First Week of Classes
Reality really sets in when the first day of classes rolls around. It may seem intimidating to go into a college classroom for the first time, but don’t worry! The first week is always an adjustment period for everyone, not just first year students! Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or help with anything. You will not be the only new student, and there will be many others who don’t know their way around. Who knows, you could make a friend by asking for directions.
I always try to find my classes before the first day. Doing this will give you a chance to get more comfortable with the campus, and you can figure out where everything is without the overwhelming mob of other students around. Also, this way you know exactly where you are going and how long it takes to get there so you will have no chance of being late!
In addition to finding your classes, there are a few other things you may want to remember to do before the semester gets started, like buying textbooks, getting organized, and coming up with a weekly schedule. Buying textbooks is something you will only have to do once a semester. Getting them early will ensure that you won’t fall behind in your classes and might increase your likelihood of purchasing a used (thus less expensive) copy. Lots of students wait to see if they really need the textbooks before spending money on them. This is a good strategy if you feel the need to be frugal, but just keep in mind that if you wait you run the risk of the books being sold out.
If you take time to organize class materials during the first week, you will be set for the rest of the semester. Whatever system works best for you, use it! It could be binders, folders, or many other methods. In the first week you should also develop a weekly schedule. Every week day will be different, and it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks if you don’t have some sort of schedule to refer to. When will you need to leave your dorm to get to class on time? Have you set aside time for eating? Did you build in time to go to the gym? At what time will you study everyday so assignments don’t pile up? These are all examples of the types of things you should consider writing in a weekly schedule. Getting organized from the beginning will also help you tremendously for when things get chaotic (and they will).
Usually professors take the first week to go over the basics, like what to expect from the course, a little about themselves, and the syllabus. This is the perfect testing out period! If you feel like you are absolutely incapable of completing the material for a course, you still have time to change classes. A good organizational tip you might want to do is purchase a planner and write out all your due dates ahead of time.That way you are less likely to forget upcoming assignments. You can also use this week to get to know your professor and some of your fellow classmates. It will most likely help you out in the long run to know people in the class. Life tends to happen at the most inconvenient times, and it’s good to have someone you can ask for any notes you miss, help with studying for tests, and so on.
Your first semester in college will spark the first for many things in your life, not only the first week of college classes. Making friends will help make the transition easier because you won’t feel like you are carrying the weight of the world alone. There is a lot to adjust to, but don’t let classes scare you. Everyone is there for the same reason: to learn. And I promise the classes will get more interesting and less intimidating after the first few days!