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University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
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Orientation & First-Year Programs (OFYP) March 11, 2015

It’s the middle of the semester and most likely you are concentrating on midterms and papers, while already beginning to think about fall semester. To keep on track, it is important that you plan your timelines 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 about how the trip might impact your finances and how your choices could impact your health and wellbeing. 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.


Your third spring 2015 bill is due March 21. Go to Pay the University to see 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 March 23. 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.

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

All of the on-campus residential communities and information desks are open during Spring Break – Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. While the halls and desks remain in operation, all dining halls will be closed during Spring Break with the last meal in the dining halls being Grab & Go for dinner Friday, March 13. The first meal after break in the dining halls will be brunch on Sunday, March 22. The Minnesota Marketplace, Ground Level Coffman Union, will be open March 16 - 20 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 pm.



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 (a.k.a tutor for library research) 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 free one-to-one writing consultations.

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, and leads group discussions and activities designed to help you better understand course concepts and prepare for exams. Find out if PAL sessions are available for any of your courses this semester.

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 that begins on March 23, or join the Major Network to connect with upper-class students to get a perspective on majors of interest. You can also start exploring majors on your own with the "Getting Started" guide on the CAPE website.


Free Money for Study Abroad
The Learning Abroad Center is here to help with your study abroad experience with a variety of scholarships (from $750 to $3,000). Find out more at our scholarships page or the learning abroad scholarship database. Submit your application by April 15.

Housing Employment Opportunities
Housing & Residential Life (HRL) will have information desk employment opportunities available in many of its buildings for 2015-2016. Being a part of the HRL team as a student employee is a great way to work on your communication, organization, and customer service skills. To learn more, connect with the business operations supervisor in any residence hall or visit the employment website.


The Importance of Engagement
It’s never too late to get involved on campus or in the community, and it’s never too early to start thinking about what you might 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™ 2015. Something New Is Coming
Spring Jam™ creates an atmosphere of unity through music. It is a time to celebrate University students, the University community, the change of seasons, and the end of the school year. Enjoy live music, good food, and quality entertainment. Spring Jam™ will be April 25, and there will be a promotional warm-up concert April 17. 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

Get Help Quitting Tobacco
The Twin Cities campus is smoke and tobacco free—and there are resources to help you quit! Boynton Health Service offers tobacco cessation counseling for students including a customized quit plan, support, and follow-up. Call 612-625-3222 for an appointment. Learn more about the campus “Share the Air” policy and other quitting tips at

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