Tag Archives: campus resources

5 Tips to Beat College Misconceptions

4 Sep

When we first arrive at the university, we start out with a small part of the big picture and expand it one experience at a time. Here are a few tips I’ve learned that might help clear up some common misconceptions about college.

1. Grades

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One of the biggest differences between high school and college is that high school was a requirement, but college is a privilege. The effort that gets us A’s in high school might not be enough to get them in college, so plan on putting in some extra study time and don’t be afraid to ask a tutor or your instructor for help.

2. Hard Work: Meeting the Challenge, Beating Discomfort

fun animated GIF Working hard makes sure you learn the information. This can include making clear notes and testing yourself with them, reading carefully, and thinking critically. Meeting the challenge gives you what it takes to transform that information into your personal knowledge. Being able to Bear Down and beat your own discomfort when you find yourself under the pressure of stress gives you the tools for gaining true Wildcat wisdom.

3. Reaching Out

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Sometimes, from our high school perspectives, we see college as this harsh shark tank where we will either sink or swim. I know I was afraid that my professors were going to be unforgiving and impatient if I messed up or forgot an assignment. It’s true that the standards are higher and tolerance for slacking is lower, but we have a safety net as big as the UA campus. Let your professors know who you are, go to office hours, and get to know your friends at ThinkTank. Just remember that it’s your responsibility to get help when you need it. Teachers can facilitate learning, but our education is something we accomplish for ourselves. Everyone has a different learning style and we each have to figure out what works best for us.

4. Fails, Epic or Otherwise

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Nearly everyone has a healthy fear of failure, but no one is perfect and missing the mark on occasion can turn out to be the best mistake you ever make in your academic career. Learning how to embrace your failures as opportunities, getting up to brush it off and try again, and making new strategies can be some of the most valuable tools we’ll carry with us through graduation and into the real world.

5. Satisfying Requirements and Satisfying Your Life

watch animated GIF As a freshman, I thought that the college experience really just meant that I could just keep my head down and push through my requirements. I thought it was a good way to avoid the responsibilities I would have later in life and to focus on academic ones instead. It’s not about the requirements, it’s not really even about the degree itself. It’s about having a place to grow, develop skills, and find out who you are. Getting involved in clubs, organizations or interest groups, going out to see talks, events, and entertainment around campus, and getting to know your colleagues really helps make the college experience what it should be. Check out the calendars & events page to see important academic dates and schedules of cool events.


Looking Back: A Reflection on the Last Year

17 Aug

For some of you, being a part of ASA was an obligation you took on as part of a scholarship or a requirement for a class, for others, you did it because you wanted to learn more about campus. Either way, you got something out of it (at least we hope you did), but we, as your Peer Mentors, wanted to let you know what we enjoyed and got out of this experience.

One of the best parts about being a Peer Mentor for me was when one of my students asked me to write them a recommendation letter, and they actually got the job! This let me know that they trusted me and that they were using the things I taught them in workshop. Another great part of my job was the thanks students gave me after the semester. Knowing that I helped them in their pursuit to success really inspired me to continue being a Peer Mentor.

I got a great sense of joy from making the newsletter every week. I knew that not every student who received the letter had workshops and 1:1’s, so being able to help them just as much as I helped the students I met with in person was great. I hope that students were able to learn a lot about the campus and opportunities .

One of my favorite parts about being a Peer Mentor last year was seeing my students go out and use the tools we talked about in workshop or in the newsletters. Knowing that I actually helped them organize their lives gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Also, knowing that they felt comfortable enough to come to me with their problems was a very gratifying experience, and knowing that the advice or life experience I shared with them helped them solve their dilemma made the less exciting parts of my role worth it!

As you can see, you students made just as big an impact on our lives as we did on yours, just in different ways, and for that we want to thank you and wish you the best in all of your endeavors.

-Chrissy, Julian, and Casey

Academics in Wonderland: Starting Your Second Year Right

30 Jul

So your first year has been over for a while now, and while it may have seemed like it would never end; it did. Everyone had different experiences: some flourished academically while others struggled more than they thought they would, but either way it is over.

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That’s not to say you’re off the hook especially since the Fall Semester is coming up! For me, my second year was a lot easier than my first; not because my classes were any easier but because I knew the pace and the effort I had to put in. Looking back on it, I have noticed a few things I did differently that positively affected my academic performance.

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1) I got a job

Believe it or not, this actually helped me. I had to reorganize my time because I did not have those extra 15 hours of free time anymore. Sure there were times when I became a little overwhelmed with taking as many credits as I did and working, but in the end I figured out how to balance everything.

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2) I found a planning system that worked for me

Planners work for some people, but they really just don’t work for me. I have to have a larger picture of what I need to do to help me organize. That is why I started buying desk planners; you might recognize these from your teacher’s desk in high school. Basically they are very large monthly planners that allow me to write out my assignment and test dates at the beginning of the semester. I put it up on my wall and mark the days off as the assignments are completed. This really helped me stay on track of everything from the beginning of the semester.

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3) Two words for you: OFFICE HOURS

I know you have been hearing these words since you came to college, but that is because they work!!! I also understand that sometimes your professor’s office hours take place while you are in class or while you have work, but if you take the initiative to talk to your professor, they might be willing to set up a different time for you to meet. At the very least, they will know you are trying. It also would not hurt to get to know at least one person in all of your classes. If you can’t make it to office hours, maybe see if this lovely person could go for you and get your question answered.

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I know that college is about more than academics, but academics are a huge part so try your best!

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Uncommon Places on Campus

23 Jul

Getting used to the UA campus and college life in general can take some time. With a student population of over 42,000 students, campus can feel quite intimidating. It’s natural and comforting for many of us to find our niches and familiarize ourselves with common areas around the university. As a freshman, I quickly learned which buildings I would dread the most, but I also stumbled upon some uncommon places to study or have a class in.


On the second day of school, I attended a class in the Harvill building, but before I entered it I already felt dreaded. I disliked Harvill because at the time there was major construction on 2nd Street for the new streetcar. Depending on the day one would either have the ability to cross the street with ease, or would be stuck taking a major sidewalk detour to cross the street. After my first experience with Harvill, I avoided taking any classes in the building, however; this past year I finally attended some classes there. It felt silly that I disliking Harvill simply because of the construction, which mainly deterred me from taking any classes there. Now, that the construction of the streetcar is done Harvill is easier to access plus the large lecture hall in the building is less intimidating in comparison Centennial hall.

Centennial Hall

As an underclassman, I had many classes that were taught in large lecture halls like the one in Harvill, the Social Science building, but the one I dreaded the most was Centennial Hall. The hall itself is mainly used as a performance stage for a variety of other fine art displays. When I arrived early to my first class, MIS 111, there were already 50 students waiting outside in the lobby to enter the hall and another thirty outside the building waiting as well. Once we entered the room, everyone scrambled to find a seat and I remember my professor clearly stating, “No now is allowed to sit behind row ‘M’. We don’t need the entire hall to seat 500 students for this class.” After hearing this and taking a moment to look at the hall I truly felt like I was in a see of faces. Though I felt dismayed, I began to attend office hours, which helped my professor recognized me in class. While, the group projects in this class made it easier to focus my attention on one area of the hall.


It is very common for students to be familiar with buildings like Harvill or Centennial, but there are a few uncommon places on campus. The first of these is Babcock, simply because there is a Babcock Building and a Babcock Dormitory, which are next to one another. When I first arrived to the area I was confused as to why there were dorm rooms on one side and offices on the other side. With the help of a staff member, I was able to find my classroom and my instructor understood my tardiness since many of the other students also found it difficult to find the room. To this day the building still remains a mystery to me and most students would actually find this an uncommon building. However, this is building is common for students who are taking a critical language such as Hindi, Korean, or any other language that is not housed under college of humanities.

shantz buildingThe last uncommon place I stumbled upon my freshman year was the Shantz building, which is located next to the bike path across the Marley building. The building in general houses the Nutritional Science major under the College of Agricultural Life Sciences. This building is rather uncommon because it has three levels, but the first floor is only used for classrooms and the other two have restricted access to students. Like Babcock there are two sides to this building and it is a little confusing as to which side has the classrooms. The building sign is hard to spot and if you aren’t paying attention you can walk right past it without knowing it. Despite it being an uncommon place on campus, I liked having my math class here because on the second and third floor there was a bench that was always under the shade so it was perfect for me to get some air before class and finish any homework I had left to do.


Major Changes With Major Changes

30 Jan

I’ve always seen myself as a determined student. Someone who knows what to do and how to do it.


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I came into college with one goal in mind: to become a lawyer. I thought being a lawyer was my destiny, my calling, my life. I knew becoming a lawyer was going to make my family extremely proud of me, which frankly is a serious and big goal in my life. Having a proud family is a big deal for me.

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Being a first generation student in his freshman year, I childishly thought I had my entire life figured out. I remember letting everyone in my freshman year dorm know of my goals, constantly repeating the phrase “I’m going to be a lawyer.”

And I believed it too.

Things started to change during the first semester of my sophomore year, once I started to take courses required for my major. I was not doing so great in them and even thinking about my major would stress me out.

I felt as if I were an alien in a foreign land, unaware of what to do next.

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I realized that I was feeling all of this because I wasn’t truly passionate about the subjects I had to focus on to succeed in my major.

I felt like a coffee aficionado being forced to drink water for the rest of his life.coffee animated GIF

I began to wonder if I truly wanted to be a lawyer. I felt scared, ashamed, and clueless.

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I wanted out.

I knew I wasn’t meant to go through college with doubt and dissatisfaction. I knew I had to make this experience my own, I had to formulate a plan that would get me where I need to be, where I truly want to be.

I forced myself to focus on MY goals and dreams, not anyone else’s. I realized college is a place for students to advance their knowledge on the things that they truly want to learn about, not what they think will make their parents proud. Although this is a big goal for many students, as it is for me, it is not all that students should focus on. At the end of the day, if you are passionate about something, you will always be eager to learn about it, which only guarantees your success.

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If you truly set your mind on the things you love, you can accomplish them.

And THAT will definitely make people proud.

I encourage students to reflect on their educational and professional goals throughout their college experience. Think of all of the high stake decisions you’ve had to make, and the many you know you’ll have to make. Focus on what your goals are, memorize the steps you need to take in order achieve them, and succeed. Remember, sometimes change is good.

Good luck, wildcats.

– Julian

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Check-up for Success

12 Sep

Coming to college can be overwhelming you may feel like you are getting lost in the crowd. It’s the fourth week and maybe you’re starting to see people at the university getting settled  into their majors. And if you’re a student without a major, it can sometimes feel like you’re getting left behind. I came into the University of Arizona knowing that I had tons of exciting opportunities…and having no idea where to start. Finding the right path for you can be intimidating, but here’s a check-up for your new semester. (And, if you couldn’t already tell, I’m going to be using a bit of medical humor because I love Grey’s Anatomy.)


Step One: Check Vitals

Evaluate yourself! Ask yourself, “what do I like, where do I see myself?” Make a list of your interests and focus on yourself.  So many people sign up for classes that their friends or family want them to be in. It is VITAL that you choose class and clubs that interest you, and only you.



Step Two:  Explain your Symptoms

It’s important that you talk to someone about what you are feeling and thinking. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to parents and friends because they might not have all the answers that you need. Just like you wouldn’t ask a dentist about your chest pains, you might not want to ask your family and friends about your academics. This is where academic advisors come in – they’re your cardiologists (at least for this metaphor – please don’t go to your academic advisor in the case of a cardiac event). They are a great resource to get you going down the right path. If you have any questions about what major to join, what jobs coordinate with a major, or what classes to take, advisors have all the answers. It is always important to have your questions symptoms heard in order to get all the help that you need.



Step Three: Clinical Trial  

Now it’s time to see if all the information that you have gathered and narrowed down works, test it out. Go for a major that interests you and that you feel confident about. Take classes that put you on the right path and talk to professors about the class or the major itself. There is no harm in a little extra data, so join clubs and volunteer in the field that interest you.


Step Four: Follow Up

Clinical Trials do not always go the way we want them to, so sometimes we need to change them. If you find from “analyzing your data” that the major you picked isn’t for you, it’s ok to change. Don’t tie yourself down to a major that you aren’t passionate about. Because if you think a wasted semester is bad, think about a wasted four years. If you have an inkling that things aren’t what you want, it’s much easier to fix that now than after you have a degree and wish you had followed a different passion. So, if things don’t feel just right, go back and talk to your advisor. You might need to rewrite your list of interests and find what speaks to you. Trust your instincts and start exploring new majors


If you take anything away from this, please know that it’s ok to not be completely certain of what’s to come. Put yourself out there and enjoy the time that you have in college. Now I’m not saying that you should just blow off choosing your major, I’m saying that it’s important to take the time to find yourself and the things that you are most passionate about. Follow your instincts and don’t force finding your passion. Sometimes you will find it in the most unexpected ways. Have fun, explore what you love, and don’t be afraid to get a check-up. Sometimes you need a professional opinion!



Tame those Beastly Nerves

25 Aug

Here they come. Those nerves. The beastly nerves. One week before classes start and you start to feel the butterflies that are quickly turning your stomach around. How can it be you ask? Simple. Classes are coming and well I am sorry to inform you my friend, but you got the nerves. Know that you are not alone. A good chunk of students experience some form of discomfort before classes start. Whether the discomfort takes form in over excitement, nervousness,or sleepiness (for some of you) there are always ways to tame those negative feelings.sleepyAlright in order to tame the beast you must know what the beast is.

Ask yourself: what is your beast?


kitty Personally, my beast takes form in nervousness. It is not a  beast of an issue, but it does well in keeping me preoccupied mentally a couple of days prior to the start of classes.

There is no wrong way to tame this beast. There is, however, my way. This may work for you or it may not.

A massive contributor to my nervousness comes from the idea of not being well prepared for the first day. This definitely has the ability to make or break my mood when it comes down to my outlook of the beginning of the semester. This, also, is a quick fix. How do you fix being under prepared or poorly prepared? Simple: prepare adequately! And how do I prepare adequately you ask? Simple again: I reference my syllabi and professors’ emails. Most of the time these sources will provide me with an idea of what you need for the class whether it is a textbook or calculator.

Also, buying the necessary materials is crucial before school starts for two reasons: 1) being prepared with notebooks, pencils, and the like and 2) there is still things left for sale. From prior experience, it seems that after school starts everyone is out to buy materials. Now in terms of textbooks, you will have a list of required as well as recommended books under your booklist tab on UAccess. Use this resource. It is very helpful and you can even go buy the textbooks even before classes start officially.

So I am prepared now…no more nerves right? Wrong. I still feel myself nervous about the teacher. What will he/she be like? How will they teach? What will they think of me?!


I think to myself calm down. This too is an easy fix. A couple of things can be done to tame this issue. First possibility: contact the professor directly and see what she/he is all about. Introduce yourself and let them know what you are all about, in a professional manner of course. Do not want to make that move? No worries. Ask around. Talk to previous students, former TAs or preceptors, any one who can get you the details on this professor of yours. Do your research!

Ok, so two things out of the way. I am cool now right? Almost, but not quite. Last thing to take care of: knowing where my classes are. Once again, I know this has an easy fix, but my nervous system will not cool off. For some reason, it insists on making my life more intense than it needs to be. Anyways, two possible fixes to this problem: map out the locations before your first day of classes or carry a handy dandy map with you. I know that during orientation everyone received a calendar with a map on the back, make use of it! Knowing the locations of every class helps me feel less stressed about the possibility of getting to class late or getting lost.


That is my beast my friends and some ways I try to annihilate it! Whatever your beast is learn from it and do not let it get to you. With that said, happy first day of classes! BEAR DOWN.



Lucero Pesqueira



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



Mo’ Money, Mo’ Wildcat Connections

21 Jan

During the fall semester, I’d walk around campus and see a lot of timid faces: students who weren’t yet comfortable in their new Wildcat skin, still too afraid to ask questions or take the initiative to go out and try new things. But now, it’s spring 2014, and this is the semester that some of you Wildcats are ready to break out and TURN UP!

You’ve taken the advice of your fellow peers who told you not to get overwhelmed by all of the clubs and organizations on campus in your first semester. Some people may have told you to limit the amount of clubs/orgs you join, while others may have told you to completely forget about getting involved until your second semester. But THIS IS the second semester, and now that you’ve got a handle on college life, you are ready to dive into all of the possible ways to get involved.

I don’t know about you, but I am the type of person who can enjoy money more than social interaction. So, I set my eyes on job opportunities during my second semester at the UA.  That may or may not sound like fun to you, but I was determined to find a way to fit in a little bit of social interaction and a nice-sized check. Luckily, a wonderful job opportunity presented itself: the Orientation and Welcome Leader (OWL) position.

During the semester, I prepared my resume and attended two rounds of interviews: one individual interview, and the other with a group of other OWL hopefuls. I got a callback to be a part of the team for the Summer Orientation Season and I ended up having one of the most rewarding, fun, and exciting summer experiences EVA!

As an Orientation and Welcome Leader, I worked with New Student Orientation…you know, that one day you came to the UA to learn about new student stuff?…


I got to stand in front of the entire incoming class of freshman and sing “Bear Down,” help students with their schedule –“Changing Schedules, Changing Lives” was our mantra — share with students my experience, and connect them to all the great resources available on campus.

As you can see, everyone on the OWL team had great chemistry and enjoyed working with one another. I even gained two awesome “High-Five Buddies,” who are also my co-workers in Nugent 15D as Student Affairs Outreach Facilitators: Andy and Adilene!

Throughout the summer, I really expanded my network of friends. I also made some key connections to jobs for the academic year. For instance, I found out about becoming an Outreach Facilitator through the professional staff that were apart of Orientation, which is another awesome job on-campus. Oh yeah, I also became semi-famous! Well, not really, but it was good enough for me. After work we got an opportunity to film some promotional video for the University of Arizona; it seemed a little sketch at first, but I went for it anyways. If you keep an eye out for the promo video that plays before Wildcat sports games on TV…I’m the one wearing the grey UA shirt!!!

Overall, I would say that this was my breakout experience. I was no longer uncomfortable in my Wildcat home, I was confident, and most importantly, I was ready to try new things! So whatever it is that you find to get you out of your shell, I hope that you stick with it and BEAR DOWN!



Campus Resource Connection Tours!

11 Sep

You’ve probably heard about many different resources for students here on the UA campus, but have you really been able to check those resources out yet? Do you even know where those resources and offices are? You don’t have to admit your true answers to those questions, but what we are going to do in this blog is tell you about a few great opportunities to get connected with resources at the University of Arizona.

Campus Resource Connection Tours are a way to get connected to resources such as the Library, Leadership Programs, Campus Health and the Meet Your Major Fair.

This week, the Campus Resource Connection Tour is going to take you all to the Leadership Programs Open House! This Thursday (9/13) from 3:00 to 5:00PM, stop by room 15D in the Nugent Building to meet with one of the Student Affairs Outreach Facilitators who will walk groups over to the event in the Student Union.  If you don’t want to go to the event with a Facilitator or you’re already in the Union, you can go over to Leadership Programs on your own too (4th Floor, SUMC).

Next week, the highlighted tour will be a Library Exploration Event on Monday (9/17) from (12:00 to 1:00PM). Again, meet the SA Outreach Facilitators in room 15D in the Nugent Building to walk over to the event together or meet us in the Library Main Lobby at noon. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER ONLINE FOR THIS EVENT. Register by 5:00PM 🙂

On Friday (9/28) from 12:00 to 1:00PM, come get some FREE Eegees and toss a frisbee at Campus Health! The SA Outreach team will again be walking students over to the event. This is one you won’t want to miss! Free food and fun!

Lastly, on Wednesday (10/3) from 11:00AM-2:00PM The Meet Your Major Fair will be introduce students to all the great major options here at the UA. The SA Outreach Facilitators will be walking groups over starting at 11:00AM, but you can go on your own too (Grand Ballroom, SUMC).

Don’t miss out on all these great resources!