Monday, August 27, 2012

That First Day of College

In high school, the first day is all about showing off your new clothes, meeting your teachers, reconnecting with friends after the summer, and going through all the formalities of a new school year.

College is kind of like that but also not. You will be meeting your professors -- and maybe showing off your new look -- but it's all about figuring out what your classes will be like this semester. In my high school, the first day was all about going over the rules and maybe the syllabus. In college, we jumped right into learning almost immediately.

While the first day can be nerve-wracking, here are five tips to help you get through it:

#1: Dress to impress
Wear something simple but nice. The most important thing is wearing something that makes you feel confident. If you feel confident, you'll look confident. Don't wander into class on the first day wearing a hoodie and sweatpants. It's okay to walk around the dorms or your apartment like that, but it's important to be more professional in the classroom.

#2: Leave early 
This is especially important if  you aren't sure where your classes are. Don't worry about arriving early; there's nothing wrong with that. I typically give myself a half hour to find my classes for the first week or so. It's better that I arrive twenty minutes early than get lost and be late.

#3: Come to class prepared
Even if you think you'll only end up going over the syllabus, bring anything you think you might need. This might include paper, pencils, pens, your textbook, your laptop, highlighters, everything. It's better to bring it all and not need it, than to leave it in your dorm room and hope that your neighbor will lend you something. 

#4: Plan ahead
Check the times and locations of all your classes in advance. If you have no idea where they are, ask a friend or check the school's website to see if they have a map of campus. Plan ahead and decide when you're going to eat and, if you have large amounts of time between classes, how you're going to spend them. It's easier to keep up with the workload if you settle into a schedule early on in the semester. 

#5: Drop in the library
If you're anything like me, this one isn't going to be a problem. Take a few minutes and find the library. Wander around and just get a feel for where all the different sections are. This will be a big help when you have a paper that you have to research for or even if you just want to read for fun.


E.J. Wesley said...

# 2 and 4 especially, Rachael. Nothing like being late to a class on your first day because you misjudged the jaunt from one building to the next.

Not sure about the dress to impress--maybe college has changed since I attended more years ago than I'll mention here. I recall a TON of pajama pants and sweats on day 1. lol Though, I'd recommend not looking like a complete slacker, because the professors do tend to notice people who look like they're ready work.

Good luck to everyone heading back this Fall!