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

Relaxing

Summer Plans and Projects

Hello and happy (almost) summer! I hope everyone is resting and recuperating from the semester and enjoying their break! I’ve been adjusting to my new work schedule and taking advantage of my free time to spend it on passion projects.  I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends so I have two campaigns starting next week and will be starting my own campaign in the coming months. It’s definitely been a stretch outside of my comfort zone to run my own campaign since I am in charge of creating the entire world and subsequent creatures, but I wanted to challenge myself and ultimately get better at it. My campaign is run through Monster of the Week, which is less mechanically heavy than D&D and is more beginner friendly. It definitely has my recommendation if anyone is interested in games similar to D&D but finds D&D overwhelming. I also recommend this to anyone who enjoys writing and world building, definitely allows for skillset growth!  I’ve also been adjusting to my new move with my partner…


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…


Spring Break?

Next week will be Spring break, and the first one I’ve had since 2016 when I graduated with my BA.  It feels almost surreal as I haven’t had one since being an undergrad due to covid.  It’s left me wondering exactly what will I do with my time off? Of course, part of me will still be working on some course work.  I have some long-term books and projects that are due at the end of the semester that I would like to get a start on.  But I also really need to take this time to relax before the end of my last semester kicks into gear.  It will be a balancing act. But spring break is always a good midpoint marker and it’s weird to think that this semester is nearly half-way over.  It has gone by so fast and has been so great.  I hope I can continue to enjoy it as things turn towards the end and get ready for whatever lays ahead for me. But like I said earlier, I…


Garden Archives

Sometimes, the semester is busy and the world is loud. The long and short of this week’s blog post is that I need a distraction…             Today’s particular break comes in the form of the Smithsonian Archive of American Gardens. According to their website, the Archive “Collects, preserves, and provides access to visual resources that document the history of gardens in America” and “Inspires new ways of interpreting garden history and design so that America’s rich garden heritage can be better understood, appreciated, and enjoyed today and in the future”. All of these are very noble and worthwhile causes. But really, I turn to this Archive to see some lush, green vignetted photography when Boston is feeling slushy and the rest of the world particularly smokey.            The collection seems to be entirely digitized, and can be browsed by state, garden structure/furniture/feature, or by type. Looking for the familiar flora of your home state? How about indulging your pastoral interests with some topiary or trellises? If you’re like me and dream about that herb garden you…


Holiday Reading

At the onset of any break, I create a mound of books that I hope to read. I know that I won’t quite get through all of them, but I make my ambitious pile nonetheless in the hopes that I might be able to squeeze in just one more book before the busyness of term begins again. Below is my booklist for the break. Happy reading! Fiction A Very Irish Christmas: the greatest Irish holiday stories of all time publish by New Vessel Press – This adorable collection of poems, songs, and short stories brought back many delightful memories of a Christmas I spent in Ireland! Fantasy The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – I know that I am a little late to reading The Poppy War series, but after picking this up at Brookline Booksmith and starting it on the plane home, I am charmed with Rin’s grit and determination. Sistersong by Lucy Holland – I noticed this behind the counter at Barnes & Noble when picking up a Christmas present and then found…


Wellness Week

This past week LISSA – the student library organization here at SLIS – organized a week of activities to help promote wellness in the run-up to finals. Designed to facilitate relaxation, these bite-sized events were thirty minute moments every evening at 7:30 so that students could break seamlessly without needing the added stress of carving out an entire evening to practice wellness! On Monday, pet-owners and pet-lovers alike gathered to introduce their pets to their SLIS colleagues. Chris, a Ph.D. student studying accessibility in public libraries and LISSA Community Liaison, hosted the event with her two dogs Boomba and Lacey and foster dog Tripp. On Tuesday, students engaged in meditative journaling to reflect on the past semester, set goals for the semester to come, and remind themselves of their “why” for being in the SLIS graduate program. Rosie, LISSA President, provided prompts on dreamy powerpoint slides that participants could journal directly onto while the old at heart wrote out their intentions on paper. Wednesday evening turned physical as Johnna, LISSA VP of Events, helped participants…


Ode to the SLIS Lounge

Opine for gossip The long knowing microwave beeps The sound that fills the space before a bite or sip ~~~ Discussions of theoretical leaps Of job postings that best fit our skills The latest weekly crisis crawls in, seeping ~~~ It all shows the academic hills that we climb everyday Trying to understand our own desires within what the world wills ~~~ But this is the point of spaces like this, the way for us to connect, whether physical or digital we find to connect and stay ~~~ It’s multifunctional And never illogical


A Three-Part Guide to Daylight Savings

On Monday evening, or really what I would call at most late afternoon, I sat at my desk in my office building watching the sun go down. Spring forward and fall back, daylight saving time has come to an end here in the United States.             I know that I am somewhat alone in loving winter. Five lake-effect snow laden years living in Central New York will do that to a girl. But, even I felt the spike of dread at watching the sky darken at an early 4:30pm. I know that a lot of Simmons students aren’t from New England, myself included. Winter here is not the same dusting of snow that shuts down major Southern cities. Before we also start to resign ourselves to hibernation until Spring, I thought I would share my plan to make our long, cold nights a little less daunting. Maybe these three tips will make you winter people yet. We are always looking for converts! Step 1: Read. I know. I know. We are all here in the…


An Ode to Western Mass.

Western Massachusetts is one of my favorite areas to explore in my free time! Maybe I’m a bit biased as I grew up here, but it’s an area rich with history, the arts, beautiful scenery, and plenty of other things to see and do. If you are a student at SLIS West, whether new to the area or visiting to take a library course on the Mount Holyoke campus for the first time, here are some of my recommendations of things to do in the surrounding area near the SLIS West campus! If you enjoy being out in nature, whether that be biking, hiking, walking, or your preferred nature activity, there are many trails and conservation sites to spend some time basking in the outdoors. My personal favorites are the following: Hiking up to the Summit House on top of Mt. Holyoke (if you want to see the beautiful views of the valley, but can’t do the hike, you can drive and park at the top when the road is open). Check out the view…


Half-Time

In October, I know how I am supposed to be spending my weekends. I’m not talking about the fabled New England leaf peeping or the apple and pumpkin picking we wait all year for. I mean that mid semester rush of projects and presentations and paper deadlines that loom large over the first half of the class and rush to arrive before any of us know it. The midterm season in graduate school is less defined than its undergraduate counterpart. While I used to have midpoint tests to look forward to, now my calendar is filled with a handful of assignments worth increasingly more percentages of my total class grades. It’s less a midterm schedule and more a mounting panic at how quickly the semester runs by. I spent the first few weeks at Simmons feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. And now, I wonder if it is worth bringing my laptop to work with me so I can look for entries for my next paper’s bibliography on my commute home. With my mental and…