Tag Archives: UofA

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


Chrissy’s Summer Reading List

10 Jun

Summertime,  the most relaxing word a college student can hear, say, or think. Summertime opens up a plethora of opportunities that are not available during the school year: sleeping until 1pm, going on random road trips, and of course reading fun books. I don’t know about y’all, but I find that during the school year I am way too busy reading the various assigned readings to  actually get any fun reading done! So, I made a list during the school year of all the books I would like to read during them summer and I am now steadily working my way through them! Here are my top 10 books that I would like to have read by the end of the summer. I included short summaries of the books that I found on the publishers’ websites.

Please note that most of these contain adult themes and violence. Please read at your own discretion. 

10. Ella Enchanted: Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

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9. Dracula: Bram Stoker

During a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count’s transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula’s grim fortress, but a friend’s strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.


8. The Blood of Flowers: Anita Amirrezvani

Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, The Blood of Flowers is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of Persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, The Blood of Flowers has captured readers’ imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman’s struggle to live a life of her choosing.

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7. The Iliad: Homer

Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace

The iliad

6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.
Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Do androids dream of electric sheep

5. 13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

13 reasons why.jpg

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.


3. Brave New World: Aldous Huxley

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpieces.


2. The Other Boleyn Girl: Philipa Gregory

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

the other boleyn girl.jpg

1. Poison Study: Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dusté and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear—.

Poison study.jpg

Vacation vs. Staycation

12 May

Every summer I am met with the same struggle, should I spend a ton of money going on a vacation and having fun with my friends, or should I stay at home and work. Let’s be honest, usually I stay home. Not only do I not have the money to go on vacations, but vacations, at least mine, tend to be more trouble than they are worth.

Chrissy Blog 9

It doesn’t matter who I go with, whether family or friends, there is always so much drama that I would not have had to deal with if I had stayed home! I don’t know what it is about vacations, but they tend to bring out the worst in people. This year though, I have decided to brave the dreaded vacation, but only for a weekend. I am going to go to California for 3 days with a few friends, and hopefully it won’t be a huge mistake.

Chrissy Blog 6

Usually though, I have a staycation. For those of you who do not know, a staycation is a vacation you take without going anywhere. I tend to be a bit more strict with my staycations than most, I don’t allow myself to use social media, I do not watch T.V. shows that are currently on; instead I re-watch classic movies, I get caught up on books, and I sleep and sleep and sleep. Now, my staycation only lasts about a week because I take summer courses and work, but for that one glorious week I have no worries and no one can bother me. I am not trying to say that you have to do your staycation the same way I do, that’s the beauty of the staycation, it differs for every individual!

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The rest of my summer is usually spent working and taking classes which for some is not relaxing, but having the same routine I have during the school year is quite nice for me. I tend to take online classes so I can do my homework by the pool or while watching A League of their Own for the thousandth time, and work tends to be a bit more relaxed in the summer, so in the end I do have a nice relaxing summer.

Chrissy Blog 7

Now, whether you choose to vacation with family or stay at home and relax there, just make sure you do relax a little bit this summer. Students really do need the time to reenergize themselves.

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#NovembertoRemember: Arkansas, Here I Come!

5 Dec

Boarding the plane, I was nervous, my heart was racing, and I was biting my nails. I was excited that I would be seeing my brother’s last college home game of his life, but getting on the plane to go to Arkansas was its own obstacle.

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To begin with, my flight was scheduled to leave at 2 o’clock in the morning on Friday. But my Thursday schedule was hectic. I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, was done with school at 4:45, had to pack when I got home, left Tucson at 7 o’clock, drove to Phoenix, waited on my parents and went to the airport. Even though my Thursday was busy, I still was able to make the best out of my long day.


I had a layover in Dallas. We took a train to go from one terminal to the next. This train moved so fast. This was the first time I have never been on something like this.

From that point forward I was just that much more excited about traveling to Arkansas. Once we landed in Fayetteville, Arkansas is when all the fun and memories began.



On Saturday, game day, my family and I were able to be on the field while both teams warmed up. After they warmed up, the boys went in the locker room and they called all the seniors out individually. When they called my brother’s name we walked in the middle of the field and took a family photograph. The sits we were sitting at to watch the game was so close to the field. Everything that happened on the trip was something I have never experience before. Overall, this was a very fun and exciting trip that I will always remember.



How to be “Ready” like Spongebob

29 Aug

Have you ever admired Spongebob for always being prepared for the day? I know I have! It’s understandable if by this point you still don’t have the hang of things. Just take a second and BREATHE! You’ll get there, you just need a little help. Here are some tried and true steps that were passed down to me, and now I’ll share them with you!

1. Introduce yourself to your instructors:

Although it seems scary and ultimately intimidating, it’s a crucial step towards preparedness. Even a simple hello before class will help your instructors recognize you. They may not remember your name yet, but then again, if I had 300 students, I might be a bit forgetful too. That’s okay though! The goal here is to let your instructors know that you care about your grades. Matching a name to a face comes later!

2. Sit at the front:

You might be thinking, “teacher’s pet,” but it’s not like that in college! While attending boating school, Spongebob always sits in the front row in order to be more attentive. Sitting in the front allows you to engage yourself more in class and limits distractions. Students who sit in the back tend to be more talkative and disconnected from the class. I had a TA once tell me that students who sit in the front always get good grades. I didn’t want to believe it but, my first year told me otherwise.

spongebob boat school

3. Make friends in class

You’ll have a day (or a few) when your alarm clock doesn’t go off. You rush to class and you’re late. You can’t very well ask the instructor to just repeat everything again. Instead, you can ask a buddy after class to pass you the notes! Shocker! This step is very important because it’s good to know that someone has your back. Making friends in class allows you to have study groups before big exams, additional help on a topic you were confused about during class, and someone to share knowledge with. Don’t be afraid to exchange numbers!

boat buddies

4. Go to office hours

You might have heard this one over and over but, I can’t stress how utterly important this step is. If all the other steps I mentioned are baby steps, this one is a leap! When I first visited a professor during office hours, I thought to myself, “This is going to be awkward! I’m probably going to be the only one there! What if he/she thinks my question is inarticulate?!” Truth be told, it was nothing like that. There were several other students present, he was very friendly, and I left utterly content with how much help I had received. Also, going helps your instructor recognize you better. Suddenly, those simple hellos from step one are even more beneficial!


*Be a good noodle like Spongebob and go to office hours!

5. BREATHE!breathing gif

If you go back and watch any episode where Spongebob enthusiastically yells, “I’m ready!” he takes in a deep breath right before! If you at any point in time feel like any of the following: upset, fed up, nervous, angry, irritated, and/or about to EXPLODE! Stop for a second…and breathe! This last step allows you to compose yourself. It’s important to realize that you are not the only one having a rough day, we have all been there and miraculously survived it. You will survive! Next time you’re sitting in class and you start to wonder why the heck you even rolled out of bed, ask yourself, “What would Spongebob do?” and I promise you’ll have the best day ever!


best day ever
– Becky Mojardin

“Going Off Script” with Your Education

25 Apr

If I’m remembering my freshman orientation correctly, we were all given pre-generated course schedules, quickly introduced to UAccess, and then told to change our schedule around however we like. Well, at first, that’s great! So much power! It’s our first real opportunity to make our own decisions and finally have some say in how we spend our academic lives. All good things for sure. However, if I am in fact remembering orientation correctly, I was also very confused, definitely on the brink of heat exhaustion, and so overloaded with information that I didn’t even know how to start. I think I ended up halfheartedly scrolling through some courses, swapping one gen-ed out for another, and then calling it a day. The result? A huge block of core classes with some pretty random gen-eds sprinkled in (at very inconvenient times of the day, might I add). It is only when you realize you have six straight hours of pre-calculus, English, and chemistry (don’t forget the lab!), that you realize you probably should have rearranged a few things for the sake of your sanity.

Making your perfect schedule is easy, said no freshman ever. It’s true. Priority registration can be a frustrating time. Maybe all the courses that you so carefully selected end up being closed by the time you register. Or maybe the only section available is at 8:00am and you don’t really enjoy taking economics with your morning coffee. Such are the qualms of a first year Wildcat. The good news? As you move up in the “registration food chain,” the more options and flexibility you will have with your schedule. Your job is to make sure you take advantage of it!

By now you have had a couple rounds of registration completely on your own. No pre-made schedule. Just you, UAccess, and your ability to strategize how much time you will need to get from Harvill to Modern Languages in time for your next class. Crafting the perfect schedule is an art form, really. But carefully selecting your classes isn’t all about convenience. It’s an opportunity to personalize your education!

There are 4 key components to individualizing your college career:

1. Shop Around.

Take some time to get to know UAccess. If your skills are only at “basic survival” so far, now is the time to familiarize yourself with all the different features of your main registration tool. Once you know all the different ways to filter your search, you can hone it to your specific interests, degree requirements, and preferred time frames.

Make sure to use your other main resource: YOUR PEERS. Your ears should be perking up every time you hear that someone is enjoying a class. Ask them about it! Why do they like about it? What’s the study load like? How’s the instructor’s teaching style? If all their answers sound good to you (and you trust the person’s judgement), why not try it out yourself?

For the most part, I only knew my most interesting classes existed because of word of mouth. We can easily get limited by our declared major when it comes to searching for classes, so it’s a great idea to ask people outside your college (especially upperclassmen). The good classes tend to fill up quick, so start asking around…


2. Know Yourself..

Know when you are most likely to be alert, productive, and motivatedThen make sure to apply that to your schedule! I know. I know. Again, easier said than done. Sometimes there is just no getting around an inconvenient schedule, but being mindful of your personal (and biological needs–you know, food, water, sleep) is a big step in taking an active part in your life, rather than remaining bound to your academic demands alone.


Another thing to keep in mind is that while creating a well-timed schedule is important, do not fall victim to convenience either! If you have been eyeing a really cool sounding course for a couple semesters now, (but it’s always at four in the afternoon), don’t miss out on it just because it’s at a less than ideal time! Balance isn’t about equality in every area of your life. It’s about weighing the costs and benefits, and carrying out your priorities accordingly.

3. Go Off Script.

Tools like Degree Search and Smart Planner are great for creating your four-year plan as they offer a general overview of your coursework and degree requirements. However, much like that schedule you were handed at your orientation, these are only suggested plans. You can look at them kind of like degree templates. The structure and relative timeline of your core classes (i.e. the required courses for your degree) are included, but when it comes to upper division credits, electives, and which semesters you take them, that’s pretty much up to you!


4. Get Creative

Did you know that you can invent your own minor? Not every degree requires a declared minor, but if that’s the case, it doesn’t have to be a chore! It can actually be a great chance to take classes outside your major and be a little crafty with your education. These are called Thematic Minors.

The process for declaring a thematic minor is fairly simple. All you have to do is create a proposal that outlines courses from two or more subject areas and how they apply to a common theme. This is then approved by your advisor or college.  For instance, I was able to blend my nursing prerequisite courses with the coursework I had already completed for a linguistic minor. The result? I declared a thematic minor in biolinguistics. Fancy, huh? It’s a pretty cool way to take classes that seemingly are “just for fun,” and also get credit for them!


The beauty of degree-seeking is that as long as you complete your degree requirements, the rest is up to you! You can explore other fields of study, gain experience through an internship, or even take up a fitness class. Take every opportunity to put yourself into your eduction and add in aspects to your education that are going to motivate and excite you.  That way, when you look at your four year plan, it’s not “I have to take another Tier II INDV,” it’s “I get to take a class on Werewolves and Vampires!”



Minimize Midterm Stress and Maximize Your Mindfulness

11 Oct

During midterm season, school can engulf our lives. All we do is attend classes, study, eat, and if we’re lucky, we get the seven to nine hours of sleep that the National Sleep Foundation says we need each night.  A lot of times our calendars may look something like this:


Consider, too, that this is only November; many events aren’t planned out yet. A hectic schedule can take its toll on the body. There are a few good habits we can develop in as little as three weeks — according to a developmental psychology class I took at the U of A — to help us deal with the stress of school and maintain a healthy balance. I know some of you may be thinking, I don’t have time to change my habits, but it’s something that you can gradually start, and before you know it, it’ll be your new routine. I say this because you can never really get use to midterm season! Seriously though, I’m a senior and I still struggle to keep a balance between school, work, extracurricular activities, a social life, and most importantly, sleep!

Good Habit #1: Exercise

I recently decided that I wanted to find a new way to get rid of all the extra stress. Applying to graduate school, keeping on top of a full class load, holding a research position, and being president of a club, all the while working two jobs, was, needless to say, getting the best of me. Because I have a bad knee, I decided to do a bit of research to find workouts that wouldn’t be rough, but would still  challenge my body. I found this image:


I decided to start going to the Rec at least three times a week to get healthier, both to lose a couple of pounds, and at the same time, to relieve my built-up stress. I was motivated to accomplish a “mellower” me, even if I’d have to sweat. I’m not going to lie; at first the gym was killing me! I’d stop running the track feeling less stressed but more tired. Our bodies need a little time to adjust; no one said it was going to be easy, right? After exercising regularly for a month and a half, I can honestly tell you that I am less of a stress ball. I get less headaches, have more time for an actual social life, and I sleep better at nights. I still have all the responsibilities that I did before, but because I go to the gym for an hour a day, I feel much more at ease with everything. I know I have enough time to complete my tasks, it’s just a matter of sitting down and actually doing them.

Good Habit #2: Social Life

One of the hardest things to maintain during midterms is my social life (it might be the complete opposite for you). Friends and family are support systems that we sometimes don’t even consider in our rough times.

This past weekend, a couple of my friends decided to get together for a movie night. We ate pepperoni and mushroom pizza — a lot of it — talked about school and work, and watched two movies back to back: Pitch Perfect and Safe Haven. I highly recommend both flicks if you don’t mind sappy love stories and an a cappella girl-power group. Hanging out with my friends brought everything into perspective. I should appreciate life every day. Even if I just do it for five minutes, it still counts, right?

One of my favorite ways of “appreciating” is walking around campus. Have you ever taken the time to look at all the beautiful flowers? Or the sunsets? Ah, definitely one of my favorite things to do!  With the season-change, sunsets are a little earlier now, but if you go to the fourth floor of the Student Union, or any parking garage around just before 6, you’ll get to experience this. If you have a car, I love driving up to “A” Mountain (Sentinel Peak)–it’s the perfect view!


My family is really important and dear to my heart, but being away from them doesn’t make it easy. I make it a goal to talk to my little sister for at least ten minutes every night. It makes her day a lot better, and I assure you, I am one of the happiest girls on this planet after our conversations. If you’re away from home, calling home is something that you might want to consider. Or, if you’re still living at home (which isn’t a bad thing—who doesn’t love home cooked meals?), you can consider doing a games night and play Monopoly or Uno with your siblings or parents. Interaction that has nothing to do with school will get you a little more relaxed and you’ll be able to enjoy the time you do spend with them!

Good Habit #3: Personal Life

Personally, pun intended, this aspect is the most pleasing to me. I love spending time with myself, as weird as that sounds.


I live by this quote. I also put it in my planner so it reminds me to do something I enjoy that day, and then do it the next as well. It’s SO important to take care of ourselves, whether mentally or physically.

One of the most important things to do is eat healthy, which is something extremely complicated if you are on campus almost all day like I am. But, there are simple changes that can be made. For starters, let’s try to steer away from the Student Union. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some orange chicken, but it probably isn’t the healthiest thing for lunch. Instead, I like to cook for myself. This way I know exactly what I’m eating and can try to make healthy foods. Sometimes being health-minded is hard with Mexican recipes. I cut the sour cream and cheese on my tacos. I’m not going to lie either. I indulge in bad foods at least twice a week; once during the week on campus, and the other on the weekends. It never hurts to please your taste buds in moderation.

Although I know we have to read 101 pages for school, when you read something for pleasure, it helps take you away from reality for a couple of minutes (or hours). Taking bubble baths and reading a magazine is one of my guilty pleasures. Just make sure you don’t fill up the tub as much as they did:


(If you live on campus, skip the bubbles and go to the pool at the Rec!).

If you are into meditation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an organized event in a room with other people. You can do it for free in your own room. Like CAPS suggests, take deep breaths to feel the stress come off; the point is for your stomach to expand as much as possible when you are breathing in. Concentrate on making yourself better! Healthy mind, healthy body, right?

By keeping a well-balanced schedule, all of these things can be accomplished! Check out Franny’s blog last week about unique ways to organize your schedule, beyond just using a planner.

In the long run, we just have to remember to pencil in some time for ourselves. Being stressed is detrimental to our health, and ultimately, to our midterm grades as well. By finding small ways to improve, why wouldn’t we?

At the end of the day, all you have to do is remember to…


–Veronica Atondo

Resource Reflection: Freshman Class Council, My Golden Ticket to a Social Life

20 Sep

My favorite part of freshman year, if I had to choose, would be joining Freshman Class Council, no doubt about it. Freshman Class Council is an organization through ASUA, your Student Government on campus, which focuses on spirit, philanthropy, outreach, and friendship.

Becoming involved in a club on campus helped me feel like I was a true Wildcat. See, I am from Tucson, so I lived (and still live) at home. At the beginning of freshman year, I would literally drive to school, go to class, and then drive back home right after class. I absolutely love living at home. I mean, who doesn’t love their mom’s home cooked meals, free laundry, and their own room? I just felt like something was missing.

I was definitely doing college wrong. It was as if I was disconnected from the U of A community. I had no friends, and I would sit by myself during my breaks. It was great. NOT. It felt like I had moved to a new city and I was not quite settled in yet. Once I was selected to be a part of Freshman Class Council, things started to change and I began to feel as if I was now a part of the U of A.

Freshman Class Council helped me make lifelong friendships. FCC selected 49 of us, and it was as if I had made 48, automatic best friends. We were referred to as “cubbies,” and we were a family. I could finally hang out with FRIENDS in the ASUA office instead of sitting alone during my breaks between classes. I met my best friend, Jocelin (who also happens to be an Outreach Facilitator). Now, we are inseparable. I could not imagine going through college without her. I have a group of people that I can count on, whether I need to vent about how my day is going, to have pizookies with after a long week full of exams, or to study physiology for hours with. I am a junior now, and the majority of people that I hang out with are still FCC people. We are “cubbies for life” and we really do live by that motto.


I have always had a passion for helping others, and philanthropy is one of FCC’s pillars. We participated in many philanthropic events, which I absolutely loved. From volunteering at the bowling and track and field Special Olympics, to setting up a dodge ball tournament for Desert Diamond Children’s Hospital, to collecting clothes for a clothing drive, we did it all. I enjoyed giving back to my community. Not only could I hang out with this great group of people, but I could also volunteer my time with them for a great cause. This helped me to get away from sitting at home doing nothing, and taught me the importance of paying it forward.  Through helping people, I learned that a little goes a long way; we are all going through different hardships, and sometimes even a smile can make someone’s day.

I made some of the best memories freshman year with my cubbie brothers and sisters. Being able to participate in FCC’s traditions helped me feel as if I was taking part in the U of A’s traditions. For homecoming, we made a float and got to march in the parade through the U of A mall. We went to Bear Down Ball together, which is a 1920’s themed ball where all proceeds are donated to UNICEF. We even traveled to Disneyland. I mean, the happiest place on earth with my best friends? YES, PLEASE.

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FCC helped me to come out of my shell, and it opened doors to becoming even more connected to campus. Later that year, I became involved in Wildcat Event Board (WEB), an organization that puts on free events for the student body. Sophomore year, I was involved in SMORES Sophomore Honorary, which I also loved. I also heard of this job through Jocy, and am now an Outreach Facilitator. Last summer, I was an Orientation and Welcome Leader which was by far one of my top three experiences at the U of A. All of these opportunities arose because I decided to step out of my comfort zone and become involved.

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If there is one piece of advice that I could give every freshman, it would be to get involved. Getting involved helps you feel connected to the U of A, especially if you are living off-campus. It helps you meet new people, make friends, and have lasting memories. Having a social life along with all of the academics can be a struggle, but getting involved is a great way to balance it out. You can be involved with the university, meet people to study with, and also have a great time. My freshman year was one that I will never forget, and I want you all to be able to look back on it and have an amazing experience just like me.

Although FCC applications have already closed, you can get involved in an honorary next year. Sophomore year, you can apply for SMORES or SOPHOS during the spring semester. Visit the ASUA Student Clubs and Organizations list, for a complete list of clubs. Find the club that fits what you’re looking for, whether it is school spirit, philanthropy, cultural or leadership-related. If you don’t find a club that floats your boat, you can always gather ten friends, and start your own.

–Adilene Barrios

Finding that Happy Balance Between Work and Play

17 Sep

A blank green horizontal chalkboard with chalk and eraser. 14MP camera.

Hey, Wildcats! Check out our new Wildcat Connections newsletter above for information on how to work hard, and play hard. Browse the library resources to help stay on top of your game during exam time.  Take a break from all the stress of exams, and check out the activities happening on campus under the “Be in the know” section.  Remember, it’s important to not become so overwhelmed with classes that you forget to have fun.  This is college; find that happy medium between work and play! 

Get Schooled: How to Navigate the Main Library

13 Sep

The University of Arizona is an enormous campus. With over 40,000 students, it may be more populated than some of your hometowns. Navigating the campus can be extremely intimidating, and it’s totally understandable. Even as junior at the U of A, I still get lost roaming around campus trying to find my professors during their office hours.

The Main Library is one of the places I find most intimidating to navigate. The library, to me, seems like a dark and mind-altering labyrinth. It reminds me of the 1986 movie “Labyrinth.” If you haven’t seen it, I don’t blame you. David Bowie, mullets, synth music.  Need I say more?  But basically, this is how I see the library…

Scary right? This is why it could be intimidating. You might not be sure exactly where you are going, or what’s hiding around those dark corridors.

If you haven’t visited the main library yet, don’t worry—you’ll eventually spend a long, sleepless night studying for those chemistry or biology exams .

The library can seem terrifying, but once you know the basics, you’re good to go. Hopefully, after you read this blog, the library won’t seem like a twisted place only navigated by people who have a lot of time, and hairspray, on their hands.

Let’s start with the essentials.

How to check out a book: This seems so simple right? Everyone knows how to check out a library book. But walking in and seeing five stories of books can be intimidating. Where do you start? On each floor, there are service computers where you can access the online catalogue to find the call number for the book you’re looking for. The main catalogue looks like this:


The call number will help you find the book you’re looking for in the maze of shelves. Also, just as a side note, you can do this from home as well, and come prepared with your call number.

When you pull up the main catalogue, you have several options. You can search by “Books,” “Articles,” “Media,” “Keywords,” “Title,” “Author,” or “Subject.”

For example, I’m studying Middle Eastern and North African history, and I want to find a book about Syria (since Syria is a hot topic at the moment, I want to learn more about their history with the U.S.). I could type “Syria” in the search engine box. All of the possible results that the library has available will show up instantly.


If you need to be a bit more specific, you can refine your search. On the left side is where you narrow your search by category. Once you’ve found a book, the next step is to find the call number, which every book has. This is crucial since you need this number to find the book.

The call number will soon appear towards the bottom of the screen.  Once you have found the number you are ready take the adventure to find your book.


How to look for your book: Each floor of the library has a Call Number locators, usually near the elevators. You can always look online to see where the call number is located before you come in as well. If you have difficulties finding your call number the first time, DON’T WORRY. It takes practice. I still can’t find it on the first time, and often wander the aisles trying to find the right one. The main idea is to know which floor your book is on.  There are five floors in the main library, and here is a link to get a detailed map of each floor.

Checking Out: After finding your book you can go back to the second floor to check out your books. There are computer-like scanners located right in front the main entrance. To check out library books you will need your CatCard, so be prepared! If you need assistance checking out a book, just turn around, and the help/information desk is right behind the checkout computers. As a student, you can check out 75 books at a time for 21 days.  If you need the books for a longer period of time, you’re more than welcome to renew your books up to 12 times.

However, if you don’t renew your books within that time period there could be a fee charged to your account. Review the late fee policy.

Article & Database Catalogue: As a student, you have access to an amazing online catalogue that most people don’t know about. If you’re looking for primary sources for a research paper, or just a simple essay, this is an excellent resource. One of the greatest perks of the online catalogue is that you can use it from your personal laptop.

Reserving Quiet Study Rooms: Did you know you can reserve study rooms in the library? Study rooms are located in the Main library, Science Engineering library, and the Fine Arts library.  All you have to do is reserve on ahead of time. First, go to www.library.arizona.edu, click on the “Services” tab, and then click on “Study Space & Computing.” Then, all you have to do is click on “Reserve a study room.” You will need your NetId and Password.


Computer Lab: If your computer ever crashes, or you simply don’t have a computer for whatever reason, don’t panic, the UA has your back. In the Main Library, there is a computer lab available for your use. The computer lab is located on the first floor in the main library. Also, there are printers available in the computer lab. Unfortunately, there is a small fee to print, depending on how large your printing job is. If you need any further information, check out this link.

Phew…. That was a lot of information to take in at once, but it’s necessary information because at some point in your undergraduate career, you will need to take the plunge and visit the library.

The best part about knowing the basics on how to use the Main Library is that you can apply these skills in all the other libraries on campus. Yes, there is more than one library on campus. There are exactly five libraries on campus. The main library has more of a general collection, while the other libraries focus more one of area of study.

Check out:

The Science-Engineering Library


Fine Arts

and Other Libraries and Collections

It’s wonderful that the U of A has such an amazing collection of resources in all these libraries. With that said, I hope your next trip to the library won’t be too intimidating or confusing. Until next time, Wildcats. And remember, always BEAR DOWN!  Just remember to Bear Down quietly in the library – shhhhh!


–Valeria Martinez