Finals are Finally upon VSCC Students

by Hope McKinney
The Fall semester is coming to a close and finals are quickly approaching. For many this means sleepless nights, and a lot of studying.
There are a multitude of ways to study that ensure good grades but I will just provide you with a few that work for me. Keeping your phone away or on the ‘do not disturb’ setting ensures no distractions with electronics. In this day in age that is the main source of distraction, especially with Millennials.
Our phones, laptops and IPads are always attached to us in some way, shape or form and it is just so hard to leave the virtual world alone in fear we may miss out on something. Putting your electronics away, unless of course you need them for research, is always going to help you earn a good grade on your final.
Your friends may not be much help texting you about hanging out during a long study session, but they may be of assistance to you in a study group.
I find it very helpful to study in a group, especially if someone in your group has previously taken a class in which you are currently enrolled.
Friends like the ones I mentioned may be able to give you a good deal of information that can help you during the studying process. Sharing your own study tips is always a good idea.
In study groups it is also easy to take stress free breaks from the books. Almost always friends can help you through your stressful, and most difficult times by just taking a step back with you and laughing. I can not think of a time that students need laughter more than during finals week. It is always important to let your brain rest from extensive studying. This can give your brain the same feeling as if you are cramming at the last minute, which you never want to do. When you do not take a step back and breathe you get very overwhelmed and so does your brain, it is flooded with information as such an alarming rate that it has to push things out.
This will only make you forget vital information. Forgetting is possibly the worst thing that can happen during finals week besides coming down with the flu that is making its way through the schools during Fall finals week.
A trick that I have found helps a lot of people remember what they have been studying come test day is to chew gum. Many people have told me to chew my favorite gum during studying and chew the same flavor while taking the final and it will help correlate the information you studied with the flavor of the gum.
I have not tried that trick out yet but I plan to during finals next week. Every student knows the severity of missing a final exam.
It is very important to attend class always, but during finals week and the week before it is absolutely vital to attend classes. I have said it a million times, but I will say it again, if you do not understand something this week is your last chance to get clarification on things.
There is no reason to it down for your final exam and wonder why the questions do not make sense. Our professors, especially the ones here on the Volunteer State Community College Gallatin campus, only want to see us succeed.
Their whole job revolves around our success and they love helping us reach our ultimate triumphs. I encourage every student to relax and get some major studying done before next week.
It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the student body and and faculty as the Editor-in-Chief of this newspaper and I look forward to seeing all of you next semester.
Congratulations to all of the wonderfully bright students graduating this semester.
My writing staff and I wish you nothing but success in your future endeavors. If any of your find yourself looking for credit hours to fill, or a fun way to relieve stress and make friends please consider joining us on The Settler’s staff.
We are always looking for talented individuals that love expressing themselves through journalism.
Have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope to see everyone next year.

Be thankful for the things you have

by Hope McKinney
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and many of the students and faculty at Volunteer State Community College are preparing for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Around this time every year people start to stress Christmas shopping, grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and having their family come into town to stay with them.
More often than not we do not realize how lucky we are to share the holiday season with our loved ones. We are all too worried about Black
Friday shopping and getting the newest toys for our children and the best clothes and jewelry for our spouses that we forget to sit down and think about what we really are thankful for.
When we think about what we are thankful for this holiday season we do not need to think about material things.
We need to think about the people that surround us and the great memories that we share. There are so many great ways to gather your thoughts on what you are thankful for.
When my family sets the table for Thanksgiving dinner we lay down a giant table cloth that we can write on and when we start to eat we each write down one thing we are thankful for going into the holiday season.
After we are done eating everyone reads what they are thankful for out loud and we all share stories about things we overcame or goals we reached so far in the year.
This time with my entire family means more to me than anything, however not everyone gets to have that amazing traditions and love this time of the year.
I encourage everyone to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. Whether it be going to donate to your local shelter or doing some volunteer work you never know how far your kindness can go.
I admire my Grandmother so much in the fact that she makes it a point to us every year to invite someone new to our Thanksgiving.
She did not come from a wealthy family and she knows exactly how it feels not to have much.
She listens to people when they say they have nowhere to go for the holidays and she opens the doors of her home to complete strangers.
While I do not recommend inviting strangers into your home I could not be more proud of my family for their huge heart for people.
If you wanted to do this for someone look to some of your friends. I can almost promise you there is someone in your friend group, or someone you know from school that does not have anywhere to go for the holidays.
I encourage you to share your love with people this year in some way, shape or form. There are so many ways you can do so, and absolutely make someone’s day.
I also encourage everyone to remember those serving our country and who cannot be home with their families. Those women and men put their lives on the line every day for us every day and they deserve our appreciation always.
Coming from a military family, I can promise you that they appreciate every letter, care package and call they get. Even if you just send your friend a text or call saying that you appreciate their service that small gesture will definitely go a long way.
Everyone comes from a different background and celebrates different ways, but each and every one of us has at least one thing to be thankful for.
I hope everyone has an excellent and safe Thanksgiving. Remember all that you have to be thankful for.

Facebook is taking over the 2016 election

With the election results upon us today it is very important that we take something away from this election.
One of the biggest issues with this election is people taking false information away from social media.
Especially millennials know that every time you log on to Facebook you see your friends and family posting from uncredited sources, just helping add to the fire.
Every time we share a story about a candidate that we have not done our own research on and triple checked the sources we are doing ourselves and our community a disservice.
Facebook especially has done a great job of getting those fake news sources right to our newsfeed.
While every person has come in contact with false news in their life, not everyone knows how to identify it.
I have come up with a few ways of knowing whether or not it is okay to share these stories on your personal social media accounts.
Make sure you triple check the sources every single time. You can do this by simply googling the topic in the story.
If you see the topic in multiple sources odds are it is credible, but that is not enough evidence for posting.
You have to fact check the topic. There are many websites people can use to ensure they are getting the right information including and
These are great sites to ensure you are getting the right information from nonbiased sources. I encourage everyone to check their topic on multiple fact check sites.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning something new and gaining factual information. Another way to check your topic faster is to simply look at the address bar.
If you are looking at websites that do not have a .edu, .org or a .gov you can never be 100% sure. While there are very many credible .com websites you can get the least biased information from the websites that I have listed above.
If you read the whole article or story you can usually make good judgement based on the language and punctuation used.
Credible news sources are always going to be checking their grammar and punctuation to make sure it is perfect, where as less credible news sources wont care as much about how the appear to the public.
Fake news sources only care about getting that information across your screen and into your brain, they do not care about how good they sound most of the time.
As I said earlier, there are always going to be exceptions. It is always important to be on top of your personal research.
Knowing your facts and being well educated can not hurt anyone. You can always spread that knowledge to other people which helps the general population become a more educated whole.
It is never good to spread false information. Whether it be on social media or by word of mouth it is never good.
Dr. Lynette Long, very smart speech professor at the Volunteer State Community College Gallatin campus, always tells her students, “You always have a right to your own opinions, but you never have a right to your own facts.”
It is extremely important as a college student to be a light for those around you. Let others in on the knowledge you have and be an active listener to those you can learn from.
In my opinion the worst part about this election is the spread of false information about the candidates, and about the election itself.
No one wants to listen to each other and everyone thinks they know everything about every topic when in reality no one does real research on the topics presented to us, we just rely on the media to tell us everything we need to know and as a result we spew false information causing a horrible chain reaction resulting in a misinformed population.
While our time is over on this election I believe the American people can learn a lot about this election from how poorly it has gone.
We have to learn to listen to people’s opinions to gain information for ourselves, not just listen to reply. Ask critical questions and learn from the mistakes we have all made.
I encourage everyone to educate yourselves outside the classroom and off social media.
Help educate those around you and never stop gaining valuable information.

How to Get Ready for Halloween

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for some people.
The pumpkin patches, haunted houses, bon res, and costume shopping can really get you in a spooky mood.
While this time of the year is very exciting it can also be very dangerous.
With the outbreak of people dressing up as clowns going around scaring and harming people this year people should be especially cautious.
You never know what someone is capable of. The person dressed up as something innocent at the Halloween party may have other intentions.
Never trust someone you do not know with your drink or food. It is so easy to slip drugs or other harmful substances in someone’s food or drink when you leave it unattended.
You can never be too careful. Never ever get in the car alone with someone you do not know. Someone’s true intentions are most likely to come out when you are completely alone with
them.Especially if you have been drinking, ladies or gentlemen, be cautious about alone time with strangers.
Nothing good can come out of alcohol and alone time with strangers. It is always better to travel with groups of friends. Even if you get separated from them
most times someone will notice and come looking for you. Good friends are always going to make you feel safe when you are around them.
They will make sure you are safe from harm, the same way you, hopefully, will look after your friends.
While I have never advised someone dress as a clown for Halloween, I especially do not advise this currently.
People are on the lookout for clowns this year because of all the tension that has been happening lately and they may or may not be ready to harm those in clown costumes.
If you have children another great tip to use when trick-or-treating is putting reflectors on their costumes.
This will help attentive drivers be able to spot them if they happen to get loose from you and get into the road.
As much as parents and guardians hate to think about it children do get out of sight due to excitement and curiosity.
Picking a special reflector to put on your child can help you better spot them in this situation.
The curiosity takes over not just children, but all of us during Halloween. Anyone who has watched a horror movie can tell you that curiously wandering into abandoned houses, wooded areas, or other buildings is a
terrible idea.
Each time someone sticks their
nose where it does not belong in horror movies it ends up being a complete disaster.
They end up unlocking something that does not need to be unlocked, poking at something that does not need to be poked, or becoming possessed with something that really wants to possess someone.
There is no telling what kind of creatures, clowns, or people are dwelling in those areas and it is just better to not nd out.
Lastly, always use your better judgement. If something is telling you that you better not do something, you better not do it.
If, however you do get yourself
into a bad situation this Halloween that you do not know how to get out of it is always a good idea to call someone.
Whether it be a family member or friend they can only provide you with help and support if something bad has happened,
I hope everyone has a safe, and very happy Halloween.

Why football is so much more than a game

Football has always been a big part of my life. I have had the privilege to grow up in the great state of Tennessee since I was born.
I went to my first Volunteer football game at the age of 3 and absolutely fell in love with the team and the sport.
My Great-Grandfather played football for The University of Tennessee under General Robert Neyland. That is something I take pride in. My oldest brother also pursued a degree from UT for which I am also proud.
I plan to carry on this tradition when I transfer from Volunteer State Community College next fall. For many people football is about wining, who can be the best and who can go to the championship.
For myself, what matters is a little bit different. I care about the coaches and the players. I care about the families of players and coaches that lose time with their loved ones.
I care about the fans in those stands on game day. I care about the couple who just brought their daughter or son to their first football game to enjoy the excitement. I am aware that for most people winning is everything. So many other things go into a football program.
While the feeling of winning is something no one can really fully describe, nothing compares to the atmosphere on a Saturday in the south. Being a Vols fan means that you are prepared for anything.
You get up on game day not knowing what will happen, but you are excited to find out.
From years and years of rich tradition that graces these Tennessee hills, to specific game day rituals the Vols have it all. Running through the ‘T’ at the start of the game, Davy Crockett, the cheerleaders and dancers, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and my personal favorite, Smokey.
These are the things that make game days so special. When you have a family compiled of players and coaches that is able to come together on a field and connect a group of people the way Tennessee does, it’s very special. I am very proud of my football team despite the three losses we have taken so far this year.
As a team they have worked extremely hard to get to the point they are at.
Even though I will always consider myself a ‘Vol for Life’ I know many other fans of various college and professional teams feel the same way.
No matter what your team is or your sport I encourage you to remember to stick with them through the good times as well as the bad.
I am sure nothing helps a team become more encouraged, and a coaching staff become more driven, than to have unconditional support from the fans.
You can expand your love for sports right here at Vol State. Although I am aware Vol State does not have a well known football team, we do have amazing basketball, softball and baseball teams that need our support.
The sky is the limit for the players at Vol State, and just like big name schools, they need our support as well. There are endless opportunities for these young men and women to transfer to great Universities and even to go professional one day.
Who knows, they may be playing for your favorite team in the near future. The Vol State website has a schedule posted for all the games that are to be played this year. You are urged to bring as many family and friends as you wish to fill up the bleachers.
Your support is always appreciated from The Settler staff.

Getting a new job can be very stressful

by Hope McKinney
Just recently I have decided to quit my job that I have worked for almost three years in pursuit of something different and more challenging.
This decision was not an easy one to make because it was my very first job and we all know it is very possible to be sucked into your first job. You grow there, make connections with people, and experience good and bad times.
You learn to love everything about that job until you are an expert at how to run things. If you stay at your first job for more than a year, you grow to love it.
We all know that loving something can be a little hard at times. I was so engulfed in trying to work at my job, do school work, and work for the paper that I forgot to take time for myself. I forgot that it is okay to say enough is enough sometimes and say goodbye to something that is overwhelming you.
When I decided to quit my job millions of thoughts raced through my head. You are scared to leave there thinking you might not make as much money somewhere else, you might not get the hours you want somewhere, or you might not like the management.
Like everything in life sometimes all we need is a little push to send us into doing exactly what we need to do. Speaking from the heart I can tell you that if you are not happy in your place of business, it is okay to leave. It is okay to find another place to work.
It is okay not to like the environment you are in. It is okay to quit sometimes. Especially in college all the pressure is on you. You have to decide a major, you have to study endless hours to obtain a major you may not even find a job in, but you do it anyway because you know you were told to do it.
You work endless hours at a dead end job to make money to pay for your schooling and various bills. This can make anyone unhappy. You have to choose between things you love, and things you want to do in life.
For me, being a journalist is something I’ve wanted in my life since a very young age. I love the art, I love the fast pace and mentality of it all. It was not easy to quit my job so I could focus more on school and myself, but it something I am learning to enjoy.
I have found a less demanding job that I can see my family and friends when I want to and focus on my career and works at Volunteer State Community College.
Overall I feel much better about this change that I have made in my life. I want everyone who reads this paper to know that it is okay to make a decision based on how you feel. It is okay to say enough is and focus on the betterment of yourself. It is okay to find something that you love and run with it.
Finally, it is okay to be sick and tired of doing things for everyone else. Go get your degree, find a great career job, and be the happiest person in this world because at the end of the day money isn’t what really matters. Making yourself happy, making your family happy, and making others happy is what you will be remembered as.
Be your best self whether you work 40 hours a week in an office, or whether you serve at the local fast food place.
Always work hard t what you love and hopefully one day it won’t even feel like work anymore. Hopefully one day every graduate of Vol State can say they made it exactly where they want to be in life.
I know that life is too short to be unhappy. We get a very limited time in this world to make something of ourselves, and ultimately working a job that you have worked at since you were 16 isn’t going to be a crumb compared to everything you accomplish on this Earth.
Never be unhappy with what you do. Go to work or school every day and make it the best day ever.

Breaking bad study habits for your midterms

by Sara Keen
Midterms are upon us, and some students may find themselves cracking under the pressure.
New students, especially, may not yet know how to study for a college exam or prepare for a midterm essay like those who have already passed their first semesters.
In some classes, the midterm can make or break your grade. It may be from a lack of smaller grades or the worth of the midterm itself.
It is always better to start preparing for midterms a few weeks ahead, but with work, home, life, and anything else that could interfere happening, that does not always work out.
Therefore, this week we are looking at some great tips for last minute test preparation for anyone struggling with their class or simply buckling down to study.
First and foremost, it is a lot easier to focus when you are not in an overly familiar environment, like your bedroom or living room. Instead, choose to go to the library, Starbucks, a place on campus, or even an empty room in your home (without a couch).
It can also help to drink something warm and breathe for a few minutes before you start. It calms your nerves and can make you feel a little more comfortable in the environment to focus on what you are doing.
The best help you can give yourself is to stay away from your phone while you study. It is a distraction because you will wonder “what’s on Facebook?” “has bae texted me yet?” and so on.
Even your laptop can be a major distraction with endless access to the internet. There are apps that can help, though, such as Self-Control, Concentrate, FocusBooster, FocusWriter, and Anti-Social. These are all apps designed to help you stay focused and stay off of social media.
Once you rid yourself of distractions, it is time to study or write that midterm essay that has worried you all week.
Music can also be helpful, but not pop music or your favorite “jams.” Music without vocals is usually better for studying and writing. Try your favorite video game or movie score, or even check out the study playlists on Pandora and Spotify.
If you do not already know how you study best, it is a great time to experiment.
Some people do better by listening to notes or watching crash-course style videos. Others are better if they can answer questions or use flashcards.
Personally, I find it is better to rewrite and organize my notes before the tests. I have to actively concentrate for it and it is a great last minute refresher for an exam.
Many people choose to form a study group and work together with flashcards. In study groups, you can talk over any problems being faced with the others and even receive help from someone who understands a topic better.
Groups also help others with their writing. If someone is a little nervous about going to the Writing Center or even needs help getting started, discussing the writing with others can be extremely helpful.
In addition, take advantage of the services on campus and your instructors. We have a language center, learning commons, supplemental instruction, silent study rooms, and even class lists to help contact other students.
Instructors are almost always willing to help anywhere they can. No student should be afraid to ask for a little help, whether it is some additional material or a more detailed explanation for one of the concepts.
Midterms are coming hard and fast, so do not let yourself get caught up with stress. You can really exhaust yourself.
Make sure you rest, get plenty of sleep, spend some time chilling out, and eat a decent breakfast before your midterms begin.