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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA tours are reminder to enjoy college life

    Unlike many of my friends, I did not spend my spring break lying on the beach in Mexico or tanning in California. Instead, I took a more boring route — I joined my family on tours of the Arizona universities. My younger sister is a junior in high school, and she’ll soon have to make her biggest decision yet: where to go to college.

    Walking through different schools and seeing them from the viewpoint of a prospective student was strange. I couldn’t help but laugh a bit when I saw visitors’ jaws drop at things like dorm rooms and dining halls. As current students, we get so caught up in our classes and work that we lose our sense of wonder at the world around us.

    Taking a college tour while already attending college may sound a little too silly, but there’s something to be said for appreciating the little things about university life. Next time a tour circles by you on the UA Mall, don’t roll your eyes at the overwhelmed students and parents — try to be more like them.

    We’ve all seen the groups of anxious high school students nervously trekking through the Student Union Memorial Center. They’re amazed by the prospect of free movies at Gallagher Theater and easy access to Chick-fil-A. Visions of meal plans dance in their heads.

    The places we see every day are not ordinary to them, but foreign and extraordinary. Lunch in the student union seems almost as glamorous as dinner atop the Eiffel Tower.

    There’s something oddly poignant about the embarrassed enthusiasm on the high schoolers’ faces. They’re interested, but they try to play it cool. They want to stick by their parents, but they don’t want to stand too close.

    Despite their best efforts, they can’t completely hide their emotions. From what I’ve seen, prospective students are usually very excited to see what the UA has to offer.

    Current students tend to see things a little differently. I sometimes find myself so busy with classes and extracurricular activities that college seems more of a burden than a privilege. It’s a shame. We may not have time to value every little detail about school, but we should still try to be enthusiastic in general about the opportunities we have here.

    As the end of the spring semester approaches and final exams loom on the horizon, feeling jaded and overwhelmed is easy. We may be stressed out, but we owe it to ourselves to make the most of our education.

    When you see things as if you’re viewing them for the first time, you remember how lucky you are to be in your current situation. Collegiate catastrophes, like midterms and papers, seem less insurmountable. You may even notice lesser-known campus gems, like the garden area outside the Forbes building.

    I’ve found doing everything the guide talks about during a tour is easier said than done. However, we current students should still do our best to take advantage of everything we can. We don’t need to join all 600 clubs and organizations, but we should still see the value in trying something new.

    As I took tours with my sister, I even found myself interested by the amenities and information given by the guides. In short, I was 17 again. Just call me Zac Efron.

    At the end of the day, your college experience is what you make of it. Remaining as positive and excited as you were as an incoming freshman can make even the worst days — the ones they don’t tell you about on tours — more pleasant.

    You don’t necessarily need to tag along with the next tour group you see rounding the corner in the student union, but you may want to remember what made you come here in the first place.

    Take a minute to reconnect with your 17-year-old self. You may be stressed out of your mind right now, but you’re more independent than you’ve ever been before. That’s pretty incredible.

    — Brittany Rudolph is a sophomore studying English and art history. Follow her @DailyWildcat

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