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Getting Through Your First Semester

As this is being written, we are finishing up the second week of the 2019 fall semester here at UAT. With an incoming class of over 250 students, things have been busy here on campus. Nervous and excited energies are abundant. Starting college is a new and sometimes scary experience. For many, college is a big move from home with a bunch of people you have never met and a newfound sense of adulthood. The challenge can be daunting but here are a few tips and tricks to making it through your first semester.

Attend Orientation and Campus Events

CONNECT (orientation) is a great way to meet people. Starting off here at UAT, you are put into groups to do team activities and that is a great way to get to know people and have familiar faces for the first day of classes. During orientation you are also put with an EXL leader that will be a mentor throughout your first semester. The EXL leaders have been around for a few semesters and can help guide you if you have any questions. The campus and Founders Hall host events every month ranging from guest speakers to movie nights. Those events are also great ways to meet peers, professors, and industry professionals.

Create a Calendar – And then follow it


Setting up a calendar with classes, assignments, work schedules, and events helps immensely. Being able to see your schedule helps manage your time and work ethic. Whether it is a dry erase board, a monthly planner, or even a calendar on your phone it will assist with keeping everything organized. 

Go to your classes

UAT offers three different course types. On campus, SyncFlex, and online. The SyncFlex and online classes are awesome options for students that work or live away from campus. I have had the chance to take a few SyncFlex courses and they have proven convenient when my work schedule was a mess. However, while these class may be recorded so you can watch later, the best experience, comes from in the classroom or live online attendance. Being able to ask the professors questions during the class is often going to result in better answers.

Talk to your instructors

Everyone wants you to succeed in your classes. If you are struggling, talk to your professors, they will find the time to help you out or get you in contact with a tutor. If you are not struggling (awesome!), still talk with your professors. The professors here at UAT are industry professionals that have great insights in the fields of your major and will sometimes provide good references. And for those wanting to start their own businesses, the professors give some amazing tips that will help you along as you are starting out.

Nerf Poster Fall 2019Join a club

The entire campus is busy with events, both within the university but also the dorms. When events are not running, student clubs are also going on throughout the week. There is a club for everyone. Many students at the school share a love for anime and manga, there’s a club for it. Are you looking for something a bit more active? Join the kendo or fencing club. Are you a gamer? We’ve got eSports, League of Legends and table top gamer. And those are just a few gaming clubs. There is a long list of clubs that you can join but if there is not one that interests you, you can make one! For a list of our club visit our clubs page.


Only bring what you really need


Before you start packing everything in your room to bring to your new dorm room, think about if you really need it. If you are planning on living in the dorms, keep in mind that you will likely be sharing your space with a roommate. Just pack the essentials! Clothing, bedding, and hygiene products are a must. You’ll probably want your computer to assist with homework and a gaming console, if you have one, for some free time entertainment. College is a new experience and a good time to start fresh. While packing, if you are thinking “but what if…”, chances are you won’t. And if it turns out you do, you can have it shipped or pick it up next time you go home. Also remember to check with the dorms as well for items that may not be allowed. Check out our student housing page for tips on what to bring and what to expect when moving into the dorms.

Be mindful of your health – mental and physical

College can be stressful, so be mindful of yourself. Your mental and physical health are important to maintain. Take the time to relax and de-stress from classes. Go hang out with some friends, play some video games, or check out the Phoenix/Tempe area. If you’ve got a meal plan, take advantage of it. The UAT Restaurant has some awesome options that vary each day.

Believe in yourself

College is meant to test you and be a challenge. Not everything is going to make sense at first, but that’s okay. Staff and faculty are on your side and are ready to help you out. Believe in yourself and you will get through it.


If you are a parent of a student that has just started college, your student is doing great! And you have done a great job in getting them here. We are excited to welcome them into UAT!