With many students about to start a new year of college, it’s time to start preparing for the first day of college. Whether you are a returning student or a brand new freshman, these tips can benefit everyone!
With these 10 tips, you’ll be fully prepared to start your first day of college. The first day can always be a bit stressful, however I’m sharing how you can overcome some potential obstacles and ways to lower the first day jitters!
I hope these tips are helpful for you. In the comments down below, let me know any other first day tips you have! I’d love to read them.
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10 Tips for the First Day of College
1. Find and go to your classes.
Regardless if you’ve been around campus before, I always think it’s a good idea to physically walk up to the door of your classrooms. Sometimes walkways or building entrances will be closed and you may need to find an alternate route. There has been too many times where I got lost in a building I’ve been in before.
2. Find the bathrooms.
I don’t know about you guys but there is nothing worse than running around a building before class and not being able to find the bathroom. Sometimes it’s across the building! Find the closest bathroom by each of your classes. Trust me-it will be well worth it.
3. Print out and write down your classes’ syllabi.
I keep a completely separate planner that is specifically for my classes. This is my favorite one. I write down exam dates, due dates and any other important dates for each of my classes. I personally color code my classes so I can easily see what’s due for each class at a glance.
4. Don’t get all your textbooks.
After reading your syllabi, see what classes are most likely going to need the textbook. Some classes require you gain online access codes for external programs-those are the ones you can’t get around not purchasing. However, I’ve had countless classes not even use all the textbooks they say they require. This may help you save some money in the long run.
If you really want to purchase your books-don’t open anything until you go to the 1st day of class in case you need to return it. Most classes don’t have anything textbook related due the first week of classes anyways.
On this textbook note: never pay full price! I highly recommend Chegg and Amazon for textbook purchases/rentals. You’ll literally save hundreds of dollars!
5. Prep your backpack + supplies.
On the syllabi, the professor might state if they don’t mind laptops being used. I’ve had a couple professors say they don’t want any laptops/electronics-so I had to get notebooks for those classes. For example, If you’re an architecture student, the professor may want you to use certain types of pens/pencils. This example may apply to a variety of classes. Check out my favorite notebooks here-I’ve been using them for all four years of college now!
6. Check out dress codes.
Hang on, let me explain. There isn’t really a dress code for college, but some classes require you wear specific items. One of my labs required I get a coat with my name on it-so that was something I got before classes started to be prepared. That same class required we wear pants to the labs (it was a food science lab!) to prevent injuries.
Most science labs require you wear closed toed shoes and are very strict on that. Don’t forget to check out the syllabi if you are in any labs this fall semester. You don’t want to get kicked out because you aren’t wearing the right attire. Some professors are lenient on the first day but not all!
7. Plan for in between time.
If you have an hour or two in between classes, it may not be worth going back home or to the dorms so don’t forget to bring something to do. I typically bring my laptop so I can work on homework at the library. Just don’t forget snacks too!
Check out my blog post on 5 Things to do In Between Your College Classes!
8. Go to Your First Class.
This may seem obvious, but it’s crazy how many people skip this one. Even though the first day of classes tend to be a bit boring, I highly recommend not skipping it. This is when you’ll find out if you really need all the textbooks, any due dates that have changed, how the professor grades, etc. You can gain some really important information on the first day. Some professors may even take notes/attendance about who is there if it’s a smaller class. Also, I find some professors let you out early on the first day!
9. Check Out Your Online Classes/Portal.
If you are in an online classes, don’t forget to do an overview of the program the professor is using. Some use Blackboard and others use external ones such as Cengage. Take some time to go through it and understand how to utilize it. I’ve had a couple issues where I missed an assignment because I didn’t understand where it was being posted to.
Even if you’re not in online classes, odds are, your professor will still put up documents on your school’s portal. This may be where you turn in essays, check announcements (such as class is cancelled!) or access supplemental information.
Check out my post about acing online classes here!
10. Enjoy the first day of classes
The first day of school is pretty similar to any other first day you may have had. Everyone is in a whole new set of classes for the first time with that particular group of students. Odds are you may not know someone in the class and it’s okay! There is no need to stress out about the first day! College is all about being open to meeting new people and new experiences. Just show up on time, take notes and prepare to get started on homework when class is over.
Let me know what your college tips are in the comments below! What are you most excited about for your first day of college?