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Three Tips For First-Year Success, From a Graduating Student

Harrison in front of Old Main


The University of Arizona is a place of community, personal growth and success. 

It certainly has been for me. 

My name is Harrison Moreno, I am a Southern Arizonan, first-generation college student. As I prepare to graduate with a degree in journalism, it has made me reflect on the bright-eyed transfer student who first stepped on campus.

I may not be able to give past Harrison advice, but I can give advice to potential future Wildcats. After all, you might be the one looking after my home once I’m gone. Because the University of Arizona feels like home. 

1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Both in school and life. It’ll completely change your perspective. First-year Harrison had his mind set on being a business major. Then I needed to choose an elective in my second semester of college…

One in particular piqued my interest: Journalism 101. I took the class to fulfil a requirement, and loved the subject so much that now I’m going to have a bachelor’s degree in it. Open every door possible, because you might find something that you never even knew you wanted. 

2. Say Yes

Never turn down an opportunity. If they ask “can you do this?” say “yes, I can.” Even if you aren’t completely sure. If it’s something that you can do – or an opportunity to learn – do it. Figure out the rest later. People at the University of Arizona are not the scary college stereotypes you’ve heard about. 

During my junior year I was fortunate enough to land an internship that changed everything for me, working on marketing and social media campaigns for El Tour de Tucson, an international cycling event. 

I dove in and never looked back. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the marketing side of sports, and knew that’s where I wanted to shift my focus. 

3. Ask For Help

It’s okay – trust me. A lot of the time, asking for help is hard for me. However, I’ve found that people here want to help. 

Talk to your advisors, ask them questions; introduce yourself to professors, especially if they are in your desired profession. Asking questions is not only going to help you in the present, but it could also help you in the future. 

Recently, I was talking to a professor about our semester-long project, and we ended up talking about my goals and ambitions after college. My professor noticed my skills in video and audio editing, and thought I would be a great fit for a paid internship (trust me, you’ll realize how important those are) working for a radio station.

While I didn’t end up getting the internship, it was something that I would have never known about if I hadn’t struck up that conversation. One question turns into a conversation that turns into “Hey, I know about this internship or this contact in the industry.” 

So, those are my tips. If you decide to become a Wildcat, you’ll become part of a community of people who care and want to see you succeed. While all the advice here can be helpful anywhere, there’s really only one thing to remember: Bear Down!



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