December 2013

In the Know

Dec. 7: Service Saturday
Dec. 9-12: Finals Week
Dec. 12: Final Day to Withdraw from Classes
Dec. 12: Last Day of the Semester

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Get Ahead in the Game

Perhaps you will need to make up a class that just isn't going well this semester… or you're strategizing how to stay busy during the month-long Winter Break. Consider taking an Intersession class. Credits earned through the Intersession are considered part of spring semester and are available at no additional charge.

"While Intersession courses are fast paced, covering a lot of content in a short time frame, they are a great way to stay on track for completing your degree in a timely fashion," said Becky Lyons, the director of Advising.

On-campus classes will be held from January 2 through January 14. Online classes will be held from January 2 through February 28.

Make sure to visit with your advisor to get enrolled properly. You can contact the Advising Center at (406) 657-2240.

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"Deck the Halls"

Tis the season to “Deck the Halls,” but… the halls are closing.

That's right. The MSUB Residence Halls will no longer be open starting December 13 at noon.

However, that doesn't mean you can't stay on campus over Winter Break. Students who are already on-campus residents can stay in their rooms for $250 over the break, whether they stay for one or all of the blissful 29 school-free days. Take advantage of this low-cost opportunity while you can. The average apartment in Billings is running for at least $690 for one month's rent, according to the MSU Billings Housing and Residential Life Office. That's not including cable, utilities, and all of the other options.

Students not staying during Winter Break but returning for the spring semester can store their belongings in their residence hall room over the break for free. Just remember to unplug appliances and to not leave perishable items in your room.

The residence halls open to new and returning residents on January 12 at 9 a.m.

If you don't live on campus and are thinking it may be the place for you, double rooms are available for the spring semester. Just fill out the housing application and submit a $100 deposit. Call the Housing Office at (406) 657-2333 with questions.

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How 'Bout That Service?

College is the perfect time to build your résumé and make connections in the community. So take advantage of A&SC 292: Into the Streets. This course introduces you to service learning, civic engagement, and community. Students will explore community issues and develop a service project in the Billings community. Plus, you won't want to miss the chance to win a $1,500 scholarship through the class.

This two-credit course is offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:50 p.m. during the spring 2014 semester. Contact Jenny Randall in the Office for Community Involvement at (406) 896-5827 with any questions.

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Jacket Fact:

Construction of McMullen Hall was completed in December of 1935. It was the first building on campus. Before then, classes were held in downtown Billings (MSUB website).

Final Exams, Here We Come!

The week you may have been dreading is just about here. These tips could point you in the right direction come test day.

True/False Clues:

  • 100 percent modifiers (always, never, every, none) are usually false.
  • In-between modifiers (sometimes, usually, often, seldom) are usually true.
  • Relationship clues (because, since, "is the reason that") are usually false.
  • If any part is false, the answer is false.

Multiple Choice Clues:

  • 100 percent modifiers (always, never, every, none) are usually false.
  • In-between modifiers (sometimes, usually, often, seldom) are usually true.
  • Relationship clues (because, since, "is the reason that") are usually false.

Get Involved!

If you usually only showcase your vocal talents by singing in the privacy of your own shower stall, now is your chance to claim your fame! Join Student United Way for a night of Christmas caroling at local retirement centers. They're meeting on December 3 at 5:45 p.m. near the game room in the SUB. You can RSVP with the Office for Community Involvement at (406) 896-5815.

Jaclyn Tobin PhotoWingin' It

BuzzFeed columnist Jaclyn Tobin

Alright, Freshmen! We are now in the home stretch. It’s time to study those textbooks and earn those solid GPAs. One thing you don’t want to earn in these next few weeks is worry lines. So let’s go through some simple tips that will aid in maintaining your sanity:

  • Pencil in Study Time Every Day – Whether it is just for ten minutes or an entire hour, make sure that your planner/calendar has slots devoted to studying. You're more likely to keep your word once it's physically written down.

  • Remember Your Successful Habits– A few months back we narrowed down some studying ideas that actually helped us. Make sure to stick with them rather than give in to distracting methods just to please your friends and choose the "easiest" way.

  • Avoid "Just Five Minutes…" – Steer clear of social networks when you're studying. You might hear that little voice telling you, "It's just five minutes, then we'll get back to work. You deserve it!" That little voice will keep you from what you really deserve—a final grade that you're proud to have!

  • Make a Playlist – Personally, I cannot study unless there's at least something playing in the background. If you're like that too, turn that "something" into a playlist that will keep you motivated—and hopefully awake long enough to get through those monotonous chapters.

  • Enjoy Some Breaks – Studying nonstop through the night might not be as effective as it seems. Instead, take a few breaks in between two or three chapters/pages of notes to stretch, walk around your residence hall, or get a quick snack. These will keep you away from that dreaded information-overload feeling.

Each month, English major Jaclyn Tobin will be offering words of advice as an experienced second-year Yellowjacket. If you have questions, send them to her.

Feeling Stressed? Put Down the Phone

You stay connected to your friends 24-7. You become giddy while you check for possible texts from your newest love interest. It delights you to breeze through Facebook to see what your second best friend from first grade ate for lunch today.

You know you should tame down your time with technology so you can focus on studying, especially with finals week approaching. But that's not the only reason why putting down the smartphone is a good idea this time of year. Technology can affect our stress levels.

"People who spend more time on a screen have higher levels of loneliness," said Dr. Marie Schaaf Gallagher, an assistant professor of psychology at MSUB. "Face-to-face is very different than screen contact."

Believe it or not, tracking someone's minute-by-minute updates isn't the most beneficial to you.

"Students may spend much of their time on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, but it doesn't mean they're more connected," she said. "Human contact reduces our stress hormones."

Having quality interpersonal time isn't the only way you can zap those stressors.

 "Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. This tells your brain there's nothing threatening. 'Fight or flight' doesn't turn on," Schaaf Gallagher said. "Then you can think normally and do well on your test."

Schaaf Gallagher recommends trying to maintain your usual routines to decrease stress, too, even during not-so-normal finals week. So if you usually work out in the morning, take a cat nap in the afternoon, and stroll down to Rimrock Café after your favorite TV show, don't stop now.

"You need to keep those things you normally do to de-stress," she said. "Sometimes you have to schedule them."

So try to stay in your eat-sleep-study routine. Step away from your phone. Venture out to stress-relief activities offered on campus and interact with your peers. After all, they're going through some of the same things as you. Plus, you could make a new Facebook friend… What a deal.

Please visit a counselor at Student Health Services if your stress is causing you to feel like you may not be able to function properly. You can reach them at (406) 657-2153.

Top Academic Impacts for MSUB Students:

  1. Stress
  2. Sleep
  3. Work
  4. Anxiety
  5. Depression

Source: American College Health Association 2012

Get Your Final Grades

Admissions and Records will post students' final grades by December 20. You can access them by logging into your "MyInfo" account on the MSU Billings website. Follow these directions to easily find your way.

You can print an unofficial transcript of your grades in "MyInfo." If you need an official transcript, you can request one here or stop by the Admissions and Records Office in McMullen Hall. An official transcript costs $3 and unofficial transcripts are free.

Grades are not mailed to students' homes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) restricts university communication about student records to anyone other than the student. Students may grant family members access to their academic and other records. If you would like to pursue this or have other questions about FERPA, please contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (406) 657-2158.

 

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Please send any BuzzFeed questions, comments, or ideas to gillette.vaira@msubillings.edu


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