First Day of College Checklist

Having a productive first day of college can set you up for success the entire semester. University life can be overwhelming, particularly if you are a freshman. But there are several things you can do to make your first day and entire semester much easier. Read on for the things you must do on or before your first day of classes.

Find your class locations. Most students have walked into the wrong class a time or two. But you want to know exactly where your classes are located on the first day to reduce stress (and embarrassment). A day before classes start, use a campus map to find each class so that you won’t be scrambling to find them the first day.

Read the syllabus. Most information you need will be on the course syllabus. Sometimes the teacher will go over it on the first day so pay attention to important dates, grading rules and other important points. Don’t ask your teacher any questions until you’ve thoroughly read the syllabus.

Write down important dates in your planner. Keeping up with your academic planner is important to staying organized and being successful in college. After class, take your syllabus and immediately write down important dates (tests, projects, homework, presentations, etc.) in your planner.

Show up early. Getting to class early gives you the chance to make sure you find the right class location and time to pick a good seat. You’ll be much more relaxed if you give yourself an extra ten to fifteen minutes before class starts.

Study notes taken. Review any notes taken as soon as possible. Reading over your notes daily will help you retain information and reduce time needed to study the night before a test.

Meet your classmates. Talking to other classmates gives you the opportunity to make friends but also helps academically. Classmates can give you notes and important information when you’re absent and make study groups for tests. Try to meet at least a couple of people in each class and exchange contact information.

Get enough sleep. It’s hard to break the summer habit of staying up late and sleeping in. But you need to start going to bed at a reasonable hour before your first day, especially if you have early classes. Starting a good sleep schedule will set you up to succeed all semester.

All the points listed above are important for all college students, but especially for freshmen who are not familiar with the campus or college life in general. Being organized and prepared reduces anxiety and gives you a sense of confidence, leading to a much greater chance of academic success.