Tag Archives: Involvement

Top 20 Movies to Watch Over The Summer

10 Jun


Shannon’s Picks                                                              Chrissy’s Picks


 The Bourne Identity                                                          Dracula Untold

PicMonkey Collage


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                       Bridge to Terabithia



How to Train Your Dragon                                            Lion King



The Hangover                                                                    The Intern



Cast Away                                                                            Sense and Sensibility



The Sandlot                                                                         Howl’s Moving Castle



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey                           Harry Potter



The Shining                                                                         Shrooms


Romantic Comedy:

The Wedding Singer                                                         The Ugly Truth


Science Fiction:

iRobot                                                                                    Blade Runner


Finding Your Wildcat Family

26 Sep

I remember the night before my first day as a college student.  With my backpack ready and my class schedule printed out, I thought about how many friends I was going to make, all the new adventures I’d have, and, most importantly, how many clubs and organizations I’d be in. I was about to set off on a journey to find my own crazy, fun, and unique “Modern Family”.

Since I was living off-campus my freshmen year, I wanted to make sure I was as involved as possible so I felt like I was a part of the campus. In high school, I was in almost every club offered. I was president of my class, secretary of three clubs, and tutored Spanish three days out of the week. (Fun Fact: I don’t even speak Spanish, so I don’t even know how I qualified for that position.) When I look back on my high school years, those activities are what I remember most. I knew that going into college, if there was an opportunity to get involved, I took it! Then I heard the most magical words to ever come out of a UA student’s mouth: “There are over 500 clubs on campus.” My mind nearly exploded with pure excitement.



On the second day of school, I went to the involvement fair on the mall– tent after tent of brochures and posters of every club I could imagine.  The first club I found an interest in was very similar to my high school student council. So, I decided to apply. I went through the entire process of attending socials and interviews. After meeting the other applicants, there was no doubt that these people would be my “college buddies” and this club would be my new home.

But a couple of weeks later, I received a rejection letter. I was devastated. I saw the rejection letter as a message that I wouldn’t have a home on campus. I only had a couple of friends on campus from high school and they were already friends with the people in their hall or found a club. So, here I was. I was lost and didn’t know what to do next.


After a few days (and an embarrassing number of phone calls with my mom), I picked myself up and decided to keep trying. I knew what kind of college experience I wanted and I was going to make it happen! I was more determined than Lily on her first day of kindergarten.


I went on to ASUA’s website and looked at the list of clubs. Some clubs definitely weren’t for me, but I saw some that interested me. I narrowed it down and attended some club meetings.  None of my friends were interested, so I went alone. I was a very dependent person, so flying solo was something very difficult for me to do- but I took the leap!

I decided to try to join a club whose focus was helping animals. If you know anything about me, you know that I love our furry friends! This had to be my place; there was no question about it! But, lo and behold, it just didn’t work out. Of course I loved the puppies (who wouldn’t?), but I just didn’t seem to click with the members. This happened a few times as I tried different clubs. It was now a month into school and I was questioning if I was doing college the “right way”. 




I was discouraged, but I kept trying different clubs. Then, one day, I went to a club meeting and thought, “I could get into this”. I went to a second meeting the week after and then to a third. I started to love spending time with the people there. I quickly made friends and believed in what the club’s goals were. At the time, I had no idea that these people would be the defining aspect of my college career, but soon enough, we were Gloria and Cam:


I’m currently in my junior year and have an officer position in the club. I can wholeheartedly say that the club members are some of my best friends and they are totally invited to my future wedding (#isthatweird). It was a difficult road to find my place on campus, but when I finally found it, I knew it was perfect for me.

Going through this journey at the beginning of my freshman year taught me that everyone has their place, but it’s up to you to take the leap and find it! Sure, some of my high school friends found a place to fit in by the end of the first week. I didn’t find my home until about Week 6, but I FOUND IT! I tried and I tried and I finally found it. Just like the characters in Modern Family, we’re quirky, weird, and somehow found each other in unusual ways, but we love each other always. Even today, I feel like my Wildcat family was made just for me and I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have them in my life. So, I share this message to you: It doesn’t matter how late it is in the semester or how late it is in your college career, there is a place for you on our campus. All you need to do is take the leap and find your Wildcat Family.





P.S.  Here’s the second part of the Lily’s “Can’t wait to learn!” GIF, because it’s hilarious. I laugh every time.



When Will My Reflection Show?

4 Sep

Graduating high school and moving forward into your freshman year in college can be scary, but also full of great opportunities to leave your comfort zone and discover new things about yourself. Whether it be acing a challenging course or creating a new circle of friends, you may come to find that the person you were in high school is just waiting to blossom into a new identity tailored to a promising college lifestyle. 


Let’s take a step back and do some self-analyzing. What type of person do you believe you were in high school? Were you a part of a sports team? Did you sing in choir, or act in a drama club? Were the people who you surrounded yourself with similar to you, or different? Personally, I was in my school’s marching band for two years, and made the majority of my friends throughout countless rehearsals and performances during football games and competitions. I loved it so much that before I knew it, I was contacting the band director of the Pride of Arizona at the end of my senior year. It wasn’t until after my potential section leader had emailed me all the paperwork and sheet music that I decided that I didn’t want to join the Pride of Arizona after all (it’s nothing personal, because the Pride of Arizona is amazing). I figured that my freshman year was the time to explore another side of myself and see what potential I had in other areas that I was interested in. But where was I going to start?


Thanks to the vast variety of courses that are offered at UA, I could explore my interests in new subjects while earning a grade for it at the same time! Your academic advisor is your best friend in college; they oversee your academic progress and where you’re at in meeting the requirements for your major, so they will always know how to point you in the right direction. Take the time to explore all the courses that meet your general education requirements, and pick the ones that immediately catch your attention. Normally I wasn’t too interested in any subject history related, but I found an anthropology course on UAccess that struck my interest and added it to my class schedule. I ended up absolutely loving that class and realized that minoring in anthropology wouldn’t be such a terrible idea. Of course, I did take classes that I knew I would be interested in, but this little epiphany was enough to wake me up and feed my desire to branch out even more.

Now if you’d rather get involved with something that isn’t so academic, may I suggest seeking out a club or organization to join? From Greek life to ZonaZoo, getting involved with life on campus is an excellent way to meet new people, and embrace that Wildcat spirit that we all hold dear to our hearts. The organization that I happened to stumble upon allowed me to reconnect with my Native culture and discover things that I never knew about my family. The Native American Student Affairs immediately encouraged me to get involved and get acquainted with other fellow Native American students. I became even  prouder of my culture than I already was, and realized that I would like to pursue a career that would help my people in one way or another. Being a part of something bigger than yourself can make you feel strong, invincible, and ready to take on the world!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily telling you to completely abandon who you currently are and become a new you overnight. As cheesy as it may sound, be proud of who you are! Use college as a way to amplify your personality, not drown it out. And along the way, discover new faces of your identity as you take on new courses, create new friendships, and get involved in extra curricular activities like you never have before!

You will all do beautifully, and welcome to the University of Arizona.


Ring Ring! Your Future’s on the Line!

4 Apr

These days, it seems like everything is going digital. Interviews are the same (at least that’s what Franny and Tori have experienced). They’ve put together their top tech tips to help you click with your interviewers, even if you’re half way across the world! Whether you’re in front of a screen or have the phone to your ear, seizing these opportunities take strategy! See what Franny has to say about video-conferences while Tori shares her experience with phone interviews:

1. Set the stage. Find a quiet space with minimal distractions.

  • Franny: when you’re viewing somebody through a screen (or they’re viewing you), you don’t want them to be distracted by the “hang in there, baby” kitten poster floating by your head or have them reading your bookshelf. Pick a fairly bare, private room where you can speak at a comfortable volume. Also, if you’re taking the call at home or in a place with other people, let them know not to disturb you during that time (and lock the door!). (Tip: you can reserve study rooms at the UA library for up to 2 hours!)

It also goes the other way, too! You don’t want to be distracted by things around you, or worse, internet tabs you have open. Don’t have anything unnecessary open on your computer, especially something that may make noise like Facebook (ding! Whatserface poked you, and now you only have 0.5% chance of getting that job you were interviewing for!).

  • Tori: This goes double for phone interviews. Even though your interviewer can’t see you, you need to focus all of your energy into making sure you’re listening carefully. For some reason, it’s much more difficult to understand questions over the phone. Maybe because you can’t see the person’s mouth going along with the words they’re speaking… I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. So, pick a nice quiet place where you won’t get distracted.

2. Troubleshoot all technology beforehand!

  • Franny: Make sure you understand the technology you will be using before the big day! Whether it’s Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts, do a trial run with a friend to make sure the tech-status on your end is good to go. For instance, every time I sign into Skype, the settings automatically default to “external microphone” rather than my laptop’s own mic-system. This means people can’t hear me until I change the settings! Make sure you work out those kinds of glitches beforehand so you don’t have any surprises during show time!

Also, be prepared if something does go wrong! I have had the internet go out as I was answering a question and didn’t realize they were completely frozen (and disconnected) until I was finished. It’s a bit disorienting when your tech fails, but just remember to stay calm! Being able to continue from where you left off shows you can handle pressure, react in crisis-mode, and move on.

  • Tori: Avoid the awkward “can you hear me now?” conversation with phone interviews. It’s best to use a landline so you know you won’t get disconnected, but I think landlines are becoming a bit like mythical unicorns (meaning they don’t exist…). Personally, I only have a cell phone, and that’s what I used for my interview. It works fine if you don’t have another option, but make sure you’re in a place with full coverage so you won’t drop the call.

3. Know who is interviewing you.

  • Franny: This one is just a good rule for any interview, but something about not meeting your interviewers in person makes it more difficult to remember their names! If you have multiple interviewers, things get even trickier. Sometimes they might be physically sharing the screen (by cramming together in the camera view) or they will be sharing screens digitally (which means alternating screens popping up when different people talk). To tame the chaos, try to get their names before the interview, and make sure to write down their names when they introduce themselves. This makes following up with them easier, sending thank you notes more personable, and making second interviews go much smoother!
  • Tori: I think Franny said it all! I had a phone interview where four people were on the other end, and as they introduced themselves, I jotted down names so I could find them easily when I was finished. Phone interviews can be a bit more difficult because, if you have more than one interviewer, you need to go based off of the sound of their voices and can’t match a face to that sound. So, when you go to write that awesome personalized thank you and want to say, “So-and-so, I really enjoyed our conversation about _____,” it may be a bit more difficult to parse out who said what. But do try!

4. You’re never fully dressed without a smile!

  • Franny: This one seems a little obvious, but hey, the face does weird things when you’re nervous. Even though it can be extra nerve-wracking when you are in front of a camera, try your best to relax and be yourself. This means smiling, blinking like a normal human, and making sure your body language isn’t distracting. Also, video conferences have their own kind of distractor–YOU! Try not to look at yourself on the screen, but rather the camera on your computer. This is like the digital-version of good eye contact. (Of course, it’s not your fault that your so attractive it’s distracting,  but do your best to resist!)
  • Tori: Why do you need to smile when you’re on the phone? They can’t see you! Well, that may be true but you can hear when someone smiles. Try it! Introduce yourself without a smile, then say the exact same thing with a smile on your face. It sounds different! That smile comes through on the phone, so even if you look like a weirdo sitting in a room on the phone, by yourself, smiling to yourself, do it.

5. …you’re also never fully dressed without pants.

  • Franny: Before my last interview, I was searching Skype-interview tips (yeah, whatever, I’m a nerdy over-preparer) and I came across this gem: “Even if you don’t think you will need them, wear pants.” Maybe this tip is a joke, but really, dress as you would for a normal interview. Yes, they will only see the top half of your body, but you never know when you might have to get up to grab that pen (that you may have thrown across the floor from nervous fidgeting)– leave nothing to chance! Dress appropriately and modestly and you’ll be just fine. (Need some help with that? Check out this Pinterest Board to make sure you’re camera-ready!)
  • Tori: On the phone, it can be even more tempting to skip the pants. Or a shirt. Don’t! Even though there is literally no chance they will ever see you in your undies over the phone (unless you accidentally FaceTime with them…), being fully dressed puts you in a different mindset than when you’re in your pajammies. I would suggest wearing what you would to an in-person interview, but if your immediate reaction to that is “pfft, nope”, at the very least, wear something that you feel confident and powerful in. And take off those earrings! You don’t want to miss a question because they’re clacking against the phone.

6. Have a copy of your resume and a notepad to take notes.

  • Franny: It’s likely they have a copy of your professional documents with them, so make sure you do, too! I don’t think any of us have our resume memorized, so keep it handy for reference if they mention something specific. That being said, use it ONLY for reference! After all, you should know what your experience, skills, and accomplishments are, so don’t let them catch you reading it during the interview. Also, make sure you have reviewed the cover letter or letter of interest that you sent them. We all have different versions of the same letter, so remind yourself which sparkling personality traits and experiences you outlined so that you can better expand on them during the interview!
  • Tori: The notepad is especially important for phone interviews. I need a visual to make sense of anything, so those infamous multi-parter questions are always quite the challenge for me. One benefit to having a phone interview is that I can jot down words to remind me of what I should be answering (in a video or in-person video, eye contact is usually more important so I can’t stop and take notes!). Also jot down things you want to remember to talk about or might have trouble remembering once you get a bit flustered (and everyone gets flustered!).

7. You only got one shot. So prepare, practice, and perform!

  • Franny: Just like with any interview, take some time to prepare and practice! When you’re researching the position you’re interested in, look up the company’s mission statement and try to get a feel for their goals as a whole. Also, look closely at the job description. Which qualities do they emphasize? What kind of employees does it seem like they are looking for? Try to incorporate these little tidbits that you find throughout your interview. It will show that you took the time to look into the job and that you are thoughtful when it comes to joining their team.
  • Tori: When interviewing for graduate assistantships for graduate programs, I looked over at least 50 job descriptions. No joke. Each school had me rank 5-7 of those many, leaving me with quite a few different jobs to interview for (as you may remember…). It was a bit rough to remember all of the details that Franny mentioned above. I was definitely thrown a few curve balls, with positions asking me if I’d had a chance to look over their website and mission statement and to talk about what I saw. I learned the valuable lesson – really know those pieces well. You never know when you’ll be asked about it. The benefit to a phone interview is that you can have those in front of you for reference! Also, practice answering questions over the phone with a friend to make sure you’re not talking too quietly, or yelling in someone’s ear, that you sound put together, and that you sound happy!

8. Shine bright like a diamond!

  • Franny: So you’re sitting alone in that bare, quiet room just waiting for a video chat to pop up on your screen. They said that they would call at 10:00am, thirty seconds have already passed, and all you can hear is your heartbeat in your ears…is that too dramatic? Okay, maybe you don’t get as nervous as I do, but the point is that nerves are going to happen! Remember to breathe, relax, and let your personality shine through! The problem with a Skype-interview is that you are already losing the personable element of shaking someone’s hand and sitting next to them. Your job is to make sure they still get a chance to know you as a person beyond your resume and through the screen. Don’t be afraid to throw in some of your natural humor or maybe a less than flattering story–you’re painting them a picture about yourself, so it might as well have some color!
  • Tori: The “personable element” that Franny refers to is pretty much nil when you have a phone interview. I don’t know the exact figure, but something like 90% of the impressions people have of us is based on body language and facial expressions, not what we say. Over a video, you lose some, but over the phone, you lose a whole lot more. All you really have is your voice, so again be as enthusiastic (smile!) as possible and try to make sure to let yourself shine through your answers.


–Tori and Franny


A Walk With Wildcats

13 Mar

Each student steps onto the University of Arizona campus with unique experiences and perspectives. We took this idea and decided to challenge ourselves. We wanted to know what being a Wildcat means for each of us. Instead of writing a traditional blog, we decided that a picture is worth one thousand words and certainly more than any blog could capture. We set out across campus to take photos of what being a Wildcat means to us. Walk with Wildcats and see how we captured campus.

This is Wildcat Country!

photo-1Wildcats Bear Down for life!

The Wildcat life of a student consists of:

IMAG1041You are here to be a part of something bigger than yourself and that means going to class too!


The Daily Wildcat is the number one student run newspaper in the nation. If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the campus, this is where you go.


The University of Arizona offers opportunities to bridge connections with the Tucson community.


Having a healthy dose of rivalry.

What does Wildcat Country represent?

photo 2

Old Main represents tradition at the University of Arizona and achieving excellence by improving what can be improved.


Centennial Hall is home to UA Presents the premier provider of artistic and cultural events. Not only do they bring big names to campus, but they highlight our fine arts programs and show us the creative side of what is means to be a Wildcat!


Construction and detours are not only present around campus right now as they build the new light rail, but also throughout your college career. Wildacts know how to handle those detours and turn them into opportunity!


What makes us Wildcats is our sense of community and state of unity. We stand together, as an institution, with one goal in mind – to Bear Down!

As Wildcats we:


Being a Wildcat means lending a hand when others are in need. It means not only thinking about yourself, but putting others’ needs before your own.


You know you’re a Wildcat when you start seeing yourself as a representative of the UA. Taking a moment to help out someone who might be lost is not only an act of kindness, but also feels great to welcome others to our campus!


This is what it’s all about!


All hail Arizona and remember to Bear Down.

Wildcat Connections @ The National Collegiate Leadership Conference

27 Feb

Wilbur and Wilma at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference

The National Collegiate Leadership Conference is one of the largest leadership conferences in the country — and it’s run entirely by UA students.

When you arrive to NCLC on Friday afternoon, you are greeted by over 600 other student leaders, all there to learn more about how to create social change in their organizations and communities. Makes it sound pretty dry to some of you, right? The thing about NCLC is that the things that define it are not something you can put on a schedule in a conference book. They’re the unplanned icebreakers and teambuilders that happen between workshops; the spontaneous dance parties when the DJ plays just the right song; the moments when a speaker says something so profound that everyone — everyone — in the room is silent, letting it sink in; and the school cheers and fight songs during Closing Ceremony, the excitement and pride that you are not only a leader, but and a leader for your campus, your home town.

Group participating in icebreaker

Jamie Utt, this year’s Keynote Speaker, really drove this point home in his presentation. He spoke about how the places that are not structured, our social spaces, are the places where leadership might matter the most. What difference does it make if we are leaders in our organizations, if that leadership stops when we go home, or go out? As he put it, “Our social spaces require more leadership than any other place in our lives.”

I love NCLC because it reminds me that leadership never ends, and that there are student leaders across the country working to be the best they can be. If you get the chance to attend, do it — how often to you have such a fantastic opportunity right at your doorstep?

National Collegiate Leadership Conference 2014 is February 14th – 16th.
Visit www.leadership-conference.org to stay updated.

There’s Still Time to Get Your Hogwarts Letter

15 Jan


What if Harry Potter was real?

It kind of is.

Across the country — and the world — students are working for the Harry Potter Alliance, a non-profit organization that works on social justice and service projects through Harry Potter themes.

Luckily for Potterhead Wildcats, we have our own HPA chapter right here on campus. The University of Arizona Harry Potter Alliance is one of the largest chapters in the country, and was a Featured Chapter in July. When you join, you’ll be sorted into a House to work on one of four areas for change: Gryffindor (Equality), Ravenclaw (Literacy), Slytherin (Environment), or Hufflepuff (Self-Esteem). There are awesome opportunities for not only getting involved in the community, but participating in socials and taking on leadership roles.

Now’s your chance to join Dumbledore’s Army and fight the dark forces of our world…are you in?

UAHPA meets on Thursdays at 7:00 PM. Visit their website to sign up!

Commuting to Campus: Tips and Support

21 Aug

Let’s face it… Whether you are biking, walking, driving or getting dropped off on campus, it can be difficult to get there on time. As a commuter student, “you may have a busier schedule than any of the busiest students on campus” (Cohen, H). Commuter students usually have other large commitments in their lives in addition to going to classes. It is essential to think about (and plan ahead) how you are going to get to campus.

There are a few things that are important to consider when commuting to campus:

  • Construction and traffic
  • Parking and the cost of commuting and parking
  • Alternatives to traditional commuting
  • Support for commuters

Whatever the challenge you may face as a commuter student, here are some solutions to some potential difficulties:


  • It’s important to plan enough time to get to campus, park, and get to class without being late. The busiest times on campus are generally in the mornings (8:00-9:00AM) and at the end of the day (5:00-6:00PM). It is also busy during the times that classes are out (ie: 9:50-10:00 AM).
  •  Stay on campus for dinner to avoid the afternoon rush, or join a club and stay for the meetings one or more times a week to take a break from the stress and frustration.
  • For a list of all constructions projects, click here!


Commuting can be expensive! The cost of gas is at an all-time high and parking passes are a hot commodity. However, there are ways to lessen the financial burden as well as utilize alternative methods for commuting.

  • If you live in an apartment complex around campus, many of these complexes provide shuttles to and from campus that run hourly. This is a great way to make friends that live near you as well as save some money.
  • Carpooling to campus with friends can split the cost and make it easier on everyone!
  • Parking and Transportation Services also offers the CatTran Shuttle service as well as many other transportation options that can be found here.


  • Joining clubs and organizations on campus can be a great way to stay connected and make your commuting schedule a little more traffic-friendly. You can find a list of all recognized clubs and organizations here.
  • The libraries here on campus are great places to go in between classes to bridge those time gaps. To get an idea of where they are all located and what they provide to students check this out!
  • Eating dinner or lunch on campus in the unions, is a great way to make friends, people watch, and stay connected and supported on campus.

Take home messages:

  • Commuting is a challenge, but it doesn’t always need to be difficult. Use your resources!
  • These resources are available on campus to help alleviate that stress, support your goals, and keep you connected.
  • Get involved and stay connected to campus! Just spending time on campus alone can help you feel more comfortable and involved.

Resources: The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College. Harlan Cohen

On-the-Fence about Involvement

21 Jun

Do you want to jump right into any and every activity on campus at the University of Arizona?!  Or, do you want to wait and see what your schedule looks like first and then determine if you can balance classes, work, family, etc.?

The majority of students will not be the dedicated, super-involved, leaders of the organizations they join.  In fact, many students do not want these responsibilities.  This could be caused by apathy, but it is more likely that this is caused by people trying to maintain balance in their life and be successful on their own terms.  People often want to be highly involved in a club that sparks their interests, but they want to do it on their own time.  And that is ok!

ASUA supports a ton of recognized clubs on campus!  When you are talking to different organizations, ask what the bare minimum time committment is.  You’ll often find that the committment is “seasonal” (i.e. Recruitment Season, Intramurals Season, etc.).  You can make your decision about what to get involved in based on the expectations people will have of you.

For more information about ways to get involved at the University of Arizona, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Student Involvement Fair (Tuesday, August 21, 2012 from 10am-2pm on the College Mall).