.com: Today's Best Coupons, Promo Codes & Deals

Offers.com is a website that posts coupons and deals for various stores and brands. They have a blog called “Saving Tips” where they offer advice and recommendations for how to save money. They have a blog post titled “100+ Student Discounts for 2020” which was written by Lisa Davis. The post shares student discounts in a variety of categories such as Tech and Software, Clothing, Food, and more. 

3. Dealhack

Dealhack Press Kit

Dealhack is another site that shares promo codes, coupons, and deals. They created a student discounts guide, which is a massive compilation of deals for students to take advantage of. The guide breaks down discounts into 17 categories and is also available in PDF format. Click here to access it and download the PDF. 

4. The University Network

The University Network is a website that has tons of student resources such as college prep, internship and job opportunities, student budgeting advice, and much more. A section of the site is dedicated to sharing student discounts, coupons, and deals. They have a “student save engine” which is a search engine students can use to lookup their favorite stores and brands to find deals. 

Deals

  1. Keds: Students as well as teachers, nurses, first responders, and military can receive 20% off their purchase at Keds if they have an ID.me account. 
  2. Champion: College students can get 10% off at Champion by verifying that they are a student with ID.me.
  3. New York Times: The New York Times is giving students unlimited access to articles from any device for $1.00/week.
  4. Vineyard Vines: Students save 15% at Vineyard Vines once they verify their student status on the website.
  5. Best Buy: Students can create a Best Buy account (if they don’t already have one) and can sign up to receive student deals which are accessible through their “Member Offers” page.
  6. Pacsun: Pacsun is offering students a 10% discount when they register through UNiDAYS, a site that offers a variety of student deals.
  7. Caseable: Students can get a 40% student discount at Caseable, a shop where you can create custom phone cases, through StudentBeans, another site for student deals.
  8. Missguided: Get a 15% off discount code for Missguided when you verify your student status with StudentBeans.
  9. Adidas: Students get a 15% off discount at Adidas when they verify their student status through UNiDAYS.

Happy shopping!

___________________________________________________________________________

Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.  When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

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10 Quotes Reminding You to Enjoy Life

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the stress of our daily lives and become so distracted that we forget to slow down every now and then and enjoy our lives. College isn’t always easy and can definitely be overwhelming every now and then. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and appreciate the simpler things. Doing this will help you relax and live in the moment. After all, life should be enjoyable, not full of stress and frustration. Here are 10 quotes that we hope will remind you that life is short, so you should make sure to enjoy every minute of it:

  1. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama
  3. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  4. “Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things” – Kenneth Branagh
  5. “Learn to enjoy your own company. You are the one person you can count on living with for the rest of your life.” – Ann Richards
  6. “‘Cars’ was about Lightning McQueen learning to slow down and to enjoy life. The journey is the reward.” – John Lasseter, Director of Cars
  7. “Do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin
  8. “We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.” – James E. Faust
  9. “Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it.” – Eileen Caddy
  10. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn

I know that “YOLO” is outdated, but it’s true: You really do only live once, so you should try to make the most of it. Would you rather say you spent your whole life overthinking things and letting negative thoughts control you, or that you lived your life to the fullest and enjoyed all the amazing things life has to offer? These quotes helped me realize I should spend my time enjoying life and being happy, and I hope they’ve done the same for you!

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Debunking Myths About Online Classes

Since a lot of classes are being offered online rather than in-person in order to keep students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible; there are sure to be some questions about how online classes will work. Since the switch to online classes during the middle of last semester, a lot of returning students got the chance to experience remote learning and learn how to manage digital classes. For the incoming freshman who haven’t had experience with online college classes yet (or the returning students who are hesitant about online learning), here are some common myths you may have heard about online classes and the reasons that they’re just not true:

1. I won’t learn as much if classes are online: Professors top priority is to teach their students. Just because the way they are teaching has changed doesn’t mean they have stopped trying or caring about students’ education. While certain courses may look different and some of the course material may have been changed to improve online learning capabilities, you will still be able to learn just as much as you would in person. How much you learn also depends on you, not just on the course. If you’re engaging and working hard, you’ll learn a lot and do well whether the class is in person or online.

2. It’s impossible to motivate myself to get work done for an online class: While it may be difficult to motivate yourself to complete assignments sometimes, it’s definitely not impossible, even for online courses. Remind yourself that your grades are still important even though you’re not physically in the classroom. Try to plan times each week to focus on different classes for certain periods of time. For example, maybe take one hour each day to work on assignments or study for your hardest class, and take an hour every other day for another less demanding class. Setting up a schedule like this will help you stay on track and will encourage you to get work done in the time frame you set for yourself. 

3. I won’t have access to help if I need it: Millersville’s faculty and staff members are always eager to help students! You can always contact your professors, advisors, and other staff members when you need help. You can set up Zoom or Skype meetings, phone calls, or just email staff back and forth and they’ll do whatever they can to help you. Millersville’s Writing Center is offering online tutoring for the Fall 2020 semester. You can also check which departments are offering tutoring services, apply to request a tutor, and contact the Tutoring Center with any questions. The Millersville Counseling Center is also a great resource if you’re struggling and need someone to talk to. You can schedule a teletherapy appointment either through Zoom (preferred) or over the phone. Call 717-871-7821 to schedule an appointment.

4. My grades will suffer: Your grades will only suffer if you let them. Just like in-person classes, it’s up to you to keep up with your assignments, put in the work, and reach out if you need help. Professors have been working hard to structure their classes in a way that helps students learn the material and succeed while taking the course remotely. Treat the course as if it were in-person to help yourself perform well. Make time for each of your classes, eliminate distractions like phones while you’re doing work, and remind yourself that doing well in your classes will only help you in the future, so it’s worth it to try your hardest and put in the work.  

5. I won’t know when things are due: Due dates and things like exam days will be on your syllabus for each of your classes. Once you have access to a syllabus for all of your classes, I strongly recommend you put important dates somewhere that you’ll be able to see them regularly. You can use the calendar in Outlook to keep track of when things are due, when you have exams, and so on. It’s quick and easy to add events onto the calendar. If you have an event involving multiple people, like a Zoom study session, you can invite people to join the event and create a Zoom link to go with the invitation. You can also use Microsoft Teams for video calls, and any scheduled calls are saved in your Teams Calendar. Click here to learn more about how you can utilize Microsoft Teams. If you have something like a project that will be due at the end of the semester and you’re not sure when to start it, contact your professor for some advice! In fact, having a digital syllabus is almost easier than having just a physical one, because you don’t have to worry about losing it. 

Your college experience is what you make it. Whether classes are in-person or online for the time being, you’ll still be able to learn and do well if that’s what you want. This semester will give you a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and how you can handle different types of courses, so make the most of it! Try your best and if you’re having trouble, reach out to people. You’re not alone – every Marauder is trying to figure things out just like you! 

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10 Quotes to Help You Get Out of Bed

Some days, it can be tough to get the motivation to get out of bed and start the day. Those days, the blankets feel way too soft and your head is just glued to the pillow. We’ve all had them, and at some point, we’ve all had to get out of bed – whether we really wanted to or not. Here are 10 quotes to hopefully make those days a little easier for you, and to inspire you to get up and get moving!

  1. “No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.” – Anonymous
  2. “Don’t overthink it. Just begin.” – Rich Roll
  3. “Some want it to happen, some would like it to happen, and others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan
  4. “If you cannot fly then run, if you cannot run then walk, if you cannot walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  5. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
  6. “Getting out of bed is a good way to leave your troubles behind.” – Nancy E. Turner
  7. “Life is short. Don’t be lazy.” – Sophia Amoruso
  8. “The older you get, the more fragile you understand life to be. I think that’s good motivation for getting out of bed joyfully each day.” – Julia Roberts
  9. “Wake up early everyday so that while others are still dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.” – Hal Elrod
  10. “You will never have this day again, so make it count.” – Unknown

These quotes won’t make your bed any less comfy, but they definitely motivate me not to waste time laying down and help me start getting things done! What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Let us know in the comments!

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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

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. 

The Importance of Sleep

As college students, we tend to suffer from lack of sleep. Whether it is because we don’t go to bed until 2 am or we have a lot of homework that needs to be done, we end up staying up late or getting up really early. Is it healthy to live like this? The answer is no, it is not good for us. Here are some of the pros of getting a good night’s sleep:

Better productivity and concentration throughout the day.

By getting a good night’s sleep we wake up refreshed and ready for the day. This helps us feel like we can get things done, unlike when we are tired. Also your concentration during class is enhanced since you are not falling asleep.

Better calorie intake.

Believe it or not, by getting a good night’s sleep a person will consume less calories during their day. In fact according to this study sleep loss can effect your weight loss entirely.

Sleep can boost your immunity.

By not getting the 8 hours of sleep recommended you disrupt the sleep cycle. This can take away the time your body needs to build up your immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness.

Can help your mental wellness.

Getting a full night’s rest we are ready to face the day. When we don’t get the sleep we need we tend to be moody and easily irritated. By getting the 8 hours of sleep we can help our mental health.

So that leaves the question: How do you catch up on the sleep you lost?

The only way to catch up is to get more sleep. It won’t happen with one day of going to bed earlier or waking up later. It takes time to regain a proper sleep schedule.

For more information about sleep check out:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency