Classes are starting soon at colleges and first-time students may be nervous about such a big change. College is very different than high school, with more freedoms and also more responsibilities. Start the semester off right by meeting new people, learning about your new environment, and getting organized.
Make a Friend in Every Class
Knowing someone in each of your classes is very important for several reasons. One, if you’re absent your friend can fill you in on what you missed. Secondly, having a friend will make you less nervous and more comfortable during class. Finally, a friend can be a good study companion and can actually help you make better grades.
Talk to Your Teachers
It may seem intimidating but you should try to talk to your professors so they know you. It may not seem important now, but later on it will be good that they can put your name to your face. Professors appreciate students that make the extra effort and sometimes may be more lenient in grading for those students. Approaching them after class (if they aren’t busy) or during office hours to ask questions is a great way to make yourself known.
Read the Syllabi
Read the syllabus from each class thoroughly. In some cases, the first day may consist of going over the syllabi but you should re-read it yourself and take note any important information. Every class will be different. Some teachers focus more on class participation while others base grades solely on exams. Make note of the books and other materials you’ll need so you’ll be prepared.
Plan Your Semester
Gather your syllabi and use an academic planner to write down the dates of all important projects and tests throughout the semester. Getting this out of the way will give you peace of mind so that you can focus on other things. Just don’t forget to check your planner every day or all that work will go to waste.
Take a Campus Tour
You’ve probably already toured campus on a visit to your college, but there’s likely a lot you missed. Take some time to walk around and get to know your university better. Most importantly, learn where your classes will be, but also find the best shortcuts to other important buildings such as administration and the library.
The first week of college is all about getting comfortable with your surroundings, making friends, and adjusting to a new environment. It’s normal to be nervous, but if you do the five things above it can help you feel more at home on campus.
For more college advice, read our post on Characteristics of Successful College Students.