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Outreach Facilitators “Ten Things We Wish We Knew Freshman Year”

28 Apr

      Freshman year can be a complicated first year for many students for many different reasons. Some of the challenges that first year student’s experience are due to not knowing important resources that help get you through college. There are so many different reasons that range from being a first generation student, to coming from a small town or out-of-state. Transition is a bit difficult for everyone, but the Outreach Facilitators came up with a list of ten things we wished we would have known our freshman year. However, some of these items on the list we still would have liked to know sophomore, junior, and senior year. So, here it goes Wildcats! The first item on our list is…

1.Distribute your Gen Ed’s throughout your four years: 

Sometimes if you’re taking extremely science heavy or math heavy classes all at once, it could get a little difficult to manage. That’s why sometimes (with your academic advisors permission) go ahead and distribute your general education courses evenly throughout your years at UA. This can help you succeed, and be less stressed each semester. However, just remember to always consult with your advisor before making any decisions.

2. Campus Resources:

There are many resources on campus that many students don’t really know about.  I’ll just list a few…

These resources are here for YOU, so take advantage of them. If you have any questions you can always contact your Outreach Facilitator.

3. How to navigate the library: 

Navigating the library can be such a difficult experience, and some students (now seniors) have never used the library because it can be extremely intimidating. But, don’t worry we got you covered. (Check out this blog) to learn how to conquer the library like a true Wildcat.

4. Amount of units to take each semester: 

This might be the most important item on the list. The reason it’s so important to know how many units you need to take each semester is so you are able to graduate in four years. Also, some scholarships at the University of Arizona have a minimum requirement of units to take to be eligible for that specific scholarship. Again, visit your academic advisor for more information about the amount of units you need to graduate in four years.

5. Everyone is equally stressed: 

During the academic year everyone gets stressed, and we all sometimes feel like we’re the only ones. However, the entire Outreach team wants to let you know that you are NOT alone! Our entire team consists of student workers who balance work, school and a variety of activities on campus. We ALL get stressed, and some of the advice we want to give is:

  • Breathe
  • Take a break
  • Eat some delicious snacks, or enjoy a good meal.
  • And Bear Down!  You got this!   

6.  Grade Replacement Opportunity (GRO):

GRO is an AWESOME opportunity that the University of Arizona offers. The way GRO works is if you didn’t get the best grade in a class, you have the opportunity to retake the exact same class and have the new grade calculated into your GPA. However, there are some restrictions when GROing a class. You can only GRO a certain amount of units, and you cannot GRO if you have taken a certain number of units. If you have any questions about GRO please visit https://www.registrar.arizona.edu/regtrans/GRO.

7. Financial Aid on UAccess:

Many students don’t know that their financial aid is posted on UAccess, and that it is easier to manage financial aid through UAcccess. For example, you can accept or deny your scholarships on UAccess. Always remember to check UAccess first before contacting the Financial Aid office for simple questions.

8. Start Your Resume Early: 

It’s important to get involved your freshmen year, and throughout your years at the University of Arizona. Networking is KEY! This will allow you to get experience, and build a resume. Resumes are extremely important, so start gaining experience early. If you are completely unsure on how to actually get started on your resume, visit career services they have special advisors who help make your resume look extremely professional. Visit Career Services.

9. Time Management:

Time management is a crucial skill to have not only for your academic career, but also your professional career. There are several tools that the Outreach Facilitators use to keep their time management on point.  Here’s a couple you should try using…

  • Keeping a planner
  • Smart phone apps
  • Lists
  • Sticky Notes on a big calendar
  • Google Calendar 

These techniques may not work for everyone so you have to explore and find the ones that work best for you. 

  10. Know the story of Bear Down:

The story of Bear Down is extremely important because it’s probably the core of the University of Arizona. The phrase Bear Down means a lot of different things to each student, and it’s important to have that Bear Down spirit to get you through finals that are soon approaching. There is a saying that goes a little like this “If you have to ask, you’ll never know” as of NOW your job is to learn the Bear Down story

READY? SET? GO! 

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I Love My Major

17 Apr

The University of Arizona is a very special place that I’ve learned to call home. When I decided to attend UA I was set on finding an academic path that I thought would follow until graduation. That didn’t happen! The fifth week of school I decided to change my major, and boy am I happy I did. I decided to change my focus to Middle Eastern and North African Studies. There are many reasons why I decided to change – let me show you some of them.

 

I get to learn from some of the best and most distinguished Middle Eastern and North African Studies professors.

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I have been able to learn a Middle Eastern foreign language.

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My classes cover the events happening in the Middle East.

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I got the awesome opportunity to travel abroad to Turkey and experience what I study first hand.

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And of course the food is amazing!

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My major has taught me many life lessons these past three years. It has taught me to be a diverse individual both in my personal life, and in my academic life. I have gained the ability to adapt to different situations at any given moment, and understand the importance of loving what you do.  My decision was very natural when it came to picking an academic path. It sometimes takes time to find what works for you the best, but don’t worry, you will get there. If you need more information about the different majors offered here at the University of Arizona, check out the degree search at http://degreesearch.arizona.edu/. This helpful tool gives you crucial information about all majors, and it has helped many students to make the same decision I did. As always Wildcats, when it gets tough just remember to BEAR DOWN!

-Valeria

Summer Opportunities: Studying Abroad

9 Apr

The school year of 2013-2014 is almost at an end, and it’s been an adventure. Deep inside I know most of us are ready for the semester to be over, but unfortunately we still have four weeks of school left. We need to power through these last couple of weeks, and end the semester with a bang!

However, after we dominate finals guess what time it is?  SUMMER TIME! 

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Summer can be one of the greatest moments ever, or they could potentially be one of the worst. Some people plan their break very carefully, while others just go with the flow. Some students take a couple extra classes, while others work throughout the summer. Regardless of how you plan your time off, I want to talk to you amazing people about studying abroad during the summer.

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It is extremely important to plan ahead if you’re interested in studying abroad. The reason why it’s important to plan ahead is because the application process is quiet long, but don’t let that stop you!

The University of Arizona has a magnificent study abroad program. They have programs all around the world which provides you with many different options to choose from. If they don’t have a program that fits you, don’t to worry, they have highly skilled advisors to help you find one that is just right.

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The study abroad program offers four main programs.

  • UA Faculty-led: Programs organized and/or taught by UA professors and staff.  Students take classes with other UA students.  Participants earn direct UA credit, which means grades received are calculated into the UA GPA. Students pay a set program fee, regardless of residency status.
  • Student Exchange: Students attend one of UA’s partner institutions abroad for a semester or academic year and attend classes with a mix of local and international students.  Participants pay the equivalent of UA tuition and earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA. Please note: space is limited in some exchanges, so apply early!
  • Direct Enroll: Similar to exchange, students attend one of UA’s partner institutions abroad with a mix of local and international students.  However, students pay the host institution’s tuition plus a UA Registration Fee.  Students earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA.
  • Third-party provider: There are 7 UA-affiliated third-party program providers (CEA, CIEE, DIS, GlobaLinks, IAU, ISA, and Semester at Sea) that draw students from all over the U.S. The experiences you gain from these programs can vary significantly by provider and location. In most cases, students take classes with other US students, but some programs also offer classes with a mix of local and international students. Students pay a set program fee, regardless of residency status, plus a UA Registration Fee.  Students earn transfer credit, which does not affect the UA GPA.

Very self explanatory right? If you have any further questions about these types of programs feel free to contact the Study Abroad office. Before you apply to a program there are a several steps you need to take. 

            Step 1 Attend a Study Abroad 101 Information Session: All students interested in studying abroad must attend Study Abroad 101, a one-hour session that is full of helpful information.

           Step 2 Create a Study Abroad ProfileDoing so will provide necessary information to our study abroad coordinators so they can help you select the program that is best for you.  There is no commitment at this point and it’s free to create a profile. 

           Step 3 Consider Your Program Options: Like I said there are hundreds of programs to choose from in approximately 60 countries which range from 4-10 weeks. Use the program search tool to help you narrow your search. If your looking for programs that best suites your Major/Minor check out a few on the Study Abroad for your Major/Mnior page.

           Step 4 Meet with a Study Abroad Coordinator: Once you have narrowed down your choices, meet with one (or more!) of the study abroad coordinators to get more details, and ask any questions you might have. You can book an appointment with them online

            Step 5 Meet with your Academic Advisor: Like I said early PLAN AHEAD! Talk with your academic advisor as early as possible about your intent to study abroad. One you’ve selected a program, you should meet with your academic advisor to make sure the program satisfies your academic requirement and keeps you on track for graduation. VERY IMPORTANT. 

          Step 6 APPLY!: Once you’ve have completed all these steps, you are ready to apply to your program. Apply by clicking the “Apply Now” button on your program’s page. However, keep in mind that each time you open an application, your Bursar’s account will be charged a $80 non-refundable application fee, whether you decide to complete the application or not. So be sure you’re ready!  This is also a perfect time to check Scholarship Universe for study abroad scholarships. 

I know this was a lot of information to take in, but once you’ve completed these six easy step you’re ready to launch into a summer of a lifetime. It is too late to apply for this summer, but plan ahead and apply for the Summer of 2015. There is a saying that has always stuck with me, and I hope that you find it just as motivating as I did:

“Those who study abroad wish they would of done it again, and those who’ve never studied abroad wish they did.” – Unknown

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OWLing Summer Fun!

13 Mar

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Do you remember your orientation the summer before your freshman year? Do you remember a group of college students guiding you through our fight song? Well… funny story, I was probably one of those college students guiding you through your exciting transition to the University of Arizona.

As a Tucsonan, I have often spent the summer here, and well, if you haven’t spent a summer in Tucson, it’s not fun when it hits the triple digits. Once it hit those triple digits, all you think about is air conditioning. Because of this, I spent every summer inside with the air conditioning on full-blast, not doing much. However, Tucson does have great pool weather for those who like to get their tan on. Have you seen how wonderful the Campus Rec pool is? Still, it never occurred to me that I could actually do something productive in triple-digit weather. All I thought about was sleeping in late, and becoming a couch potato. Who doesn’t like to be a couch potato?

My freshmen year, spring semester, I stumbled across the orientation page one night and saw an ad that said:

                        “Now Hiring Orientation and Welcome Leaders for Summer 2012.”

My first thought was, “Wow! They get paid for that?”  I remembered my orientation leaders having so much fun and enjoying their time with each other. They were also knowledgeable and welcoming, which made me feel right at home. I looked at the application, and basically said, “WHY NOT?” and that’s how it all started.

I got selected to be an Orientation and Welcome Leader for the summer of 2012. I was extremely excited mainly because I was getting paid and earning a bit of cash. However, my experience became much more than just a summer job.

As an Orientation Leader, I learned so much about the University of Arizona, and about the transition students go through their freshman year. It was a privilege to work with a great institution like UA, and to work with incredible supervisors.  I think the most rewarding experience during my summer as an Orientation and Welcome Leader was getting to know my coworkers. They have become a huge part of my college experience. I will always have Orientation to thank for wonderful memories , and for the people that I have in my life because of the opportunities afforded to me.

Here’s a quick peek of the Orientation Leaders, behind the scenes…

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It’s always fun to have a photo shoot with Wilbur and Wilma

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Excited to meet everyone at 7:00am!

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Ready to Bear Down!

Summers don’t have to be boring and uneventful. No matter how high those triple digits get it’s always fun when you have someone suffering the same heat with you. Summer jobs can be a great opportunity to build your resume, and make yourself more marketable. If you get a summer job on campus, you’ll have the chance to interact with professional staff, and develop a professional relationship with campus partners. Also, summer jobs can get you a little extra cash in your pocket – who doesn’t like a little extra cash?

There are different ways to get involved on campus during the summer. You can log in to Wildcat Joblink and look for summer jobs offered here on campus. Also, keep a look out for those listserv sent to your Catmails; they usually have important announcements including summer job opportunities. You can always apply to be an Orientation and Welcome Leader (OWL) for next summer. Keep a look out for those applications towards the spring semester. Overall, summer jobs can be a great experience not only professionally, but also socially. Make your time at UA unforgettable, and remember to always Bear Down!

–Valeria

Nugent Q&A: Refocusing for Spring Semester

27 Jan

Welcome back WILDCATS! The entire Outreach Facilitator family missed you! If last semester didn’t go as planned, IT’S OKAY! We all fall down, BUT Wildcats get up, dust themselves off, and Bear Down! Outreach Facilitators are here whenever you have questions or need someone to talk to. Also, keep on opening those Wildcat Connections emails you get every Monday. We work hard to ensure that when you need to know, Wildcat Connections is where to go!

While we enjoy the time between semesters it can sometimes be hard to refocus and start framing the new semester. We decided to ask a few of our colleagues in the Nugent Building (where you can come visit us) what they do to get the ball rolling.

Here’s what they said:

Tori Morris

Tori Morris is senior studying philosophy, politics, economics, and law and is a Peer Advisor for Pathway to Academic Student Success.

To refocus, Tori gets back into a routine and makes goals for the weekend so she doesn’t get behind. She also loves to study at her favorite coffee places in Tucson, like Café Luce, Raging Sage, and Café Passe. Continue reading

Food, Historical Sites, and Skylines: These are a Few of My Favorite Things in Tucson

9 Jan

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I have lived in Tucson for twenty years and every year is more special than the last.

Growing up in Tucson is an adventure. Even if you’re new to Tucson, you probably already know what I’m talking about. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s cool. I’m going to show you how to explore Tucson like a true local. Let’s kickstart your Tucsonan adventure, Wildcats! 

Every semester after finals, my friends and I like to celebrate our success. What better way to reward ourselves than with some yummy FOOD?! 

Hands down, our favorite restaurant in Tucson has to be…

El Güero Canelo:

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El Güero Canelo is the heart of Mexican food in Tucson. The Contreras family started El Güero Canelo in 1993 based on an idea from Daniel Contreras’ wife, Blanca, while on a trip to Mexico. Daniel and Blanca wanted to open a Mexican restaurant to serve both carne asada and Mexican hot dogs. The rest is history.

El Güero Canelo is so well-known that Adam Richman from the T.V. show Man vs. Food couldn’t stay away from the tasty Mexican hot dogs. Don’t believe me? Check it out! Family-owned businesses like this one make Tucson that much better. Make sure you go on this mini (but majorly delicious) excursion to El Güero Canelo before you graduate!

Fun Fact: My dad worked for El Güero when he was young. Too bad I don’t get discounts on caramelos. Luckily, the prices are reasonable on a student budget. 

If you don’t like Mexican food, don’t even sweat it. Tucson is home to restaurants that can please all tastebuds.

As a matter of fact, Tucson has an amazing Ethiopian restaurant not too far from campus.

Zemams Ethiopian Cuisine: 

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For over 15 years, Zemams has served thousands of Wildcats its flavorful Ethiopian food. They use herbs and spices imported from Ethiopia to make signature dishes. Bring an appetite (this isn’t a tall order after studying), some friends (the best way to eat is family-style), and don’t forget to order the injera bread.

Fun Tip: They even have a gluten-free version of the injera bread if you call-in ahead of time. Zemams has the Outreach Facilitator stamp of approval!

Broadway and Tucson too far to walk? Head over to University Boulevard and you will find…

Vietnamese: Saigon Pho Restaurant

I like how cozy this place is. It’s perfect for a winter day when you want piping hot pho and a place to decompress.

Greek: Pelio Grill Restaurant 

This place just reopened and has a fantastic full-window view of Main Gate.

Middle Eastern: Sinbad’s Restaurant 

I love this place on a sunny day, which is a lot of the time in Tucson. The patio is perfect; the trees and fountain make for a relaxing lunch hour.

As you can see, there’s a lot to choose from in Tucson. It just takes time, and a little courage to try something new, so treat yourself after finals.

We have lots and lots of food, but sometimes it’s hard to find actual things to do in Tucson. The secret is that you have to research to find what’s out there, or what’s going on. All it takes is a little digging to find that hidden treasure.

One of my favorite things to do is visit…

San Xavier del Bac:

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Beautiful right? This treasure, or as it’s nicknamed, “The White Dove of the Desert,” is pretty easy to spot in the desert.

San Xavier del Bac is a three-hundred-year-old Spanish Catholic mission located about ten miles south of downtown Tucson on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. It was founded in 1692 by Jesuit missionary, Padre Eusebio Kino. The Mission is also known as the “place where the water appears,” as there was once a natural springs in the area. The mission is situated in the center of the centuries-old Indian settlement of the Tohono O’odham located along the banks of the Santa Cruz. The Mission is also a pilgrimage site. Thousands of pilgrims visit the church each year, many of them walking or riding on horseback.

Not only is this place gorgeous, and full of history, you can buy local fry bread on-site. You know I couldn’t avoid the food element. It’s a win-win situation. 

Fun Tip: My family and I always go to the Mission on Sundays since there are vendors selling homemade Indian bread! OMG! The fry bread is to die for!!!! Food follows us Wildcats everywhere 🙂  Just be careful of local hungry bees, because they’ll also follow you around San Xavier if you order your bread with powdered sugar. They also love the fresh-squeezed lemonade, so beware. I know you Wildcats aren’t scared of a little bumblebee though, right?

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Since San Xavier is a bit far, you can still find things to do closer to campus. One of my other favorites is…

“A” Mountain:

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The formal name of this mountain, Sentinel Peak, came from its function as a lookout point for the Spanish, though the Pima village and cultivated fields that once lay at the base of the peak, just west of downtown, are long gone. In 1915, fans of the University of Arizona football team whitewashed a large “A” on its side to celebrate a victory, and the tradition has been continued ever since.

Fun Tip: During the day, the peak’s a great place to get an overview of the town’s layout. At night, the city lights below form a dazzling carpet. This is a perfect spot to take Instagram pictures, or a picnic (more food!). Here’s one my favorite pictures I’ve taken from “A” Mountain… IMG_7488

Here’s hoping I motivated you to go out and find your own hidden gems, whether you’re new to Tucson, or a local like me. Go out and make magic happen. Who knows? Maybe Tucson can be your ultimate BFF. Wildcats, how can you deny that skyline?

— Valeria Martinez

Student Affairs Outreach: Our Winter Bucket List

13 Dec

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December has to be one of the most beautiful and enjoyable months in Tucson. The heat is nowhere in sight, which is lovely, even if it’s fifty degrees and windy outside. Campus becomes an Instagram-frenzy with everyone taking breathtaking  pictures. And when I say everyone, I include myself. I don’t mean to brag, but check this one out 🙂

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However, December is also the month we all seem to wish wouldn’t come because we have to complete finals. But hey, let’s not stress, Wildcats. Finals don’t last all month, and winter break is soon approaching.

Some of you will be going back to your home states to get cozy with your pets or see friends from high school and visit your old hangout spot that you love.

There are many things to look forward to if you’re going back home for the break, but not all of us are from out of state, or even from out of city, right?  And not all of us can go home for the break. Well…this blog goes out to those of us staying in Tucson.

Your Outreach Facilitators wrote a bucket list for winter break activities in Tucson. Even though Tucson doesn’t experience much snow, we do experience lots of December awesomeness. Below are our top four things to do in Tucson this winter break.

The Outreach Facilitators will try to complete this bucket list this winter break, but we need your help. 

Share your #5  (or all five, if you’re really in the spirit) from your winter break bucket-list items and use the hashtag #winterbreakbucketlist. We’d love to see what you’re up to.

1. ZOO LIGHTS – December 23 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm @ReidParkZoo

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Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo is guaranteed to put you in the winter spirit with jingle bells, twinkling lights, animal-light sculptures, and, yes, desert-Wildcats, falling snow. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children and children under the age of two are free. There will be free cookies and $1 cookies. How could you not attend this wildly wonderful event?

2. Winterhaven Festival of Lights December 14-28 at Ft. Lowell & Prince

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This will be the 63rd year for the Winterhaven Festival of Lights – one of the longest running festivals of its kind in the country. The Festival of Lights celebrates the holiday season in Tucson and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people from all over southern Arizona. Moreover, the Festival is one the most important events for the Community Food Bank in Tucson. According to the Festival’s website, in 2012, over $20,753.00 and 33,905 pounds of food were donated to the Food Bank through the Festival. You know you want to attend this magical festival and give back to the community. We do! Just be sure to wear warm clothes, as it can get chilly strolling through the neighborhood. 

3. Mt. Lemmon  Year-Round off the Catalina Highway

Mt.LemmonFor those of you who need more than zoo-snow, we’ve added Mount Lemmon to our list. Getting to Mount Lemmon is a little difficult if you don’t have the appropriate vehicle because it’s the highest point in the Catalina Mountains, and depending on the weather, you may need four-wheel drive–check the reports beforehand. However, you can always carpool there with some of your friends if they are willing to drive up the Catalina Highway. The scenery is beautiful. Plus, you can take snowboarding and ski classes at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. Click on the image to find out more information.

4. Gates Pass – Year-Round off W. Gates Pass Road 

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Gates Pass is the popular sightseeing area known as Tucson’s best sunset-viewing site (and date spot). It’s one of the vantage points to watch the sun drop out of sight over West Saguaro National Park. Gates Pass has recreational areas for picnicking, hiking, wildlife observation, nature studies and camping. Get your phones ready to Instagram lots of fun sunset pictures. You know I will 🙂

Of course, there’s much more awesomeness going on during the winter break in Tucson. Click here to see a master calendar of all the events happening in Tucson.

Keep a lookout this winter break for our fun and quirky photos on our little (but very magical) bucket list adventure!

Make sure to follow us on: Instagram Twitter Pinterest | Facebook

On behalf of the entire Student Affairs Outreach team, we want to wish you a fun and safe winter break. Bear Down, Wildcats!

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–Valeria Martinez

Tips for First-Generation College Students: Finding “Home” Away From Home & Talking To Your Family About Wildcat Life

28 Oct

Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Tucson, and the University of Arizona was practically in my “backyard,” as a first generation student, I wasn’t really sure how college worked. Few of my family members had graduated from high school, and none of my family members had attended four-year institutions.

Technically, I never did get “homesick” since I never left my mother and siblings in Tucson. However, because the university-system was new for all of us, it was a scary process. My family and I didn’t really know how challenging the classes were, and how the university system worked. I think I was more nervous and had more questions than my mother. There were obstacles along the way that seemed extremely difficult at the time. One of those obstacles was making the important decision of moving out from my home. Even though this was a tough decision, it ended up being the right one.

The trick for me was to find that balance I needed to have a good college experience, but to also have a good relationship with my family. I came to the conclusion that I needed to find my “home away from home.”

Since my moving out, I felt a bit disconnected with my family, and didn’t see them as much. I missed home, even though I was only twenty minutes away. Also, initially, my family did not fully understand how much dedication it took to do well in college, and they did not agree on my choice of study. FYI: I’m studying Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Random, huh? I know. And my family didn’t understand why.

This is why it was crucial to find my home away from home in the place where I spent most of my time.

My freshmen year I was lucky enough to find a job as a front desk assistant at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. From then on I started meeting new people with the same kinds of interests that I thought were fascinating. Those conversations soon developed into amazing friendships. Those friendships soon developed into something greater than friendship – they became family. These people seemed to understand how hard school was, and gave me all the resources I needed to survive my freshmen year. I know that might sound a little extreme, but at the time it seemed like I couldn’t see the light at the end of tunnel. These individuals pushed me through the dark tunnel.

Within The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies I found my niche. I was surrounded by those who were going through the same difficult and challenging time as I was. Many of us were full-time students, living away from home, and working part time. We all came from different backgrounds, but somehow we all bonded like family, supporting one another.

Here are a couple of pictures of the wonderful people I met, who soon became my second family.

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It’s important to have a support system throughout your college years.  College can be overwhelming and sometimes you just need to vent out the frustrations of a specific class or situation.

At home, I did feel supported, but just in a different way.  I couldn’t really talk to my mom about problems at school, or talk about school overall. My mother didn’t really understand, and didn’t know how to give me advice since college was a new experience for her as well. Even though we had our differences, and although they had a hard time adjusting to my life here at the University since I was no longer living at home, I still stayed extremely close to my family.

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However, they soon adjusted to the big change and have been very supportive ever since. My family saw how happy I was attending the UofA, and really realized that I had a passion for Middle Eastern Studies.

Here are the top three tips I have for first-generation students when talking with their family about their life at The University of Arizona:

Struggle 1: What if my family doesn’t agree with my major choice?

Don’t get frustrated with your family! Sometimes all you need to do it give it time.

Struggle 2:  What if my family doesn’t understand how time-consuming and grueling the workload is at the university?

Calmingly talk to your parents, and take them through a rundown of your schedule. This will show your parents how time-consuming your schedule is, and how that reflects your workload.

Struggle 3: What if you can’t find that home away from home?

Don’t worry too much. Sometimes it takes time to make those connections. As long as you are out there trying your best that’s all that matters.

Like I said earlier, my family’s support is a bit different from the support that I found at school. We love each other, and that’s all that matters right?

My point with this blog is to have faith. Even if you’re an international student, an out-of-state student, or an in-state student, you can and will always have someone to support you 100 percent. Get out there, get involved, and get to know your professors, classmates, co-workers, and everyone you can.

If you’re sitting at home or in the dorms reading this, or wherever you are, and can’t think of anyone who supports you, just know that the entire staff at Student Affairs Outreach is always here for you. If you want to chat about life as a Wildcat, or anything, we are located in the Nugent building, lower level.

Homesickness, no matter your definition, can be a little overwhelming, but it is possible to find that home away from home. I did … have you?

–Valeria Martinez

Sophomore Semester Reflection

20 May

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the END of my SOPHOMORE YEAR!

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I’m so excited to be moving on to the next phase of my college career. This year has been one of my toughest semesters so far, but it has all been worth it. We always hear people say that college is the time where you find yourself and figure out what you’re extremely passionate about, and they’re 1oo% RIGHT! College for me has been a learning experience that I will forever cherish for the rest of my life. This semester I learned a few things about myself, and how I can improve next semester.

First, I learned that I should never have back-to-back classes. I need breaks! This semester I was taking three classes back-to-back and it was the most stressful schedule I’ve ever had. I realized that from now on I have to have at least 2 hour breaks within my schedule. Breaks let me breath, and have me time to relax  before my next class.

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This semester, I had too much on my plate and was overwhelmed by everything that was going on all at once. Next semester I will be taking it easier on myself and manage time more wisely. I have learned the limits of what I can handle each semester, and this semester definitely challenged me. Next semester I will try my best to manage my time wisely, and do better in my classes.

tumblr_inline_mkyqgrmKzI1rr7zxjAlthough, I have learned so many things that I need to improve on for next semester, I am very proud of what I have accomplished this year. On June 19th, 2013 I will be on my way to Istanbul, Turkey to study abroad. My study abroad applications were the hardest thing I had to do this semester, but I managed to get the awesome opportunity to travel overseas. This process has taught me so much about applying to big programs, and learning how to write application essays. This has been one of the greatest learning experience yet, and I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about it.

My Bucket List – College Edition

29 Apr

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It’s official … I’m almost done with sophomore year! It feels like I’ve been in college for centuries, but, once I stop for a moment, I realize that I’m only a sophomore. It’s scary to think that I only have two more years of my undergraduate career left, and I’ll be graduating soon.  Even though I’m already halfway through school, there is still so much I haven’t done that I want to do before I leave UA.  Here is my college bucket list:

1. Go to every kind of sporting event on campus: I’ve been to a few football games, but I want to experience other sports that are offered on campus. I want to cheer on athletes in sports that don’t always get the most attention.

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2. Tailgate: I go to football games, but I have never had a ‘tailgating’ experience.

3. Join a leadership club: Before I’m done at the U of A, I want to join a leadership club to learn how to be an effective leader.

4. Take a road trip with my friends: I feel like this is a must have experience for everyone, and I want to take a trip that I will remember fondly in the future.

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5. Play catch on the mall: I always see people playing catch on the mall, and I want to get a group of my friends and play.

6. Ride a bike to class: I walk everywhere and it takes sooooo long! If I ride my bike, I’ll get places faster.

7. Try Cactus Grill’s chicken and waffles: They scare me, and I haven’t been brave enough to try them yet.  Have you tried them?

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8. Get to know all my professors a bit more: It’s extremely important that I know my professors on a one-on-one basis. I believe my professors will help me as I move forward as a scholar and a professional.

9. Study abroad for a whole semester: I want to live in another country for a whole semester.

10. Learn to long board: It looks kind of dangerous, but it also looks fun!

11. Sit in on a UAPD shift: I’ve always wanted to ride along with a UAPD officer on their rounds.

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12. Be an RA for a day: I have lots of friends who are RAs in the residents halls, and they all seem to enjoy it SO MUCH! 

What’s on your bucket list?