Trailblazers in the Community

May 16th, 2013 by tstjohn

Hi all!

My name is Hanna and I am currently the Orientation Advisor for the Trailblazers in the Community (TBC) program. I will be a junior this coming fall, studying Marine Science with a minor in Education. If you are anything like me, you are equally as excited and nervous choosing an Orientation session and attending it. I want to give you a little explanation on why I do what I do and why choosing a Trailblazer can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can make in an effort to prepare yourself for this upcoming academic year.

Why Trailblazers?

I can still remember the day my mom handed me my postcard from the university telling me how to sign up for Orientation. It had listed all the traditional dates and had this little blurb about Trailblazers. Intrigued, I looked it up online and decided that it’d be fun. I had chosen the One Day River Kayak. While at Orientation I met so many great people. My Orientation Leaders were awesome. They were resourceful, great advice givers, eased my worries, and just plain out fun. They were also great support, already having gone through the transition into college life. The other students in my group were awesome too. We had a blast kayaking down the Saco River and enjoying the sights, as well as an occasional seal or two. It was then that I finally realized that I had made the right decision to come to UNE!

Trailblazers in the Community (TBC)

Through my experiences at Orientation and my experiences being a first year student I decided to become an Orientation Leader. I applied and was selected as a Trailblazers in the Community Orientation Leader, something that had caught me off guard. I had originally applied to be a traditional summer Orientation Leader, but after giving it some thought, my selection had made sense. I have had a strong foundation in community service through high school. TBC has changed me for the better. Last summer was my first year being a part of New Student Orientation as an Orientation leader. Not only had I connected really well with other team members, I connected with new students.

Trailblazers in the Community offers many opportunities for new students to meet fellow peers, upperclassmen, professional staff, and our many community partners. TBC has smaller groups that really help to develop a level of comfort among new students. You won’t believe how sad some students who participated in TBC are to leave at the end of Orientation! It’s a chance to go out into Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, and Portland, to name a few, and familiarize yourself with the community you will be living in for the next chapter of your life. It also feels great at the end of the day to know you made a difference!

I’ve had such an incredible experience with my time participating in Trailblazers. From being a current student who participated in Orientation and a TBC Orientation Leader I can say that without participating in Trailblazers, I wouldn’t have made some of the connections I have made today. I can say for all of us here at New Student Orientation that we are excited for our summer orientations kick-off in June. We look forward to having you all here! Whatever you do in preparation for Orientation, all I ask of you is to be yourself but step out of your comfort zone. You will be glad you did!

Stress Management

April 11th, 2013 by tstjohn

Let’s face it: the end of the school year is a busy and stressful time, especially as a first-year college student. Some of you are probably so overwhelmed that instead of paying attention during lecture you are daydreaming potential summer plans as an attempt to escape reality. Don’t let the end of the year drag you down. The last thing you need on top of papers, projects, finals, housing, and registration is a bad attitude. Stay positive and explore different ways of stress management.

What are things you enjoy doing? These are the things you should take into consideration when attempting to relieve stress. You won’t be reducing your stress levels by doing activities you find difficult or uninteresting.  Pick things that you enjoy doing alone as well as things you can do with your friends. They do say that laughter is the best medicine. Find activities you and your friends enjoy and try to plan time together in between your hectic schedules.

Exercise isn’t something everyone enjoys but it is important in relieving your body of unwanted stress. You don’t have to lift weights at the gym or run a marathon though to accomplish stress relief. Many video games, like the Just Dance series, require you to move about. Have fun shakin’ it alone or with your friends. It is exercising, having fun, and relieving stress all in one! Dancing not your thing? Playing organized sports can be just as stress relieving, as well as walking, running, hiking, etc. However you choose to exercise is up to you. The important thing is to fit in time to be active!

We all feel the pressure that the end of the year brings. Don’t crumple down! Remember that you’re almost done with your first year of college (if you’re a first-year, of course) and that is something to be proud of! All your hard work will pay off in time. For now, minimize the stress you put on your body by fitting in time to do things you enjoy, hang out with your friends, and exercise. Summer is just around the corner!

Get Involved in Research!

March 28th, 2013 by tstjohn

Interested in becoming involved in research? You came to the right university! The professors, faculty, and staff here at UNE are all extremely helpful when it comes to pursuing your goals. When considering research, look for something you are passionate about. This is something that you will be collecting data for as well as analyzing that data and drawing conclusions from it. Why put yourself through so much work if you’re not even interested in the topic?

Consult with your professors about your interests. Odds are, if they are you’re in your field of study, they will have knowledge on the subject and can give you advice on where to go. Professors and other faculty and staff in the area of study you’re interested in are a great resource when it comes to research. In order to be a professor, many have to have ongoing research and publications. You can look at them as research experts!

Not sure what research here at UNE is all about? The university hosts research symposiums throughout the year that allow students to present their findings. Attend one of these if you are unsure about conducting research. The students at these symposiums not only provide data on their research, they can be a great resource for what participating in research as a student is like. Take advantage of these symposiums and get informed!

If you are looking in to participating in research, talk with your academic adviser! Research is a time commitment that could be overwhelming with a heavy schedule and other student involvement activities. Your academic adviser will be able to put things into perspective and help you decide if now is the time or if you should consider participating in the future instead. Also, a research seminar or research-based course may be required before you dive into your research. Your academic adviser will be able to help you with selecting possible courses and registering for them.

Research is a great way to get involved with your studies and help you solidify your passion. It also can help you prepare for your future career. Visit research symposiums to get an idea of what student research is all about. Talk with your professors and find out what they are researching as well as how to get involved. Meet with your academic advisers and plan what courses you need to take in order to participate in research. You are in charge of your future! Take the time to participate in research and see what your future has in store!

Fun, Subtance-Free Activities

March 4th, 2013 by tstjohn

Media has always portrayed college to be this crazy, reckless time in a person’s life.  It depicts college as  carefree, responsibility-free, and an easy ride that is meant to be one big party until graduation. What the media doesn’t show is that many universities actually have strong alcohol and drug use policies. It doesn’t show how partying can impact your studies. The media glamorizes alcohol and drug use as well as some of the negative consequences of it.

As students, it is your job to make good decisions. An underage student participating in alcohol use can get into some serious trouble. Why take the risk? There are so many things to do instead of drink! Don’t use boredom as an excuse to break laws. There are plenty of activities supported by the university as well as activities you and your friends can come up with! Here are just a few ideas.

Dinner Party

Invite your friends to a dinner party! You can be as fancy or casual as you want! Be sure to plan at least a week in advance to give you and your guests time to prepare. It can be pot-luck style where each guest brings a dish, or one person can contribute most of the meal and the cook switches off every dinner party. Whichever you choose to plan, it is sure to be a good time. What could be better than food, friends, and tons of laughter?

Cup Cake Decorating

Even though you might not be the most artistic, cup cake decorating is a fun way to hang with your friends. It’s a fun activity for all, from frosting the cup cakes to eating them, everyone will have their favorite part!

Game Night

Plan a game night with your friends. These can be traditional board games, video games, or games you invent yourself. It’s a great way to be with your friends as well as meet new people. It’s competitive but fun. Have snacks and music playing and you’ve got yourself a great time

Movie Night

Get out your popcorn! Have a movie night with your friends! Choose new releases, classics, or even attempt to watch an entire series! Movie nights can be a relaxing evening with a few or many friends. Choose movies with actors and actresses that you and your friends all really like, or choose movies that you normally wouldn’t ever watch. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Video Game Tournament

Many of the popular video games have multi-player modes or split-screen modes that allow you to play with your friends. Try creating a tournament out of this! It can be a fun way to play with your friends but keep a competitive edge. Try one-game elimination and maybe make a prize for the winner or something for the loser!  This will make it more interesting but keep things fun.

The university also has many activities taking place on both weekends and weekdays. Be sure to keep up to date with what’s happening by going to for the latest events and activities.

There’s no reason to say you’re bored! Between fun activities you can create yourself, local community activities, and university activities, there’s always something fun to do! Remember that when you drink, you take responsibility for yourself and your actions. You are taking a risk. The university has a no-tolerance policy for underage drinkers. Why risk it when you could do so many other fun things?

Suite Shoppers

February 24th, 2013 by tstjohn

With great housing options on the Biddeford campus it may be hard to choose which one is perfect for you. Click the link below to watch a video that may help you make your decision!

Click here to watch University of New England’s Suite Shoppers!