Preparing For The First Day of College

Well everyone, it’s that time of the year again. The new school year is about to begin and it’s time to get back to the same ol’ routine of doing homework, running to the coffee shop, getting extra espresso shots, and doing some more homework.

For those who are just starting college for the first time ever, I decided to share some tips that worked for me (& tips I wish I knew prior) to starting my first day of college!

Tip #1: Know where your classes are before the first day.

The first day of school can be nerve-racking enough without having to walk in late to a class. Print out your school schedule & print out a campus map. Mark which buildings you need to go to and write what time you need to get there on the map. (My university has a school app for smart phones, but those online maps can get pretty confusing so I opted for the old-school version). I know it may seem pretty lame having a map; but I promise you, it will make your day go by smoother, especially if some of your class times are only 15 minutes apart. 15 minutes isn’t always enough time to get from one end of campus to the other so knowing where to go is crucial. You’ll be maximizing your time. Nobody likes feeling lost!

(Extra Tip: Arrive on campus an hour before your first class even starts & do a walk-through of which buildings you need to go to using your map. It’s a lot of walking, yes, but think of it as exercise & a favor for yourself! You’ll be familiar with how your building looks, where your classroom is, and how to get there before your first class even starts).

Tip #2: Get to school early & get to your classes early. 

I’m not just saying this because being late is an unlikeable characteristic. I’m saying this because-

1) PARKING WILL BE TERRIBLE. If you don’t live on campus, you’re most likely driving yourself or commuting to school. You have to find parking & it is TERRIBLE on the first day of school. On top of that, there’s traffic! Get to school early.

2) Some classes are so packed that if you arrive late, there are either no chairs & you have to sit on the floor (this is especially true if it’s a lecture hall!) or you have to walk past 40+ people then squeeze your way through 15+ people to get the chair in the very back corner. Not fun. Get to your classes early!

Tip #3: Make at least one friend in each class.

Now I’m no social butterfly but I do make an effort to introduce myself to at least one person in each of my classes. I’ve gotten fairly good at this because I rarely have old classmates or friends in my classes. Being in a room full of people you don’t know may sound intimidating, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. It’s forced me to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people!

So try to make at least one friend in each class & exchange numbers with them. When you start to have questions about homework assignments or you miss class & need notes, you’ll be glad you made at least one friend!

Tip #4: Check the weather before getting ready for school & dress comfortably.

I cannot stress how important it is to check the weather so you can dress accordingly. I live in Vegas & we locals are no strangers to the bi-polar weather. One spring day, I wore a dress with gladiator sandals. Of course, it rained that day. It was terrible trying to avoid stepping on puddles & wet grass. Then one autumn day, I wore jeans, boots, & a thick sweater with a scarf. It was extremely warm & sunny that day & even though I took off my scarf, I was cooking underneath all of my layered clothing. Check your weather app or the weather channel while you’re eating breakfast or waiting for your shower to heat up. You won’t regret it.

No college student is ever lucky enough to have their classes in one vicinity so make sure to wear the proper shoes! Comfortable shoes don’t always mean Skechers or Crocs (but if that’s your kind of shoe, then power to ya!) – but I recommend closed-toed shoes & sandals that have ankle straps. A big no-no to flip flops. They hold no real support for your feet & if you’re not used to walking so much or walking fast, they can do real damage to your ankles. (I’m speaking from experience)

Tip #5: Buy a planner. 

With tons of reading assignments, homework sheets, online exercises, quizzes, tests, & papers that are due; it gets really overwhelming, really fast. Having a planner to write down all of the important dates will be of tremendous help. You’ll get your course syllabus the first day of school filled with significant dates & you can write those dates down in your planner. If a notebook planner isn’t your thing, there are plenty of homework apps for smartphones & laptops that you can use (i.e. myHomework, Evernote, iStudiezPro). Being organized is crucial if you want to do well in college. Procrastination is hard to shake off but if you’re at least a teensy bit organized, it will help!

So there you have it, those are my tips for preparing for the first day of college! These don’t just apply to incoming freshman. I’m going to be a junior and I still prepare this way every semester. I hope these tips work for you!

& if you have any tips of your own to share, feel free to comment below!