Tag Archives: family weekend

Avoiding the Family Weekend Blues

9 Oct

That time of year has once again arrived, Family Weekend is here! The campus is full of life and events as families from all over the country drive or fly in to gain an insight on the University of Arizona college experience. But what happens when your family is unable to come to campus? If you are like me, my family is unable to come to Tucson for Family Weekend, but just because they cannot make the trip does not make the weekend any less special. Here are some suggestions to enjoy Family Weekend , but with a twist.


1. Have lunch with a friend and their family.

Family Weekend is all about having fun and making memories at UA. Do not miss out on this opportunity and ask a friend if you can join them and their family for a nice meal. Last year, my family had to work and could not make the trip, so I spent a day with my best friend and her family. They welcomed me with open arms and by the end of the weekend I felt like I had a second family.

Female friends pillow fight at home in pyjamas, having fun, smiling happy.

2. Have a girl’s/guy’s day with friends.

I was somewhat pleased to find that I was not the only one of my friends whose family could not make it. This created an opportunity for us to spend some time together, go see a movie and have a nice dinner. Although my biological family could not spend the weekend with me, I gained a campus family that I was able to bond with just the same.


3. Allow yourself some rest and relaxation.

Family Weekend is structured to be a weekend to help students have some fun and comfort at a time of the year where stress and tension is high. If you feel the stress of college getting to you take a day to breathe and focus on yourself. Stay in your pajamas all day watching Netflix , order in for dinner, or go to a spa. The semester is speeding up and you deserve some time to yourself.

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4. Join in on the fun!

Family Weekend is all about enjoying what UA has to offer so take advantage of the weekend, there are plenty of events you can still attend!

Have a spectacular Family Weekend!


Surviving Family Weekend without the Family Part

9 Oct

It’s that time of the year again: family weekend. For some this is a great time to spend with your family doing fun activities around campus. For others, it is a time where you are reminded that you live far from home or that your family is unable to come for various reasons and you can’t have them here.

For those students whose family is coming for Family Weekend, yay for you! You have the chance to spend some much needed time with your family. You have the opportunity to go to a World Fair Expo, a Chili Cook-off (for $10), an Ice Cream Social, and a Casino night…and that is all on Friday! As you can see, there’s a plethora of activities for you to check out with your family and friends. While this is a weekend for families, please remember that some of your friends might not have family to hang out with. So feel free to invite them to hang out with you and your family, just make sure to make it clear to them if they have to pay for themselves so you can avoid potential awkwardness on that front! This is a weekend of inclusion.


For my freshman year, my family couldn’t come down from Phoenix to spend family weekend with me. At first I was really upset because I missed them. I wanted to show them around my school and just hang out with them for a little bit. Instead of moping around my dorm feeling sorry for myself, I was productive! The worst part about family weekend is that it falls right around midterms, so I utilized the fact that my roommates were hanging out with their families and set up a huge study session in my room. I invited everyone I knew who didn’t have family coming that weekend an we just studied all day. It was a very productive weekend that I wouldn’t have had if my family had come.


That weekend I also hung out with my friend’s family. While it was not the same as hanging out with my own family, they still made me feel welcome and wanted which was something I hadn’t realized I had been missing. So, if your family isn’t coming this weekend, don’t worry too much about it because you can still have a really fun weekend with your friends! And if you really want to go, but you can’t find anyone to go with, you could always go by yourself.


Please note that for this weekend, some activities require registration and others require an entry fee. You can get a look at the schedule here: Family Weekend.


Dissonance Makes the Mind Grow Stronger

4 Oct

By this time in the semester, the honeymoon period has worn off – or at least it has for me (yes, even seniors feel that way). It’s getting harder and harder for me to drag myself out of bed for that 8am class. This is even harder if you have a hard time relating to your classes. Many times, classes drag because there is a dissonance, or disharmony, between the class and previous knowledge, beliefs, or maybe even your interests. Let me let you in on a little secret — and it’s going to be legen — wait for it


 …dary! The truth is, the best knowledge and growth comes out of dissonance.

If you’re uncomfortable, that means you’re challenged.

If you’re challenged, that means you’re growing.

College isn’t just an intermediary step between you and your career, meant to be one more hoop to jump through.


The reason so many careers require a college education isn’t just because of the foundational knowledge you’ll learn (although, that’s important too) — it’s also because they want employees who are intelligent and mature.  In fact, according to research from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of employers want hires who can think critically and communicate clearly, and 95 percent say that new hires should demonstrate intercultural skills and the capacity for continued learning. College is where those skills are cultivated, and the transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly happens! College students are immersed in new experiences and knowledge, which broadens our minds and our understanding.

As a high school student, I thought I knew it all. Everyone does. You’re introduced to new concepts like politics, you learn about history, you’re more aware of the world around you – and then it happens: you think you can fix the economy single-handedly. No one has ever thought up the solution you just did, based on one class period of new knowledge. College challenges those grandiose assumptions about your ability to affect change that rapidly and completely, all by yourself. Deeper knowledge reveals just how complex those issues are. Deep-seated beliefs are confronted because college often forces you to ask why you believe the things you do. Self-reflection and new perspectives are what make that transformation into what employers want happen. You don’t necessarily have to do a 180 on your beliefs, and often times your beliefs will remain intact. Your reasons for believing just become better.

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My 16 year-old self can totally relate. Just look at her…she knows all!

So, if you find that you’re just not connecting with your classes at any point in your college career (or now), here’s what you can do:

 1.      Self-reflect. A lot.

Take time to really think about what it is you’re learning. What is it that’s causing dissonance? Is the topic uninteresting to you? Does it go against what you believe? Once you figure out what’s causing dissonance, you can start to figure out why that dissonance is there. If the subject is uninteresting to you because you don’t know anything about the topic, you can rectify that by learning more about the topic and hopefully interest will follow. If it’s a difference of opinion between you and the instructor, take time to think about why you disagree. If you still find yourself opposing your professor, don’t let it get to you. It’s just one class out of about 40 in your undergraduate career. Think of it as a chance to understand the other side a bit better and strengthen your own argument.

2.      Make a list of pros and cons for your classes.

This goes hand-in-hand with number one. The cons side of this step will help you root out what it is you don’t like about the class. More importantly, each class you take has its merits. (If you need the reminder, refer back to my blog about gen. eds. from last week.) The pros side of the list will remind you of what you can gain from the experience! Hopefully, this can help you bridge your dissonance with the class.

3.      Look at course catalogs for class descriptions.

The best way to beat dissonance is to be proactive rather than reactive. Read class descriptions and contact the professor if you have any questions before you register for the class. Remember, the schedule of classes is out and the shopping cart function is active on UAccess. Take your time registering for classes to make sure they’re a good fit for you before you start them.  If you start a class and don’t like it, switch it out. You’re not married to your schedule, so if you can get out without causing yourself too much trouble, go ahead! You’ve got a few weeks at the beginning of each semester to make those changes, just remember that switching into a new class late means you have to catch up.

4.      Talk to someone else about your classes.

When I was younger, I would sometimes get stuck on a homework problem. After becoming frustrated to the point of tears, my mom would always say, “Explain your problem to me.” I would usually tell her some bratty thing about how she wouldn’t know what I was talking about anyway, but she’d insist. In the process of putting my thoughts into words, I’d always have an “aha moment.” The clouds would break, birds would sing, and I would feel on top of the world again. Treat your classes that way. Maybe putting your thoughts about your classes into words will help you make the connections that are missing, or maybe the person you’re talking to has input that can help connect the dots for you, whether they’re a friend, family member, or trusty academic advisor. The key is just to find that one thing in the class that you can relate to or appreciate, like the new concepts you’re learning, your professor’s teaching style, or the new author you were introduced to.

When it comes to feeling like some of your classes are irrelevant to your life, you’re not alone. College can be overwhelming and busy, and questioning your environment is always a good thing. It can lead to some new self-realizations and discoveries, and can make you feel more confident about your choices. And, if you get nothing else from this blog, remember – mom always knows best!

Speaking of moms, call yours! It can do wonders for your attitude and motivation. Family Weekend is coming up a in a couple of weeks, so invite your parents and bratty teenage (or younger, or older – but still bratty) siblings out to see you in Wildcat Country!

— Tori Outfleet