Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Mental Health and Graduate School

There’s no shortage of advice about how to manage mental health as a graduate student. Googling my title returns over 52 million results. And it’s no wonder – a 2017 study found that 25% of surveyed master’s students currently experienced moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, 12% experienced moderate to severe depression, and 22% experienced high levels of stress (Allen, et al., 2022).  I wasn’t surveyed for the study, but I’ve struggled with my own mental health. Happily, I’m in a good place now and able to reflect on a few strategies that have helped me navigate my first year of graduate school: Schedule Downtime For me, it’s important to have both “sociable” downtime and “alone” downtime. Get Moving  Yoga, spin, and Zumba are my favorites, and I’m hoping to try out rollerblading this summer. Careful with Caffeine I’m currently trying to replace one coffee with a fruit smoothie a few times each week. Sleep The single best and biggest thing I can do to improve my mood and resilience is to get at least six…


Simmons Students Present at Boston College Conference

Over the weekend, the Boston College History Department hosted their first annual graduate student conference entitled “Grad Student Voices.” The student leadership team possessed a simple yet bold vision – a conference for graduate students by graduate students. Especially as a student just finishing her first year of her M.A. in History, I found it refreshing to attend an history conference that uplifted graduate voices rather than relegating their voices – and the students themselves – to the corner.  Since the dual degree Archives and History program here at Simmons pairs the M.A. in History as a complement to the M.S. in Archives Management, at times I have struggled to engage with my peers as fellow historians. The dominant attitude is that we are archivists first. And while I take my role as an archivist seriously because of the authority it invests in me in determining what records make it into the archives that future historians will rely on, sometimes I just want to dive deep into the theoretical frameworks and dizzying array of possible…


Papers, Projects, and Finals – Oh My!

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves this finals season! Part of that for me is turning my heat back on since Boston has been incredibly chilly the past few weeks. I know some people call it the windy city and that is certainly correct on some days. But all the flowers have started to bloom and on my study breaks I’ve been taking walks to look at all of the new shoots starting to come up.  Speaking of study breaks, I feel like every semester I’m continuously updating my study habits. I start out thinking that I have a strong understanding of what helps me stay on top of my tasks…. And then finals roll around and I find myself mistaken. Which isn’t to say it’s been bad, I just now have a better understanding of what DOESN’T work for me and I can adjust accordingly.  Which brings me to the question, what’s everyone’s favorite study hack? As someone who has multiple 20 page papers to write, I found that if I write…


First Semester End

With only 2-3 weeks left of my first semester, I am feeling the pressure. Though I don’t have to take any exams or write any 20-page essays, the projects I have to complete are just as time consuming and intellectually taxing. I tried to get a head start on them a while ago, but it’s difficult to balance short-term deadlines with longer-term ones. As soon as I finish my weekly work and am ready to jump on bigger projects, another week comes around and I have new assignments due. It’s probably because I’m taking four classes (which once again, I do not recommend!!), but it’s a great learning experience and I know the future version of me three weeks from now is celebrating with a very long nap.  One project I am about to finish is for LIS 432, Concepts in Culture Heritage Informatics. We were tasked with creating a prototype of a digital exhibition that would go along with a cultural heritage object that we have each been individually studying over the past semester….


Finals Approaching

My last set of finals is approaching and I’m both nervous and excited.  But I’m not too worried about what lies ahead.  I have a few group projects and to be honest, I’m really excited to work alongside my peers for this last set of projects.  I am not the kind of person to like group projects.  But I have built good friendships and working relationships with my classmates over the past 2 years, so working together with on these last things just feels right in a way.  It’s a nice way to wrap things up. However, it has been a tough past few weeks for everyone in my classes.  There has been some illness, stress, and just general life things that get in the way.  Having people to work alongside, even though we are all dealing with these issues, helping each other cross the line, just feels right. So as things wrap up, I am excited to work together this last time with everyone and hopefully everything will finish up really nicely. Here’s to…


MBTA Pro Tip

When I think about it now, in front of this blank word document I am typing out to any prospective SLIS students reading this blog, it had to have been around this time last year that I received my admittance letter. I can’t remember the exact date. But I can tell you I was in the network room of what at the time was my new job here in Boston. I was a part time and temporary employee; with no idea this would stretch into at least a year of work in that brown stone near the Commons. There are probably countless things that I could go back and tell myself; things that would have prepared me for the next steps and next few months after I opened my decision email from Simmons that afternoon. I think I’ve done okay without any of that hindsight advice. Maybe my future graduated self will wish to go back and inform this second semester History & Archives student of something. Right now though, the only concrete advice I…


Planning Your Move: Spreadsheets, Time Machines, and Lime Skittles

This blog post was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for April 2022. I hope that this article will help a new group of students navigate the complex task of transplanting to Boston! I moved to Boston cross-country from Texas in early August and so, with 1,839 miles and nearly thirty hours in a Kia Niro hybrid worth of experience, here are a few suggestions I have about how to prepare for your move if you, like me, need to cover a long distance:  Utilize Google Sheets. There are many variables when planning a move so instead of relying on your potentially-running-on-overdrive-thanks-to-all-the-change brain to remember everything, start keeping track in Google Sheets. You can use formulas to tally costs, project budgets, make checklists, and organize it on separate tabs. It’s also a great opportunity to brush up on your Excel/GSuite skills. If you need more help, check out the resources provided from Simmons in the Technology Competencies Guidelines which was emailed out to students in mid-June.  Choose your mode of transport wisely. From…


Career Prep: Resume Revamp & Career Fair

April in Boston means occasional sun, occasionally moderate temperatures, and more than occasional networking opportunities! Besides a slew of conferences over the next few months, the Simmons SLIS career fair was this past week. SLIS hosts the career fair virtually on Handshake, a networking app specifically for students and recent graduates. Since I’m still a year away from graduation, I used the career fair mainly as an opportunity to learn about a few potential future employers (and, of course, getting my name out there couldn’t hurt!). I’m on the fence about whether academic or corporate libraries would be the best fit for me, so I signed up for group info sessions for a few of each. I particularly enjoyed a session on Data Management services at the Harvard Medical School library – one of my favorite information science topics from a library on Simmons’ back doorstep! Naturally, I want to put my best foot forward. The Simmons Career Education Center has plenty of advice, but I’ve learned a lot from other sources, too. In March…


A Big Hello to Katie

We are adding another great voice to our Blogging Team! Here is a little about Katie: Katie Dillon is a student in the “DYO” concentration at SLIS, focusing on digital materials. Her passion for library science stems from a desire to make information discoverable – whether that means improved information literacy, careful data management, or intelligent resource collocation. She received a B.S. in health and nutrition from Cornell University in 2019 and hopes to build a career in science or medical librarianship. She currently works at the SLIS Student Services Center and at Emmanuel College as a part-time reference librarian.


Future Plans

I feel like I blinked, and all of a sudden I’m registering for classes for my third and final year at Simmons! My graduate History thesis is right around the corner, and I can hardly believe it. I’m still deciding on my topic, but I think I’m starting to build a pretty good idea. It feels like the true adult world is coming quicker than ever. Speaking of, this past week I attended the annual Spring SLIS virtual career fair and got to meet with several awesome employers and get some ideas for my job prospects next spring. It’s exciting to hear about all the opportunities that are available for me when I graduate and all the places I can potentially work at.  Until then though, I’m happy to announce I got into all the classes that I wanted for next semester. I will be taking History 562 taught by the new faculty they hired, and LIS 442, one of the required archives courses. I did experience true senioritis though: I kept forgetting that my…