How to get acclimated at no cost


By Zila Renfro

Getting adjusted to the college lifestyle can be tough. However, managing new curriculum, new responsibilities and a new environment doesn’t have to be a completely independent process. 

The University offers free services to help you get acclimated to everything campus-related your freshman year and beyond. Here are a few services that can offer you help when a trip to your academic adviser just doesn’t cut it.

The Writer’s Workshop

The Writer’s Workshop is the perfect service for all your research paper and essay needs. By signing up for one of the workshop’s 50-minute sessions, you can visit an experienced writer or teacher of writing and receive guidance for assignments, whether you need help with editing or simply brainstorming ideas. 

The workshops are held in five locations across campus at convenient spots for freshmen, such as the Ikenberry Commons and Undergraduate Library. Appointments can be made by phone or just by stopping by the facility during open hours.

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The Counseling Center

No student is expected to adapt to living on campus with absolute ease. Therefore, if you feel that times are getting rough or even if you’re just feeling slightly overwhelmed, the Counseling Center is a great resource. 

By calling the center, you can make an appointment to talk with a trained professional about emotional or academic stress you may be feeling. These sessions are already paid for through your health services fee. 

Make sure to call in early in the morning (they open at 7:50 a.m.) for a session. You can only make same-day appointments, and they fill up quickly. 

Furthermore, the Counseling Center holds free weekly workshops on frequently-asked-about topics such as time management, anxiety relief and self-care.

The Career Center

If attending the University is the path to a career, the Career Center is a perfect stepping-stone. This facility provides excellent services to give you the professional skills necessary to enter the working world.

At no cost, you can set up an appointment with a career counselor who can answer any of your questions related to major and career paths, job searches, internships and resume writing. 

One of the most helpful services is their mock interview sessions where you can sign up for an appointment to practice your job interview skills in person or over the phone. If you just need someone to glance at your resume, they also have drop-in advising at convenient hours throughout the day.

University of Illinois Extension Money Mentors

Starting college often inherently means a new world of financial responsibility. The Money Mentor program is a lesser known free service that allows you to sign up to work with a trained volunteer to get advice on budgeting, managing savings, setting financial goals and building credit. 

If you’re facing financial trouble, a money mentor can offer steps to help get you back on track. No matter what your financial situation, signing up for one of their one-on-one sessions is a great way to stay on top of your money while on campus.


Health is rarely the first priority for incoming freshmen (insert Freshman Fifteen joke here), but it remains an important one. 

The ARC and CRCE are completely free to use with your i-card and will keep you moving about and healthy. Use of the equipment, gymnasiums and swimming pools are free. While you have to buy a pass for group fitness, the first week of each semester is free for students to try out classes such as Zumba, yoga, and cycling, among others.

Zila is a junior in Media.
[email protected]

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