Ready for Finals Week?

Finals week is here! Whether it’s your first semester or your last, finals week can be a challenge. Here’s our take on how to minimize the stress and anxiety it might bring.

Plan & Prioritize
Is your finals week full of exams, or are you going to be spending the next few days writing papers? It could be that you’ve got loads of online homework assignments to finish up, or maybe you’ve got a mix of things to do. No matter what your schedule looks like, the best way to prepare is to create a plan that helps you prioritize your time.

Creating a plan keeps you focused on the exams and deadlines that are coming up first. The better you plan and the more you stick to your plan, the less likely you are to begin feeling overwhelmed.

Studious Surroundings
Preparing for exams means you’re going to have to study, but studying doesn’t just involve putting your nose in a book and hoping something will stick. Everyone studies differently. Some prefer complete quiet, others enjoy listening to music, and many people benefit from studying in a group.

The Silent Zone
If you find yourself distracted by a lot of noise and need to focus on tomorrow’s exam or the paper that’s due at midnight, you may want to try to find a quiet place on campus that will allow you to be productive. The newly renovated 5th floor of the Library has some pretty awesome study pods, but if those are all taken up, you may be able to find a spot in the Marshall Student Center or your residence hall. If you commute to campus, check out your local coffee shop for a cozy spot that’s already stocked with caffeine.

The Creative Thinker
Need to focus? Try listening to a playlist of instrumental music. Research has shown that listening to music while studying can help you memorize the information. There is one caveat; if you’re trying to memorize things in order, say, the steps in photosynthesis, then listening to music might hinder your ability to recall the steps in the correct order.

If you can’t listen to music, or if music is hurting your chances of remembering something later, there are plenty of other ways to study creatively. You can use colored pens, markers, and highlighters to make memorizing information more engaging and fun. Mnemonic devices – patterns of letters or ideas – are another common way of helping you remember things. For example, PEMDAS is a mnemonic acronym for the order of operations in math, and the phrase “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” helps us remember the order of the planets in our solar system.

The Group Effort
If you benefit from learning in a group setting, consider stopping by the Academic Success Center for Tutoring, or see if your class will have a study session as part of the Marshall Study Center finals week events. If those options don’t work for you, try posting in the discussion section of your Canvas course or on your class Facebook page to see if some of your classmates would like to get together.

Treat Yourself
As you create your finals week plan, be sure to build in time for breaks. Breaks allow your mind to process information and recharge, and can help you if you’re feeling stuck while trying to write. If you make time for your breaks, you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan and you’ll always know how much longer you’ve got to stay focused!

When you take a break, consider going for a walk or exercising at the Rec Center, cooking a hot meal, watching a show or movie with your friends, or checking out one of USF’s many finals week Wellness Activities. Do something that makes you happy and reward yourself for your productivity!

Once your break is over, you’ll be ready to knock out more studying!


Good luck on your finals!


Are you graduating? After you ace your finals, come back here to see how we’ll help you walk across the stage and into your career.



Free for You

Now that you’re settled in your residence hall, or preparing to come to campus on Monday, let’s chat a little bit about all the free stuff that you get as a USF student!

Pro tip: Tampa loves USF! You can get discounts all over for just showing your USF ID Card. When you’re out to eat, always ask and see if they have any special offers for USF students before you check out. The website has put together a good list that you can access at

As far as on-campus services go, there are tons of options for you!


Career Services

Whether you’re a freshman or graduating senior, we have a service that’s just right for you. Here at Career Services, we can help you with the traditional career-related activities you’ll need to do, like resume, cover letter, interview practice, and job search tips. We also help students who are having difficulty choosing a major that not only interests them, but also helps them achieve their career goals. We can help you figure out how to network, approach professionals for informational interviews, land internships or other experiential learning opportunities, and so much more!

We also offer our services in a variety of ways. We have traditional one-on-one appointments and a walk-in service for those quick resume or cover letter questions, but we also offer group Meet-Ups and events with employers all across campus. Be sure to look for us at our Career & Internship Fairs or Part-Time Job Fairs.

We also have an online career management system called Handshake that is free for any USF student to access. To log on, just go to MyUSF, hover over the My Resources tab, and click “Find A Job (Handshake).” You’ll be able to upload your resume and use that to build your profile. Handshake is a machine-learning system, so the more you engage with it, the more it will work for you! For example, if you’re constantly looking for internships and you’re an accounting major, it’ll start referring internship positions that have been posted by accounting firms who regularly recruit USF students and alumni!

Have questions about our services? Visit us in the Student Services Building (SVC 2088), on our website at, or call us at (813) 974-21171.


Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is on campus for students who need an open ear. The services they offer aren’t limited to one-on-one appointments, though. They have drop-in groups, recurring groups, and online services available to help anyone who may be in need. They also offer meditation services, walk-in counseling, and an after-hours crisis call line. If you’re in a student organization, take advantage of their workshops, which you can request online.

The Counseling Center is located in the Student Services Building, just across the hall from Career Services in room SVC 2124. You can also reach them by phone at (813) 974-2831 or on their website, here:


Center for Student Well-Being

The Center for Student Well-Being offers health-related services, including healthy recipes, presentations, chair massages, sexual health resources, and sleep packs, to name a few. They always have new things going on and they offer a wide variety of events throughout the semester. Visit them in MSC 1504 or online at for more information.


Transportation Services

USF offers several options for transportation.

The Bull Runner is the on-campus bus system that you can access by showing the driver your USF ID Card. The Bull Runner also runs off-campus to pick students up from some local apartment complexes. Use BullTrackerTM for real-time information on bus locations and arrival predictions. You can find out more information about the Bull Runner here:

SAFE Team is an escort service that operates nightly from 6:30 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. by golf cart or walking team. If you’re studying at the USF Libraries or have a late-night class, call SAFE Team at (813) 974-SAFE (7233) for an escort so that you arrive at your next location safely.

Alert Cab is a service for USF students who are at least 21 years old. Alert Cab is a free taxi ride from an alcohol-serving establishment to a residence in Hillsborough County. Find out more about Alert Cab and SAFE Team on their website:


Want more free? View the complete list of free services offered to USF students in the student handbook provided by the Marshall Student Center. Just bring your USF ID Card to pick one up.

What’s Your Tool?

When you have to nail something down, you use a hammer. When you need to combine papers, you use a paperclip or a stapler. But when it comes to get yourself organized …

There are too many options!

You may have the perfect solution for staying on top of the organization game, or you may be struggling to come to terms with the piles of papers and unchecked lists on your floor. If you don’t already have a system that works for you, it can be hard to know where to start. Even if you do have your own system, you may find that your life this semester is crazier than ever and your old tools don’t work anymore.

Wherever you find yourself, don’t let it be under a pile of dirty laundry and leftover containers! Use this guide to figure out how you organize and to learn what the best organization tool might be for you.


The Planner

If you’re a Planner, you’ve got everything you’ve ever done and will do written down in a book that never leaves your side. It’s planned to the minute and you’re always on time. Your friends know you’re having a bad day when you aren’t your typically fifteen minutes early.

Your Suggested Tool: Nothing beats free! Pick up your free copy of the USF Annual Planner at the MSC Info Desk. Be sure to have your USF ID Card on you when you go.


The Artist

As an artist, you have everything color-coded. Your business class has a green binder, notebook, and folder, and you’ve even changed the Canvas color tab. Oh, and don’t forget your green pen! You’re always prepared for class because you know exactly which color to grab as you head out the door.

Your Suggested Tool: Take your color coding to the next level with free highlighters that you can pick up from the Career Services front desk!


The Techie

You let your technology do the heavy lifting for you. You’ve got the latest phone and it never dies because you carry a battery back-up with you. And you’ve synced your preferred calendar so that you get reminders about your next task exactly when you need them. All of your emails are filed away in their folders as soon as they’ve been opened.

Your Suggested Tool: The one tech thing you don’t have? The Handshake app. Download it today and keep up with all the employers coming to campus and recruiting tech-savvy students like you. You can also sync your Handshake calendar to your Google or Outlook calendar so it’ll remind you about upcoming events or appointments.


The Intellect

Your friends can’t believe that you keep everything you’ve got going on in your head, so they’re constantly asking you what your secret is. But you don’t have a single post-it note anywhere, and yet you still manage to get everything done!

Your Suggested Tool: Who are we kidding? You’re on top of it! Instead, make sure that you’ve activated your Handshake account and checked out the upcoming event page. That’ll give you some more things to keep track of!

Semester At a Glance

What does your fall semester look like?

Are you still hoping to get into a few classes, or have you picked everything out and organized your planner already?

Wherever you’re at, it’s a good idea to double-check what you’ve signed up for, or hope to sign up for! When registering for classes, try to keep the following tips in mind.


Follow Your Plan

If you haven’t met with your Academic Advisor recently, schedule an appointment or send them an email to make sure that you’re still on track to satisfy all your degree requirements. You don’t want to be enrolled in classes that don’t count toward your requirements! Your academic advisor will be able to assist you with what classes you should be taking and which semester you should be taking them.


Request Course Permits

Do you know if any of your classes require a permit? If they do, you’ll get a registration error when you try to add courses without the permit. Most of the time, you’ll be able to see the contact information to request a permit when you try to sign up for the class. If this information is not available, simply reach out to your academic advisor and they can assist you.


Fulfill Course Requirements

Some classes have to be taken in a specific order, and some require that you achieve a certain score from previous classes before you can register for the next class in the sequence. Make sure that you understand any prerequisites for the courses that you have to take before you attempt to register for them.


Don’t Overdo It

When registering for courses, make sure you’re considering all of the other factors in your life. Do you have a job that requires you to work certain hours? Do you have dependents that need you to be available? Are you taking a course with a heavy writing load or a lot of exams? Mastering the balance between your classes and your extra-curriculars may take some time, but it will definitely save you some stress during the semester.

If you’re considering how to balance classes and a work schedule, keep in mind that those students who work part-time as a full-time student tend to perform better in their academics than their peers how don’t work or who work full-time jobs and attend classes full-time. If you’re interested in working part-time, but don’t know where to start, check out Handshake of Careers@USF, or stop by the Career Services office for some personalized guidance.


Keep Your Interests in Mind

College is all about self-exploration and learning new things that you never even considered! Every degree allows you the option to choose some electives so that you can experience ideas that can help you understand how to relate your coursework and your passions to your future career. For example, if you’re a marketing major with an interest in art history, take some art history electives! Not only will you have the opportunity to explore your interests, but you’ll also learn information that you may be able to use in your future jobs.



Registering for courses isn’t as simple as clicking a button and showing up on the first day. Deciding which classes to take is a process that allows you to explore what you learn while at USF.

If you have some room in your fall schedule, check out the courses we offer at Career Services. Career Development for Today (SLS 2401) is geared toward helping freshmen and sophomores choose a major and career. Job Search (SLS 3308) helps prepare juniors and seniors get ready for the world of work. For more information on these courses, please visit

Packing for Your Fall 2017 Experience

Hey USF!

Are you ready for the Fall 2017 semester?

We know how much can be going on in your head when you pack, so we’ve put together a list of things that you should remember to bring with you – especially if you’re planning to look for a job, research or volunteer position, or internship!


Work and Health Related Documentation

If you want to work on or off campus, you’ll want to make sure that you have any documents you might need during the hiring process. This normally includes your original birth certificate and social security card; passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued photo ID; and visa documents, if you’re an international student. Also, if you were awarded the Federal Work Study, or FWS award, make sure that you accept the award on OASIS before applying to jobs.

Some organizations also require that you have health check-ups or tests done before you can work, so be sure to bring any insurance information, and have your shot records up-to-date and forwarded to your local doctor’s office.

It’s also good to plan to bring a fireproof safe to keep these documents locked up and out of harm’s way!


Medical Prescriptions

Make sure to remember to pack any prescription medications, and be sure to have extra supplies in case it takes you a while to see a local doctor and get your prescription filled close to USF. Just like your insurance information, be ready to pass any of your current prescription information on to your local doctor.


Interview-Ready Attire

Even if you’re not looking for a job or internship, you never know what might come your way! It’s good to be ready for any situation, so pack both business casual and business professional attire in your suitcase.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll interview for the perfect research position, or you’ll have to dress up for an in-class presentation!

Don’t have business appropriate attire? Don’t stress! Visit Suit-A-Bull, the on-campus business attire lending closet, and borrow clothing for free. Details about Suit-A-Bull, including their hours, can be found here:


School (or Office?) Supplies

Don’t be that one guy who always borrows their neighbor’s pen and then writes on themselves because they forgot their notebook too! Stay on top of your semester by making sure you have everything you need to succeed before you get to campus. Plus, if you start working, you’ll have all the office supplies you’ll need for your first day on the job.

Pro tip: You can pick up a free USF planner at the MSC. Just bring your USF ID Card.


Keep Dates in Mind!

Remember, residence halls open on Thursday, August 17 for the Fall 2017 semester. If you haven’t started packing, you still have some time!

Once you get to USF, meet up with Career Services at our 4th Annual Career Kickoff Cookout on Thursday, August 24 near the Student Services Building, and at the Part-Time Job Fair on Thursday, August 31 in the MSC Ballroom. Get more details at


For more things to check off your packing list, please visit . You’ll also find important information about parking, dining, and on-campus mail at this link.