Tag Archives: Resources

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!



Soooo…. Now What?

5 Nov

College teaches you a plethora of lessons.

Lesson 1: Procrastination is real.

Lesson 2: Networking is real and it’s crucial to successes in life.

But the lesson I learned that was the hardest to grasp and come to terms with was that things will not always go the way you planned them to.

And this realization is worse when associated with your academic well-being.

Let me rewind so I can provide crucial background that explains why I’m so caught up on my academics.

All throughout my academic career of K-12 I was the straight ‘A’ student who obsessed over her grades and connections with her teachers. I guess you could say I was a “goody two shoes” of sorts.


To me, there was nothing worse than failing academically. Not even failing, a ‘C’ was a heart attack waiting to happen.


I was overly obsessed with getting the good grades. This had just been my character since I started school back in kindergarten.

Well, that same mentality followed me to high school where I made sure to build a strong, impressive academic foundation for myself. I came to college and that same fiery passion burned in my being, but was rapidly and sadly put out by the reality of college courses. These courses weren’t going to be easy! Most classes, I have had the ability to breeze through and excel at effortlessly. Some not so much.

Perfect example: Race and Ethnic Relations.

This course was a 400-level class and I was a puny, inexperienced freshman. What was I doing in such a class?


Anyways, this class sort of kicked my butt. As much as I tried ‘B’s’ were always printed on my papers whether it was an exam, an essay, or simply 4 questions on a piece of paper. I couldn’t get past the ‘B’ curse. Don’t get me wrong…this was an AWESOME class! I loved the topics and material I learned. The professor was witty and knowledgeable beyond belief. But this was one of those classes that made me realize that sometimes things wouldn’t go my way and that was OK!

So what am I trying to get at here?


Life will sometimes not go the way you plan it to and that is ok.

You might now always get the grades you want, but what matters is that you give it your best shot and find ways to succeed from what could be a tragedy.

Here is what can happen next after you realize your semester isn’t going the way you want it to academically:

1. If time allows, SAVE YOUR GRADE! Sure your first exam(s) didn’t go the way you wanted them to, but perhaps the remaining assignments will have sufficient grade weight that they can save your grade! For these remaining assignments, make sure to consult your professors, TAs, preceptors, everyone and anyone to assure that you get a good grade that will help you and not hinder you.


2. If it seems that your grade is a lost cause, strategize. Sure one class might have gotten the best of you, but there are still other classes. Focus on these courses to make sure that your GPA doesn’t take the hit for a bad class.

3. Perhaps think about a GRO (Grade Replacement Opportunity). This method allows you to take the same course again to get a better grade! This way you have experience with the course and know what to expect the second time around. Thing with GROs is that there are strict limitations for how much and when you can use this (amazing) second chance. Also the original grade isn’t dropped from your transcript, but it isn’t factored into your GPA. People will still know that your first time around wasn’t the most glamorous round.

4. As always, make your advisor part of your plan! They’ll know how this hiccup will affect your overall experience and how to proceed from there. When in doubt, your advisor is a great resource for you.

5. Move on and learn from this experience! Sometimes, it isn’t possible to fix a bad grade when it happens. Learn from it! Make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. Learn how to prepare in advance and what mistakes to avoid!


It’s hard to accept the fact that perhaps your first semester isn’t going the way you had pictured it to go, but the important thing is to learn from this experience, apply those lessons to the future, and bear down! Life happens. Life goes on.


Get it Wildcats!

21 Apr



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Finals are just around the corner! From the Think Tank to Office Hours, we cover the best tools to help you get your study on and blow your Finals out of the water!

Swimmin’ in Resources: Ciara’s Top Five for a Successful Semester

9 Jan

From the time that you stepped foot on campus for orientation, people have been throwing resources at you. Even I, as an Outreach Facilitator, am guilty of spewing out resources to students. Every week Student Affairs Outreach sends out Wildcat Connections, an email newsletter featuring various University of Arizona resources to keep you on track. But let’s be honest here. There are so many of them that it can be overwhelming just to think about where to take your questions. So, what I will do for you, is highlight my top five resources of fall semester. As a junior, I’ve heard about hundreds of different resources available to me, and although I’m sure they are all amazing, I really can only use so many. So here goes…

1.         My academic advisor. 

I made a promise to myself that I would open up more with my advisor and be completely honest with her. It makes me feel much more comfortable when I can let her know exactly how I feel about how classes are going or how lazy I can get sometimes. It also gives her a better idea of how she can help me get to where I want to go with my education.

Now, I understand that I have been really lucky to have such a chill relationship with my advisor. Not everyone feels comfortable with their advisor. For some students, the advisor is equivalent to your high school principal, and you try to avoid that person like the plague. But from my perspective, even if the relationship isn’t ideal, I make the effort to see my advisor at least three times a semester.

First time: At the beginning of the semester, right after I get my syllabi in order, I try to see my advisor to get a feel for how demanding my classes are going to be. This way, I can let her know that I’m not feeling confident about course X, Y, or  Z. From there, we can speak about what other options I have if I still feel unhappy with a specific course. I prefer to see her before the drop deadline, so that if I want to get out of a class, I have time to do so without getting charged a late drop fee. This spring, the drop deadline is  Tuesday, February 11.

Second time: Right in the middle of the semester, I have what I like to call my “stress meeting.” It’s the moment where you can finally start to determine what type of grades you have been averaging. I like to go in and…basically, tell my advisor that I’m stressing out over stuff that she and I both know are not that big of a deal. But, hey, it helps me feel better about myself.

Third time: This semester, after priority registration and right before finals, I had a great final meeting with my academic advisor. We spoke about my plans for upcoming semesters, went over my GPA, graduate school options, and internships. Overall, it was the most productive meeting we had all semester. I recommend seeing your advisor around this time. Plus, its nice just to say, “Thanks and have a nice break.” They will always remember a smiling face.

2.         Wildcat Joblink

I frequently use Wildcat Joblink. It’s been my go-to resource for looking up available jobs, internship openings, and volunteer options. There is literally something on Joblink for any interest, major, year in college, GPA, experience, etc… I recommend this as a great place to start if you are looking to secure a job this semester.

3.         My Advisement Report on UAccess Student

Here’s how to get there:

i.     Log into UAccess Student Center

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ii. Under “Academics,” click on the drop-down box to find “Advisement Report.”

iii. After clicking on “view report as pdf,” UAccess will show you your academic progress. It will display certain requirements that are incomplete, your GPA, total units completed to date, and many other things. This is a great tool when I want to apply for a scholarship or a job and I have to provide information about my exact GPA or the amount of units I have completed. These are things that I surely don’t memorize, so my advisement report comes in handy.

4.         Teacher Course Evaluations a.k.a. TCE reports

Teacher Course Evaluations are online student reviews of specific professors and specific courses. It’s pretty much the University of Arizona’s unique student review database. If you remember orientation (yes, I am bringing back old memories), there were those really cool Orientation Leaders who told you about TCE reports (myself included!).  Did you ever use it? Maybe not. But here is the truth. **TCE reports > Ratemyprofessor.com** Do I still use ratemyprofessor? Of course! But I always cross-check those student reviews of professors and courses with TCE.

My logic is as follows:

Every student is asked to complete the TCE reports at the end of every semester. My opinion on the “other” website is that most students who post about their professors are already pissed off. They are usually students who are failing the class and will say really ridiculous things about the teacher because they didn’t do as well as they expected.

For example:

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i.     This may seem helpful to you now, but in the long run, a professor who teaches multiple courses can not please everybody. You, as the student, have to be aware of that. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because one person can’t handle the way a professor chooses to structure a course, you won’t be able to. You are a unique person with your own level of capabilities. Granted, it may provide you with some insight, but take it with a grain of salt.

ii.     TCE reports, on the other hand, take away all of the fiery emotions some students feel when they are failing and presents more useful data. For example,

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So make your choice, but I’m sticking with the tried and true TCE reports.

5.         The Rec


I enjoy being active during times of high stress. It makes me feel awesome to be able to release some negative energy by playing basketball, running or pumpin’ some iron at the Rec. Plus, its just a great environment getting to  see your fellow Wildcats focused and staying fit. Try it out!

So, there you have it. My top five resources that I could not have made it through fall semester without. Find out what works for you and stick with it. See you this semester!

— Ciara Lowe

Brace Yourselves, Finals are Coming!

12 Dec


From Student Affairs Outreach to you, here is this week’s newsletter. Let’s just call it an early gift 🙂 Bear Down, Wildcats!

Getting a Summer Job

16 Apr

After a long year at the University of Arizona, you may be looking at your bank account and wondering if you have been robbed.

The Office TV show: bankruptcy

We’ve all had that feeling, and maybe you are also being pressured by mom and dad, but a summer job is now looking like a great option to replenish your funds. Although it can be difficult to fathom a job search while finals are approaching, now is the time to act before all of the good  jobs are gone. Here are some ideas to keep in mind, whether you decide to stay in Tucson for the summer or go back home:

  • Look into Summer Camps for elementary school kids
  • Tutor for high school students preparing for their SAT
  • Become lifeguard certified and work at a local pool (bring your sunscreen!)
  • Scan over Craigslist for listings of  ‘temporary jobs’
  • Talk to your dentist, doctor, or other interested professional to shadow or intern (although you may not get paid, this is an excellent opportunity to put on your resume)
  • Check out summer positions on Joblink
  • Ask your local community center if they need extra help for summer events
  • Hopefully you left your high school job under good terms, so consider giving them a call and ask if they would be open to employing you for the summer

Polish up your resume (with the help of Career Services) and determine your dates of availability. Be aware that if you are looking for jobs out of town, you’ll need to let your managers know you’d need a phone interview. Best of luck!

I Think I Need Some Extra Help…

19 Feb

Midterms are fast approaching. If you feel as if you are falling behind, the time to act is now. It is your responsibility to get the extra help that you need. Fortunately, there are many resources that you could use as an aid. Make sure to utilize all of these resources if you are struggling with a class or two.

1. Your Professor
Your professor is a great resource to use. After all, they are teaching the class and they know exactly what they expect you to know for exams and assignments. Make sure that you attend office hours regularly in order to get that extra help that you need. Asking questions will help you get the answers that you need directly from the source, and it will show your professor that you care about learning. Having an academic relationship with your professor will definitely help you understand the material better, and they are there to help and want you to do well in their course. Going to go see your professor is also a free resource, so make sure to take advantage of it! Don’t be afraid of your professor! Go into office hours! Make it a regular thing, you won’t regret it!

2.Think Tank
The Think Tank is a great way to get help from a tutor. If you have already seen your professor and think that you just need that extra practice, a tutor is a great resource. The Think Tank offers many different resources for academic success. If you are struggling with math or science, there is a tutor for that. Need test taking tips and practice? The Academic Skills tutors are there to help. The Think Tank also hold Weekly Course Reviews. There is also the Writing Center where you can get extra help writing your papers. The Think Tank offers both free and fee based help, so make sure to check out their website for details.

3.Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Many courses are partnered with the Think Tank and have SI Sessions. SI is a FREE service that provides regularly scheduled , out-of-class study sessions. The SI sessions are led by students who have previously taken the course and attend lecture with you. They know exactly what is going on in class and set up weekly activities to help you  understand the concepts better. The more you practice, the better you will do on the exams. There are many SI sessions throughout the week, so you could probably make it to at least one a week. Make sure to check the SI Schedule for a list of different times and locations where SI sessions are held.

4. Form A Study Group
Who knows what you are learning better than the people taking the class with you? Make friends and form study groups in order to get extra help from your peers. People learn in different ways, so forming study groups helps to get the same information in different ways from different people. If you have a question, who better to ask then your buddy sitting next to you! Study groups are also fun, and a lot more interesting than studying alone. 


28 Nov

Looking for a new place to live? Don’t fret…many people are looking for an alternate place to call HOME before spring semester starts up. Regardless if your roommates are terrible, you are looking to move away from mom & dad, or just need to relocate to be closer to work/campus, we have advice for you!

Here are some tips on finding a new apartment/house/residence: 

  1. Start early – Ask your current property manager what the steps are to get out of your lease. Are there extra fees involved? Bring your lease to the ASUA Legal Services for free aid if you run into problems.
  2. Use UA’s Off-Campus Housing website – This great resource has listings for houses and roommates.
  3. Craig’s List – Make sure your emails back and forth sound realistic and are clearly not spam. Also, if the rent is ridiculously cheap but the pictures look ridiculously nice, it’s probably a scam. Never meet up at the apartment by yourself. Here are some great questions for your new potential property manager.
  4. Network – Ask different friend groups if they know of anyone going abroad next semester. If you act fast, you could potentially sublease their room or house from them! Be sure you do your homework on the new house (and roommates) before you sign anything!

When you do finally get to move, use this checklist to make sure you have everything ready to go! It’s helpful making this a smooth and easy transition.

Good luck!

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!

Supplies: The University of Arizona BookStores

8 Aug

Chances are, you peeked your head into the UA BookStore when you came to campus for a tour or Orientation.  Our BookStore is loaded with resources and materials that will help you earn your degree.  Getting good grades is about more than just going to class.  You will want to make sure that you are organized and have all the books and tools you need to read and review materials as you progress throughout the semester. 

Wildcat Wisdom: Buy your books from the BookStore! 

As a first year student, you have a lot of things to do (i.e. go to Wildcat Welcome Events, make friends, learn how to navigate classes, etc.).  If you buy your books from the BookStore, you can support our university and eliminate the stress associated with waiting for books to ship or purchasing the wrong edition for a class. 

How to Know What Books You’ll Need: Professors should start posting their book lists to UAccess.  To get your book list, log into UAccess (uaccess.arizona.edu).  To the left of your schedule, you will notice a link that says Booklist.  When you click that link, you will notice a list of all your courses appears.  Make sure you have the right semester chosen, and then click “Proceed to the BookStore.”  It is that easy!

Check out the UA BookStores’ website and Facebook page for more information on how to pre-order your books, return policies, and more!  If you have questions about how to order books, stop by the BookStore, or contact your Outreach Facilitator (Outreach Facilitators are current students who have done this process many times!)