Passing out from high school and making the transition to college life is a tough task for all students. They must remember that their college life will be very different from their senior year in high school. Firstly, they will be going to a new institution to study at a much higher level. Secondly, they will be meeting new people.
But there is no reason to feel nervous. The students can stop worrying and begin their college life with a well-spent first day. The first day sets the precedent for things to follow later on. So spend your first day productively. You can do the following 11 things to ensure that your first day in college is a productive and relaxing one:
1. Buy a planner or use your electronic devices
The first thing you should do before starting your initial day in college is buy a planner or use your mobile phone or tablet or laptop to begin a routine. This will help when you go to the college and want to keep a record of any important notice or piece of information. To record any important dates, instructions to follow in the college or to write down your class routine, you will surely need a planner or any similarly functioning device. There are numerous things that need to be noted down in the first day of college.
Even in the first day class, the professors almost always inform students about weekly assignments, tests, readings, submission dates for projects, essays and other coursework. All these must be noted down for future reference so that you do not forget any important date or task.
2. Carry one or more notebooks
Many students, on their first day, go to the college thinking that it will not be any different from their senior year in high school. Some of them even go to the college without a notebook. One notebook is the necessity for college classes, especially on the first day. This is because the professors will provide you with vital information on the subject being taught. They will give a background on the topics and you must write some of the facts down because they will most probably be new to you and these facts and information will be required in the tests, assignments, essays etc.
You may also carry more than one notebook for each subject to avoid confusion later on in the year. Carrying more than one notebook to keep one for each subject is preferable.
3. Carry a copy of the syllabus
The course syllabus informs you about everything that you need to know regarding your course. You will know –
- The material that is going to be taught in a particular course
- When to visit the professor
- What are the college office hours
- The college’s rules, regulations, policies and procedures
- The type of assignments that will be given
- The type of assessments that will be conducted
- Submission dates of assignments, tests, projects etc
- The marks allotted to assessments or grade contribution of any particular test.
Incorporate the important dates and events that are there in the syllabus to your planner or electronic device. This way, you will never miss crucial dates.
4. Dress smartly
This is either the most lightly taken or the most important task done by students on their first day in college. Some students dress as if they have just come outside of their houses from their bedrooms, while some others dress as if they have arrived at a popular film festival as celebrities.
Smart dressing is when you wear decent clothes that are not too loud but are also not shoddy in their appearance. The best attire for both boys and girls would be properly fitting T-shirts with a pair of jeans and shoes that are simple but not dirty or too old or torn in some parts
5. Reach the college campus half an hour earlier
One of the world’s most overstated tip to reach important places on important days (first day of college qualifies as an important day) is to reach before time. So, keeping tradition in mind, we would also recommend students to reach their college half an hour before classes are due to start.
This should be done for many reasons –
- To reach early, you need to leave home early. When you leave home early, you eliminate the additional time that your vehicle or the public vehicle may take to bring you to the college premises
- If you travel by your own vehicle, you will need parking space. The first day of college usually has students sprawling in the college campus and most of them looking for parking space. If you reach early, you will save the time of arguing with someone over a space for parking. Also, you will not be in a bad mood because everything will happen at your pace
- You can find your class easily within the time that you have saved by reaching early. You can easily ask any of the college personnel for directions to your class because neither of you will be in a hurry.
6. Sit in the front row
This is a tough task for students who have occupied the last benches throughout their school life. Asking such students to sit in the first row on the first day of college is like asking someone to drive a car on water.
However, relinquishing your habits for one day should not prove to be that difficult. You will receive great benefits by sitting in the front row, even if it is only on the first day of college –
- You will get to know your professor’s teaching style right from the beginning
- You can pay more attention to what the professor is saying without having to strain your ears and listen very carefully
- You can come into the professor’s sight and be known to him/her. If your professor recognizes you right from the first day, you can easily ask to be assisted in assignments, tests etc.
Sit in the front row on the first day, analyze your professors from a close range and then you can decide whether to remain there or go back a few benches. Your options are always open.
7. Speak to your professor
As a student, your college professors are the only people who are guaranteed to help and assist you. So, it is a necessity that you speak to your professors on the first day of college because –
- You will become a recognizable face for the professors
- They will feel that you are eager to learn and utilize your college time purposefully
- It will be helpful when you need to ask questions later on as you will already be on good terms with the professors.
8. Talk to your classmates
You can start by sitting in the front row of your class. By doing this, the professors will know that you are serious about your classes. Do not start talking to them just as they enter the class because you will come across as too eager to please. Let the professor leave the classroom and then you can go up to him/her, speak and introduce yourself. Do not start talking to your professors through social media. Make an effort to physically introduce yourself.
Friends are an integral part of a student’s life. Everyone wishes to make new friends and talk to new people (except for introverts). In college life, it is essential that you befriend your classmates. Your classmates can be likened to fellow employees in a workplace. Classmates help each other to get out of difficult situations.
Talk to your new classmates because there is a possibility of making a great friend or even a partner. They will also be as apprehensive as you because they are also attending their first day in college. That in itself is a similarity which can help you in your interactions. Classmates can let you know about the coursework if you ever fail to attend college. They can become your study partners and you can learn a lot from such exchange of information.
9. Avoid the bookstore on the first day
The college bookstore will be full to the brim with overzealous students wishing to buy the books on the very first day of college. You should avoid the bookstore on the first day of college at all costs and these are the reasons to do so –
- You will lose out on class time if you stand in the long queue
- You can visit another bookstore that may sell these books at a lesser price. The University neighborhood may have many such bookstores
- You can buy the books at an earlier or a later date.
10. Complete any homework on the same night
If you receive any task that should be done at home on the first day of college, complete it on the same night. You do not want to lag behind from the beginning. Yes, dormitory parties, welcoming parties and fraternity parties are also important to make new friends in college but make sure you complete the homework before you leave for these parties.
Even if the professor asks to read a chapter and come for the next class, read it, understand it and then continue other work or attend parties.
11. Relax, breathe
There is no point in being too tensed on your first day of college. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself and soak the college’s atmosphere. Speak to people like your classmates, professors, college personnel (they will be of great help to you in your college tenure), nearby shop owners etc. Relax and rejoice at the fact that you finally made it to college!
Thus, students will find it easier to spend their first day in college with the help of these expertly devised tips. The rest of their college life will become easier if their first day is spent well.
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