Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Gift Giving on a College Budget!

Are you finding yourself hard-up for cash during this holiday’s season? Not to mention, with the stress of finals, who really needs to worry about what to put under the tree on in the stockings. Well I’m here to tell you, gifts can be bought on a college kid’s budget, and your friends and family will love them just as much as the gifts in that overly priced magazine they stuffed into your little resident hall mailbox last week.

I’m sure you know about pinching a penny during the regular school year, but what about during the holidays? It can be tempting to go overboard during the holidays. With Thanksgiving beginning to be seen as Black Friday Eve, it’s all about spending that hard earned money. But as college students, we can’t always afford to “make it rain.”

This season, if your Northwest bill it still showing a significant balance, and you can’t see a way to swing buying gifts, try your hand and being crafty. It’s not hard to make a little something from the heart, just like you did when you were little. And rest assured, your friend or loved one will appreciate it just as much. Or perhaps write an individualized letter. A page long letter or poem telling your family and friends thank you for all the things they’ve done may not be worth as much as the recent Powerball jackpot, but it will no doubt be close to value in their hearts.

But rest assured, crafts and words from the hearts are not the only “cheap gifts” to give. There are tons of websites available with amazing deals around the world. Amazon, Etsy, and as well as eBay can prove to be vital allies during the holidays. With one cent auctions and great shipping deals the whole family can be bought for without your wallet/purse screaming too much.

And don’t forget your local businesses. It’s always a good idea to shop local, and oddly enough, some of the best and unique gifts can be found. Remember, the holiday season, while it is good to open up that expensive electronic, it’s not all about the gifts and presents. It really is the thought that counts, and if all you can afford if a hug, rest assured, that will most certainly be enough. Don’t let the worry and stress of being short on money keep you from enjoying the holidays. It was never meant to be about the presents anyways.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Do You Know YOU Are A TRiO Student???

I’m sure you’ve seen TRiO signs, like the one posted above, around the SSS office and on our website, but do you know what that really means?? Likewise, you know that you’re a member of SSS, but did you know that you’re actually part of TRiO as well? Unless you were also a part of the Upward Bound program as well, you may not have. The information below, taken from its webpage, details what exactly TRiO is and the opportunities it provides for the students it serves.

TRiO is a nationwide, federally-funded organization of projects committed to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance.

TRiO programs are designed to help low-income and first-generation Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. TRiO projects are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are the TRiO Programs because there were initially three (TRiO Educational Talent Search, TRiO Upward Bound, and TRiO Student Support Services). While student financial aid helps students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Who is Served

More than 2,700 TRiO Programs currently serve nearly 866,000 low-income Americans nationwide. Many programs serve students in grades six through 12; other programs serve current college students. Twenty-two thousand students with disabilities and more than 25,000 U.S. veterans are currently enrolled in the TRIO Programs.

Evidence of Achievement

Students in the Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in TRIO. Students in the TRIO Student Support Services program are more than twice as likely to remain in college as students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.

If you would like any more information or are maybe even interested in getting involved with TRiO, stop by the office and ask one of our mentors or full-time staff!

Monday, November 12, 2012


How can you manage your stress?  Here are a few suggestions to help get you through:

Avoid stressful situations: Give yourself a break, if only for a few moments daily.

Change how you react to stress: Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to him/her/it. It is advisable to do this in moderation, in order to see what method does and does not work for you.

Avoid extremes: Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?

Set priorities: Don’t overwhelm yourself by fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority.

Set realistic goals: Reduce the number of events going on in your life and you will be able to focus more of your time on what needs to get done.

Take control of the situation: Look around and see if there really is something you can change or control in the situation.

Manage how stress affects you: This is a long range strategy of adapting your situation, and the effects of stress in your life. Try to isolate and work with one “effect” at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself.

Discover new relaxation techniques: Learn how to best relax yourself. Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.

Change how you see the situation: Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of reviewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours and perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.

Figure out what’s most important: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest of the details sit on the back burner.

Sleep: A lack of rest just aggravates stress.

Exercise: Work off your stress with physical activity, whether it’s jogging, tennis, or gardening.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Favorite classes and creating a schedule...

When I create my schedule, I look at all the classes I still have to take. Once I figure out what I want to take, I see what times the class is offered and write them down. After I get all my classes wrote down with all the times they are offered, I start to see what it looks like on Microsoft Excel so I don’t overlap classes. This gives me a visual of what my week will look like. I try to find the classes that don’t have class on Fridays, so I can have an extra day off during the week to get caught up on homework, projects, and studying before the weekend gets here.

My favorite classes would have to be Literature for Elementary School, Preschool and Elementary Nutrition Education, Child Development, and Classroom Behavioral Management.  I enjoyed these classes because of the teachers that I had.  They knew how to get the students engaged and involved and want to learn more from that class.  For example, in Literature for Elementary School, I had Dr. McCall for my teacher, and for one of the in class assignments, she read us a book while we filled out the worksheet.  Also, this class we were able to read children books and brought back the memories of my parents reading books to me when I was younger.  The teacher can make any class fun to be in by the way they present things.  If you like a teacher for one class, see if they teach other classes and get into them so you know you will enjoy the class.

 If you need any help creating a class schedule, looking up instructors, or help with your degree audit, visit the SSS office!  Any of the student mentors can help you with your schedule and would be more than happy to help!
Good luck!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Homecoming Week 2012 - Get Involved!!!

Homecoming 2012
Superheroes & Villains

October 28 - November 4, 2012

As most Northwest students know, next week marks the start of our Homecoming Week. It is a week long celebration that has events starting October 28th and continuing through November 4th. It features athletic events, entertainment, and plenty of opportunities for everyone to show their Bearcat spirit. Below is a list of the week’s events, followed by tips to staying safe so you can make the most out of the Northwest Homecoming experience.

Schedule of Events

Monday, October 22 – Friday, October 26

§  Royalty Voting – Computer Voting on CatPaws

Sunday, October 28

§  Hanging of Banners @ Noon – Student Union

§  Bearcat Soccer vs. Missouri Southern @ 1pm – Bearcat Pitch

Wednesday, October 31

§  Bearcat Volleyball vs. Central Missouri @ 7pm – Bearcat Arena

Thursday, November 1

§  Variety Show @ 7pm – Ron Houston Center for the Performing Art

§  Royalty Crowning @ 9pm (end of show) – Ron Houston Center for the Performing Art

Friday, November 2

·        WALKOUT DAY – No classes!!

·        5K Registration @ 8:30am – College Park Pavilion

·        5K Start Time @ 9:30am – College Park Pavilion

·        International Flag Raising Ceremony @ 2pm – Joyce and Harvey White International Plaza

·        Variety Show @ 7pm – Ron Houston Center for the Performing Art

Saturday, November 3

·        Parade @ 9am

·        Bearcat Football vs. Emporia State @ 2pm – Bearcat Stadium

Sunday, November 4

·        Presentation of Awards @ 11am – Charles Johnson Theater

How to Stay Safe…

Homecoming week is looked forward to by all Bearcats. It is a time for much celebration, and for many, it means celebrating a little too much. The main word of advice I can suggest for Northwest students and alumni who plan to go out during Homecoming is moderation. Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of other individuals, and be aware of what you are doing.

As always, police officers will be patrolling our campus…probably more than usual. To a certain extent, you are responsible for your own safety, so don’t overindulge in alcohol and be respectful of the police officers that you may encounter. Homecoming is a time of fun, celebration and seeing old friends, but being smart about whom you are with at all times. Controlling your actions is the key to a successful Homecoming weekend.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Need Cash??? We May Have Some For You...

In high school, we never really understand just how much college will cost us. It seems to be the biggest stress each semester. Luckily, there are so many sources that have multiple scholarships.

Student Support Services offers scholarships that are available for JUST our members.  These scholarships range from $500 all the way up to $2,000.  Your chances of receiving a scholarship with SSS are higher, due to the fact that we only serve 180 students – fewer students to compete with as compared to Northwest’s general scholarships.  All of the SSS scholarships are awarded in the Fall and are NOT automatically renewed.  More information as well as applications can be found on our SSS website at:  Deadlines will be in the Spring, so be looking for email reminders!!

Another financial resource to take advantage of is the SSS Grant Aid program- Grant Aid is federal funds that were given to our program to be disbursed to students who qualify.  In order to receive Grant Aid, you must meet the following requirements:
    1.  Be a first or second year student (your Freshman or Sophomore year)
    2.  Be Pell eligible (according to your FAFSA)
    3.  Have unmet financial need
Grant Aid does not need to be repaid (Grants never do), so this is a HUGE opportunity to take advantage of!  Grant Aid is automatically renewed as long as you meet GPA and participation requirements.  The amount may vary from year to year, but it is definitely worth looking in to!!  Grant Aid is awarded each semester and if you meet the qualifications listed above, download the application from our website at:

Fastweb is a scholarship oriented website. It allows you to view scholarships ranging from major oriented to trait oriented. It is an easy site to maneuver around. All you have to do is come up with a user name and a password and answer a few questions regarding yourself.  The questions allow the website to personalize some scholarships they will attach to your “suggested list.” Here is the link to Fastweb!

Of course there are other site that have this all you have to do is type the word “scholarships” in the search engine of Google or Yahoo. Here is a list of just a few I came across,

Northwest also offers many scholarships. If you go to the second floor of the Administration Building they have a billboard FULL of scholarships and a list of due dates. There is also a list on the Northwest homepage ( ).

These are just a few places where you can look for financial aid. Of course, there are more resources out there that are willing to help you.

Good luck and remember it may be time consuming now but you will enjoy not having to pay back all the money you had to take out in loans because you didn’t fill out all the scholarships you could have.   If you need help with financial literacy or scholarship applications, please contact Brenda in the SSS office at 660-562-1259.

Now you have a jump start for next semester!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Student Identity Theft...It Can Happen to YOU!!!

As a college student, you might think you're immune to identity theft because, after paying your student loans, living expenses, and funds for fun, you have little or nothing to offer a thief.

Think again. There are lots of ways in college to get your personal items stolen. People (especially college students) do not think to lock up their stuff when they leave their room or even go to the bathroom. Girls:  Don’t keep your purse on your during class and don’t leave your book bag left alone. It is very easy for someone to walk past it and take out valuable information. 
Those who are looking to steal your identity can do so with limited information.  Check books, bank cards, licences, and even Facebook pages, just to name a few.  Something as simple as you carrying  your social security card in your purse could lead to HUGE problems. 
Here is an article that talks about identify theft in college.

Why college students make prime identity theft targets

College is the time for studying, driving in circles in search of a parking spot, trying to make enough money to afford some must-have item, meeting more people than you met during the entirety of your pre-college life, and sleeping for a few hours in between.

Why are students particularly at risk for identity theft? Mainly because their credit records are mostly blank, which means they can be easily used to secure new credit. Identity thieves know this and so are specifically targeting students for identity theft.

These are the five most common ways that college students leave themselves open to identity theft:
  1. Living on campus in dorms or with roommates.
  2. Ordering clothes, books, movies, lava lamps, ping pong balls, or any other merchandise over the Internet.
  3. Throwing away credit card offers without shredding them into a million pieces.
  4. Being careless with student loan pin numbers and documentation.
  5. Using cell phones to talk about things that might be useful for an identity thief to hear.
And unfortunately, student ID numbers are used for just about everything in college. They appear on class rosters, are copied onto checks, and are etched onto campus ID cards - which are constantly shared among students.

So, hopefully this article will help you be a little more protective of what information you sharing with others around you.  No one is immune from identity theft.  Be safe, check accounts regularly, and don't share any personal information to untrusted sources!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Want Money & Need To Find a Job???

mOnday, oCTOBER 1, 2012


How to Find a Job While in College

Having a part-time job while you are in college will give you greater financial independence and "real world" experience. Because working during college is a necessity for many students, you should expect competition for even minimum wage positions.


Things You'll Need

·         Computers, Printers, Résumé paper—all available free at SSS
·         Newspaper Job Ads (access online or in print at the library)


1      Determine your available hours and the minimum salary you need.

2      Prepare your résumé before you even begin to look for a job. You will then be able to apply immediately when you find a job opening.

3      Check the student center for a list of part-time jobs on-campus, including clerical, bookstore and cafeteria positions.

4      Ask the managers of stores near your campus about possible job openings. Consider working for establishments where you can get food or clothing at a discount.

5      Go through the classified employment ads of your school's paper and local papers.

6      Consult with your departmental advisor about any available paid internships. Many majors require internships anyway, so it makes sense to combine part-time work and experience in your future field. But be aware that many internships are nonpaid.

7      Apply immediately when you discover a promising job opening. You should carry a copy of your résumé at all times.


Tips & Warnings

·         Be aware that on-campus jobs generally pay low hourly wages. However, they offer the convenience of being close to your classes.

·         Don't wait until well into the semester to look for a job. The good ones will get snapped up early.

·         Avoid jobs that would involve a long commute.


Did you know that Northwest has a Student Employment Coordinator?

Paula McLain serves in this role in our Human Resources Office (AD 125). She provided these helpful links that answer most of the questions students have about obtaining a job on campus:

If you have more additional questions after reading these, email Paula ( or give her a call at (660) 562-1140.


How can Student Support Services help you with your job search?

Student Support Services can help you in the job search, application & interview steps of your job hunt.


Peer mentors are often connected in to many areas on campus and may know of job openings or can help tell you about ways to go about finding one. SSS staff memebers can also prepare you for job interviews, by providing information or helping you practice with a mock interview.


SSS can also can be part of your networking in finding a job—being a reference for you or just sharing information that can lead to a job. Sometimes it’s more WHO YOU KNOW that gets you the job. Then, your employer can train you & the WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW to keep the job!


Central staff can offer guidance in helping you create your résumé if needed along with reviewing and critiquing documents already created.



Monday, September 24, 2012

FAQ’s About Campus Life

***This week's post was written by Aislinn Goad, a Biology major, and a mentor here at Student Support Servces.***
FAQ’s About Campus Life
 Coming to college means many new life changes: a new home, new places to eat, new friends, and new organizations to join. Northwest Missouri State University is like its own small town within the small town of Maryville! Northwest offers many great resources that some students are not even aware of. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding life on campus:
·         Where should I go if I need help in a class?
There are so many resources to help you succeed in your classes on campus! The library itself is a great resource. Within the library are the Talent Development Center and the Writing Center. The TDC offers free tutoring in most courses, as well as help with time management. It is open from 8 am- 5 pm Monday through Friday. Just call (660) 562-1726 to set up an appointment! The Writing Center offers assistance on essays, research papers, or anything else you need to compose for a class. Call (660) 562- 1480 to set up an appointment at the Writing Center. Also available are the Math Lab in Garrett Strong and departmental tutors—asking your professor for help is always a great way to start!
·         What are hours can I eat on campus?
The Bearcat Food Court is open:
Monday - Thursday
7:00am - 8:00pm
7:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday & Sunday
11:00am - 7:00pm

JW’s Grille is open:
Monday - Friday
Saturday & Sunday

Java City in the Union is open:
Monday - Friday
7:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday

And the Station is open 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK!!

·         How do I get involved on campus?
There are hundreds of organizations to get involved in on campus. Just go to for a list of all organizations and who to contact to get involved. Or if you are passionate about something that doesn’t already have an organization, you can start one up for yourself!!!
 ·         What should I do if I feel unsafe on campus?
Campus Safety offers many services that help you feel safe on campus. If you are at the library or another Residence Hall late at night, just call University Police at (660) 562.1254 and they will give you a ride home. You can also call them if your car is dead and the battery needs to be jumped! A great service that the University provides is Safe Ride Home, which will give you a ride if you have been drinking and it is unsafe to drive. Just call (660) 562.1245. Their operating hours are:
4 p.m. - 2 a.m.
10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
4 p.m. - 4 a.m.
10 p.m. - 4 a.m.

·         How can Student Support Services help me succeed at Northwest?
Student Support Services offers many resources to help you!! Peer mentors are available to meet with you one-on-one whenever you have other questions about adapting to college life. We also offer a résumé service, where you can turn in a draft of a résumé and we will give you suggestions on how to improve.  If you need to print something for class, just come up to our office and use on of our printers for free. We are all here to help to at SSS, just stop by AD 360 and talk to one of our staff members about whatever you need!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

What the HECK can you do in the 'Ville???

***This week's blog comes from Ally Varner, an Elementary Ed/Early Childhood Major at Northwest and one of our SSS Student Mentors***
A question a lot of students tend to ask is, “What is there to do in Maryville?” If you have found yourself wondering about the entertainment aspects of the Ville you are not alone! I am here to give you ideas of what you can do when you are not studying.

  1. Free On-Campus Events-Be sure to always be checking your Northwest student planner for ideas on what there is to do on-campus. Many organizations and offices host free lunches, info sessions, fun activities, etc. Student Activities Council (SAC) hosts many free events for Northwest students. These include poker nights, ice cream socials, comedians, and more. Also, all Northwest athletic events are free to student, so go cheer on our teams! Take advantage of any and all free events on campus!
  2. Food Options: Carsons, La Bonita, Dominos, Sonic, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, My Favorite Muffin, Applebee’s….this could go on for awhile. Go out to eat with a group of friends or people from your floor! From fast food to sit-down restaurants, Maryville has got a little bit of everything!
  3. The Great Outdoors: Although it is getting colder, something to keep in mind during warmer weather is Maryville’s pool and Mozingo lake. Mozingo has a golf course, camping grounds, and manmade beach.
  4. Shopping: Shopping in Maryville may be pretty minimal, but we do have Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, Maurices, JC Penney, Hibbett Sports, and Payless. My friends and I will sometimes have Wal-Mart outings together to stock up on groceries and Northwest apparel.
  5. Fitness-In addition to the fitness facility on campus, Maryville also has a Community Center and Get Fit 24 (where you can see personal trainer Brenda!) where you can work on your fitness. Many centers have an assortment of machines and weights to meet all of your exercise needs.

There are just a few ideas of things to do in Maryville. With all of the free events hosted on campus, food options, outdoor areas, gyms and stores there is no reason you cannot find all you need in the Ville! If you feel you have too much down time, be sure to go out and explore all the things the Ville has to offer! Also be sure to get involved on campus to make the most of your college years!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

You're Here, Now Get Involved!

Well, the first week of classes are now complete!!  You survived, and hopefully now you feel at least a little more organized and prepared than you were week 1.  Our SSS Mentors are now in full swing, and have contacted each of their Mentees (that's you) to set up your first one-on-one meeting!  These meetings are not only our way of connecting with you, but a way for you to get connected to what is happening on campus!

A lot of research has been done showing that students who are involved on their campus have higher GPA's, higher retention rates, and are overall more happy with their college experience than students who are not 'connected' with something on campus.  That's the point of today's blog...get connected to SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.  Whether you choose intramurals to feed your competitive hunger or Greek life for a lifelong connection to a group, get involved!

If you are reading this thinking, "there is nothing out there for someone like me" then you haven't looked hard enough (or you just don't know where to look).

Northwest offers more than 150 student organizations, encompassing social, religious, athletic, political, artistic and performing activities and interests. Whether you are interested in participating in student government, fraternities or sororities, multicultural groups, sports clubs or academic clubs, this site can help you get started and get you connected to the Northwest community. Find an organization that interests you -- and get involved! (

Still not convinced??   There are many reasons for joining an organization on campus, including:
  • Opportunities for socialization
  • Opportunities to work with others as a member or a team
  • Opportunities for leadership development
  • Opportunities for career enhancement (resume materials)
  • Opportunities for weekend involvement
  • Opportunities to network with faculty and administrators
  • Opportunities to develop life-long friendships
  • Opportunities to develop new interests and expand your horizons
  • Opportunities to lean about other cultures'
  • Opportunities to improve/enhance communication skills

  • Sounds like there are plenty of opportunities out there - now, go and find them!!  College life should be academic based, but you MUST have a balance of both social and academic events to really be successful at college. 

    Stop by the SSS office if you have any questions about how to get involved on campus.  Our student mentors are great resources (AND they are super cool people with a social life to die for!!). 

    Have a great day!! 

     LIKE us on Facebook!!

    Follow us on Twitter

    I am not sure what you do on PINTREST, but check us out there too!!!

    ***all pictures were taken from the Northwest Website:

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Welcome Back...only 112 days until CHRISTMAS BREAK!

    Welcome back SSS Students!  This is Brenda Johnson - Student Development Specialist here at SSS.  I hope you all had a really great summer and are ready to get back in the swing of things.  I know I am ready to see more traffic on the 3rd floor! 

    We had a very eventful summer in the SSS office.  Although it wasn't as busy as the fall, it was nice to have some down time to plan events and workshops that we hope you will ALL take full advantage of! 

    Along with all of the great workshops and cultural events we have planned for you, we hope you also take the time to get re-CONNECTED with SSS.  We have taken over the social networking world this summer(thanks to Ally) and you now have absolutely no reason not to know what is happening here in Student Support Services.  You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pintrest (you can also find all the details for Ally's future wedding, classroom, and home she has yet to buy).  Although I am glad we are now so available to you, I now officially feel like my parents did when I told them about this super-cool-amazing-new thing called email!!  So, let's get tweeting and poking each other right away!!!   

    This blog will also be something new for SSS.  We will be posting a new blog every week, with helpful advice regarding Financial Literacy, Campus Events, Study Skills, and any other information we feel is share worthy!  If you have any ideas or topics you would like to see covered on the blog - PLEASE, let us know.  We are here for you!

    Good luck as you start your semester...whether it's your first, third, or final one on campus, take advantage of the resources that SSS can offer you.  It may be a free planner, resume' paper, or just a highlighter - but we will get what you need!

    Best of luck this year - GO BEARCATS!!!

    P.S.  Stop by the office as soon as you get back and complete a needs assessment for us - we will get what we need, and you'll get something FREE!