As you finish organizing your college dorm room and wave goodbye to your parents, you may find yourself with first-day jitters. Away from the familiar comforts of your family or friends, you may feel nervous about not knowing what to expect from your classes. The best way to calm your nerves is to prepare for a successful first day instead of endlessly worrying. Here is a list curated by Test Prep Score of some ways to prepare for your first day of college.
Many professors or instructors may send you copies of the course syllabus in advance. Take the time to read it over and prepare questions to ask about the course. However, don’t jump on buying textbooks right away. Since you may end up dropping the class, it is best to wait until you meet your professor in person and see if the class is right for you. For those who already have schedules, go ahead and write down important dates for assignments and exams on your calendar. This will ensure that you won’t forget about any projects as the semester goes on.
With your class schedule and campus map in hand, spend some time walking along the route you plan on taking on the first day of class. Unlike high school, many colleges have dozens of buildings filled with a maze of hallways and staircases. Avoid getting lost on campus and being late by finding the exact classroom your class will take place in.
Even if you end up sleeping in, at the very least you know exactly where to go. Additionally, remember to take a mental snapshot of common areas such as the dining hall or library while on your trek. Although you may be familiar with where these locations are already, you may not know how to get there from your classroom or dorm.
Depending on your college, there may be some events going on before the first day of class to take part in. These gatherings can range from campus tours to club promotions to free food. If you’re struggling to calm your nerves, go have some fun or learn something new about your college! This may be your first opportunity to get a feel for your college community outside the dorm room. By putting yourself out there early, you can build your confidence and gain familiarity with campus life.
The first day of class is an opportunity for students of all ages to meet someone new, not just freshmen. This may be an exciting experience or your worst nightmare depending on your personality. Either way, try to find ways to put your best foot forward. Whether that means planning to dress in your favorite outfit or thinking about questions to ask your peers, get ready to socialize with both students and professors. If your class size is small enough, your instructors will most likely ask students to introduce themselves one by one. Prepare a fun fact to talk about yourself or interests you want to share with others so that you’re ready to tackle these icebreakers.
The night before the first day, pack your bag with the essential supplies you will need. This may include your laptop, chargers, notebooks, pens, your student ID, a water bottle, and more. Don’t forget a snack! You will spend a lot of energy walking around and socializing, so make sure to pack a simple snack in case you get hungry before or after lunchtime. Also, remember to check the weather and pack an umbrella if there’s a chance of rain. You don’t want to get drenched on your first day.
Above all, remember that it’s okay to not have a perfect first day. In fact, it’s normal for you to slip up or make a mistake or two. But rather than imagining worst-case scenarios, focus on the factors you can control. With these few tips in mind, you’re bound to have a great day! If you’re looking for more insight into college life, subscribe to Test Prep Score! Good luck on the first year of your undergraduate career.