- Check for your syllabus online. Almost always the Professor posts the syllabus online and its so helpful to print out the syllabus and bring it to the first class. It is also super helpful to keep a copy of the syllabus with your notes for that class, so you know exactly when test dates are and what information should be studied for that particular test.
- Leave a little bit early and give yourself time to get lost. Most of the time your classrooms are easy to find, but some classrooms are tucked away in random little hallways under the stairs. Give yourself some time to get lost and find your way back to the right place. Also, if you get to class a little bit too early, then you have some time to scout out a bathroom or just sit and collect your thoughts. It’s totally normal to go in and sit in the empty classroom before class starts. CAUTION: If you get to a class early by 10 minutes or more, then there is more than likely still a class in session there. Just let the professor finish up and allow all of the students to exit the class before you go in.
- Pick a seat that you feel comfortable with. College doesn’t officially have assigned seating, but it might as well. Everyone picks one seat and sits there for the rest of the year, so pick a seat you like. It’s best to sit near the front of the room, but if you know sitting front and center is going to make you uncomfortable the whole semester, don’t do it. Maybe a second row seat is more your style. But try and make it a point not to sit in the back or next to the door, you can get easily distracted when you sit in the back.
- Sit next to someone and make an effort to get to know them. We all walk into classes where we know absolutely no one. And Yes, sometimes it easier to sit far from anyone else and not talk because you don’t know anyone, but everyone else is in the same boat. So try and sit next to someone and strike up a conversation. “Hi my name is ________, what’s yours? What’s your major? Where are you from?” Try and exchange phone numbers or maybe add them on Facebook. This is so helpful when you miss class that one day and need to get notes and when you need a study buddy for that really hard exam that is coming up.
- Take notes on the syllabus when the Professor goes over it. The Professor has so many side comments about expectations for papers and projects that are due throughout the semester. Pay close attention to those details. It might even allow you to start really big projects before things get too hectic during the semester.
- Ask Questions AND Go to office hours. Professors are people too. Professors are teaching on topics they find really interesting and may even be doing research on. So Professors love it when students speak up and ask questions, make comments and are genuinely curious about the topic being studied. And Office hours are a great way to ask specific questions and have a conversation with your professor about anything. Getting to know your professor could help you get job recommendations or letters for scholarships, grants, or even recommendations for graduate school programs.
- Don’t stress. First day nerves are totally normal. Take a deep breath. You are going to rock it!
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13