The first day of classes for the Fall semester is tomorrow (ahhh!!)! Here’s some tips to help you not only survive but thrive as a student here!
Dress nice, but make sure you’re comfortable – bring a sweater.
Don’t show up in a suit, but don’t show up in sweats either! It’s important to show the professor that you respect their class and the effort they put into teaching. You don’t need to wear anything super fancy, but just make sure you look ~presentable~. If you get cold easily – bring a sweater! It’s hot and humid outside but some classrooms can get super chilly!
Sit where you know you’ll focus.
Your first college class can certainly be intimidating, but try not to make a beeline for the back row. It’s much easier to get distracted on your phone when the professor has no idea you aren’t focusing. If there’s a class that I’m nervous about, I’ll sit in the front few rows to force myself to pay attention.
Introduce yourself to the professor.
One of the reasons I love William & Mary is our small class sizes. Because of this, pretty much all my professors know my name and some basic information about me by the first few weeks. An easy way to start this connection is introducing yourself after the first day of class so they can connect a name to a face.
Set up an organizational system beforehand.
Putting things in their designated place to start is much easier than trying to devise a system later on from a mess of papers. I prefer digital notes because it makes everything much easier to find, but consider getting a file folder system if you like paper. This makes notes and assignments much easier to locate when you need them later for review.
Be prepared to learn!
“Syllabus week” where professors don’t start actually teaching until the second week of classes is a myth. Be prepared to learn and make sure to bring a notebook!
Find friends if you can!
Do your best to introduce yourself to someone the first day of class. Not only is it great to have a study buddy, having a friend makes it so much easier to get notes if you happen to miss a class later on! Most professors post slides, but not all post recordings of their lectures. It’s always good to make sure you don’t miss any important information.
Lastly, don’t stress out too much.
You came to college to learn more complex information than you did in high school. This does mean classes will be more difficult, but professors are very understanding and always want to help. Don’t forget to have fun!