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University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
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Orientation & First-Year Programs (OFYP) December 15, 2015

Hello Gophers!

In this edition of the Class of 2019 eNewsletter;


Finals are around the corner! Study hard, use your resources, and take care of yourself. To help you dive into your first round of finals, this OFYP newsletter features “I wish I would have known” wisdom from senior Sam Theesfeld, a biology major. Enjoy!

On Studying Hard:

“While A's are amazing, for some classes they are impractical (Gen Chem or OChem, Physics, Math, you name it). Getting a B on a final is actually a really good grade, so don't beat yourself up if you get a B. After all, you have seven semesters left that will be balanced by ‘easier’ classes so one B on one or two finals is a great accomplishment. (College IS HARD!).”

On Taking Care of Yourself:

“My first year, first semester finals were very anxiety inducing. My best piece of advice would be to train your mind to focus just on the material you need to study ... and study it COLD. I over-thought everything my first round of finals (i.e. what if thing X goes wrong or what if thing Y doesn't work out the way I planned it to work out, etc.). Just know your material. If you have gone to class all semester and put in an effort to really study, you will do very well.”

“Also, take time to step back. Yes, the libraries are open 24 hours a day, but that does not mean you should be in the library 24 hours a day. That is really unhealthy. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, eat lots of comfort food, and watch some TV or a movie now and then. Studying for finals is all about time management (START NOW!) and mastering material, but it is also about ‘pain’ management.”


Break is almost here. Here are some tips to enjoy your first long break!

For those of you who are going home;

Respect the ‘Ways’ of Home
Just because you have an abundance of independence on campus, doesn’t mean that will fully exist back home. There may be some rules or expectations you need to follow, events you need to attend, or chores you need to complete. Respect these expectations, yet don’t hesitate to explore compromises.

Prepare for Changes
Your bedroom may not look like ‘your’ bedroom. Your high school friends may not feel like friends. Your parents/guardians may act different. Be open to the changes, yet don’t feel like you have to pretend the changes are okay. If a change bothers you, talk about it. If you don’t tell anybody, nobody can help smooth things over.

Share Your Struggles
Pinching pennies? Scrapping by with D’s? Talk about it. Your family may be able to help in ways you didn’t imagine. If your family doesn’t know how to assist you, remember that there are always resources on campus to help.

For those of you who will be staying around campus;

This is your time to go beyond the campus. Make use of your free time to explore new areas of the Twin Cities.

Reading for class is required, and done…for now. Savor the opportunity to read a book for fun!

Think of what causes you stand for. Research organizations around that theme and give some of your time to help.

Just because you don’t go back home doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with people back home. Jump on Skype/Facetime, handwrite a letter, call a friend, and so on.

Meet with campus resources
Time for meetings during the semester can be limited, but most offices on campus are open throughout the break. This can be a great time to have a quality conversation with a campus resource you've been meaning to visit.


Exam Jam is Here Dec. 9-16!

Exam Jam is here! Prepare for your finals by connecting with other students for tutoring, stress management, content review workshops, and more. Look for the workshop schedule at the Golden Gopher Workshop Database. You can also take advantage of extended tutoring hours during the final week of classes and Exam Jam Saturday (includes tutoring, snacks, and free copies of test bank holdings).

Undergraduate Roommate Finder

Living off campus next year but don’t know who you are going to live with yet? Here is an easy way to find your next college roommate: Off-Campus Living has launched the UMN Undergraduate Roommate Finder. This is a free service that allows you to search for other UMN students looking for roommates. Check it out here!

National Student Exchange (NSE)

Want to do something different next year? The National Student Exchange is a program in which you can study at another school in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands for a summer, semester, or a full year! Most NSE students pay U of M tuition, receive financial aid, and all students will earn credit to their degree! Visit the NSE website for more information and a list of NSE schools. You can also contact 612-626-2044,, or visit 240 Appleby Hall. Sign up for an info session or set up a meeting with an advisor to learn about the application process. The application deadline for the 2016-17 academic year is February 19 so don’t delay!

Ask Us!

Navigating a large campus can be challenging. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own! There are a lot (a lot!) of people who are here to help you succeed. Do you have any unanswered questions about resources? Need a little direction on who to turn to? Ask us! OFYP is happy to answer your question, or point you in the direction that can help you find the answers you may be looking for! Write us an email, give us a call (612-624-1979), or stop by (Coffman, Rm 315). We are happy to help!

Orientation & First-Year Programs