Gearing up for the 1st Day

First day of college already?? If it hasn’t come yet, it will come soon! College will be one of the best times of your life as long as you’re prepared. To get there though, there are some things you need to know. There will be many people including your family, friends (old and new), staff and faculty will be around to help you. Take advantage of them being there if you need help. Here are some tips to consider when starting out.

Move-in weekend is busy enough, but then you add classes. Are you ready yet? Whether you have a large or small campus it is a good idea to go out and explore. Map out where everything is including your classes and different dining options. This will help you so you’re not walking around lost before your first class that starts in five minutes. Most schools offer downloadable maps. Check your campus info, Residence Life, or parking websites to find these.

Books aren’t the only thing needed on the first day. Do you have extra ink cartridges for your printer if you run out? How about an agenda/calendar, extra paper, or pens and pencils? If you are moving away from home, buying things for your new room/apartment can be exciting, but make sure you have the essentials for your classes! You don’t need much on the first day. I recommend bringing a pen, notebook, and a folder. You will be able to take notes and keep any syllabi nice and safe.

Some teachers will want you to bring your books on the first day. When it comes to pre-buying your books before the first day of class, it’s up to you. There are pros and cons. Many colleges and universities post which books are needed on their bookstore website. This is great as long as your school keeps it updated. The down side could be you accidentally buying books you don’t need or not budgeting enough for books that you do need. If you are unsure what you want to do, email your professor. Most likely they will respond and let you know what exactly you need to buy and when.

So what happens when you get to class and you don’t like it? In the beginning of the semester there are drop/add dates. If you know that you cannot handle a class or that it just isn’t for you, this may be something to consider. Keep in mind, not all classes will be directly related to your major. Some are requirement liberal arts or prerequisites. If this is the case for your “bad” class, try to stick it out. Seek out where you can get extra help like tutoring or find a buddy in your class. If your class isn’t needed and you do not feel like you can succeed in it as a student, check the drop date. You don’t want to get penalized for dropping a class. Whatever the reason and whatever you want to do, talk with your academic advisor. They will probably be able to help guide you in the right direction. They will also be the ones with the add/drop dates if you can’t find them online.

The first week will probably be busy and stressful, but a lot of fun! You probably have a lot on your plate, but take advantage of the new year. People are usually excited to be there and willing to meet new people. Also, a lot of schools have some type of welcome week program. Check to see if your school offers anything like this. It could be a great way to get involved and meet new people.

As long as you stay prepared and put yourself out there, you’ll have a good time. Good luck and have fun!