Tag Archives: classes

My Registration Nightmare

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

The Gen Ed that Won Our Hearts

13 Nov

It was 5:45 AM as I turned off my alarm clock and greeted registration day with bleary eyes. I had been waking up at 4 AM to do my homework all semester, but this particular day, I had a case of the dreaded Mondays. My laptop had died at my bedside during the night, my roommate had taken the last Frappuccino and my favorite sweater was nowhere to be found. Things weren’t going my way, but I accepted my fate, plugged in my laptop and logged on to UAccess.

The wifi was crawling along like molasses, leaving me with nothing to see but a bright white page that made my eyes water. Refreshing the page, I looked over the handwritten list of classes my advisor had given me, my academic security blanket. The classes had been in my shopping cart for weeks, but my advisor warned me to be prepared for anything.

Sure enough, my student center looked like text-salad nightmare and the wifi crashed completely. By the time I logged in again 20 minutes later, a disheveled heap of stress at the café, all of my classes were full. Admittedly, I freaked right out.

If you find yourself in these shoes, it may seem like your academic sky is falling, but don’t panic! Make the schedule you can make with the course options you have left and talk to your academic advisor about it. There are still a few ways to get you on track and into the schedule you hoped for:

1. Get on the wait list, when available

Two of my classes gave me the option of being put on the waiting list. This may seem like a bleak land of limbo, but it’s not. So many students change, swap and drop their classes before registration ends. With the wait list, you’re already in line to take those spaces as they open.

2. Check on the class religiously

If there’s no wait list, keep checking on the class and accomplish the same thing manually. Keep your fingers crossed for the green circle to take the place of the angry blue square next to your class in the class search. As long as registration is still open, there’s still hope for an open seat.

3. Beg your way in

Showing up to your desired class on the first day with a Change of Schedule form is not a bad idea. Some classes are more rigorous than others about attendance, so you may even get lucky on your first day. In one class I wanted, anyone who didn’t show up for the first day was dropped from the roster so the wait-listed students could take their places.

4. Talk to your academic advisor

At the U of A, your advisors are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. They know what’s possible and they can help you see the glimmer of hope in any academic disaster. Ask them for ideas if you get stuck. They’ve seen degrees completed in the most unconventional of ways and can always help you navigate your obstacles to gain that academic success you so deserve.

My registration nightmare ended with a less-than-perfect schedule, but it resulted in the best set of classes I could have hoped for. It threw me off my 4-year plan a little bit, but overall, I still got all of my requirements knocked out without any extra semesters added onto my academic career.

If you find yourself in this position, keep calm, bear down and hang in there! That which doesn’t bend can break under pressure, so take it as an exercise in adaptability, jump the hurdles that are thrown at you and keep on keepin’ on. The commitment you’ve made to your education is a commitment to yourself, and that makes it worth the struggle. Use the resources all around you and don’t be discouraged. You may be forced to take a gen ed at an awkward time, it might shift a prerequisite over to a different semester, but overall, you’ve got this!

-Amanda

 

#AdventurousApril: Archaeology Adventures

18 Apr

April is one of the hardest months in the school year. Everyone is ready for school to be over and yet there is still a ton to do! Added on top of all this is registration for classes, which inexplicably comes with thinking about the future.

Personally, I have always known what I wanted to do both for my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree, but suddenly out of almost no where, I was not so sure. Essentially it started with my school tour last month. It got me thinking about things, always dangerous, I know. What it really came down to was that I did not think I could be happy being a Professor for the rest of my life, not that I did not want to teach, but I did not want to do research (a big part of being a professor).

Equipped with this new-found information, I had a decision to make: what the heck was I going to do now? I had come into college with a sure-fire plan of what I wanted to do, and now here I was at the end of my JUNIOR year with no idea about what I want to do?! So, I did what anyone would do: I stayed up all night watching Ted-Talk videos trying to come up with a semblance of a plan.The videos actually ended up helping because during one of the videos, I heard someone talking about classical preservationists, who preserve ancient artifacts. I started researching the requirements for this job, and it turned out that all my hard work in my undergrad would not go to waste! I would need the exact same classes that I had already taken, so I was not as hopeless as I thought I was.

The truth of the matter is that most students will change their minds about what they want to do sometime during their undergraduate career, it is just a fact of college. As we grow as people, we find out more about our interests and limits and have to adjust for that. If you find yourself in my shoes, with no idea about what you want to do with your life, don’t fret. Start researching, do some personal digging and figure out what interests you. Take a class that sounds interesting, you never know… maybe Psychology is your thing, maybe you were born to be a Criminologist!  Whatever excites you, go for it!

Christine Ellis

New Year, New Me?

21 Feb

Starting Spring semester is always a wake up call for me. I am not sure why, but I am never as motivated in Spring as I am in the Fall. This Spring semester seems to be the worst one of all because I am taking a lot of units and I have my annual laziness epidemic going on. Personally, I think I, and students in general, have a harder time staying focused in Spring because the weather gets better, and everyone wants to be outside. Regardless of the causes, what I need to do this Spring is to get myself organized and set up personal goals.

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The most important aspect of a goal is that it is achievable, so while it is nice to think that I can take 21 units and work 20 hours a week, this is really not possible for me. So, my first goal is to work enough to keep me busy, but not so many as to overwhelm myself. I have actually already achieved this goal, I found that working 13 hours a week is best for my current schedule.

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My next goal for the semester is to study on the weekends. Often, I have the mindset that the weekend is my time to relax from school, and while I might not have to go to school, I can still do school work. Doing work on the weekend will make my daily work less stressful and help me stay more motivated.

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My last goal for the semester is to socialize a bit more. I am not sure how it has happened, but since I have come to college, I have become a recluse. It doesn’t matter if it is just hanging with friends at my apartment, having any kind of social interaction will help me not procrastinate as much.

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Look, I know motivation in the Spring semester is hard to come by, but if you make goals for yourself, we will find a way to get through it together!

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-Chrissy

#JumpStartJanuary: Organizational Tools Galore

29 Jan

There are a lot of different ways people organize their life. As a college student, finding the way that works best for you can be quite challenging, but it is essential to college success. I am going to go over a few different kinds of organizational tools and how they could potentially be used.

The Planner

  • This is one of the most commonly used organizational tools in college. Students go through and write down assignments that are due each day. Ideally, the student will carry it with them everyday and add to it as more assignments get added. This tool is great for students that are on the go; it allows them to double check assignment due dates on the drop of a hat.

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The Post-It Notes

  • These tools are less common. Many times students will use these to make lists. This is more of a short term tool, meaning most students will use them for day to day lists, but they will not have their entire semester planned out on one. This tool is useful for a student trying to stay focused. Having a to-do list right on their desk often helps students remember what they need to do immediately.

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The White Board/ Mirror

  • Much like the Post-It Note, the white board is often used for lists, but on a much bigger scale. Obviously, there is a lot more room on a white board or mirror compared to that of a Post-It. Often times students will utilize this tool when they have large projects, or many assignments in various classes. This helps organize assignments into a bigger picture.

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The Teacher’s Calendar

  • Personally, I find this tool to be the most useful. I have used a teacher’s calendar every year I have been at school and it has helped me tremendously. The teacher’s calendar or desk calendar as some refer to it is a larger than normal calendar that one can hang up on the wall or put on their desk. Many times, students will go through their syllabus and write down important dates (such as exams), assignments (including but not limited to readings and essays) and note important dates for the class. Using this tool can be helpful because it allows students to see upcoming assignments well in advance and can aid in planning for projects.

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The Carrier

  • While this might sound like a contagious disease, the carrier is actually just a name for a person who carries (get it?) around their syllabus to their classes. While most people don’t use this tool, those that do have an added benefit of always having access to assignments. Most people do not carry physical copies of their syllabus to class, instead they have them saved on their phone or other electronic devices.

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Now, of course these are only a few of the many many many different kinds of tools that students use to become more organized. While I strongly promote the use of a calendar, that might not be the best tool for you, but it is important to find what does work and to utilize it; there is no point in having a planner if it sits at home collecting dust. So go out there and get organized!

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-Chrissy Ellis

Registration Nightmare: Not Getting the Classes you Wanted

11 Nov

Registration is a stressful time for everyone. It’s a time for picking classes, making schedules, and choosing your path at the university. So what do you do when you don’t get into the classes you want? Here are some of your options:

1. Lay down and wallow in self pity. Wallowing can be nice, but very unproductive.

Alice 62. Flip your desk. Though fun in the moment, you’ll have a complete mess on your hands – which actually might allow you some time to think things over and form a real game plan as you clean.

flip

3. Be patient and keep checking. Patience is a virtue. Waiting it out can be the best thing for you. Keep checking to see if the class opens back up, because there is a chance that someone else will drop it and you can snag their seat.

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4. Email the professor and ask to be added in. Some professors have different rules for being added into the class. Some create waitlists, some will not add you in if the class is full, and others ask you to attend the first class with an add form so that they can add you in if someone doesn’t show up.

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5. Pick classes that fill other requirements. It is always beneficial to have a back up plan in place just in case you find yourself in this situation. Find a couple classes that interest you and count towards different requirements so no matter which one you are able to add, you will be moving forward.

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6. Accept it and move on. If the class you were trying to get into doesn’t fulfill one of your major requirements, it might be time to accept the missed opportunity and move on with your day.

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Not getting into the classes you want can be frustrating and exhausting, but you have options. It is not the end of the world and you can move on from here. Stay positive!

-Erika

An Unpleasant Surprise

26 Sep

I thought that being a senior meant that choosing classes I like would be easy. I thought I knew the ropes. I was so very wrong. Here at the University of Arizona, most students choose their classes based on their requirements and the course description on UAccess. That’s exactly how I do it, and I had never been led astray, until now.

One of my courses seemed really interesting on paper, but when the first class started, I just knew it would be different. The professor is tremendousåly knowledgeable about the subject and oozes passion. I enjoy having instructors like this because it makes the class more exciting, except for when it is combined with a different organizational style than I am used to. Because this course is at a 400 level and I have never taken a class on this subject before, I have been having a tough time. I have taken upper division classes before that have given me trouble, but not like this.

The professor prefers not to use PowerPoint and does not post lecture notes, two things many of my previous instructors have done. I realize that I have been spoiled by the professors in my major, and that my issues with the course are of my own doing. That is why I have chosen to work my butt off and pass the class with flying colors. In order to do this, I must read the textbook, along with all the additional background readings that the professor has provided. I must start the homework early so that I can go to office hours if I need help. I must go to all the lectures, pay attention, and ask clarifying questions. I am not used to asking questions in class or going to office hours, but those are things I must do to succeed in this class. I am determined to not let this course beat me. This is my time to Bear Down.

Sometimes the classes we choose are not what we expected them to be. In those moments, it’s important to make a choice: do you give up or work hard and kick butt? I chose to kick butt.

-Erika

Dissecting the Course Syllabus

12 Aug

Every class that you will take now until completion of your degree will present a syllabus that holds the answer to most of your inquiries about the course. If you think about it, syllabi are so important that your professors will most of the time dedicate the whole first day of class going over it. But trust me, that syllabus gains more importance as you continue throughout the course.

Whether you are taking Math120R, ENG102, or PSY352, you will notice that the syllabi are going to have a very similar format and should give you roughly the same amount of information about the course as any other.

A typical syllabus usually begins with a course description and expectations a professor may have, which can help you develop an understanding of the material the professor will be going over during the course of the semester and how he or she facilitates their class. In this section, your instructor will also provide a list of required textbooks and additional materials. Additionally, your syllabus will provide you information about when and where your professor’s or TA’s office are and how to contact them if you should have any questions. A grading scale and the total amount of points possible in the class are included in the syllabus as well. Many professors will often even include a day-by-day description for each class session, including due dates and times.

Finally, if you get lost at any point during the semester, reference back to your course syllabus and as always, don’t be afraid to ask questions (even if you think it may be a stupid one).

-Shuvonno

6 Tips On How to Prepare for College

11 Aug

This blog is one of those things that you actually want to pay attention to. I mean, no one ever wants to start college on the wrong foot, right? We’ve got your back, so read these awesome, life-saving tips on how to mentally prepare yourself to thrive in college.

Get Organized and Try Not to Procrastinate
We all know that in high school we could get away with writing papers last minute or finishing a couple chapters of reading here and there just in time for the pop quiz… but let me tell you, high school and college are completely different. Instructors are not as lenient and they definitely follow the syllabus. So make sure you hold on to that – it’s important! Desire2Learn (D2L) will be your best friend, I promise you that. It is an online portal where professors can post assignments for the entire semester and expect you to be prepared and meet all the deadlines. To be fully organized, I would invest in an organizer, an app, big wall calendar, etc. anything that reminds you and helps you stay on top of your work.

Go To Class
This probably sounds like the silliest tip but trust me going to class will save you from chaos at the end of the semester. Unlike high school, many of your college classes won’t take attendance and that can make going to class seem kind of unnecessary. But it’s so important! There will be a million reasons why you won’t want to show up to class. Trust me I’ve been there. Some of the excuses are “the professor posts everything online, I’ll look at it later.” This is one of the sayings I hear the most and my advice is go to class so you don’t waste that time going through it later, because you won’t. Not until the first exam or paper is looming over you. TIME MANAGEMENT! Don’t waste your time doing things you could have learned directly from your professor in class. Another common reason why students don’t show up to class is because of the time of the class. If you’re  not a morning person, don’t get an 8am class that you’ll never make it to. Planning your schedule according to your preferences is very important. So, if you want a smooth sailin’ semester, GO TO CLASS!

Find How You Study Best
Sometimes I would find myself studying for hours on end and it would not be effective at all. Finding how you study best is very useful to make the most out of your time and have efficient study sessions. Some people like to study in groups, some like to study at home, some like to study with music, some like to highlight the textbook, etc. Personally I like to study alone, aided with study music, at the library, going over notes I took by hand. I have found that this is what works best for me. So find out what works for you and study hard! 

Get Some Sleep
Sleep may become a last priority when you have a million other things to do. Work, class, studying, social life, working out, the list of things to do every day can go on forever. However, you need to find time to make sure you rest. Taking a nap during the day can be helpful and a great way to get more energy! Also lack of sleep can cause more stress, headaches, and be a serious detriment to your health. Try dedicating at least 8 hours a night for sleep. You will not regret it! No one likes to be tired in the morning or unable to focus in class.

Don’t Get Discouraged
Your first year of college could be a huge transition for you all. It is important to stay motivated throughout the academic year despite the obstacles you may face in some of your classes. Sometimes things will not go as you may want them to, and that is okay. Sometimes you will have to adjust and adapt to the changes that may come.  Always remember you are here for a reason. Also keep in mind that tough times do not last but tough people do. You will be tested from all angles in college but as long as you stay focused on your overall goal nothing will stop you from achieving it. Stay prepared, stay motivated, work hard, and BEAR DOWN!

Get Involved
In these next couple of days, you will be meeting and getting to know more people than you could ever imagine. Take a step out of your comfort zone, but most importantly commit to the groups you liked most and learned the most from. College life can get hectic, so find a community on campus or in town that you can call your niche. Joining a community allows you to build a support network that is full of people who can be there for you when you need them. This alone has given me more direction, guidance, and motivation in all aspects of my life. Take a deep breath, don’t worry or panic because you’ll find a home away from home here.
                                                  

Finals Crunch Time

7 Aug

The last weeks of school were approaching and I had planned to begin studying for finals the second to last week of class. I felt accomplished before the final two weeks. I had my study schedule finalized with set agendas for which chapters I would study each day for each class.

But, I didn’t factor in the several projects and tons of homework that were also on my plate. I also had a job as a tutor at the Think Tank. And can you guess when everyone is most interested in tutoring? During finals. So I was overbooked to accommodate all the finals prep. Plus with close friends graduating and planning weekend farewell celebrations and end-of-the-year celebrations for the clubs I was involved with, my carefully laid plans didn’t work out.

The last two weeks of school were very hectic and I didn’t study nearly as much as I intended. The agendas I had set had too many tasks on them to cover for the small amount of time I had available. I was not adequately prepared for three of my finals and the scores on my exams reflected the lack of preparation.

This experience– regardless of its brutal nature–taught me some valuable lessons for future finals and semester performances in general.

First, in order to ensure optimal performance on finals, make sure to begin studying at least three weeks before the finals begin. Although three weeks may seem too excessive to begin preparing, those three weeks tend to be chaotic and each course has tons of materials for you to review in a short amount of time.

Second, if you are working while studying, request reductions of hours in the weeks leading to the finals if the option is possible. This can help you find more hours to study.

Third, agendas are great and can be helpful to guide you in studying. However, setting reasonable goals for which materials you will cover each day is key to making your study plans successful. This is why allowing yourself three weeks to prepare for the final examinations is crucial.

Finally, you might want to reconsider if attending social functions with friends is a reasonable option. Don’t feel like you can’t have any fun, but no your limits and know when to say no. You don’t need to have a different celebration every. single. day. Hanging out with friends can relieve stress, but the time used can be reallocated to finals studying. Strike a good balance between fun time and study time. You will quickly learn that time becomes a scarce resource during the final weeks!

Best of luck to you all on your first finals here at the University of Arizona!
-Jorge Sanchez