I was informed at Freshman Orientation about how diverse the school population was, but I did not expect the impact it has. Many of the students in my dorm are from all over the United States, and even international countries. By being such a diverse university, I have learned more about various cultures and traditions, than I had ever imagined. I have learned to be more opened in my outlook on life, less judgmental of others and more accepting of others. I have learned to express my voice through writing and appreciate my mentors and their guidance to succeed.
"College is way different than high school." That's the one thing teachers continuously tell students. What they do not tell students, however, is exactly how. And by how, I mean emotional-wise. I wish I had known that for the first few weeks, college was going to be a depressive and life-sucking experience. Nobody warned me that I would be extremely overwhelmed by the vast environment and experiences. The immensity of my college struck me hard in the guts, and I felt I was completely alone. The truth, however, is that almost every freshman feels the same way.
I wish that I had known more about the involvement opportunities before I got to school and had my mind blown by all the different opportunites. I am interested in politics so I learned about all the involvent opportunities in student goverment as well as lobbying opportunities to the state legislature or programs to intern with our elected officials. I think it is definitely best to research all the programs that pertain to your specific interests, because I found that I have so many paths to pursuing my interests and I would liked to have been more aware.
There's one thing every student should know: commit yourself fully to the experience. Being immersed into an entirely new academic and social environment was the only way to learn who I am. The time spent forming friendships, which eventually led to campus involvement, and eventually to leading my own club is what led to me to what I am today - a content, eager, and passionate person ready to better the world. If I hadn't taken the time to use the resources the university gave me, then I would be a much different person, one with much lower ambitions.
Before attending the University of Arizona, I wish I would had known about their tutoring programs and how material is generally covered on exams. They also use a certain website to post all homework and notifications for each individual class. I also wish I would have known that my instructor’s office hours are very helpful and it’s a way for them to help a student out individually. Some challenging courses at the University of Arizona include math and science, and I wish I would have known that in order to better prepare myself and study effectivly.
I wish I had been told to study abroad. Many of my friends went on amazing adventures all over the world and experienced new ideas, cultures and people. The University does a great job of finding programs that allow you to continue your coursework while abroad making study abroad programs even more beneficial. I wish I had known about all the resources there are in order to help students find the best program for you, whether you want to teach English in Germany or learn Spanish in Chile, The University of Arizona ensures your journey fits your needs.
That the first year of college can break your GPA, and can set the tone. I also wish I knew that even professional fraturnities/sororities are very socially based. I wish i also was more comfortable asking questions so that I could deepen and expand my learning experience. I wish that during each class I would have gone above and beyond the reading required of me. Additionally, I wish I would have had better discipline in terms of my time management skills. I wish I had known that WHO you spend time with can gravely effect one's academic success.
UA does not cram loads of useless knowledge into your brain. Rather, the outstanding professors provide opportunities to learn and extend your education to whatever extent you desire. Finishing a course with an A really is not that difficult, but to have gained something useful and timeless from the course is up to the individual student. Unlike high school, the motivation and desire for success for pupils has shifted from the teachers to the students themselves. You need to be ready to earn your education, not just have it plopped in your lap.
I wish I had known more about how the university system works so I would have been able to better plan for my academic career. I'm refering to such things as class registration, credit counts, and university policies, like the consequences of changing your major or getting a low GPA. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the system can improve your experience greatly and help you plan for possible pitfalls and avoid common mistakes. I think there would be a huge benefit from a better peer communication network between first-years and upperclassmen.
I wish I had not put the University of Arizona on such of a pedestal during my last months of high school. I fell in love with the Global Studies major and campus environment after my first visit and as is human nature when it comes to love; I began to idealize the object of my affection. I wish I had not expected college to instantly mend all my internal struggles. Going to college means discovering yourself and that journey can be challenging, espcially when done away from family and friends. But nothing has been or could be more rewarding.