How to best utilize resources on campus

A group of students leave the One Stop on the Campus Center upper level.

With add/drop come and gone and the class selection process for students basically being set in stone, now is the time to make use of the resources and activities the campus provides. As the semester progresses, students will have the chance to join clubs, square away financial aid and even get a head start on future enrollment plans at UMass Boston—whether that means registering for the winter semester, spring semester or both. Of course, in order to get a head-start on these things, one must utilize the offices around them, and, in most cases, regarding registration, the early bird gets the worm!

As the school year slowly wanes, students will see that UMass Boston provides many resources and activities in their respective offices and facilities; all of which will greatly benefit any given student on this campus. Offices like The One Stop on the first floor of Campus Center, the Office of Financial Aid on the fourth floor, and the advising offices for each respective college on campus. truly impact the trajectory of a student’s time at UMass Boston. However, the independence students have to take their responsibilities seriously also significantly impacts their life at UMass Boston, especially when enrolled as an upperclassman.

Because of this, it’s all the more important to make use of the resources and activities students have around them. Not only would doing so help prevent unexpected holds early on in the semester, but it would also give students an opportunity to have fun and engage with fellow students during campus activities or in clubs. Having access to the Office of Financial Aid and The One Stop on any given day is an extremely valuable opportunity, but making the time to visit these offices either early in the semester—or as soon as a hold is placed on your WISER account—is vital to avoid any butterfly effects that fold over into the next semester.

If a student has a hold on their account, they will be unable to register for future courses at UMass Boston until all holds are removed. For example, students are able to register for the next semester if they are able to pay for the semester that they are currently enrolled in or have just finished. However, if they receive a hold for a past due balance, it is best to pay that balance as soon as possible to have eligibility for future courses. Please note that outstanding balances need only dip below $1,000 for the hold to be removed.

On top of this, it is best to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible; filing late can cause you to miss out on loans you would have gotten earlier, according to an article by College Ave Student Loans. The article also mentions that “You’re more likely to qualify for federal, state, and college-offered grants if you file the FAFSA early.” When it comes to other holds, it is essential to take care of them once they pop up on your WISER account. For the advising hold that everyone receives, scheduling an appointment with your advisor at an earlier stage in the semester to register for classes is the best move to make, compared to switching a portion of them during add/drop. For upperclassmen, this is crucial since advanced-level classes for your major fill up more quickly than other classes, and as a result, you don’t want to get the short end of the stick when the time comes to register.

A lot of these responsibilities can hold burdens on the minds of students, and stress can take a toll on both physical and mental health. The University Health Services Counseling Center, and the Medical Center in general, provide care for all students, with the UHS Counseling Center providing same-day care, regardless of insurance, and the Medical Center providing same-day treatment for an episodic illness or injury. The brain is the most important organ in the body, and nobody should ever be afraid to reach out for help, so if anybody needs help with their mental health, the UHS counseling services are found on the second floor of the Quinn Administration Building next to the Medical Center.

Your mental health also benefits from exercise, and with the days getting shorter and temperatures dropping, going to both the Clark Athletic Center, located just behind Quinn, and Beacon Fitness Center, located in McCormack, to exercise can help a lot, whether it be to stay in shape, make new friends or clear your head. Engaging in student activities, clubs or campus-held events gives students the chance to make new friends too. With the fall coming up, playing recreational sports is a great way to kill two birds with one stone by being able to exercise and make friends at the same time. Joining some clubs and organizations that you find intriguing can help enhance your experience as a student too.

If you happen to be struggling in classes, attending office hours is key to getting back on track. If you’re stuck on a project or assignment, need help with conceptualizing and understanding some readings, or want to know what content to study for an upcoming exam, know that your professors and teaching assistants are always here to give the best advice and assistance to help boost your grade as much as possible. The facilities, offices and organizations that UMass Boston provides for their students are all worthwhile—especially when using them early in the semester.

The responsibilities that students hold to further progress their education seriously impact the direction their life at school will take. Picking classes earlier can help students enroll in more preferable classes. A domino effect can be seen with the steps students are willing to take. Doing things such as going to office hours can greatly increase their free time ,since the knowledge obtained from the professor can help students understand and complete assignments more efficiently. They could then dedicate this free time to hanging out with friends or participating in events and clubs—or even bettering themselves by seeking help for their physical and mental health.

UMass Boston has a lot of resources on campus that can help you excel during your time in college. However, the ball is in your court regarding the amount of time and effort you invest into these resources, and how much you are willing to let them assist you in being a successful student.

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