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5 tips for scholastic, social success

Leaving the rigid, daily structure of high school for the more flexible, self-reliant model of university life can be jarring to an incoming freshman.

Kasey Urquidez, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and dean of Admissions, knows what problems freshmen face and provided her tips to help a new generation of Wildcats to succeed at the UA.

1. Ask for help.

“Some services seem really simple, but it can be hard for a new student to feel like it’s OK to use them,” Urquidez said. If there’s a need for academic help, there’s always the Think Tank, located within the Nugent building, the Student Recreation Center and the Park Student Union.

Tutoring is available for many first- and second-year courses from math and science to writing and language, both free and fee-based. You can also visit your professors during office hours. “Create study groups, talk to the peer advisers, go to office hours and really make the most of it,” Urquidez said.

2. Familiarize yourself with the campus.

It’s important to know where UA services and classes are located. If you’re not sure where something is, drop by the Office of Admissions in Old Main. “We’re happy to direct students to the right place,” Urquidez said.

3. Manage your time.

“It takes a lot more than being a smart student, it also means being a good time manager,” Urquidez said. Unlike high school, where you had daily classes and homework assignments to keep you on your toes, university life is much more lenient. A week may pass before you step in the same classroom again, and some online courses are entirely self-paced.

It may be wise to invest in a planner and prioritize your assignments based on when they’re due.

4. Get involved.

“The biggest thing we recommend is that students get involved and take advantage of the activities we provided for them,” Urquidez said. Get out and get to know people in academic or athletic clubs. There’s no telling how much you can learn and how vital those contacts could be in your future career, Urquidez said.

5. Have fun.

“The more comfortable a student is the more successful they’re going to be,” Urquidez said. Knowing this, the UA provides numerous events for students to blow off steam, all of which can be located at www.welcome.arizona.edu/home.


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