Archive by Author

Dance it Off

1 May

During finals we all tend to focus so hard on maximizing our studying, that we forget to take care of ourselves. Most students suffer from a lack of sleep, sugar highs from processed snacky foods, and a loss of motivation to be active. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising are all essential to keep your mind healthy and fuel your brain. Although it’s hard to get motivation to work out, when you’re stressed and trying to cram in as much information into your brain as possible, exercise will make your studying more efficient. Activity can give you energy, improve your attention, increase how quickly you can process information, and allow you to better perform cognitive tasks. Exercise increases the hormone epinephrine that circulates through your system. Epinephrine is responsible for an increase in awareness so it can improve your concentration. Taking twenty minutes to get up and move will be more beneficial for your studying than an extra twenty minutes of rushed stressful studying.

Part of gaining motivation to work out is enjoying the workout you choose. I get bored of routine workouts so I’m always looking for new exercises. I dance, run, follow workout videos, and take different classes. I found a coupon for a class pass that really helped me expand my exercise routines. It let me take Jazzercise, yoga, boot camp, and Capoeira classes.

Capoeira has been a really fun experience because I learned new exercises, met new people, and even learned about a different culture. Capoeira is a Brazilian form of martial arts. It incorporates elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Once performers specialize in the movements they will enter a circle with an opponent and participate in a sort of game with each other. Performers use the techniques to go after and dodge their opponents. It’s a form of self-defense where you can avoid the kicks and swings of your opponent but also combat them.

The first class I had no idea what to expect. Most of the other classmates had taken previous classes and were in Capoeira attire. This consists of long, light, baggy pants, a tight shirt, and a belt. We started out with a few basic moves and then within 20 minutes were practicing choreographed techniques across the room. We had to do cartwheels into lunges, balance, in a hand stand, do lunges into fan kicks, and do quick dynamic maneuvers on our hands and feet. Needless to say, after introducing my body to these new movements I was extremely sore for a few days after taking the class. I’ve gone back and learned a lot from the teachers and students as well. Everyone was very helpful and wanted to teach me new techniques. I felt immediately welcomed into their community and had a fun time learning about the history of Capoeira.

The moral of the story is get up and move because you can gain so much from activity. Whether it’s swimming, running, taking a Zumba class, or doing pushups in your bedroom, exercise can do wonders for your body, health, and your mind. If you find something you love you can turn working out from being a chore into a desire. Change up your routine and figure out what workouts are best for you. You will hopefully find a way to relieve stress, improve focus, and feel energized and happy. Give it a try and see how a little exercise before studying makes you feel.

Don’t Suffer Through Classes

21 Apr


This basically sums up how I felt about my math homework. If you’re in the same position, struggling with math, chemistry, biology, or even your general education class, you may want to look into getting a tutor.

I was really stubborn when it came to math because it always came so easily to me. Believe it or not it was always my favorite subject. When I took Calculus my freshman year, I was caught off guard by the level of difficulty. I went to every class, read the book, and studied like crazy for the tests. No matter how hard I tried, something would always trick me on the tests. Whenever I had questions about the homework I would ask friends in the class or go to the Think Tank. Even if I got the answer I was still having a difficult time understanding how I got it. I devoted countless hours to the homework problems, and still did not perform well on tests. I was stressed out and losing motivation.

Talking to my dad one night, he could tell there was something wrong. I was exacerbated by the amount of effort I put into studying for my math test, and the under performing score I received. My dad suggested I get a tutor because even though I was working hard there was something I was missing. I considered the idea, but kept putting it off. I was determined to do well and I wanted to figure it out for myself. About three quarters into the semester, my grade was not looking any better. My dad asked me if I had gotten a tutor and I disappointingly replied no. He told me I shouldn’t be too proud to get help every once in a while. That made me realize how ridiculous I had been. I was so stubborn because I felt like a failure asking for help. It turns out I was failing by not getting help. That week I asked an advanced student to tutor me. We worked a couple times a week, doing problems from the book. Whenever I got stuck he would walk me through the problem, and explain why it had to be done in that way. Finally everything was starting to click. It was nice working with someone because I could stop and ask questions as they came up. He introduced me to a different way of looking at the problems. I had a huge confidence boost after getting an A on my next test. I worked with him the rest of the semester and ended up doing well on the final. I received an overall grade I was proud of. If I hadn’t given in and found help, I would have gotten a low grade and been disappointed in myself.

Part of being smart is knowing you don’t know everything. If you can be open to learning from others, your successes will be limitless. When you’re struggling in a class you need to realize it’s okay to get help. Now I’m not saying you should get help by copying someone’s answers. Try to figure out what exactly you’re having a difficult time with. Maybe something isn’t clicking. Maybe you get anxiety from taking tests and can’t finish them. Maybe you’re just not studying enough. No matter what the problem is, reach out for help. You can get great advice from others that may completely change things for you.


Career Planning

7 Apr

career planning

This week’s edition of Wildcat Connections is full of great job searching tips. You can find links to career services, interview preparation websites, and even outfit guidelines. Searching for a job doesn’t have to be scary. Click on the picture to view the edition and use the resources from the Outreach Team to prepare.

Hannah’s Tucson Adventures

27 Feb

Have you ever ventured away from campus and explored the true beauty Tucson has to offer? Every year, I try to do something new in Tucson. Freshman year I traveled to Mt. Lemon with friends. Sophomore year I hiked Seven Falls at Sabino Canyon. Junior Year I ate at different restaurants special to Tucson. This year I explored Peppersauce Cave on Mt. Lemon. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in hiking, exploring, eating, or history. Get out there and try something new!

Freshman Year
Freshman year I made a lot of new friends through organizations I was involved in and my dorm. One weekend at the beginning of winter, four friends and I decided to drive up and spend the day on Mt. Lemon. We were planning to just take a little hike and enjoy nature. After about an hour of driving everyone started to get restless so we decided to stop at the next trail we saw. The path was lined with tall trees covered in all sorts of beautifully colored leaves. Many of the leaves had fallen off the trees and created a thick layer on the path. We kicked the leaves around a little and then decided to start throwing as many as we could up in the air. Then of course we had to repeat the whole situation so we could get some good pictures.


After we got our shot we continued all the way to the top of the path, which happened to end at the ski resort. We went into the quiet little shop to buy lift tickets. They had a few cats and a dog walking around the store and the old woman behind the counter was so nice. She asked us a bunch of questions about school and how we met. She even gave us a free Mt. Lemon sticker that we stuck on the car at the end of the day.


At the top of the mountain we could see all over Tucson. Sitting in quiet looking down on the city, we reminisced on our first semester together. Not once did a worry about school cross our minds. It was a much needed break and it was good bonding time with new friends. To top it all off, on the way back to the car, a light snow began to fall. We caught a few snowflakes on our tongues, and then headed into the little town called Summerhaven to eat and get warm. We ventured into the Mt. Lemon Cookie Cabin and bought pizza, pizookies, and hot chocolate. It was crammed with bikers, hikers, and other visitors who had all been enjoying the beautiful day just like us.


Sophomore Year
Sophomore year, my dad visited without my mom and sister so we decided to plan an eventful weekend. We did all sorts of activities like a run around campus, throwing the football and frisbee on the mall, eating nice dinners, and watching the UofA basketball and baseball games. Finally on Sunday, we went for a hike where neither of us had ever been. A friend suggested we check out the Seven Falls trail at Sabino Canyon. We set our alarms for 6:30am and set out for the hike. Once we got to the trails we checked out the map for a few minutes but couldn’t figure out where the Seven Falls trail was so we just decided to wing it. Following other hikers who seemed to know what they were doing, we ended up on the right path. Of course we did get a little lost after venturing off to explore a bit. My dad is obsessed with saguaros so whenever he saw a really cool one we would have to go over and take a picture of it.


There were little creeks running down the entire trail. One was even big enough we needed to use a log to walk across. Unfortunately I’m clumsy and fell in when I tried running across the log, so I had one wet shoe the rest of the hike. We walked for a long time and were just about to turn around when we heard louder water running. We continued on a little further and ended at a water fall flowing into pools of water. People were laying out on the flat rocks enjoying the sunlight and others were swimming in the crystal clear pools. We stayed for about 30 minutes walking around the area and then decided to head back. We had been enjoying the beauty of the hike for so long that we didn’t realize we only had an hour to get back to campus. We sprinted the whole way back and made it just in time for our final event, lunch with some friends and their dads. It was an exhausting morning but it was all worth it. We got a workout in, saw a beautiful site, and experienced a new place. Since then, we’ve brought my mom along two more times, and we’re planning another hike this April.

tb5 tb6

Junior Year
Junior year, my friends and I decided we were frequenting the same restaurants too often. We had always heard about great places in Tucson to try but hadn’t been very adventurous eating out. Fall semester, we made a list of different places to try and then picked them out of a hat whenever we were trying to decide where to go. We went downtown to The Hub, El Charro Cafe, Cafe Poca Cosa (crazy expensive but delicious),  and Cup Cafe. We also tried a lot of places on 4th Avenue including Lindy’s on 4th, Magpie’s Gourmet Pizza, B Line, Epic Cafe, and Caruso’s. For breakfast we tried Blue Willow, Bobo’s, and SoHo. Still on our list is Lovin’ Spoonfulls, Reilly Pizza, Wildflower American Cuisine, and Proper. I highly recommend you try every place I mentioned.


This is from Cafe Poca Cosa!

Senior Year
At the beginning of this semester, my roommates and I were looking to go on a new hike. One friend had a place in mind and said he had been up to a cave on the backside of Mt. Lemon. We didn’t know what we were getting into until we got in the car and he handed us headlights to use in the cave.


After an hour long car ride, we finally found the trail. The rest of us hadn’t heard of this place so we were very skeptical. He led us to the cave entrance and we walked right in and were immediately in awe. The rocks were so smooth and all different colors. We had to crawl on our hands and knees through a small hole at the bottom of the rock to continue on. A group of teenagers were running around all over the cave. They seemed to know where they were going so we followed their lead. They used a fishing line and candles to mark the paths so they wouldn’t get lost going back out. We were lucky they were there because without those markings we could have taken a few wrong turns back. The whole time we were climbing over, under, and in between huge rocks. There were a lot of different places we could have explored, but we didn’t want to get lost so we stayed on the marked path. It led us to a ladder that someone had bolted in. We had to carefully climb down and hop onto some slippery rocks. Practically sitting on the floor we maneuvered our way down the rest of the way. We ended at a pool of ground water. It was pitch black and the reflections of the cave on the water tricked us into almost walking straight into it.


We stayed there and took in the moment then headed back out. At times it was a little scary to think that we were so far into a mountain and under so much, but it was also exhilarating. We had a blast and now I can say I’ve been spelunking.

Think about what you really enjoy doing, hanging out with friends, doing thrilling activities, gardening, eating, or visiting historical sites. Then do some research to see what Tucson has to offer. The University of Arizona has organizations like the UA Ramblers who go on group hikes, or Outdoor Adventures who participate in thrilling trips. You can even plant and harvest your own fruits and vegetables through the UA Community Garden. My point is, there is so much to see and do in Tucson you just need to do some research and then get out and try new things.


Your Door to Off-Campus Housing

24 Feb

2_24 edition

Knock Knock! This week’s edition of Wildcat Connections is here. If you’re looking for a place to live, have roommate issues, or need to see how housing fits into your budget, this edition provides you with many great resources. Click the picture to open the door to your off-campus housing guide.

Adapting Through a Leadership Role

2 Feb

The definition of leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” When I reflect on my own leadership experiences, I am reminded that my peers saw me as a leader before I saw myself as a leader. When given leadership roles, you have to learn to own up to that responsibility. Someone believed in you, so you have to trust their instinct and believe in yourself. Being in a leadership position teaches you how to work with different people and personalities. You have to make difficult decisions, and you have to learn to work towards not only yours but other people’s goals.


When I started here at the UofA, I joined a sorority with over 200 people in it. The first semester was spent getting to know as many people as I could and learning about the organization. The first few months of being actively involved with the other members was a good way to get to know the culture of the organization. Once I found my place, I felt it was the right time to start working towards specific goals. When we were given the chance to apply for assistant jobs, I jumped on board. I was nervous to apply because I didn’t think I would get chosen as a new member. I was even more anxious when I found out I was selected to be the treasurer’s assistant. I immediately started questioning if I would know what to do or if I’d even be any good. The treasurer taught me what I was supposed to do and I learned a lot from her.

Applying for my first leadership position was a spur of the moment decision that ended up being a beneficial learning experience. I was exposed to a different side of the sorority I hadn’t thought about before because my position dealt with personnel outside of just the members, like the officers and advisors. I saw how the organization was managed. Just getting my foot into a new door helped me learn there’s more behind-the-scenes work that is crucial to the program’s survival.

After being an assistant, I was inspired to learn more and get involved with as much as I could. I took pride in the fact that my peers saw me as a leader, and when it came to electing officials, I was nominated and selected to be one of nine officers.

Being an officer, I worked with not only the members but with our advisors, parents, alumni, House Corporation, and National Headquarters. In my time holding a position, I oversaw almost 300 people. I was in charge of risk management, dealing with liability issues, upholding rules, and maintaining confidentiality.

The most challenging part? Looking at each scenario differently. I learned to work with a variety of personalities and viewed each situation through a different lens. Everyone has different things going on in their life, different opinions, and their own way of making decisions. For this reason, it’s important to understand that when you’re dealing with people, you have to be dynamic and open to looking at different perspectives. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you can better understand their actions.

Wilbur lead

In addition to my role as an officer in my sorority, I was also a member of Bobcats Senior Honorary. As a member, I had the opportunity to work in a more professional manner with alumni and faculty. Bobcats Senior Honorary allowed me to facilitate the planning and running of University of Arizona events. As a student, when you attend events and attend class, it’s not often that you reflect on everything that went into preparing for it. Most of the time, you’re experiencing the end product of what someone else spent time and effort on preparing. For example, the Bobcats worked with the Alumni Association to organize Homecoming. Being part of the planning and running of an event really helps you appreciate how much energy goes into the success of a final product.

I know firsthand that leadership can be scary, and it’s difficult to gain the courage to put yourself out there. That’s why it’s so important to take it slow and get comfortable with a group first. I highly recommend going on ASUA’s orgsync to find a club to join on campus. It’s a great way to get involved and it gets you closer to a chance at being a leader. If clubs aren’t your thing, maybe look for a cause you could be passionate about and start volunteering in the community. If you are you looking for ways to make money, apply for jobs and see where that takes you.

It’s not necessary for you to have a title to be a leader. Find something you love, work hard and take responsibility for your own actions, and inspire others to do the same.

People will see you as a leader and they’ll follow in your footsteps.

leader1 leader2

–Hannah McNeal

Stoked for the Big Game

31 Jan

I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough football. Obviously, I prefer to be watching our Arizona Wildcats but usually I’m happy watching anyone except ASU play. Now that I think about it, I watched a lot of football over winter break with all of the bowl games and the pro games. What can I say? I just love it!

I think my love for football started around age four when my dad taught me how to throw a football. He played for the UofA as a receiver, so I loved it because he loved it. You see, football was on every weekend in our house, so I always wanted to understand why my dad would focus so hard on the television and critique each play. He tried to explain the game to me but the only thing I could kind of grasp was a “beautiful pass.” It wasn’t until I was older that I really appreciated the true beauty of a nice pass. Dad would say things to the TV like “you gotta read that,” or “where was the coverage.” I was confused because there weren’t any words to read. Little by little, I started to get it, and now I analyze each play just like him. I’m sure my family looks funny when we watch football because my dad and I sit there and quietly critique the game while my mom and sister pace around the room, jump up and down, and scream at the TV.

My family is a perfect example of intense, dedicated fans. One thing that motivates me to support a team is their intense focus on their job, motivation to improve and do their best, and their dedication to the success of their team. All fans support their team, whether they’re winning or losing, but when you can see the players’ hard work paying off, that’s when the fan-spirit is heightened. Team pride is represented by the fans, but the players have to create the foundation of enthusiasm. Everyone wants to win, but the players are the only ones who can make it happen.

Working for Arizona’s football team last year really solidified my admiration for the sport. I saw how hard the team worked, the high numbers of personnel involved in its success, and the need for full team unity. To me, football used to be just throwing a football and hoping someone catches it. Now I know there’s an art to their plays and formations, meticulously placing their strongest assets, quickly reading the opponents moves and thinking fast, and understanding teammates’ and their own strengths and weaknesses on the field. I respect the sport and the players and enjoy analyzing the differences in every team, how they work together, and how their coach and quarterback think quickly under stress. Each team puts their own twist on the sport, making every game dynamic and unpredictable.

It’s gratifying to watch a team evolve throughout the year. Seeing them make it to the playoffs is an accomplishment alone, but when they make it to the Super Bowl, I can’t help but feel ecstatic for both of the teams and their fans.

This year’s battle will be Denver versus Seattle. A fun fact: this is only the third time that both teams in the championship game have an animal nickname. This will be the seventh championship game for Denver since their creation in 1960, and only the second for Seattle who has been around since 1976. It should be a good game with closely matched teams coming in with 15-3 records.

We’ll see if the weather has any impact on their performance. The forecast predicts it will be around 30 degrees at kickoff which is better than what they had predicted. Planning was in place to deal with unbearably cold temperatures because it is in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The stadium even employed 1,600 workers to be on call to shovel away snow just in case. Next year, you can bet the game will be a little warmer because it will be held at the University of Phoenix stadium.

Football won’t be the only art on Sunday. If you think about it, there’s the art of socializing, the art of overtopped hotdogs, hand made dips, and the estimated 1.25 billion chicken wings that will be consumed on Sunday. Gross!

Back onto a better image there’s also the art of the half time show. It gets more incredible every year, and this weekend Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be performing. Oh, and you can’t forget the art of the commercials. Whether they’re hilarious or moving, most of them are memorable. There are so many more reasons to watch than solely for the football.


The only time I enjoy watching commercials is during the championship game. Did you know, last year, the average cost for a 30 second commercial during the game was $4 million? That means a total of about $220 million was spent on advertisements. Since companies spend so much, it’s no wonder why they try to make their best commercials for this event. I thought the two Doritos commercials from last year were pretty funny. I’m excited to see what the ads will surprise us with this year.

If you’re getting pumped for Sunday’s game and wondering what you can do for it, I have a few suggestions for you.

First of all, you could always have some friends over and ask them to bring a dish to share. Maybe you’ve been dying to cook your favorite homemade enchiladas but you didn’t have a reason to cook a big dish. Now you do. You could also take a walk to University and watch the game at Gentle Bens, Frog & Firkin, No Anchovies, and the Auld Dubliner. They all have great food and plenty of TVs, so if you’re rooting for Seattle you can watch one TV, while the Denver fans watch a different one. You could also look up a fun restaurant in Tucson you’ve never been to before. Just be sure to check if they have TVs and will be playing the game. If you wear your favorite team’s jersey maybe it’ll strike up conversation and you’ll meet someone new. You have plenty of options, and it’s a great excuse to relax and have fun with friends. I will be watching the game at my place with some friends. So far, I’m planning on making my famous guacamole and my mom’s homemade hummus. My roommate will make her family’s chili and football-decorated cupcakes. I hope everyone has a fun weekend and can find something enjoyable about the event.

chili guacamole cupcakes
Get the recipes for these tasty foods from WildcatConnections’ Pinterest Board!

–Hannah McNeal


Wildcat Connections Time Management

18 Nov

Do you constantly feel like you never have enough time? Is the procrastination getting out of hand? (We get it…cleaning your room is sometimes better than homework.) Well this edition is for YOU! This week’s edition is all about time management. Take a look at 5 apps to keep you on schedule and resources on campus to help keep your procrastination to a minimum. The semester is coming to an end and finals are fast approaching, now is the time to work on that time management! More study time will most likely mean better test grades… and who doesn’t want better test grades?

We hope that your semester is wrapping up nicely!

Bear Down,
SAO Facilitators

The Seven Days of Homecoming: An Early Carol for UofA’s Most Exciting Holiday

1 Nov

Homecoming has been a University of Arizona tradition since 1914. Every year, Wildcats of all generations come together in celebration of the best school in the country. After all, we were appropriately recognized as one of the top colleges by the Princeton Review. We have highly ranked research programs, motivated undergraduate and graduate students, and a strong alumni base of all ages. One of our oldest alumni is 102-year-old Margaret Trachta.


The whole week is filled with spirit boosting events for students including the lighting of “A” Mountain (Sentinel Peak), Club Olympics, and Bear Down Friday.

The weekend is jam-packed with events for students and the 50,000 alumni returning “home” from across the United States.

There’s so much going on for homecoming it may be hard to remember every event. Sing this little tune so you won’t miss out. Yes, I know caroling may be a little premature, but hey, the UofA Homecoming is a spectacular holiday.



On the first day of homecoming UofA gave to me:

            A watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: The “A” was built in 1916 out of rocks, hauled up the mountain by horses. The tradition of lighting the mountain was used to kick off homecoming week. On Sunday, November 3, this tradition will be continued as we kick off the UofA’s 99th homecoming. ASUA is holding a “watch party” for all students to have the opportunity to experience this breath taking event. Festivities will start at 4pm on the top of Main Gate garage. There will be free food and drinks and students will be in the company of UofA’s very own Wilbur and Wilma. 

The Scoop: My freshman year, I walked to the top of the student union to watch the lighting of “A” Mountain with my new friends. The whole experience was breathtaking because I could participate in this longstanding UofA tradition with the people I love. We all waited for the sun to set, and as the lights went out over Tucson, a glimmer started to shine on the mountain. Within a few minutes the “A” was lit up in flames in a domino effect for the whole of Tucson to admire. You know when you’re sitting around a fire and you get caught mesmerized watching the flames dance? That same moving feeling is what I experienced watching the “A” glimmer high on the mountain. It gave me a whole new love and appreciation for the UofA. I’ve enjoyed watching it every year since, and last year I was able to see it from the balcony of my apartment. This year, I get to perform the lighting with my fellow members of the Bobcats Senior Honorary. As I sprint across the rocks lighting each set of flares I will be thinking about all the freshmen we will be introducing to the UofA’s rich history and traditions.

On the second day of homecoming  UofA gave to me:

            An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: The homecoming court consists of five men and five women nominated by various groups at UofA. Each of them went through a long selection process and competed against many qualified candidates. These ten were chosen based off of their all around embodiment of the University of Arizona. The student body now has the opportunity throughout the week to vote for their number one choice for king and queen. The winners will be announced at Friday’s pep rally.

The Scoop: The online bios of the queens and kings are fun to read because it gives you an idea of what people are involved with on and off campus. It’s also a great way to see what various groups on campus do. I’m always impressed to see how many different activities they get involved with and how many hours are put in. It’s inspiring to see their success and the quality people that UofA produces. Typically there are a variety of queens and kings involved with ASUA, Arizona Athletics, Greek Life, and many other established groups on campus.

homecoming court

On the third day of homecoming UofA gave to me:

            A relay race on the UofA Mall

                        An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: The Homecoming Club Olympics occur Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of homecoming week. The activities are monitored and judged by ASUA staff and the Bobcats. The top three teams will win cash rewards of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place! The Relay race will run from 12:00-1:00 pm. There will also be an Eegees truck so you can refuel after your race.

The Scoop: Participating in the Olympic games is a great way to let out your competitive side and make some new friends along the way. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday you can go to these events and participate with your club. If you’re not in a club, it’s still a blast to watch your fellow students, and even some professors, get their game face on.

On the fourth day of homecoming UofA gave to me:

            A  professor dunk tank, a pie eating contest, a bungee run, and an obstacle course

                        A relay race on the UofA Mall

                        An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: This year the dunk tank, pie eating contest, and bungee run will go from 12:00-1:00 pm. The inflatable obstacle course will be from 5:00-6:00 pm. If you are hoping to be a part of the Eller College of Management you should come out to see some of your future  professors get dunked repeatedly.

The Scoop: I have been busy throughout homecoming week in the past with tests papers and other activities. Unfortunately this kept me from participate in all of the activities throughout the week. If you’re in that same position, try to at least walk through the mall when they’re going on because just observing is so much fun. It still counts as participating. Trust me if you think you’ll be stressed out next week you should really make an effort to stop by the Olympics on the mall. You’ll get some good laughs in and it will be a good stress reliever.

On the fifth day of homecoming  UofA gave to me:

            Tug of War on the UofA Mall

                        A professor dunk tank, a pie eating contest, a bungee run, and an obstacle course  

                        A relay race on the UofA Mall

                        An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: Truckloads of dirt are delivered to the mall and turned into mud for the tug-of-war competition. Students can expect to get extremely dirty and should avoid wearing any clothes they care about.

The Scoop: My favorite event to watch is the tug-of-war. Everyone slips around in the mud and gets dirt all over their clothes but they don’t care because they’re so determined to win the battle. I had friends last year who participated in this event who a day later were still finding mud stuck to their arms, legs and even in their hair. Now that‘s what I call some dirty competition.


On the sixth day of homecoming UofA gave to me:

            Bear Down Friday and a Pep Rally on University

                        Tug of War on the UofA Mall

                        A professor dunk tank, a pie eating contest, a bungee run, and an obstacle course

                        A relay race on the UofA Mall

                        An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: The Queen and King have been announced at the pep rally since 1988. Interestingly, the first Queen was crowned all the way back in 1947. A king wasn’t selected until 1983. The pep rally will start this year at 5:00 pm and only lasts about an hour. For a more detailed schedule of the event visit this link.

The Scoop: At the end of the week there’s a Pep Rally on Bear Down Friday. Typically everyone gathers around the stage at Old Main and gets to participate in a bonfire. This year, because of construction, there unfortunately will not be a bonfire but there will still be a presentation at the stage on the mall. The football team, cheerleaders, band, and thousands of Wildcats gather round for a speech from Coach Rich Rodriguez and his captains. Then, with a dramatic build up by the band, the Homecoming Queen and King are announced. These events always make me so proud to be a Wildcat and get me pumped for the Saturday football game.

IMG_0041 IMG_0025

The first picture is of my friend Ashley and I at last year’s pep rally. The second picture is of my parents, two of the UofA alumni in my family.

On the seventh day of homecoming UofA gave to me:

            A football tailgate, tents on the mall, 50,000 alumni returning to UofA, a parade, and (fingers crossed) a winning football game against the UCLA Bruins

                        Bear Down Friday and a Pep Rally on University

                        Tug of War on the UofA Mall

                        A professor dunk tank, a pie eating contest, a bungee run, and an obstacle course  

                        A relay race on the UofA Mall

                        An introduction of the Homecoming Court

                        and a watch party for the lighting of “A” Mountain

The Facts: Students have been hand-building floats for the homecoming parade since 1929. Clubs, Greek houses, and even engineering teams put hours into designing the floats. There are also spectacular red and blue cars that were hand picked at the Tucson car show that escort the Homecoming Court and the Homecoming Grand Marshall. In the past the Grand Marshall has been alumni letter winners or coaches, big contributors to the UofA, or even significant role models in the community. This year the parade will start at 4:00 pm and proceed down the UA Mall. In addition the band marches through and then heads to the stadium to prepare for the game. This year we will be playing the UCLA Bruins at 8:00 pm.

The Scoop: On game day the mall is set up with hundreds of tents and tailgates from Old Main to Campbell Avenue. The sight of thousands of Wildcats roaming around campus with faces painted, wearing their colors, and flaunting the block A always strengthens my pride for the UofA. The spirit is buzzing through the air and everyone is acknowledging each other with an enthusiastic “Bear Down!” The prevalence of Bear Down during homecoming week especially is a symbol of long standing UofA traditions, lifelong dedication to Arizona, and the representation of the drive and success of the Wildcat community. “Pop” McKale went and visited John “Button” Salmon when he was in critical condition after a car accident and was given a message for the football team, “tell them… tell them to bear down.” These words were used to inspire the athletes back in 1926 and will still be used on Saturday, November 9th to encourage the football team to work hard and defeat UCLA. Bear Down is my favorite piece of UofA history because it motivates and connects the entire Arizona community. On game day I’m sure I say Bear Down close to one hundred times in conversation with alumni and when I’m nervously watching the game.



My favorite memory from homecoming was my sophomore year when I got to see my dad walk on the field. Every year many people are recognized for their contributions to the UofA during the football game. My dad was a letter winner for the UofA football team and that year his class was honored during the halftime show. As I watched him walk onto the field with his old roommates, I could see how happy he was to be back on his field with his buddies. At that moment I was so proud to be continuing his legacy and I realized I will always be a Wildcat. The University of Arizona provides us with so many great opportunities and resources that can help us grow and shape us into the people we are when we graduate. It’s a part of us, and we’re wildcats for life. Homecoming is when alumni come back home.

–Hannah McNeal