Tag Archives: Advice

Advice From a Senior: How to Survive Finals Week

Finals week is a stressful time for any college student. Preparing to take your final exams can feel very overwhelming, especially during a pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways you can manage the stress of finals week and feel confident that you’ve done the best you can to prepare yourself for your exams. Here are some of my favorite pieces of advice for surviving finals week:

  1. Get your priorities straight: Sometimes, finals week consists of not only exams but final projects, papers, discussion posts, and so on. I recommend writing out every assignment/exam for each of your classes and indicate which ones will take the longest to do or the ones that you feel will be the most difficult. Prioritize those assignments or exams.
  2. Plan study times: I would highly recommend designating certain time slots throughout finals week for studying. Creating a schedule will motivate you to stick to it and will help you feel less overwhelmed. You can also schedule times for breaks to reward yourself once you’ve studied.
  3. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed: I know firsthand that it’s much easier to let yourself get overwhelmed by the pressure of finals week than to try and fight it. However, panicking will do more harm than good. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a step back from your work, take a few deep breaths, and get back to it when you feel ready. You may feel like taking a break will leave you with less time to study, but giving yourself time to relax will actually help you be more productive when it’s time to study again.
  4. Don’t forget to take care of yourself: During finals week, it can be tempting to pull an all-nighter. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, it will end up making you feel exhausted which is never a good way to feel before taking a test. Remember to get some sleep and use the free time you have during the day to study rather than staying up all night.
  5. Remind yourself that it’s almost break: Whenever I’m studying really hard for a final exam (when all I actually want to be doing is watching Netflix), I keep reminding myself that by next week, the stress of the semester will be a thing of the past. I constantly tell myself that if I work hard now, it’ll pay off once final grades come out. Remembering those things always motivates me to study.

Good luck on your finals!! Remember: Don’t panic,  do the best that you can, and remember that hard work DOES pay off!

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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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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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How to Handle Stress

Stress is totally normal – and it totally stinks. Whether your stressed about a job, schoolwork, personal relationships, or pretty much anything else, it can be hard to cope with. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can manage your stress and stop it from controlling your life. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can use them to start feeling better:

1. Talk to someone

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Reaching out to people who care is one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re not alone – stress affects everyone in some way, and it really helps to get things off your chest. If you feel like there’s no one you can reach out to, Millersville’s Counseling Center is open for the summer and you can schedule a teletheraphy appointment either through Zoom (preferred) or over the phone. Call 717-871-7821 to schedule an appointment.

2. Look at the positives

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Is the glass half full or half empty? That depends on how you look at it! If you send all of your time focusing on the negatives, you’ll never be happy and it’ll be much more challenging to de-stress. When you’re faced with something that stresses you out, try to think: “What are the positives of this situation?” “Are the negatives really as bad as I’m making them out to be?” You may not be able to make the situation better, but you can improve how you respond to it.

3. Practice relaxation techniques

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Close your eyes, imagine yourself in a calm environment, relax your muscles, and take a few deep breaths. Try to clear your mind by focusing on your breathing rather than whatever is stressing you out. You may feel like just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths won’t help anything, but it really does!

4. Take time to yourself away from stressors

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What are some things that help you relax? For me, I love cooking/baking and watching my favorite shows on Netflix. Whatever it is you like to spend time doing, take a bit of time out of your day when you’re feeling overwhelmed to enjoy that activity. Whether it’s for ten minutes or two hours, take however long you need to regroup and relax your mind.

5. Accept that there are things you can’t control

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As much as we’d like to be able to control all aspects of our lives, we can’t. There are things like the COVID-19 pandemic that happen and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Stressing out about the things you can’t control won’t help anything. There’s nothing you can do to change the situation, so it’s important to recognize that, realize it’s okay, and do what you can to make the things you can control better for yourself.

6. Take care of your health

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Making sure you’re physically healthy can help improve your mental health. Eating healthy and exercising can help you relax and manage stress. I like going on walks after a long day to unwind and decompress, and I think it really helps me feel better after I’ve had a stressful day!

Stress is extremely common, but manageable. Don’t let it control your life.  Practice the techniques above or let us know what techniques you use to cope with stress in the comments! Remember, tough times don’t last forever, and you’re not alone!

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10 Rules For Living Your Best Marauder Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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