How to Prepare for Your First Day of College ClassesAugust 2, 2022
The first day of school can be intimidating – especially if you’re transitioning from high school to college – but planning ahead can make things go much more smoothly. Here are a few ways to prepare for your first day of college:
Explore the Campus Early
Finding your way around campus can be challenging when starting college. Before your first day of classes, take some time to familiarize yourself with important locations, including:
Your Class Locations
Once you finalize your class schedule, take a couple of hours to locate the buildings and, if possible, the rooms where your classes will be held. If you are living on campus, take some time to determine how long it will take to walk from your dorm to your first class, so you won’t have to rush on your first day.
As you’re learning your route between classes, also familiarize yourself with any on-campus transportation that may be useful, like a campus bus system. This can be a great way to save time on your trip between classes, especially if you have two classes that are far apart from one another.
When exploring the campus before classes begin, be sure to find the library. Often, the library offers more than a quiet place to study. On many campuses, it’s also a central hub for tutoring, technology rentals and more.
Furthermore, learning where everything is in the library, from the help desk to where computers are located, will make your visits simpler and easier.
Scoping out restaurants and other dining areas on campus is another smart move. First, locate your school’s main dining halls, which generally provide an assortment of options and may accept your school’s meal plan.
Then, take some time to track down restaurants and fast food on or near campus, especially those near your classes. Every college is different – some of these locations may also accept your school’s meal plan, but even if not, they can offer some variety if you’re tired of the dining hall.
Don’t forget to check out your school’s website for information on where to eat. Some schools may offer a webpage, or even an app, so you can easily locate dining areas near you.
Generally, tuition covers on-campus amenities designed to help students stay happy and healthy. Research these ahead of time, so you know where to go whether you want to stop by an ATM, work out or pick up a prescription.
Read the Syllabus
Most of your classes will have a syllabus containing valuable information about your textbooks, assignments, tests and more. Here are a few essential pieces of information to identify before your first day of classes.
- What textbooks will you need for your classes?
- Do you have any assignments or readings due for the first day of class?
- When are your exams?
- What grading policies does the class follow? Does your professor have a rubric for grading?
Pack the Essentials
Packing all the essentials will help your first day go as smoothly as possible. Here are a few things to take with you:
- Your class schedule
- Laptop and computer case
- Writing utensils
- Notebooks and planner
- Water bottle and snack
- Comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothes
Also, pack anything specifically requested in your class syllabi, for example, any assigned reading books.
Find Clubs or Activities to Join
Extracurricular activities are a fantastic way to make friends and create college memories. At the beginning of the school year, many clubs will have meetings for potential new members, so be sure to check your school’s academic calendar and visit the organizations you’re interested in.
Once you do all the things to prepare, you will have a clear path to success for your first day of college classes and the rest of the semester!