In the fall of 1912, the Agriculture department started its classes with 53 men enrolled in the program. Now, 100 years later, the College is commemorating its birthday with a yearlong celebration. There are a number of Centennial Events being planned, starting with the kickoff at the Annual Awards Banquet in April. There will be many other events, like having the students try new ice cream flavors and vote for their names, to mark the milestone. Throughout the summer the UWRF College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science parade float be at festival parades in the hometowns of Alumni. It's time to celebrate the history, traditions, shared memories and the promise of a vibrant future.
When I was a senior in high school, I didn't start my college search until November, two months after it had been possible to turn in applications. This was a little late to just be starting to look at Universities; however, I had an idea of what I would like to do based on what I enjoyed in high school. That was the start for my search; I looked for the schools that offered a specific program. UWRF had the program that I was interested in, so I decided to visit here. I also signed up to visit Eau Claire and Stout. When I came for my visit at River Falls, I made my decision. The campus was so beautiful and was the perfect size. My hometown is small, and even though I know that there are approximately 7,000 students here, it doesn't feel like it. I'm not lost in the crowd. After my visit here, I canceled my visits to the other schools. I knew that River Falls was the place for me.
In my previous blogs I may have mentioned Greek life, or about being part of a sorority. Many people may not know what fraternities and sororities are, or what they know may actually be a myth. Being part of a sorority, I know firsthand what Greek life is about.
On our campus, we have four pillars of Greek life. They are friendship, scholarship, philanthropy, and service. By these standards, our fraternities and sororities can offer you opportunities in leadership and networking, and a sense of community on a larger campus. They also provide support and education to all of their members, annual conferences, and tuition scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate work.
If I were to describe what Greek life is all about, I could tell you about the events that we do to raise money for philanthropies. For example, Alpha Omicron Pi hosts the event Run for the Roses which is a 5K run to raise money for arthritis research. I could also tell you about the scholarships available and all the leadership roles available within a fraternity or sorority. Fraternity and sorority life play an essential role in undergraduate student development and learning. Greek life is also a lot of fun; we do fun events together all the time. Last week we had Greek week, which is a friendly competition between all the chapters we have on campus. We have other social events where two groups will get together. For example, in the fall Phi Mu and Alpha Gamma Rho carve pumpkins.
My experience with Greek life has been very positive. I have taken advantage of the many opportunities and had a lot of fun making new friends and being part of great experiences. Even if Greek life isn't for you, I still recommend that you learn about them and participate in some their events that they have on campus.
In high school you may have been involved in Student Council or some other governing body. In college there is another opportunity for leadership and service by being a part of the Student Senate. Our Student Senate is comprised of students from all walks of life who have come together to provide a voice for the student body. They are active in a variety of ways in all levels of government including on-campus, state and national issues. They advocate for problems that affects students on our campus but also for issues that are statewide.
There are elections every year for the twenty-five positions. They meet once during the week to discuss any business pertaining to the campus. Sometimes they may discuss business pertaining to a specific club or organization. It is a great way for students to get involved and have their ideas heard. If you are interested in becoming involved in student senate, they have more information on our website as well as our OrgSync website.
Every new college freshman who has not taken a college level English or math course needs to take a placement test so that they take the class appropriate for their skill level. Foreign language tests (French, German, and Spanish) are also available. These tests can be taken at any UW school; they do not need to be taken at the school you are planning on attending. There are several test dates throughout the spring and the tests need to be completed before you can register for class.
When I signed up for placement tests, I took them at UW-Stout. I remember being very nervous, especially since I was taking the Spanish language test. After the test was over I did not get my results until I came to River Falls to register for class. I had placed high in English and math, and surprisingly I did well on the Spanish part as well. My advisor helped me pick classes for the fall, and since I was a pre-major, I was able to pick a wide variety of classes. So if you are nervous at all for your placement tests, don't be. They are just used to make sure you are learning things at the correct level.
It's that time of year again when students are signing up for on campus housing for the next year. All first and second year students who do not meet one of the exemption criteria are required to live on campus. If you are a returning student, it's a matter of deciding who you want for a roommate, finding which residence hall you want to live in, and signing up on time. The process is relatively simple and does not take a lot of time.
For new students, however, the process is a little bit different. To start, the housing deposit must be paid. This $175 payment ensures students a spot on campus and allows them to fill out the housing contract and actually sign up for housing. This deposit can be transferred between semesters. If a student needs to cancel their housing contract then they need to notify the Residence Life office before May 1, and they will receive $150 of the deposit back.
Next new students need to fill out a profile to help with the roommate selection process. Students are given their top matches and contact information. Students are able to find their roommate through this process. If, however, they do not choose a roommate, the Residence Life office will choose one for them. After all of that is done, it's up to the student to check online for their reservation before move in day.
If your roommate selection does not work out, your Resident Assistant is there to help you. They can help students come to a solution, and if that doesn't work they can help one of the roommates find if a new room is available.
When I was a freshman, I looked at the other students that were supposed to be compatible for me, but I ended up not picking my own roommate. Later in the summer I received a letter explaining move in day and it also had my room assignment and who my roommate was going to be. It was a great experience and she is still one of my best friends on campus. Next year, we will be in an apartment together with another friend for our last year of college.
Midterms are starting soon! It seems like this semester just began and we're almost halfway done. Next week is spring break, so most teachers like to have midterms just before. However, there will be some that wait until students get back to have an exam. Since this is my 6th semester on campus, I have developed a few strategies for doing well on midterms.
Start reading your text book early. There are quite a few students that do not read the textbooks, but the teacher used the book for a reason. For some, the text is merely a supplement to lectures, for other teachers, the text is used to get exam questions from. Either way, the text is going to help you out, so use it. Don't be afraid to ask your professor for clarification. They are there to help you succeed and that is why they have office hours. Go see them in their office if you don't want to ask questions in class. Another great tool I like to use is Study Blue. It's a website that you can use to create your own note cards and using those it will create quizzes for you and other studying tools.
Another great service that I use is the tutoring services and help centers. Our campus offers a lot of resources to its students to help them succeed. Free tutoring is available to students that need it. Besides tutoring, there are additional help rooms in different departments on campus. For example, our mathematics department has a math help room. It has student workers that can help, plus they have all the answer manuals. The math department isn't the only one with a help center; many of the other ones have them as well.
Happy Monday to all! Today is the start for registration for summer classes. I signed up to take all my gym credits (three different classes) and to take one Psychology class to get ahead on my major courses. Summer session is a great way to get ahead in your program and to get into classes that are usually more difficult to get into during the fall and spring semesters. Since I will be living here over the summer, I thought that it would be a great idea to take some classes so I won't have to take 18 credits each semester during my last year here.
The different colleges offer several classes over the summer, and for some classes this is the only time that they are offered. For students already on campus, they just need to go online and register. For other students that are planning on transferring to River Falls, they need to apply as a degree seeking student for summer and then continue on full-time in the fall semester. Throughout summer session housing, dining, and parking are available, just like other semesters. Multiple events are held on campus through Summer Session, including the highly-popular Summer Concert Series.
A new semester with new classes, I'm always nervous for the first few days. I worry about being late, or going to the wrong class at the wrong time, or going to the wrong classroom. Even though I always check and re-check my schedule. Since this is my 6th semester, I was hoping that I wouldn't get nervous anymore, but I still do.
I've finally reached the point in my college career where I am taking mostly core classes. Instead of a semester filled with only generals, I am fully into my major and minor. Three of the classes are for my major, one for my minor, and one for fun. I know for most students this isn't how their classes line up, but since I declared my major only a year ago that's how my schedule has been. Usually students are able to take classes for their major as soon as they have declared one. For me, I took all general classes, until I found out what I really wanted to do. During my time here, I have been very thankful to have had the opportunity to try new things and really find out what major I want to be.
While in college, I think that it is a great idea to take a variety of classes and find what you are truly interested in. Then you'll know if the major you picked is right, and if you don't have one you might find something that you are truly passionate about.
It's the last week of class before finals!!! My stress level is at maximum. Some teachers are having parts of the final this week, and others have papers due. Time management is a priority and I must follow a very strict schedule. There are many great places on campus to study. My favorite is in the Fireplace Lounge in the University Center. There are a lot of nice chairs and tables to sit at and work. Because it is in the University Center, it is a really busy and there are a lot of people and that can sometimes be distracting. If I need to stay focused, I usually go to the library. There are a lot of tables to study at and different areas with different noise levels. The main floor is more active and is more for group work, so there is a little noise there. On the top floor it is a quiet zone and it is enforced. Some people like to study in silence and this is the perfect place for them. I never study in my room, because I never seem to get much accomplished or else I fall asleep.
During the last few weeks on campus, my dorm is doing programs to teach students more about diversity. This diversity isn't just about race or gender, but it's about a lot of things like cultural background, religious beliefs, or even something as simple as the size of your hometown. Our campus is focused on bringing diversity awareness and academic enrichment to all students. With this program that my dorm is doing, I have the opportunity to learn more about people who are different from me. Twenty-two states and more than 12 countries are represented in our student body and there are many different events and organizations to learn more about these places.
Through our sociocultural programming students are able to build their cultural competency and develop a more comprehensive view of their own identity. With the different programs that they offer students become informed about the problems faced by various groups of people in the hopes that students will be better informed and can help make a difference.
This week, there are many athletic events happening for students and community members to enjoy. There are women's and men's basketball and hockey games, as well as a swimming competition. UWRF offers students many opportunities to participate in athletics. The most prestigious being our varsity athletics, followed by club sports, and then intramurals.
Our campus is home to over 400 student athletes for our 16 varsity athletic teams. For men we have basketball, cross country, football, hockey, swimming & diving, and track & field. The women's teams are basketball, cross country, golf, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, track & field, tennis, and volleyball. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is a proud member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). Our conference is the most competitive in the nation and UWRF can boast of winning both conference and national titles. The most recent Conference Championship title belongs to the women's hockey team in 2011, and most recent National Championship belongs to the women's outdoor track and field in 2008.
If students are interested in athletics but don't want to participate at the varsity level there are club and intramural sports as well. Club sports are the most similar to varsity sports. The teams travel to other schools to play, but they are more in charge of themselves. Their coaches are usually senior members on the team and they need to support themselves to keep the team going. Intramurals are teams put together by students and they play against other student teams on campus. These teams are a great way to stay active and provide many opportunities for students throughout the school year.
However, if students would rather watch games than participate, all regular season varsity home games are free to students with a student ID, and all club and intramural games are also free for students to watch as well.
This week on campus, it is International Education Week! There are daily events planned for students to get more information about the opportunities available through international study. Some of the events included are a Reverse Speakers Corner, where our international students will get to talk about their language and culture, The Third World: Abject Poverty or Poverty with Dignity, a lecture by Dr. Jackie Brux, and International Jeopardy. Events will be entertaining as well as educational, and there are several events planned for every day. The focus of the week will be to educate students in the importance of understanding differences in people around the world through global learning, foreign languages, and international exchange.
Through Global Diversity classes and Foreign Language classes students here at UWRF are able to get a global understanding without leaving Wisconsin. However, there are great opportunities to learn globally while in the place you are learning about. Through the university's Global Connection office, students are able to find a study abroad option that is right for them. Over 300 students do a study abroad program each year. There are many different programs that vary from spending the academic year in China to studying art for a week in Valparaiso, Chile. There are many programs for all different majors, for varying lengths of time. Students also have the opportunity to get financial aid through scholarships and the financial aid office. With so many options, it is easy for students to find the right program for them.
During classes this week it seemed like everyone was coughing and sniffling. Luckily for me, I've taken precautions as I have learned the lesson the hard way in the past. Here are some tips that seem rather simple, but can be hard to follow in a college setting. First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. A seemingly easy thing to do that can actually be difficult. Even when taking a moderate class load homework can take hours, and that is if you settle down and focus right away. Go to an environment that you can study in, and get your homework done right away. That way you are able to do the fun things later, such as movie nights with your roommate, and get to bed at a decent time. You should get at least 7 hours of sleep and do not pull all-nighters.
Another way to stay healthy is by eating well. A simple tip that can be difficult to follow if you fall to temptation. The cafeteria is filled with many different types of food, and lots of it. It is easy to make the wrong choices and then eat too much of the wrong food. So instead of eating an entire pizza everyday at lunch mix it up with some of the better options, like the fresh fruit available, or a salad with all your favorite toppings. Also, make sure that you keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water, not just your favorite carbonated beverage.
I think one of the best ways to stay healthy is by washing your hands, a lot. Especially after going to the bathroom, or coming out of the cafeteria. With so many people on campus, it can be really easy to catch the cold that everyone else seems to be getting.
If, however, you do get sick, UWRF has many resources for you! The campus works with the River Falls Medical Clinic to provide services to students for free. If you are feeling under the weather and you would like to go see a doctor, all you need to do is call the clinic and make an appointment. Make sure you bring your school ID with you and most services will be covered. If you do not have a car or can't drive over to the clinic, you can call the River Falls Taxi service and they will give you a ride there for free with a valid student ID. You will be feeling better in no time!
Now that the middle of the semester is coming up next week, it is more important than ever to go to class. Some students believe that they can get away with not going because they can look up the teacher's power point slides online, or they can just read the textbook. However, a single class period can include class discussion, demonstrations, important tips for an upcoming exam, or other important things that students who skip loose.
The temptation is strong, especially if the power point or lecture notes are online. It seems easy to just miss class, and spend time with friends, sleep, or other non-educational things. The whole purpose of college is to get an education and the only way to get the most out of your education (and money) is to go to class everyday and save sick days for when you are actually sick. During my first weeks here when I was a freshman, we had a faculty speaker teach us how to succeed in college without opening our textbooks. The main point of her lecture was that just by going to class, and being present, can have a huge impact on grades. She was not saying that the textbooks were not important, but that by going to class we can have the teacher explain things with more depth, and we can ask questions.
I will admit that I have not always been faithful to my classes, and have missed a few throughout my career. However, most days when I am thinking that I really do not want to go to class, I simply tell myself, "Yes, you do." It changes my mentality and after class is over, I am glad that I went and know I would have regretted not going. I have an awesome story of a time that I did not want to go to class, but did anyway's. It was the day before Thanksgiving break, and it was the last class before I could go home. The class was at 1:00 and my only other class for the day had been over at 10:00. I had really wanted to leave early, but convinced myself that I really should go to class. It was a music history class, and once I was there, I wondered if I had made the right decision; more than half the class was gone. The teacher lectured for 20 minutes, then he gave us the titles and the name of the artists that we needed to know for the exam, and he told us that instead of the five papers we needed to write for the semester we only had to do three.
It always pays to go to class even if you are super tired, or want to spend your time doing other things. You just never know what you are going to miss.
"80% of success is showing up" –Woody Allen
Exams, quizzes, papers! Welcome to the life of a normal college student. Fourth week of classes and I have a behavioral statistics exam, map quiz and lots of reading to catch up on. The map quiz seems like it will be rather simple; I have to identify countries and landmarks in Latin America during the time that Columbus and other conquistadors were coming to America. As for the behavioral statistics exam, I'm feeling confident because I only got one wrong on my quiz from last week. That's school, and as long as I don't procrastinate too much, I'll be fine.
This weekend I'm really looking forward to a volunteer opportunity that I signed up for. I'm going to Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen. If you've never been, here's the scoop; you along with some friends package food to be sent to starving people in countries throughout the world. You work for an hour to package as much food as you can. It's a very rewarding experience, and you're helping out your global community. Through UWRF you can join different organizations that can connect you with local volunteer programs. The school in the fall hosts a program called Rock the Cause where they invite organizations to come and tell students about the volunteer programs they offer.
Also this weekend my family is coming to visit and celebrate my Grandpa's 80th Birthday! I'm really looking forward to seeing them, and going out to eat at the River Falls Family Restaurant.
VIDEO ABOUT FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN!!
Third week of classes and it is now time to start the quizzes and papers! Well, it's only one quiz and one paper, but now that we've gotten into the swing of things it's time to do something a little more challenging than reading. My quiz is for behavioral statistics, and it shouldn't be too difficult. I've been doing a lot of practice problems and going to group study sessions to prepare. The paper is for my Social Psychology class and it is about my self-concept, or the things that make me who I am. I have to discuss where these facets came from and how they impact my behavior. All very fascinating subjects and they are small reminders of why I love UWRF and my major that I have chosen.
Last Friday I had an interview with one of the businesses in town and I am hoping that they call me this week and offer me a temporary job. Working on campus is a lot of fun, but I am hoping this other job will help me pay for my school next semester and hopefully for other fun things that I want to do. With proper time management I know I will be able to handle my classes, my jobs, my duties to my sorority, and still be able to relax. Usually at the end of the day, I'll take a break from homework and play video games with my friends or go for a walk, depending on what time it is and the weather.
This weekend I have a lot events going on for my Sorority, Phi Mu. We are having a celebration to cap off our recruitment events and welcome our 10 new girls to Greek life! It's a very exciting time of the year and a very busy one.
With this being a busy time of the year it is important to have good study habits. Best time to study is early, and if you don't know how or need tips, here's a great resource! http://www.academictips.org/
This year when back to school move in came around, I was really excited. I was ready to get back to my friends that I had missed all summer and ready to get back into classes. This year, move in was a little bit different for me. My younger sister moved into the residence halls the day before I did. I was excited for her, because I already know how wonderful being at college is. However for her, it was a scary process, even with me helping her out. My parents helped bring all her stuff to campus, then helped her get everything into the room, and then took her shopping to get any forgotten items. When we finally left for home, my mother started crying because this was her youngest, now gone off to college. They helped me move in the next day where I found out I wasn't going to have a roommate this semester. I wasn't too thrilled about having a room to myself, but now I've found that I like it and I always have people over so it doesn't feel so empty.
Being a junior in college means that I am very busy, no matter what level you are at in college you are busy but this semester seems to have taken it to a new level. My major is psychology, and I only declared that last spring semester. So far I've enjoyed all my classes and am really looking forward to getting more involved with my major. Other classes I am taking are a literature class about Native Americans, a history class about Latin American civilization, an art class, and a music class. All of them are very interesting and I look forward to learning more throughout the semester. They do however assign me a lot of reading so most of my free time is spent doing that.
In addition to my homework and work, I am also very involved in Phi Mu Fraternity. These past two weeks have been recruitment weeks. Two or more nights a week we've been having informational meetings and getting to know all the wonderful women that are interested in going Greek. With all these things I'm involved in, friends, work, and school, my life is crazy busy but I love every minute of it!
Hometown: Colfax, WI
Year in school: Junior