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

Tips

Navigating Off-Campus Housing in Boston

Moving out of Boston has been weighing heavy on my mind recently; I live with my boyfriend in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, and we are both itching for a bit of freedom from the hustle and bustle. My boyfriend has lived in the city for a few years and grew up in a town nearby, while I on the other hand grew up and lived in various parts of Connecticut until December of 2021. Now that the Spring semester has ended, I’m realizing that I’ve actually been extremely homesick. Not necessarily for Connecticut (no one is homesick for Connecticut, I can vouch for that), but for my high school and college friends, parents, grass, space to move, the sun! Our 450 sq. ft. basement apartment that seemed very cozy in December is now suffocating us. Compounded with us both getting covid recently, we are very ready to look outside and see greenery instead of traffic.  I should say, I do really love Boston. It is a beautiful, walkable city that has so many parks,…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Overcoming Growing Pains

I am very surprised to say I am nearing the end of my first semester here at Simmons! It feels like a whirlwind, to be honest – I applied and got accepted in October, moved to Boston in December, and started school in January. I am very grateful for the people who have supported me in this big life transition from my parents to my boyfriend to the friends that I’ve made so far in my classes. I definitely believe I made a smart choice moving to the city a full month before the semester started, but nothing could have prepared me for the transition into grad school life. It might have been because I accidentally signed up for 4 courses instead of the recommended 3 or fewer, so I quickly started to drown in responsibility. About a month into the semester I had one of those existential crises where nothing I was doing made sense — why was I going to grad school anyway? Why don’t I just escape civilization? What am I doing…


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…


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…


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…


Staying Positive

So we are a few weeks in to the break between the Spring 2020 Semester and the Summer 2020 Semester, and it’s obviously a bit different this time around with COVID-19.  Last year around this time I was on a trip with my family, and this year we’re in the middle of a pandemic and Massachusetts is still under a stay-at-home advisory.  One thing I’ve thought a lot about during the past few weeks is stress caused by the outbreak, and the importance of staying positive.  Here are some of my tips for staying positive and coping with stress during this difficult time: Remember that this is only temporary and you are not alone! Maintain a sense of routine!  As much as I love staying in my pajamas, I have a more positive attitude when I get up, get dressed, and go about my everyday routine.  Take a break from COVID-19 news, media, and other pandemic-related content.  I disabled news notifications on my phone a while ago, and I’ve been trying to limit myself from…