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

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Summer Session Summary

As the Summer II session begins to wrap up, an urge to write non-academically has been pushing at me. Writing for this blog in particular has been a source of joy, so I figured I should get back into it! In this post, I’ll take some time to detail both of the summer classes I took during Simmons’ two summer terms, as well as how I experienced academic burnout.  I took one class for each summer session this year, which totaled out to five credits. The first class was CHL 424C (Series Fiction – Middle Grade) and it took place from May 22nd to June 28th. This was a rigorous two credit course where we explored five genres of books that make up the foundation of the middle grade category. Not to be confused with middle school, middle grade books are written for a third to sixth grade audience. I enjoyed the depth that our discussion went into each week, but finding time to read an entire series in seven days was a challenge. When…


Finals are Here!

As the title suggests, finals are here! I know for students, that can be one of the scariest words during the semester. I know currently I’m sitting on two very large essays and a group project, all due within days of each other. Lots of fun! This is my last winter finals season for a while so I’ve been trying to remind myself to step back and enjoy it (as much as I can). I’ve also been trying my best to form good habits when this stressful season comes around, but I’m still ironing everything out. For now, I have a short list with some quick little activities you can do for yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember! Your papers/code/group projects will shine if you’re taking care of yourself. Ivy’s quick tip list for managing stress: Good luck to everyone!


Joy in the End

I have managed to freak out most of my friends when dropping into casual conversation the fact that we only have four weeks of class left. To me, this signifies fewer 10%-assignments, most of my due dates crossed off my list, and a chance to focus on my final projects and research papers. As an English major in undergrad, I am used to working on large-scale analysis that brings together research and original thought so final projects are where my brain is happiest. And, I finally know not just something but almost a lot-of-something about my course topics. It’s a time for celebration!  My friends are less than convinced. The looming deadlines that all seem to cluster around the same two days, the uncertainty that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do, the will-they-won’t-they arrive in time ILL requests for research papers, I will admit it can be a stressful time. With Thanksgiving Break disrupting this final sprint to the end and the whispering guilt of needing to work on projects…


Resources for Transitioning to Boston

Recently, I had a person who was close to me decide to leave the Simmons-Boston campus. This was a shock and a surprise to me, as she had only been on campus for five weeks when she announced this decision. The astronomical cost of living, the distance from family and friends, the frustrations she faced with her landlord, roommates, and other people in her life all contributed to this choice. Conversely, I’ve been in Boston since January, working at various internships and integrating myself into the life I’ve built for myself. Coming to Simmons this September was a relief after months of doing virtual classes andfeeling a tangible lack of community with other students. It was a joy to see my classmates inperson, and I felt everything click into place after I came on campus. I made the decision totransfer from my university in my hometown to prolong my stay in Boston for an unknownamount of time as I progress through my program and decide whether to stay or leave aftergraduation.  I can’t imagine moving…


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…


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