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Welcome to College: Don’t Be a Stranger!

17 Aug

A new thing can be exciting and refreshing. That’s the beauty of change – it’s what makes day-to-day life a little more exciting than it was the day before. But change can be a big hurdle for a lot of people, AND THAT’S OK. Learning how to adjust or figuring out how to best transition into college isn’t a cakewalk for everyone. In fact, it’s probably a bigger issue for a lot more people than one initially thinks. The reality is that change, as exciting as it is, is also pretty nerve-wrecking.

I remember being 18 and moving into my first dorm. Being from Arizona myself, I knew a few people from home that were on campus but if we’re being honest no one that I was close friends with. The excitement of starting college was real but so was the fear that I would never be able to adjust or find friends like the ones I had left back home. Fortunately, that was not the case.

Yes, it is possible to find your niche in college! Yes, it is possible to transition gracefully! It’s all a matter of putting yourself out there and facing that tiny fear of rejection that lies in the back of one’s mind. University is full of opportunities for mingling with other students: clubs, jobs, and tons of other social activities. The only thing left to do as a student is choosing which route to follow; truly the possibilities are endless when deciding on how to get involved on campus. For those that aren’t sure where to start, here are a few option to get you all going.

Joining clubs

One of the most obvious ways to get involved on campus is everyone’s go-to suggestion: clubs. The University of Arizona has over 600 available clubs on campus! Ranging from things like self defense, major related subjects, or cultural communities there is more than likely something to appeal to everyone. And honestly, what better place to find people who share the same interests? The best way to make the U of A home is to find somewhere that feels like home. Take some time to check out their website at clubs.arizona.edu!

Make some friends AND make some money

Aside from school, the second best place to meet new people is probably going to be work. Not only does work give students the chance to make some extra cash for whatever purposes, but it also allows students to connect with other people nearby. Campus offers a variety of jobs whether they be in the student union, in college offices, or doing odd jobs like transporting students in golf carts, assisting in the residence halls, or managing bike racks, garages, etc. However, don’t limit yourself to campus! There are plenty of walking distance jobs on University Blvd that can bring in loads of tip money as well. Finding a fun job to fill in the downtime is more than possible in a college town like Tucson!

Opa!

Greek life is HUGE here at the U of A. Campus offers more than 50 academic, leadership, and social greek chapters to help students connect with their peers, stay involved on campus, and gain some very beneficial community service hours all at once. Those who want to reside on the ever busy Greek Row can find a great house to join and those who prefer a less involved fraternity or sorority can find an equally fun leadership-focused organization. Greek life is just another awesome way for students to make lifelong connections with friends while getting in valuable and memorable experiences for the long run. The university also offers a website (greek.arizona.edu) where students can check out the many chapters available and their corresponding fees.

Give back to your community

Tons of students at the university are not only looking to meet new people, they’re looking to make good use of their time here on campus. For some, volunteering and community service work is an interest that not only lets them find a positive group of peers to surround themselves with, but it also provides them with some incredibly useful service hours that can help build their academic resume. The university has an easy to do interest form that can be submitted to ASUA to help match you with great volunteer opportunities at volunteer.asua.arizona.edu.

Of course coming to a new school or even a new state can be incredibly unsettling for some people. Realistically, it happens to most of us. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way forever! There is SO much for students to get involved in here on campus that there really is no reason to waste time wallowing in the first year jitters. It only takes a little bit courage to go out and find the perfect fit and the next four years will fall into place all on their own. Don’t be afraid to go out and find the ideal club, job, or social community! College is meant to be a fresh and exciting new adventure: let’s make the best of it!

-Diana

Even Moana Felt Out of Place

17 Aug

I AM MOANA.

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For those of y’all who don’t know me, I’m Lili, and a handful of my friends say I look like -and am very much like – Moana. Lo and behold, I relate to Moana on more scales than one.

  1. I have the hair

2. I have the awkward demeanor

3. I had troubles finding myself.

Let’s face it: everyone feels out of place some time or another.

Maybe it was in elementary school, or when you joined the swim team. Or maybe, for those like me, it was the beginning of college.

sad moana

Three summers ago, I was sitting by myself in an auditorium surrounded by 500 people, knowing no one. This was freshman orientation. I was surrounded by girls who knew each other, and parents who sat with their soon to be college bound kids. But I, was alone.

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don’t worry too much

Saying I felt out of place was just the beginning of it. I didn’t dress like the people around me, and I definitely didn’t have the three Cartier Love Cuffs that the girl next to me had. I have always had an RBF (you know what that is), so I don’t have an approachable face… so that didn’t help.

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example A of my RBF

Finding A Friend:

Fast forward to the first few days of school; again, my RBF didn’t help me make friends. However, by chance, the seat next to me was open, and a girl who was running late to lecture plopped down next to me. -Foreshadow that she is now one of my best friends here-

From then on, I would try to find a seat next to anyone -because hey, don’t judge a book by its cover-

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literally my friend is Maui

Finding a GROUP of friends:

Now, the real story of finding my family away from family started at the Meet Me at the Rec fair. This is an event where all sports -team, intramural, and others- pitch tents and try to recruit you to their team.

Here, I found the UA Quidditch Team. Quidditch? pfft nerd. I kid you not, this was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only did I meet some of the most open people in my life, but I was able to find people who were my age that were looking for friends as well. This sport (yes, it’s a sport.) showed me that I could make friends out of my major that actually had similar interests as me. Not all of the team liked Harry Potter; most of them played just so they could tackle people (yes, it’s full body contact).

So when I say to not be afraid to be out of place, I genuinely mean, DO NOT FEAR. It is a part of life, and often enough, there are dozens of people that feel the same way.

Immerse yourself in things you love. I promise you’ll find someone who relates to you.

baby moana

Stay beautiful,

Lils xx

 

6 Things I Wish I Heard Going into Sophomore Year

24 Jul
  1. It is Okay to Change Your Major or Change it Again
    I want to stress that it is okay if you’re still not certain which path is best for you because you are still in your second year. There is time to explore your options to make yourself happy in the long run. Even if you change your major 20 times, it is best that you find what is the right path to take to get you to your future career. I started school as and Architecture major and I thought that was where I was going to stay for the rest of my college career. Unfortunately, at the time, I couldn’t handle the rigorous course work that was put on my plate and I decided the major I had picked was not a good fit for me. After this, I decided to try business as a major and that fell through as well in my sophomore year. My heart was not in business school, so again, I was at the beginning of searching for a major. After a lot of consideration and talking to advisors, I found my fit as an Art major. This was the best decision that I made during my college career because it was what made me the happiest.

  2. Your Advisor is Your Best Friend
    I know that literally everyone at the U of A stresses this, but it is very useful so I’m going to stress it again. Whether it is your major’s advisor or a potential major’s advisor, they can offer you the best help when exploring majors or picking the correct courses to take to obtain your degree. Along with this, they can help you if you have any questions about your major, future jobs, or graduate school (if that’s where you want to go). I make it a habit to see my advisor at least twice a year just to make sure that I am on the right track to graduate as well as speak to her about what I have been experiencing in my courses.

  3. Ask for Advice
    This goes a little bit further into talking to your advisor. Do not be afraid to ask them questions about their past schooling or about other students’ experiences. Also, utilize students that are in upper division courses, supervisors, or even other students in your classes to ask questions to about their college experience, past classes they have taken, and even their future plans. You can learn so much by the people that you interact with every day if you start a simple conversation. Also, most likely you will make a new friend at the same time! I always ask my professors, supervisors, and other classmates for advice and they help me out a ton!

  4. Life Happens
    Not everything in college is going to be easy and you may have already experienced that in your first year on campus. You have to always keep in mind that you have a life outside of school and sometimes that requires you to turn your focus on outside situations. My sophomore year of college was difficult because I was going through family issues while trying to balance school and it’s hard. The best advice that I can give is to be upfront about what is going on in your personal life if it ever affects your classes. It may require some documentation, but professors are humans too. They will understand if you are going through something hard and cannot completely focus on assignments. They may offer you support as well as an extension on assignments if it is necessary for you.

  5. Embrace Change
    Throughout your college career, you are going to change no matter what. You may find yourself spending time with people you haven’t before and not spending time with others that you used to. You also could find that your values may shift as you start learning more about the world and yourself. That’s perfectly fine and a good thing! You learn so much when you’re in college and you will be a lot different than when you were straight out of high school or after your first year. It’s better to accept the fact that you’re growing and go along with it rather than trying to stay the same person you once were. I changed a lot during my second year due to the amount of classwork as well as my friend circle. Instead of spending time with old friends of high school, I started immersing myself in others that had the same major as I did. It wasn’t a bad thing, it was just different and I had to adjust myself to the dramatic change.

  6. Start Thinking About What Happens After College
    As I sit here as a Senior, I wish that I spent more time thinking about what I am going to do after college than solely focusing on what I had to do at the time. It is never too early to discover what you want to do after college whether you go straight into a job or look into graduate school options. Take the time that you have to try to look ahead to see where you want to be in the next five years or where you don’t want to be. All of the time you spend doing this will be helpful in the end when you get to your last year.

I hope this list helps you start thinking about the things you will experience in the upcoming years of college. All in all, everything that you do matters to your future and never forget that. As I look back on my years as a wildcat, I know that these things would have helped me tremendously on my journey.

Best,
Courtney (:

Bad Summer Habits to Kick

7 Jul

Summertime is when I am so relaxed that it turns into me being as unproductive as possible. Obviously, with us being the middle of July already, this can only fly for a little bit longer. If you have found yourself forgetting that the school year is around the corner, similar to how I am, we have both fallen into bad summer habits! Fortunately for us, there is still time to change those bad habits to good ones before school season is upon us. I have compiled a list of some habits that I’ve found myself in lately and if you are in the same place as I am, I have also put ways to change our lazy summer ways!

1. Staying up until the sun rises mornings GIFThis is something that I have started to fall into. With time off, what is better than staying up late and getting up in the afternoon because there are no plans the next day? Honestly, nothing. There are so many nights I spend browsing the Internet, watching a TV show, or talking all night with my favorite people. This is virtually impossible with 8am’s every day of the week and the endless amount of homework when school hits. I am not saying that you should start eating dinner at 4pm and going to bed at 7pm, but try to pick out a few days out of the week that you start going back to your normal sleep schedule. I have found it helpful by trying to go to sleep an hour earlier than your summer self does. If this doesn’t work, start doing more physical activity to tire yourself out a bit during your day. This will slowly change your sleep schedule back to the way it once was.

2. Forgetting what day of the week it is
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There is no denying that I forget what day of the week it is. I’ll swear its Monday and, oops, it’s actually Thursday. I know this is pretty bad, but without the repetitive schedule of classes and the need to know what day it is, my brain just forgets even though it’s always displayed on my phone. If this seems like you, start planning out your days a little more. Even if it something simple like: I plan to clean my room on Monday, go out to lunch on Wednesday, and visit my grandmother on Saturday, this will help your mind wrap around what day it is because you have something planned. Another thing that I am planning to do is buy a large whiteboard calendar for my house and fill it in with important things, like when rent is due, along with fun things, like when I am going to camping. This will make you start to be aware of where we are in the month and how soon school is creeping up so it won’t take you by surprise.

3. Ignoring your U of A email email GIF
This is probably one of my favorite things that I get to do over the summer, but it also sometimes gets me in trouble. For example, forgetting to renew my parking permit. It’s best to keep checking your U of A email even when you are on vacation because it will update you on your finances, notices and holds on your UAccess account, and give you reminders of things that you need to do before the school year starts. Especially with the first week of classes slowly approaching, it is better to get back in the habit now, before you miss something important regards to next semester’s classes. If you feel very ambitious, get rid of some of your old emails and organize your inbox so your email will filter email based on primary emails, social emails, and promotional emails. This will help free up your inbox and also make it so you get all of the important ones rather than be cluttered with many emails at once.

4. Living in last school year’s pigsty
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Trust me, when summer hits I literally try to do the bare minimum for everything, including cleaning! I am still finding old notes scattered in my backpack and books in my car along with a jacket from last winter. Based on the appearance of my house and car, it still looks like I am living in spring semester. If you are in the same boat as I am, take time to clean and organize a bit before the school year starts. You may be surprised what school supplies you may find that you can reuse for next semester or books that you may be able to sell and you can save a bit of money (bonus, right?)! Another thing that can be helpful is to go through your closet. Pick out the clothes that you haven’t worn all year or are getting a little worn out. This will not only open up closet space, but it’s an opportunity to update your wardrobe (my favorite part). Organization is an important part for having a good start of the year, so it’s better to start cleaning now when you still have a large amount of free time.

5. Being in denial about school starting denial GIF
Even though we all wish it were true, summer cannot last forever. The upcoming year is approaching quickly and it is better to keep that in mind during the last weeks of summer, than have it creep up on you last minute. Try to implement a few things now, so you can be prepared to take on the new school year. It is very nice to have a break and be able to do whatever you want without the stress of homework and upcoming tests, but focus on the things you’re excited about coming back to school. You will get to see your friends that you have missed over the summer, come back to the beautiful U of A campus, and learn new things about yourself and your future career. Embrace the fact that you are in college and doing great things to better yourself and your future!

I know it may be a little soon to start prepping for fall semester, but it will make things easier on your for when the school year starts. Still enjoy your summer lazy days and take advantage of your time off. Spend time with family, binge watch Netflix a bit, but still think about the upcoming year and on things that you have to get done. One thing that will definitely help is turning your bad habits into good ones. Obviously, this won’t change overnight, but start with one thing at a time! wink kristen bell veronica mars finger guns you got this GIF

Best,
Courtney (:

Let’s Get Crafty!

23 Jun

It’s time to get crafty! Getting down with some arts and crafts is a great way to freshen up old decor, discover new talents you may have, and it’s just a nice fun way to relax. For your use, we complied some great craft ideas (with the links attached for instructions) from Pinterest that you can get creative with this summer!

Bring your plastic drawers to life.

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http://www.ohohblog.com/2015/07/how-to-upgrade-plastic-drawers.html#_kwv5B4

Keep your roommates up to date on your status with a cute clock. 

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http://www.gurl.com/2017/02/21/cool-college-dorm-room-signs/

Become an artist by designing your own mugs!

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http://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/diy-mothers-day-gift-ideas/amp

 

Our Summer Movie List

23 Jun

Courtney’s Choice                              Shannon’s Selection

Adventure

 

Animation

 

Comedy

 

Scary

 

Romance

 

Documentary

 

Fiction

 

Family

 

Mystery

 

Movie Series

 

Let us know some of your top movie choices to watch this summer! 🙂 
-Courtney and Shannon

Summer Bucket List

9 Jun

Summer is the time to break out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons! Plus, for most of us summer actually gives us the free time to do all those things, so why not? Whether you are staying in Arizona over the summer or not, I encourage you to try something new! For myself, I have made this bucket list which I plan to complete by the end of summer.  Luckily, Arizona is perfect to get you outdoors!

1. Go Horseback Riding 

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2. Visit the Grand Canyon

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3. Try Hot Air Ballooning

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4. Jet Ski at Roosevelt Lake

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5. Experience a Pink Jeep Tour Ride

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6. Fly from a Zip-line

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7. Explore Colossal Cave

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At the end of the day when you take a moment to look back on all that you have done, what will your life be fulfilled with? Making a bucket list can be a great way to accomplish all the memorable experiences you wish.

Make a bucket list and do the extraordinary! 

Summer Goals for Online Summer Classes

9 Jun

Summer classes can be stressful because they are very fast paced and you have just given your all during the fall and spring semesters.  At this point, you may lack a little motivation, sort of how I am feeling! This is my third summer at the U of A taking summer courses and trust me, it is worth it, but it also is a little bit of a struggle getting to the end. I have put together a few goals of mine for my summer classes, along with some tips for you if you are or will be enrolled in courses this summer.

  1. Read the book fully.
    Let’s all be honest: We have all cut corners while reading a course’ textbook and unfortunately this doesn’t work when you’re enrolled in a summer course because that is where the majority of the learning is done. The instructor’s, of all of my previous courses, rarely put together lectures to post on D2L and fully rely on the students to read then ask and answer discussion questions. My goal for all three of my summer courses is to read the textbook so I can set myself up for success. I am going to give myself two days to read each chapter and to have time to answer questions if I need to.
  2. Start assignments, readings, papers early.
    In a summer course, the instructor usually gives their students access to upcoming assignments early on in the course. Instead of waiting until last minute to start my assignments, I want to get ahead so I can spend more time on my projects and not stress because of a time crunch. I will use the same technique with my reading to start long assignments a few days in advance, including weekends, to make sure that I have time to proofread and read over what I have written. There are no excuses that I cannot do this because I have more free time with less courses to worry about.
  3.  Participate in optional discussions.
    Usually in an online class, the teacher has an open discussion thread that is open throughout the course’s duration to ask questions to classmates or to contribute to a discussion with classmates on chapters or topics. These are not usually led by an instructor, rather is just used for the students. In the past, I have not used this discussion thread, but in my pre-session course I saw some great information and topics being discussed by other students. I want to at least post in this thread once during my current session 1 summer course to see if it helps.
  4. Complete extra credit assignments.
    In past classes, especially during the hectic school year, sometimes I miss these assignments because I am just too busy to spend extra time on a project that is not required for the course. Now that it is summer and I have extra time on my hands, it is a lot easier to complete extra assignments to help my grade. In summer courses it is a little rare that they will offer extra credit so when I see it, I always try to get it done.
  5. Check email and D2L every day.
    This has already became a habit for me since I have been a UA student and it is the best advice that I can give anyone who is a student here. I have my email connected to my phone and I continually get notifications if my professors email me. This is especially vital in a summer course because it is so fast paced. Things can change immediately from the instructor and it is always good to get this information ASAP. This is a goal that I will continue to have throughout my college career.
  6. Interact with other students and teachers via email.
    This has been a goal of mine for awhile now and I still have a hard time doing this especially in an online course. We do not meet in person so getting to know other students and the teachers is more difficult. In my pre-session course this summer, I did have some questions about a few assignments so I ended up emailing the teacher. To my surprise, she was super excited that I reached out to ask questions and she ended up forwarding the help that she gave me to every one else in the class to help them out as well. I realized that professors appreciate when a student reaches out to ask questions because it shows that the student is very engaged in the material. When communicating with other students it can definitely be a little more difficult. In my last summer course, we had a partner for an online course and we helped each other out a lot other than just on group projects. I recommend even if you do not have an assigned partner, use the classlist and email some of your classmates to see if anyone wants to help or have a discussion with you about the material. They are in the same boat as you are and you can work together so you can both do better in the course.

Hopefully these goals have helped you a bit and have given you ideas on how to succeed in your online courses. I know summer classes aren’t ideal to a fun and relaxing summer, but if you get things done ahead of time you will still have a fun, adventurous summer vacation!

Best,
Courtney

Study Abroad Prep Tips

30 May

This summer, I will embark on a journey I would have never thought possible for me, I will be studying abroad in Germany! Studying abroad during my college career let alone visiting Europe had only seemed like a dream to me. But, I’ve learned that if you work hard to reach your dreams, they will come true, and I have never been so excited for anything! However, there is a catch. You need to make sure you are fully prepared before taking on an adventure abroad.

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Before getting to the fun part of studying abroad, you have to do the not so fun stuff first, and preparing for the trip is definitely a process. If you are interested in studying abroad, here are some tips I think will benefit you in preparation:

1. Pay attention to deadlines and start in advance! Each study abroad program will have specific deadlines for when things need to be completed by like purchasing your airfare, getting your passport, and much more. Missing deadlines can be a big deal and could jeopardize your chance to study abroad, so make sure to stay on top of things! Also, you want to make sure to begin the application process at least a semester in advance. Doing so will give you enough time to fully prepare everything you need.

2. Know your finances. Firstly, you want to find a program that is in your price range. Although everyone would like to go to London, it is also very expensive so considering other locations can be very helpful. Look into the total cost of your program which will include housing, tuition, airfare, food, and extra expenses to see how much you need to budget for. If you cannot afford the total cost, consider reaching out to family members for help, looking into scholarships and grants, and compare rates of different loans. Doing research on your finances will help you determine which programs are realistic and how you will be able to cover it all.

3. Do research of your host country. It will be very easy to get caught up in the excitement before studying abroad. However, there are a lot of little things you might not even consider but are very important to be aware of. For example, Europe has a different electrical system than here in America, so you would need to buy a plug adapter in order to charge your electronics. Another thing is that in Germany they don’t give you plastic or paper bags at grocery stores, so you will need to provide your own cloth bags to grocery shop. Knowing the little things like that can really save you from looking too much like tourist. Lastly, get to know the customs of the country. Find out what is respectful in that culture. Although some characteristics and norms are okay here, they may be considered rude and offensive somewhere else.

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To be honest, you will end end preparing everyday until you depart for your trip like I have. But, overall I believe this experience will be truly life changing. I have never been outside of the country before, so for my first experience out of the states to be in Europe is very special to me. While I will be focusing on my studies at the university in Germany, I will be able to experience the culture, food, and way of life there as well. The world is such a big place, why not go and see it! I hope to encourage you all to take that leap out of what you are familiar with and go explore somewhere new!

Adventure-Awaits-PersonalUseOnly-KimberDawnCo

 

Tucson Adventures

30 May

This summer, I have decided to kick back and spend my time in my hometown, Tucson. Being born and raised here, I know Tucson isn’t the most glamorous city and it may seem like there’s not much to do out here in the desert. Also, in summer it’s sometimes hard to go on extravagant adventures because the air conditioner is calling your name! If you’re staying in Tucson and need some ideas on what to do this summer, this blog’s for you! Here are some adventures that I am going to go on this summer!

1. Hiking/camping
If you want to escape the heat, there are so many mountains that you can explore on! Being in higher elevation, means less heat for you to endure. I love hiking on Mount Lemmon and camping in Reddington. You could easily google some great spots and find one that is best for you!4755277923_cddaa12a97_b.jpg

2. Geocatching
If you do not know what this is, definitely check it out! Basically it is a worldwide scavenger hunt! You download the app “geocatching” on your phone and set your location and it will show you hiding spots of little knick knacks. They give you hints of spots around you and you can go find it, retrieve the item and put one of your own in there so someone else can find it!

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3. Cave Exploring!
Caves are absolutely amazing and beautiful! I have always wanted to explore a cave and there is Colossal Cave that is not too far away, but I have never been. I have heard great things from other people who have gone, so one of my summer goals is to go to this cave or even a few others!

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4. Rocks and Ropes
I have been to rocks and ropes one time on a girl scout field trip and I was super scared of heights at the time, so I didn’t have that much fun. Now that I’m older, I want to face my fears and try to go on these rock walls!

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5. Breakers Water Park
Breakers was an all time favorite spot of mine when I was younger! My family and I had so much fun here back in the day and honestly in summer, it’s a great way to get out of the heat. There are so many slides and a lovely wave pool that you can relax in! This is a spot that I’m going to go to this summer!

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Stay cool this summer and hopefully if you’re staying in Tucson this gave you some fun activities to do!

Best,
Courtney