Welcome freshmen!! Welcome to the University of Arizona, a place that is just like summer camp, but goes on for five or six years. Just like summer camp, where it's nice and sunny all the time and it never really rains, the UA has rules to get around, bad food, nifty arts and crafts to get involved in, and activities (also known as classes) to avoid.
Because I have been at this 'camp' since 1990, think of me as that friendly camp counselor ... if your parents don't tip me well, I'll make your life hell.
Let's first talk about the rules of the camp. Like when you register for camp, registration for classes is a long, tedious process which becomes quite painful. As you probably experienced already, RSVP is a glimpse into the hell your life will become. It takes a while to get into the system, and then the classes you want are always full. But, there are ways around this. Certain people have been known to just fill their schedules with nonsensical classes, and then go to their professors with Drop/Add forms . These forms can be picked up in almost any office, and the fun part is trying to get the professor to sign it. Here's how you do it: don't be stupid and go with the headlong rush to attack the professor for his or her signature. Most likely the profess or will say 'no' to all those people; what you need to do is wait when everyone has left the classroom, and go talk to the professor 'one-on-one.' Now here is where the charm and acting come in. First, claim that you are extremely interested in the class, and are so interested that you have bought the books. Second, because you are a freshman, and the professor comments on the fact, state that you are interested in the class because you want to become that major. If these two fail, move into the dirty stu ff: if you are a female, and it's a male professor, flirt like hell (vice versa for males); if you are a male and it's a male professor, give the sad, pathetic look of utter failure and death if you won't get into the class. Now, this system isn't foolpro of, but my friend did it for four years and always got the classes he wanted and now, actually has a job!
The food at the two Unions at the University is just like the food at camp - bad-tasting, starchy, fattening, and overpriced. People will most likely gain the 'freshman 15,' and have a limited choice of meals. The wonderful thing about the university is t hat there are many great and not-so-great restaurants around the U. And you will probably spend less money.
The arts and crafts at this camp are the clubs and organizations. With close to 300 clubs on campus, there is probably at least one that will be interesting for you. Along with the clubs and organizations on campus, there is also the Greek system, which p rides itself on the premise that there is at least one fraternity or sorority which will fit almost anyone's personality. If you want to do the student involvement thing, you can always become involved with ASUA, the university's student government. Albei t all these things are self-serving, everyone needs to boost his/her resume, and it's a good way to meet more people.
The thing that all of you have come here for is to get a good tan and be at a great party school. But, parents think that they send their camper children here for an education, so you actually do have to go to the activities (classes) and have a report ca rd sent home ... one that has a GPA above a 1.5, hopefully. Unfortunately, you are all freshman and have to take the 100-level courses. These classes are affectionately known as the 'weeder' classes. These classes weed out the people who probably aren't r eady for the university, who should have first gone to a junior college or community college. But I will tell you the classes that are easier than others, via an informal survey that I took of others.
- Philosophy 110: Logic and Critical Thinking. Like the name says, the class teaches you to critically think ... not that hard. Unless you have no thinking abilities, you will get out with either an 'A' or 'B.' Much, much easier than Philos ophy 112, which it replaced.
- Theatre Arts 103: Theatre Appreciation. Go to play, write about play, take a few tests. Got it?
- English 100: First Year Composition. This the class for people who did not test into English 101. However, it does not fulfill the English requirement. This is for people who never learned how to write in high school, or elementary or juni or high either.
- Mathematics 116: Introduction to College Algebra. Just like English 100, it will not fulfill the math credit. Also for the people who did not get the basic math skills in high school, etc.
- Any of the colloquiums. These classes are only one credit, but an easy one credit.
- Any 200- or 300-level courses. Unfortunately, these classes tend to be easier than the 100-level courses, but you need the requisite 100-level courses to get into them.
- English 101 and 102: First Year Composition. It is rumored that there are people who have received an 'A', but that just may be a rumor. Expect a 'B' or lower.
- Mathematics 117: College Algebra. Actually, except for math majors, I don't know anyone that has taken the course at the university. Take it at Pima, get the 'C,' and have the credit transferred.
- Any 100-level taught by a foreign graduate student or professor. Now, I am not knocking foreigners, but unless you pay attention, the cultural and language differences can cause problems. If you listen carefully and pay attention, there sh ould be no problem.
These are only guidelines for the classes. The difficulty of a class depends on the professor and the grad student. As a rule of thumb, though, the 100-level courses will try to weed out the people who shouldn't be here. But don't despair, and remember, l ike any camp, the fun you have needs to be tempered and only happens if you make it a fun time. Get the good tan, get the good grades, party responsibly, and make Mom and Dad happy on visitorsÍ day.