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howdy. plan ahead...summer is near Your first year is nearly over and summer is almost here. Hopefully you spent your time wisely and are doing well in your classes, but what are your plans after finals? If all that studying and fun hasn’t left you much time to think about those months between May and September, never fear! There are many things you can do. Summer School: The summer is a great opportunity to catch up or get ahead with your classes. Summer classes are often smaller and offer a more relaxed environment. It might be a time to take that hard class you have been putting off or take a few classes to get one step closer to your Aggie Ring. Texas A&M offers a variety of classes for Summer I, and Summer II and the 10-week semester. Registration begins for summer and fall semesters on April 12th - check Howdy for your designated time. Be sure to make an appointment with your advisor before you register. Inside this Issue Summer Prep Safe Spring Break Amplify Green Dot Writing Center MSC Opening Credit Card Debt Get Involved

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Community College is another option that many students choose. It is crucial that you verify transferability of community college credits before you sign up. It would be a shame to spend the summer trying to get ahead or taking a prerequisite and then not have it transfer. Contact your Texas A&M academic advisor to discuss your plans. Check out the Texas Association of Community Colleges website to search for a campus, http://www.

Work and Save Money: Another option is to work during the summer. Some students work while taking classes, but others focus on one or the other. If you are interested in a summer job, begin looking now. For helpful resources visit these sites or http://jobsforaggies. Relax and Sleep: Right now this may seem like the perfect choice, but think about being bored five weeks into the summer. Utilize your free time with something exciting or service-oriented. You can relax and sleep too! Check out BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OFFICE OF NEW STUDENT PROGRAMS


tips for having a safer SPRING BREAK.

alcohol and drug education programs

Spring Break is right around the corner, when you can finally relax and take your mind off school. We hope that you enjoy yourself over spring break, but we also hope that you do so responsibly. We would like to see all students return to Aggieland safely. Rethink Your Drink: If you choose to drink, there are a variety of ways to make sure you are drinking in a responsible manner. 1. Drink slowly (no more than 1 standard drink per hour) 2. Drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks 3. Set a limit, and stick with it 4. Measure the alcohol when mixing drinks 5. Eat a high protein meal before drinking 6. Designate a SOBER driver 7. Always watch your drink - do not leave your drink unattended 8. Stay in groups - if you go together, leave together 9. Know and follow the laws 10. Have a plan 11. Only bring a set amount of cash with you to the bar Know the signs of alcohol poisoning: Call 911 if someone exhibits any of these signs: • Fever or chills • Difficulty standing or walking • Unconsciousness or semiconsciousness • Poorly aware of surroundings • Vomiting while unconscious or semi-conscious • Bluish gums or fingernail beds • Slow or irregular breaths • Irregular heartbeat Follow Alcohol and Drug Education Programs on Twitter @ADEP4Aggies or like them on Facebook at



wanna get amped?

Amplify is a collaborative, campus-wide effort designed to help first-year freshman and transfer Aggies develop skills and become aware of resources to help them overcome challenges and make the most of their Texas A&M experience. To help you make the most out of Amplify, workshops and programs are divided into 6 programmatic themes: Academic Engagement/Success Strategies, Health & Wellness, Leadership & Civic Engagement, Global Awareness & Diversity, Financial & Debt Management, and Life Skills & Personal Development. There are lots of reason to get involved with Amplify! • You can learn about many campus resources available to you as a student at TAMU • You can learn skills that you can use for life! • It is completely free and you can choose to go to as few or as many programs as you like. • You can earn points to win awesome prizes! For each program you attend you earn 1,000 points. So, when you go to an Amplify program, be sure to sign in. Then, at our End of Year Celebration on April 25, 2012, you can use the points you earned to bid on prizes such as: an iPad, $50 dining dollars, lunch with Dr. Loftin at the University Club, Aggie gear, and even a MaroonBike!

For a complete list of programs, visit

Green Dot.

The green dot strategy is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence. Informed by social change theory, the model targets all Aggies as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in highrisk situations – resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence. A Green Dot training is distinct from a typical conference experience. In addition to learning the core curriculum, the Green Dot training engages participants in skillbuilding and analysis focused on fostering authentic relationships, personal connection and mastery of skills and knowledge necessary for effective persuasive communication. For information on how to sign up for the training or to have a presenter come and talk to your student group visit BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OFFICE OF NEW STUDENT PROGRAMS


University Writing Center. Writing and public speaking aren’t limited just to English and Communications classes anymore. Texas A&M University courses throughout the curriculum are writing and/or speaking intensive. Aggies often find that they write papers more frequently and of greater length than in high school or that they give complex oral presentations using slides or research posters. The expectations tend to be more demanding, too. Even if you are an excellent writer or public speaker, you might want to take advantage of the skilled readers or listeners the University Writing Center (UWC) provides. The UWC specializes in one-on-one consultations with students working on their writing or oral communication skills. Their services can be accessed online or in person by appointment. A trained writing consultant will guide you through the editing process and teach you not only how to strengthen a lone assignment, but also techniques and skills that will come in handy later. UWC staff can help you with brainstorming and planning, researching a topic or analyzing an audience, rewriting a draft, or refining mechanics, grammar and punctuation. They can listen to a speech and give you presentation feedback or help you produce well-designed slides or posters. Want someone to help you proofread? They can even do that.

“During each semester ask yourself this question: Am I ready to be tested right now on everything that has been taught up to this point? If your answer is ever “no,” then you know you’re falling behind, and you need to catch up immediately. Ideally you should be able to answer “yes” to this question at least once a week for every subject.”



Access to the UWC is covered by student fees, so Aggies are encouraged to come to by whenever they need help. Call or click to set up an appointment or get information at (979) 458-1455 or



Get ready for a bigger, better MSC! Since its beginning, the Memorial Student Center (MSC) has been the University’s student union, welcoming generations of Aggies and serving as their home away from home. The building was dedicated the same day as Aggie Muster, April 21, 1951, to all Aggies, past and present, who have given or will give their lives in wartime and continues to serve as a living memorial to all fallen Aggies. As the “living room” of campus, the MSC is a place where students and others often gather to study, relax, grab a quick bite, meet up with friends, or attend meetings. The building is also home to a number of programing organizations that promote student leadership, service, and other professional skills. Closed in the summer of 2009 for renovations, the building will reopen on April 21, 2012—the 61st anniversary of the building’s original dedication. Upon reopening, the building will house three art galleries, themed eating facilities, the MSC Bookstore, Chase Bank, MAC Resources, student programing offices, student lounges and gaming area, and a variety of multi-functional event and meeting spaces.

check out these areas when the building reopens: • 12th Man Hall - representative of the “12th Man”, this corridor will serve as the gateway to campus. The University Center Information Desk will be located at the south end of the hall to assist students and visitors with questions, directions, and information about the happenings in the building. • The Flag Room - coined the “living room” of campus; this student lounge is a great place to study or relax between classes. • Hall of Honor - a tribute to Aggies who gave their lives in wars past or future. • Rev’s - a fun, casual dining area where you can grab a bite to eat or catch the game. Invite your friends and relax on the outside patio. • The Texas A&M University Official Bookstore - the official on-campus bookstore! Selling Aggie merchandise, textbooks, gifts, memorabilia, and school supplies. *The University Center Complex manages the Memorial Student Center, Rudder Tower, Koldus Student Services Building, and All Faiths Chapel—attractive facilities that enhance the educational, business, social, and cultural experiences of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. For more information about the MSC or to reserve an event or meeting space, please visit



The Ugly Truth about What if.. Debt. Credit Card

First-Year Frequently Asked Questions

For college students, credit card availability has made higher education more manageable; however, increasing credit card debt has become a burden that new graduates face. Debt is more accepted by society because credit is easier to obtain and sustain. According to Nellie Mae, a student loan company, 78% of college students have at least one credit card, with 56% establishing their first card by the age of the 18. Credit card companies are willing to establish credit for college students because of the profitability associated with interest payments. Adding to the problem, credit card companies frequently offer an increased credit limit to entice students to spend even more. This means that more people are graduating with debt. On average, a student holds nearly three credit cards and graduates with $2,700 of debt. To maintain a good credit history, students need to use cards responsibly. The following tips will help you avoid credit card debt and establish a strong financial reputation.

Do your homework.

It is not recommended to sign up for the first credit card that comes your way. Students are frequently enticed by the “free gift” instead of low interest rates, annual fees, and reward programs. Instead, compare different credit card options and look for student cards that encourage responsible usage. It may also be beneficial to speak with family members or a trusted advisor before applying for a credit card.

Create a budget and keep it.

Examine expenditures and draft a realistic spending plan. Credit cards should be used as a tool to building credit, not debt. Avoid spending more than you can realistically pay off the following month. As a general rule, if the money is not in your checking account, you cannot afford the purchase.

Pay off your balance each month.

As mentioned above, you should not spend more money than you have in your bank account. This will help you avoid interest payments. If you carry over debt, you end up paying more in the long run. For example, you purchase a sweater for $29 using credit. Assuming you carry over debt, the sweater will end up costing the sale price plus interest. Do you want the sweater for $29 or $39? The longer you delay payment, the more interest you accrue.

Pay your bill on time.

In addition to a fee, you can wind up with a black mark on your credit score if you return a bill late. As a young person, you don’t have enough credit history to afford a late payment. Be aware that when you graduate, potential employers and landlords are likely to check your credit file.

Don’t fall for the in-store credit offer.

Every time you apply for a credit card your credit takes a small hit. Therefore, it isn’t worth the 10% savings retailers may be offering. Plus, most retailer-sponsored credit cards carry high interest rates. Just keep one card with a manageable credit limit (about $500), until you are comfortable with your payments.

Watch out for identity theft.

College students are great targets, says Credit. com’s Adam Levin, so check your credit report to make sure you are not a victim.

Recognize your future credit needs.

Without good credit, it will be difficult to buy a car or house. Consider the implications of debt, and make responsible decisions that will benefit you in the future.

Attend an Amplify event on this topic on April 10th from 12-1pm. To register, visit: or



It’s never too late to get involved...

What is Involvement?

We define involvement as engagement with the campus and/or community, and encourage our students to define their personal involvement experience through individual interest areas, which provide meaningful and beneficial experiences for them during and after their time at Texas A&M. Examples of involvement include: community service, leadership, employment, campus involvement, student organization membership and participating in community and campus wide events.

Why Get Involved? There are many valuable benefits of involvement at Texas A&M University. By becoming involved, students can mature personally, culturally, socially, spiritually and academically. Texas A&M has more than 850 recognized student organizations, and there are a myriad of other ways to become involved in campus life.

‌..And Now What? I have a rough idea of my interests and the type of organizations I want to be involved in, but how do I possibly find a match? Try using our online tool OrgMatch at today! OrgMatch is an online tool that students can use to identify various organizations that match their interests. Just log in, fill out a quick questionnaire, and you will receive a list of organizations that match your interests as well as the contact information for those groups. I have an organization in mind, but how can I possibly find it among more than 850 student organizations? Try using our search engine OrgSearch at today! OrgSearch is an online listing of more than 850 recognized student organizations at Texas A&M University. You can search the organizations just by the first letter or even by category. Each listing details general information about the organization, including contact information.

Get Involved and Stay Connected There are many exciting ways to stay connected with the Department of Student Activities and to learn about new involvement opportunities both on and off-campus. Start by taking these easy steps to jump start your involvement journey today! Visit us at Friend us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at Purchase the Texas A&M All-University Calendar at the MSC Bookstore BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OFFICE OF NEW STUDENT PROGRAMS


Fresh News: Spring Edition  

The newsletter includes information about preparing for the summer, staying safe over spring break, getting involved, MSC opening, and so mu...

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