Record UA Enrollment Confirms Importance of Student Belonging and Campus Resources | New

This fall, the UdeA hosted 7,000 incoming freshmencreating an overall undergraduate student population of over 30,000. With enrollment rising to universities across the countryit is more important than ever to make resources accessible to new students.

Counseling and psychology services at UofA offers students individual and group counseling, psychiatry, crisis services, and case management. Most CAPS services are covered by the student health contribution, with the exception of psychiatry.

This semester, CAPS is hosting a “Surviving College 101” workshop that focuses on three different topics: test anxiety, stress management, and navigating friendship.

“Here at Pat Walker Health Center and CAPS, we really want our students to feel like they belong and we want them to be connected,” said Breeanne Carter, PWHC. deputy director of marketing and communication. “We are here to support them and help them navigate this new chapter in their lives.”

The workshop is a three-part series, beginning September 6, which takes place Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m. at the Student Success Center in Seminar Room 349. Students can choose to attend the entire series or just one session with the goal of helping students create change and establish habits that will improve their overall college experience, depending on the CAPS website.

University Perspectives is a required course for all students and is usually taken during a student’s first year. The course introduces students to university life through a variety of objectives such as writing, oral communication and critical thinking. The themes of each course change by semester, allowing students to engage in topics that interest them.

Lori Lander, a professor at University Perspectives, also teaches a course called Finding Your Sense of Belonging. She encourages students to find study methods that work for them, she says.

“Your brain retains the most information at the start and end of a study session,” Lander said. “You have to figure out what works for you. I recommend a 30 minute study session, taking a 10 minute break, then studying for another 30 minutes.

There are several places on the UofA campus and around Fayetteville where students like to study. Lander believes that finding good study spaces is essential and that students need to find the spaces that work best for them, she said.

Popular study locations on campus include the Arkansas Union, Mullins Library, and Starbucks. To study off-campus, students frequent many cafes around Fayetteville such as Arsaga’s, Onyx Coffee Lab, and Puritan.

“My biggest piece of advice to freshmen is to study, even if you think you don’t have to,” said Natalie Lewis, a junior. “My favorite place to study is Basecamp Coffee Company.”

Finding good study spaces is a big deal, and there are so many. The Cordia Harrington Center of Excellence, David W. Mullins Library and Union are good options, Lander said.

“You just need to find your space and maybe several places that really connect with how you learn information,” Lander said. “Some people can’t study in their dorm or apartment because there are too many distractions, so they have to go somewhere else.”

Finding a sense of belonging in a new place can be difficult, but Lander wants students to know to challenge themselves to find it, she said.

There are 400 student organizations registered with UofA, including cultural, religious, political, professional, and service organizations. Information about each RSO can be found at HogSync. In addition, Experience raising awareness and involving student organizations is an organization that helps students get involved by matching their passions and interests with RSOs on campus.

“Belonging is fluid,” Lander said. “It depends on your mood, your identity, and what experiences or expectations you would like to have as Razorback. Just keep looking and pushing yourself, not beyond your comfort zone, but to the edge of it to challenge yourself to learn and grow as an individual.

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