Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of College Advice

With college quickly approaching for a lot of people, I thought it would be fun to whip up a little post about my advice for your first day of college classes. I think a lot of emphasis is often placed on moving into the dorms or getting acquainted with aspects of college life, and people don't often talk about school or classes.
Looking back to my first day of college, which literally feels like forever ago, I was really nervous because my first class that I ever attended was World Geography 210. And being the anxious college freshman that I was, I was terrified because it was a 200 level class! I thought for sure I would be the only freshman in the entire class of 60 and that it would be hard and intimidating and the professor would look something like Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.
Let me tell you, boy was I wrong. At least three fourths of the class were freshman first of all, so they were just as nervous as I was. My professor was pretty much the most awesome professor you could have on the first day. He looked like the lead singer of the band the Bare Naked Ladies first of all (no, seriously he did). He was wearing distressed jeans with Converse and a T-shirt. No bow ties. No stuffy accents. He actually opened up with a bunch of jokes and showed the class a list of classes that we could be taking if we had gone to other colleges around the country (he then inserted a list that showed some classes just dedicated to Lady Gaga and to other random stuff).
Then he explained the class. He told us that geography is all around us, and then showed us a map of the US and all the area codes that Ludacris raps he has hos in. I seriously didn't expect my first class of college to be like that.
It was awesome and I can't explain how fun and exciting it was to be in a new environment, one where teachers can wear tennis shoes and cuss in.
While you may not have a professor that first day as laid back and awesome as mine, I did think there were some important things you can keep in mind.
-Even upperclassmen arrive to class on the first day. Living on campus, about five minutes away, I'd say the best time to leave was about 20 minutes prior. This allows you to be on time and get a spot.
-Find your classes the day before so you can just go to class without being flustered. I've learn from experience, because the time that you don't go before looking for your class, it will be the most confusing and hard to find room on the entire campus.
-Don't bring your textbook to class, unless your teacher tells you otherwise. You might be thinking I'm crazy, but I'm serious. The first day the teacher will read off the syllabus, probably do some sort of ice breaker, and that will be about it. Bringing your textbook is just a pain that first day.
-Wake up a little earlier. Despite the stereotypes that college students just roll out of bed, on the first day no one really does. Dress up! Wear that new cute top or a sundress. It's your first day of new impressions.
-Eat breakfast/bring a snack, especially if you have a long day ahead of you.
-Listen to your professor that first day and decide whether you mesh well with his/her teaching style and what the course is about. Some professors are super disorganized and just let the class lead itself. Others have every due date set in stone before the first class is in session. Pick what works for you, the add/drop deadline is generally a week into the semester.
-Introduce yourself to the people you are sitting next to. Trust me, they are probably intimidated freshmen too (or maybe just a friendly sophomore) and won't think you're weird at all. Those first attempts of getting to know the people around you are the most important because they could help you arrange study groups or have a group to work with on projects.
-Wanna know a piece of advice on professors? 9 times out of 10, they will take notice of you going up to them the first day after class and introducing yourself. Seriously, it looks super good on your part. Walk up to them (unless they look like they are in a hurry to get to the next class, then you probably won't want to bother them) and just say "Hi, I'm (insert name). I enjoyed class today and can't wait for the rest of the semester." And already you've made a positive impression.
I hope this advice helps! Good luck on all your first days out there!


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  2. These were definitely some good tips. I'm a freshman in college this year and I agree that many of these tips are useful, especially the ones about deciding if the class/professor will work well for you.

  3. Awesome advice! I also anticipated the first day of college like the stuff I saw in the movies, or things I heard about. But things change when you’re already there. The atmosphere is still the same as in high school, though you’re the most responsible with your actions, and you get to choose what you want to achieve in the end. But at the end of the day, it's all about learning and enjoying from the experience. Cheers!

    Mike Latone