4 Ways to Prepare for Your First Day of College
Published on August 11, 2014 by arothstein
Summer is almost over and the season of sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes and fall classes is only weeks away. You may already have your fall wardrobe in mind—maybe even your Halloween costume—but are you ready for your first day of school?
Whether you’re going to college for the first time or are entering your senior year, the first day of school can be a little daunting.
Will we get lost on campus? Will we like our teachers? These questions can weigh us down and cause us to feel anxious. But with a little preparation, we can ease the stress of our first day and make it much more enjoyable.
Tour the campus.
Wandering the hallways in a panic on the first day of school is never a good situation to be in.
Most colleges provide an orientation where new students can get acquainted with the staff and tour the campus. If you missed your school’s orientation, visit campus day before and get familiar with the location of all your classes. Be sure to take note of where the library and student lounges are, as well as restrooms and labs.
When you know where all your classes are beforehand, you can be stress-free on your first day of school and make a good impression on your teachers by being on time. What’s more, you’ll get a better seat!
Order your textbooks ahead of time.
Teachers will often put their course syllabus online prior to the first day of school. Check to see what textbooks you will need and get them ordered as soon as possible. Textbooks can take several days to arrive and you don’t want to fall behind on your coursework waiting for your books.
If your textbooks are in a digital format, be sure to have them all downloaded and ready to go before class starts. You may even want to skim the material and get a feel for what you will be learning about.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but with so much happening on the first day of school, we may forget something as simple as a pencil. Jot down a checklist of items that you know you will need, such as your iPad, laptop, pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks and textbooks.
Be prepared to write down other things your teachers may require such as calculators or scrubs.
Take a snack with you or make sure you have some money to use at a vending machine in case you get hungry. Bottled water is typically acceptable in the classroom, but save the snacking for breaks.
Get to know the staff.
Depending on the type of assistance you need, you will be referred to a specific department on campus. Most students will be in regular contact with these departments throughout their college education.
The campus staff is there for YOU, the student. Your success is their success. They are ready to answer all of your questions and help you navigate your way through the college experience, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them on your first day with any questions or concerns.
The four main departments and some of their general functions are as follows:
- Admissions: Comprised of several admissions representatives, this department meets and enrolls students into the school. They help individuals determine which degree programs might be the best fit for them.
- Academic Resources: This department handles registration, transfer credits, adding and dropping classes, grades, suspension/expulsion, honor lists and everything else related to a student’s academic progress.
- Financial Aid: For students needing financial assistance, they turn to the financial aid department. Student loans, grants, scholarships and out-of-pocket payments are the primary functions of this department.
- Career Services: As the name implies, this department helps students with all things career-related, such as providing job opportunities, interview tips and assistance with resumes.
By making just a few simple preparations beforehand, you can have a stress-free first day of school that will help set the tone for the rest of the year.
Learn more about our career-focused degree programs by requesting more information or by calling 1-877-480-3335.
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