February is a great time to review your current load.  You have been to class, taken a look the syllabus, and possibly completed an assignment or had a quiz.  Now is time to reflect on your progress in your currently enrolled classes.  If you think that the material may be too much for you to absorb, if you think you have taken on too much, or if you think the class load will hinder your academic success, now is the time to consider dropping a class. The best scenario is to drop the class without it having a negative effect on your transcript. You want to make decisions that will not affect your chance to graduate on time or to graduate with a higher grade point average.

Dropping a class is all about timing.  The registrar’s office will have specific dates that you must adhere to in order to successfully drop a class.  Sometimes the steps are quite easy and will simply allow you to just drop the class.  In other classes you may have to obtain a signature from the professor, an advisor, or even the dean.  The second factor to consider is how “the drop” will appear on your transcript.  Your preference is for “the drop” not to appear on your transcript at all; this of course is the best case scenario and will be the earliest deadline.  The later the deadline is in the semester, the more detrimental it will be toward your grade point average.

Dropping a class is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is a mature decision that almost all students have to face at one point in their academic career.  Dropping a class should also not be a way to avoid hard work.  As you progress through your academic program your courses are designed to become more challenging and pushing your complex thinking to the next level.  Shying away from hard work or a more challenging professor will not prepare you for your professional field or life after college.  Consider the course is only 12-16 weeks and in the end you will benefit the most from it.  So before dropping a class consider your true intentions behind dropping the class.  Meet with your advisor and discuss the class and the ramifications of dropping the class. Consider getting a tutor for the class or seeing if the professor offers one-on-one sessions or has any other resources to help you be successful.  If you find that the class is just too much for your current load, you can also consider retaking the class next year or find a suitable replacement.

Dropping classes is a great option to have as a student, but before dropping classes ensure that is the best solution in the long run.  Making a quick decision should not have long lasting effects on your academic career.  Consult your advisor, exhaust all of your possibilities, and make the best decision.

As most colleges and universities Greek Life will be starting, or have started, their Spring recruitment, it is important to keep in mind some aspects about going Greek or not going Greek in college. I asked some of my friends what they thought about pros and cons were about going greek. These stories are from men and women who are proud Greeks. Hopefully their stories will help you see if going Greek is right for you. Whatever the decision, do what feels right and not what someone says you should do.


“I went greek back in Spring 2011 during my freshman year and since then, there has been a lot of pros and cons that I face in greek life. Pros: Ive met so many people when I joined my fraternity that over time I just keep meeting more and more. Being in a fraternity also gives you a connection with tons of other people from around the country in other colleges, active members and alumni. This depends on if the fraternity is national. Other pros about greek life is that it gives me stuff to do around campus such as community service, greek events, and even parties. For cons: Pledging sucked and I hated it. Also, there is alot of stupid drama in greek life which I personally hate. Lastly, dues are way too expensive and you have to pay them every semester.”

“Not only did I choose to go greek, greek life chose me as well. I never thought of myself as a sorority girl but seeing the amazing women of AOII changed my mind. I decided AOII was right fit for me. It had a lot to do with fate and just plain luck. I am so glad I went greek.”

“I didn’t want to be Greek at first. A friend dragged me to meet the Greeks freshman year. I didn’t have any reason as to why I was against it; I just thought Greek life wasnt for me. But when I met the sisters of Tri Sigma, I felt so comfortable around them..And now, I’m proud to call them my sisters. Going Greek was probably the best decision I’ve made at college.”

“I debated going Greek for a while in my first years at school. I know my friends all enjoy their experiences but going Greek just didn’t seem to fit my already busy lifestyle. While it would have looked great on my resume and have been the “icing on the cake”, I realized I did just as much to make my resume stand out without being Greek, than some students do by being Greek. My decision was right for me.”

Everyone chooses their own path in life. Some of us have known what we have wanted to do in life since the age of 3 or 4. Others of us have had some trouble figuring it out. Let me tell you a secret—IT’S OKAY!!! I have been out of college for 2 years now, and I miss it. Sometimes I wonder what my college path would be like if I started at the same school, just 6 years later than I did. Would I have studied better? Would I have liked my experience the same?

Not everyone is meant to go straight from high school into a four year college or university. Sometimes it takes a little time. My brother, for example, graduated high school in 2010. Technically he should be graduating college this spring, however, he did not start to attend college courses (at our local community college) until May 2013. He is doing EXTREMELY well. He studies, gets his work done on time, and is enjoying his major–Fire Science Technology. He even talks about possibly DOUBLE MAJORING! My brother was not the kind of student who took AP classes in high school, and did not even want to go to college. Now, 4 years after he graduated high school, he is entering his spring semester of college.

It’s okay to start late. No one is going to judge you. It can be hard to fit in when you transfer or start in the middle of the academic year. Reach out to your RAs, and Student Life offices to see what programs and resources they have for transfer and new students.

As always, feel free to message us with any questions or concerns.

Happy New Year! 2014 will be a great year-you’ll be finishing up your Freshman year of COLLEGE!! That is an exciting thought, but also a little scary. What if you didn’t do so well in the last semester? Here are some tips to help you make good New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming semester.

1. Make your goals measurable. By telling yourself to study 2x a week, you can easily mark it off on a calendar or use a chart to help you. You can even give yourself a dollar for every time you study (and REALLY study) by putting it into a jar. Then at the end of the semester, you’ll have some extra cash to go do something fun.

2. Break your goals into smaller parts. A big goal, like getting a 4.0, has a lot of little parts. Mark them each off on a chart to help you keep track of where you are in your progress.

3. Don’t forget to save time for yourself. Don’t plan out every single second of the day. Enjoy living in the present.


Always feel free to message the iRA team with any questions you have.

Do you ever look at your wallet one day and think “WOW-I have a lot of money this week” and then 3 days later you’re broke? It happens all the time, and then we think to ourselves, “WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO?”

There are some easy ways to keep track of where your finances go.

1. Make a budget. Think about how much money you make each MONTH. Then subtract all of the necessities you need-gas, cell phone bill, car insurance, etc. What’s left can be divided into several categories, such as food, fun, school, savings, etc.

2. Save the change! Set aside a jar for all of the change you receive from purchases. Once or twice a semester, cash it in at a bank. Suddenly all those quarters and pennies turn into $20s and $50s.

3. Track your purchases. Make an excel sheet, use a note on your phone, create a book–track where, when, and how much you spend at certain stores. You’ll be able to see where and what you spend most of your money on.

In college, I did not always take the best care of my finances. I would purchase “stupid” things that I would never use, and then wonder why I didn’t have the money to go out with my friends. Reflect each month on the purchases you’ve made and set little goals for yourself.

College social life is not all about the wild parties that can occur. There are other ways to have fun. Here are some easy, fun and cost-friendly ways to have fun:

1. Movie Night-Invite some friends to your room and ask friends to bring some movies over. Then, have a fun time eating pizza and popcorn, and watching movies.

2. Game Night- Ask your RA what board games are available in your building. Invite friends over to play video or board games and enjoy the company.

3. Student Center Ideas- Check out the events your student center puts on. Most of these events will be either free or at a reduced cost.


Always feel free to ask your RA for suggestions on where to go around campus for fun.

It’s that time of year when we start to think about the courses we will take in the Spring semester. It is important to indulge your own interests in college too. My biggest tip for course selection is this: see if ANY of your courses can DOUBLE COUNT for two requirements. The biggest regret a lot of college students make is not taking courses that they were interested in. Step out of your comfort zone!! It can be difficult at times, but it is worth it in the end.

STEM fields are often considered by some individuals as a way to potentially improve the ROI of their educational investments due to the demand for STEM professionals and the practical skills acquired through STEM education. Professionals like Kamau Bobb of Google emphasize the importance of individuals thoughtfully considering their career goals and conducting cost-benefit analyses when making educational and career decisions.

Always check in with your adviser about what is best for your requirements, but try to enjoy the classes you take. No one wants to drag themselves through bad weather to a class they hate.

Welcome back to the iRA blog! Hopefully this semester has been a great one, so far. College classes can, and usually are, a lot different from high school courses. Just like high school, your professors want you to succeed! If you grades have not been what you expected, utilize your professors office hours. All professors list them on their syllabus at the beginning of the semester. If your class has a TA, go to them for questions too. They are there for your benefit as well.

With all things, time management is key. Studying and preparing for your classes takes time. Carve time out of your schedule to make a weekly trip to the library. The library is a great place to go with some friends and get some work done. During finals, most libraries will stay open later, which is perfect for those last minute revisions on an English paper.

As you prepare for your spring semester, take time to meet with your advisor. They can help suggest other ways to study for your courses, help you pick out resources on campus (like a tutoring center) to go to with other questions and concerns about your grades. One last way to improve on your grades is to find/organize a study group. Find some peers in your classes and set up a time to meet and review material. This is esspecially beneficial in preparation for finals.


Good luck with the rest of the semester. Don’t hesitate to email us with any questions you may have.