Home again!

Woooo, I’m home again! Costa Rica was absolutely unreal, we did too many amazing activities to count and capped it off with a one-day, whirlwind tour of Disneyland. Unfortunately, I have no pictures yet and I feel that it would be unfair to tell my incredible story without the incredible pictures to go along with it. No big deal anyway, it’s not like we have anything to look forward to…

OH WAIT! School starts soon! I should warn you that all my friends tease me about how much I love school, how excited I get to pick classes, how I’ve already been in school (full-time) for four year and have another two to go… I’m a nerd, but I really, truly, honestly love school. And you might, too. University is nothing like high school – it’s all about YOU and how YOU will get yourself on track. This can be unnerving at first. I know in my first semester, I ate Pop-Tarts and Fruit Roll-Ups for three meals a day (my mom never let them in the house) and stayed out until 5am whenever I wanted and did not get the grades I should have. I got the grades I deserved, definitely. But not the ones I wanted.

Anyway, back to what I was saying, about how University is all about you. You choose your classes, your activities, your program, your major/minor/specialization, everything. On top of that, if you move here from out of town, as I did, you have tons of freedom. You can go to class or not. You can exercise or not. You can eat right or not. You can go out every night or not. You are in charge here, and that’s a beautiful and scary thing.

But of course, there are people who want to give you a hand and ensure that your next year (or more!) at the U is great. Keep these excellent resources in mind, I promise you’ll need at least some of them, if not all of them.

– The Registrar’s Office & Student Services. This is a huge office on floor 1 of the SU Building. They do requests; requests to add/drop classes, withdraw, change your major, grade appeals, etc. You can also view calendars (current and past years) and pick up course booklets for current and future term offerings. They are also able to answer almost any question you might have about anything administrative related. Be nice to them – they know everything.

– Health Services. This is on the bottom floor of the SU Building. Did you know we have doctors at the U? And they are wonderful. The wait is usually quite short and they have some major connections. When I went to see them in February of this year, they were able to get me a CT scan on the same day and an MRI two days later. Those have craaazy wait lines, but the awesome ladies downstairs were there for me. There is also a dietitian, which I have never used, but I think I should. University isn’t always conducive to the healthiest eating habits!

ULSU. Our elected student government also resides on the bottom floor of the SU. You can drop in to chat with any of them about concerns or questions you may have, and they’ll be more than happy to meet with you when they are available. If you are interested in getting involved, this is the place to go for more information – this, and the table during Rush Week, of course. As well, here’s a helpful tip for first-timers: THE ULSU GIVES OUT FREE AGENDAS. WITH COUPONS. LOTS AND LOTS OF USEFUL COUPONS. So drop by sometime in the first couple of weeks. Totally worth it.

– Arts & Science Advising. Another great service, also on the bottom of the SU, these advisers will quickly tell you what you need to do to complete your program, which classes to pick and whether you’re on track to graduate. Even if you think you’re totally savvy on your requirements, I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to stop in here, even if it’s just for them to tell you that you’re A-OK and sign off on it. When my dad was in University a million years ago, he stopped in every semester to get his courses signed off on, and in his last year, he was told he didn’t have the right courses to graduate and he would have to take an extra semester, but he was able to produce all the signatures from all his trips to advising and so the school agreed that he could graduate, as he’d been told all along that he had everything in order. I’ve never heard of this happening at U of L, but I don’t take my chances. It’s always nice to hear that yes, I’m doing this whole University thing right and someday I might even graduate. Note of caution – they do not take appointments. During peak times of the year, there will be a line-up an hour before the office opens and the wait during the day can be over two hours.

Counselling Services. These are totally free, confidential and located in Turcotte Hall. If you want to talk about anything, from serious issues like depression or family concerns or something you may consider more trivial (in my second year I saw a counsellor because I had broken up with my boyfriend and I sure felt silly, but she assured me that it wasn’t at all), the counsellors will work with you through any issues you might have. And, did I mention free?

There are definitely more and more and more services available, but these will be most critical during the first couple of days and week at U of L. Make use of any and all of these – remember, you’re paying for them!

Well, on that (long-winded) note, I will see you guys around the halls during our first week back… I can’t wait!

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