The University of Arizona

Blog

The Must-Do List for Every UA Freshman

Calling all class of 2017 members – this is your charge: print out or write down this list of things to do and take care of each item within the first few weeks of class.

We have compiled a list to Top 12 things of things to do as a new member of the Wildcat family. Why? The success and longevity of your academic and social lives depend on it.

Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews

1. Know your Academic Resources

The UA Libraries isn't just a place to check out books or to play Candy Crush between classes. There, UA librarians can help you rent a laptop or tablet, borrow a camera, reserve a study room and learn how to properly cite to avoid plagiarism. Can't make it to the library and need help? Try the Ask a Librarian feature online. Elsewhere, the UA offers wireless printing and the Think Tank will help teach you how to manage your time and balance your responsibilities. It is important to get familiar with academic resources within the first few weeks. While you’re at it, get a study group together – if you’re going to be studying late into the night, you might as well share the experience with someone, and there are proven academic benefits.

Photo credit: University of Arizona RedBar

2. Visit a UA Fair, Join a Club

There is a reason it is a quintessential scene in every college movie. The many fairs that are held at the start of the semester exist to help you make connections and get involved. Find out what student clubs, organizations and intramural sports are a good fit for you, or get a head start on building up your professional experience by learning about the jobs and internships available. Resume builder or not, these are crucially important activities, as this is where you’ll meet the people who will not only help you become more connected, but will also likely end up being friends for life. The Aug. 27 Student Involvement Fair will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on the UA Mall. The UA's Career Services helps students to explore degrees and careers. The Wildcat Student Employment Fair will be held Aug. 28, 10 a.m to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center.

Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews

3. Download the Arizona App

Have a smartphone? You’ll want to download the Arizona mobile application for the iPhone and Android, which allows you to view your course schedule, read about University news, view videos and photos and find your way around campus. You can use the app to walk your schedule before your first day to class. And if you are living in a residence hall, consider tweeting a photo of your decorated room to Residence Life's hashtag, #MyUAHome. 

4. Attend one of the Many Early Fall Events

So, yes, you’ve finally made it. You’re officially a college student, and that gives you every reason to celebrate. Considering that there are always ceremonies, charity events, exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops and other programming underway, it is best to get acquainted with the UA's Master Calendar. Of note, be sure to check out the Aug. 28, Residence Life's Party in the Park and the UA’s first pre-game party event at Main Gate, which will be held the Thursday before the UA’s first football game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Aug. 30.

Photo credit: Jacob Chinn

5. Visit one of the University Resource Centers

You don’t have to identify with the specific demographic in order to feel welcome and to participate in activities at the University’s resource centers. The centers, which often have social and academic programming and act as general gathering spaces, include African American Student Affairs, the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the Women’s Resource Center and the Transfer Student Center.

6. Register your Bike, Get a Bus Pass

At the UA, you can get discounts on bus fare and rent bicycles and vehicles within minutes. Relying on alternative transportation can save you time, and money. Check out the various options at Parking and Transportation Services. In addition to saving money, you'll be doing a good deed for the planet.

Photo credit: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews

7. Check out a UA Arts, Cultural Event

The UA is a major contributor to the arts scene in the southwestern region of the U.S. Be sure to visit one of the museums, purchase tickets to UApresents shows, attend a show produced by students and faculty at the School of Theatre Film & Television and attend lectures outside of what is required for course credit. View the UA’s Master Calendar for daily events.

Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews

8. Learn about Financial Literacy

This is your future, and learning about money management will suit you well. To learn more, connect with Credit-Wise Cats, a group of "financial education" ambassadors.

9. Go to Gallagher for Late Night Entertainment

Visiting Gallagher Theater, the UA’s move theater, has been a key pastime for Wildcats for decades. There, you can view Hollywood blockbusters, independent films, student-produced works and Charles Darwin Experience, the University’s improv comedy group. And thanks to a grant from the UA Student Services Fee, every movie at Gallagher will be free to students who present their CatCards.

Photo credit: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews

10. Join ZonaZoo, Get Your UA Swag, Wear Your Colors on Fridays

Need an Arizona cap, pair of socks, keychain, mug, T-shirt, beanie or professional tie? Or maybe you want to send a gift home to your Wildcat family. The UA BookStores has it all. Once you have your UA gear, be sure to show your Wildcat pride, especially on Fridays. And be sure to get join ZonaZoo so you can experience the instant bonding and outrageous costuming of the largest united student section in the Pacific-12 Conference.

Photo credit: Jacob Chinn

11. Explore Tucson

Sure, you will have several years to get familiar with your University’s hometown, but you don’t want to be the last of your friends to have an Eegee’s or be the only one who doesn't know about Gate’s Pass. Grab a few friends and make an effort to get off campus during your first few weeks.

12. Go to Class

Yes, this is an obvious must-do. You might be thinking that nothing will happen during the first few classes, but you thought wrong. The majority of your classes are bound to be with fellow freshmen, making this a great opportunity for you to meet new people and make the right impression on professors who will be there to help you throughout the semester. Do not underestimate the value of being prepared for what’s to come.

Photo credit: University of Arizona RedBar