By Sarah Bransley
Are you completely overwhelmed and not sure where to turn? It can be difficult to know what you’re supposed to do as a new transfer student. However, LAS and UIUC have many different support systems in place to help you, you just need to reach out to them.
First and foremost, if you’re having trouble in your class, reach out to your professor! I know everyone says this, but honestly they are the one with the information on how you’re doing in the class, what the upcoming exams and quizzes will be like, and how you can do better. In fact, going to office hours or setting up another time outside of office hours if you can’t make them, shows the prof how much you want to succeed. That can only benefit you! You also have the option of learning material from the TAs if the problem is the teaching style of the professors. Keep in mind that everyone teaches differently just like everyone learns differently.
If you’re completely stressed out by classes, or you’ve had other stresses in your life come up (injury, illness, family crisis, etc) then go talk to your advisor. In Integrative Biology we have our own advisors with intimate knowledge of our major so check if you have something similar. However, it’s also perfectly fine to go to Lincoln Hall and see an LAS Advisor! Whoever you talk to, be straight with them about what’s going on, what you want out of the semester, and what you think you can accomplish. They will help you find out what options you have and offer up some advice. Very often they will also point you in the direction of Financial Aid.
If you are one of the millions of students in the US who receive Financial Aid, then before you change anything in your schedule you better talk to Financial Aid. There are a bunch of different things that can affect whether you qualify, how much you qualify for, and if you can be put on probation, or worse, denied! This can affect not only the current semester but future ones! The ladies at the front desk will typically try to answer your question if it’s a quick one, but if you’re insistent or mention your advisor sent you over, they should let you see a Financial Aid Advisor in the back.
My final word of advice to you is to be realistic and try not to be too hard on yourself. You won’t be the first person to drop a class or two, and you won’t be the last.
By Sarah Bransley
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the community. Champaign-Urbana is surrounded by selfless individuals who provide their time and money every day to provide services and products to those in need. If you’re looking to be one of those people (and love animals), I have a couple places that might interest you!
First up is S.H.A.R.E. or The Society for Hooved Animals’ Rescue and Emergency. This is an amazing organization dedicated to educating the public about the health and well-being of hooved animals. They are a non-profit that provides housing, care, and training for rescue horses that are then put up for adoption. They are well-known in the Champaign area for their special care of horses with difficult backgrounds. I myself have had a chance to volunteer here and they are so caring and dedicated to their work, you can tell the horses really shine under their care. If you’d like to help them out they take both groups & individuals, so if you have a group of friends or an RSO they can use your help! The most help, as always, is someone willing to go on a set schedule because those horses need to be fed every day and the stalls cleaned out.
The next organization I’d like to introduce you to is the VetMed Wildlife Clinic. Now this clinic requires a lot more dedication and responsibility if you want to volunteer here. Not only do you have to go through an application process with an interview and work a minimum of 15 hours a week, but you need to get a round of rabies vaccinations that probably costs more than your rent for the month. However, the experience you get here, if you are interested in working with wildlife, is unparalleled. They have on hand raptors that are unable to be returned to the wild for various reasons. Raptors, of course, referring to the bird variety, not the dinosaur. These guys are used for educational purposes for both the public and the students at VetMed. As a volunteer you get to assist VetMed interns run the clinic by helping intake, care, and release all animals admitted to the clinic. A serious commitment for a serious wildlife lover.
If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, ask yourself two things. Am I doing this for my enjoyment or to add to my resume? And if it’s to add to my resume, what skills will I gain by performing this activity? Employers love seeing a rounded individual, especially when you can relate skills from your outside activities back to the task at hand. Happy volunteering!
By Sarah Bransley
Are you a runner or know someone that runs? Ever seen those super happy people covered in color or mud? Those are marathon runners and at UIUC we have all sorts of marathons you can take part in. From a Color Run to our Boston qualifying Illinois Marathon, there’s probably a run for you.
Now I haven’t run in a really long time (like since middle school) but I got to experience the Illinois Marathon first hand because my previous employer, Einstein Bros Bagels, is a sponsor of the race! I was at the starting line handing out bagel bites with cream cheese and coffee to both runners and those coming to cheer them on. The atmosphere at these events is all about good energy and happiness. Most runners just want to finish whatever race they’ve signed up for so there’s less competition and more comradery. I had many friends run in various races (5k, 10k, or the full) and they all finished! I’ve also had friends who were less distance-orientated run in the “fun” races like the Color Run. That’s basically a race where they throw colored paint/chalk at you as you reach certain check points. So much fun!
As a transfer student, sometimes we don’t know what the town we transfer to has to offer. That’s what this blog and TAG is for, to tell you guys what our school and town has to offer! If you are a runner, or just want to do something fun, grab some friends and sign up for a run this season! I’m sure you’ll have a blast. Maybe I’ll even see you there!