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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Freshman guide to the end of spring semester

    Shane Bekian

    Criminal justice freshman Zach Herndon, left, and business administration freshman Jared Kleinberg, right, study for upcoming exams in their home on Wednesday.

    Midterms are over, everyone’s returned from spring break, April is less than a week away and campus is covered with signs that summer is just around the corner. There’s still lots to do before breaking out the sunscreen and leaving this semester’s classes behind, though, especially for freshmen.

    One of the most pressing items for freshman to check off their to-do list is finding housing for sophomore year. A large percentage of first-year students live at one of the many dorm buildings around the university. While some choose to stay on campus for their second year, a lot of these students desire a place of their own to spend their future college years.

    The search for an apartment or house is an exciting process, but one that can take some time. Searching for an affordable place in the right location can be tricky, especially with all of the options in the UA area.

    “Get started as soon as possible and shop around,” said Natalia Navarro, a junior studying journalism and economics. “It is time-consuming but it guarantees that you’ll find something you will be happy with.”

    The hunt may seem daunting at first, but there are a number of helpful resources that can assist students in finding their perfect abode. The “Off-Campus Housing Guidebook,” created by University of Arizona Off-Campus Housing, provides a step-by-step guide to renting your first apartment or house. The guide includes advice on everything from roommate disputes to legal rights for tenants and renters, and the information is also available online at the UA OCH’s website.

    One thing that is crucial when it comes to housing both on and off campus is finding a good roommate. Roommate agreements are required for students living in dorms, but many upperclassmen suggest also making them when living off campus to help solve any future disagreements that could occur.

    Eric Huelsman, a junior studying psychology and German, has been living in a house off campus since his sophomore year and has enjoyed the experience thus far. Huelsman said he lives with four other students that he knew prior to college and recommends finding roommates who you are willing to be around often and then setting some ground rules together.

    “If things were to ever start going downhill between any of us or we have some sort of disagreement, we have a constitution with all of the rules for our house,” Huelsman said.

    Along with housing comes the dilemma of transportation — another thing for freshmen to start thinking about. Walking, biking, using free shuttles or public transportation, carpooling and owning your own car are the basic options to get from home to class each day. The most cost-efficient and rational method will change based on one’s locations and individual needs.

    Transportation and housing costs can add up each month, and one way students can pay for these and other expenses is through a part-time job. There are an array of positions available on campus and a near endless list of possibilities outside of the UA for employment.

    “If you want a job, get one that is flexible with your school hours and is not too stressful,” said Mar Ruiz, a sophomore studying journalism, neuroscience and cognitive science.

    Navarro, who has two part-time jobs outside of her schoolwork, also suggested checking the listserv emails from your major’s department for opportunities.

    As for academics, ensuring you’re on the right path towards a degree in the major you’re interested in is key, especially since the second year of college marks the beginning of major-specific courses for many programs.

    “Sophomore year is when I started all of those core classes towards my major, meaning school got 10 times tougher, but 20 times more fun,” Huelsman said.

    For students who are undeclared majors, keep taking classes to help fulfill general requirements while looking for something that you are passionate about and willing to major in.

    There are a number of things on the freshman end-of-spring-semester checklist, but completing them almost guarantees success in the rest of your college career, so get to it.


    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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