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University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
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Orientation & First-Year Programs (OFYP) March 14, 2014

It’s the middle of the semester and most likely you are concentrating on midterms and papers, while also planning ahead for fall semester. To keep on track, it is important that you plan out your time-lines and next steps in your Gopher Guide. Spring Break is a great time to plan ahead.

If you will be traveling over Spring Break, think through how the trip may impact your finances and how your choices could impact your health and wellness. Spring Break is a time when many college students make decisions that can have long-term effects. Take a look at the health and wellness and finance information in this newsletter for tips on having a safe and healthy Spring Break.


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Your second spring 2014 bill is due March 19. Go to Pay the University to see all the ways you can pay your bill, as well as future billing dates and deadlines. Contact One Stop Student Services with any questions regarding billing and payment.

Class registration for fall semester begins April 10. In the next few weeks you should meet with your academic adviser and create a class schedule for next semester. If you have not decided on a major, set up an appointment at the Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE) or with your college career office before you meet with your adviser so you have some direction when choosing your fall classes.

Plan out your course progression to graduation so your adviser can help keep you on track. If you have decided on a major, use the Graduation Planner before meeting with your adviser.

The METRO Green Line (Central Corridor LRT) is now being tested. Full service will begin in June. In the meantime, review these safety tips and watch this video demonstration about biking along Washington Avenue and using the new green bike boxes.



Have a Research Paper to Write? Find Great Sources!
Explore your Library Course Pages with search tools tailored to all of your courses, meet with Peer Research Consultants for one-on-one help with research, and use the Assignment Calculator to help with planning. See an example of course resources for WRIT 1301, then find your own.

Become a Better Writer This Semester
Academic writing takes time to learn, but the Center for Writing's Student Writing Support program can help. Make an appointment or just drop in for a free one-to-one writing consultation.

Peer Assisted Learning Groups
Participating in a facilitated study group can improve your performance by as much as a full letter grade! The SMART Learning Commons offers weekly Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) groups for a variety of courses. In a PAL session, an experienced student prepares problem sets, group discussions, and activities designed to help you better understand course concepts. Exam preparation is also addressed. Find out if PAL sessions are available for any of your courses this semester. They are free and open to anyone enrolled in the course.

Visit CAPE to Find the Major That’s Right for You!
If you’re searching for a major, try the Center for Academic Planning and Exploration’s 1-credit online course or join the Major Network to connect with upper-class students to get a perspective on majors of interest. Or consider participating in the Major Madness day-long workshop March 29 for career assessments and discussions related to specific majors.

Technology Help
Offering extensive technical knowledge and round-the-clock support, the 24/7 Service Desk provides the University community with a single, central point of contact for reporting and managing incidents, and requests related to IT services. Contact the Service Desk by phone at 612-301-4357 (1-HELP on campus), online, or in person.


FAFSA Available
Have you filled out your 2014-2015 FAFSA yet? The priority target date for all returning students is April 15. You can fill out your FAFSA online.

Free Money for Study Abroad
The Learning Abroad Center can help with your study abroad experience with a variety of scholarships (from $750 to $3,000). Find out more at the scholarships page or the learning abroad scholarship database. Be sure to submit your applications by April 16.

Housing Employment Opportunities
Housing & Residential Life will have Information Desk employment opportunities available in many of its buildings for 2014-2015. To know more, connect with the Business Operations Supervisor in any residence hall, regardless of whether you currently live there.


The Importance of Engagement
It’s never too late to get involved on campus or in the community, and never too early to start thinking about what you may want to do sophomore year. Click here to read about the value of engagement and find resources to search students groups and other involvement opportunities.

Staying in The Twin Cities for Spring Break?
Take some time to explore the community! There are volunteer opportunities all over the metro area doing a wide variety of activities. Visit the Hands On Twin Cities website to find an opportunity that interests you. If you enjoy the experience, take a look at other service-related experiences at the U of M.

Spring Jam™
The three-day music festival Spring Jam™ will be April 24-26, and this year is going to be the biggest yet. Follow Student Unions & Activities on Facebook and Twitter to get more exclusive info and stay up-to-date on who will be performing.

Health & Wellness

On-Campus Pharmacy
Boynton Health Service Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at competitive prices – often lower than retail – as well as select merchandise related to health and wellness.

Spring Break Health & Safety Tips
Are you taking a spring break trip to escape Minnesota winter? Check out these health and safety tips provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Responsible Drinking
Whether you’re headed to Mexico, Florida, Nebraska, or staying on campus for spring break, it’s a time when many students make decisions that could affect their health and wellness. It is important to remember that the drinking age in the United States is 21. If you choose to drink, following low-risk behaviors can help you and your friends avoid the likelihood of harm and negative outcomes to yourself and others. Read these tips and guidelines from Boynton Health Service about making responsible choices.

Have a Safe Spring Break
Remember that the Student Conduct Code applies to student conduct that occurs on and off campus when it meets a substantial University interest. The University works in collaboration with the U of M Police Department and Minneapolis Police Department and related agencies to promote a safe and respectful community on and around campus. For more information on the Student Conduct Code, please visit the Office for Student Conduct & Academic Integrity.

Orientation & First-Year Programs