By: Ashley-Lynn Goldstein (George Washington University)
The first week of a new semester can be both an exciting and stressful time. During the first week you need to get used to your new professors, buy too many new textbooks that are way to expensive, and find a new study group. You also need to figure out which classes you are staying in and which ones you are dropping. Along with all of that during the first week there are so many fun social events to attend that you may not know where to start.
Part I: Classes
- Leave plenty of time to get to all of your new classes early. It will score you early points with your new professor, plus it guarantees you wont be late which will put you on your professors hate list way too early in the semester.
- Bring a notebook and a pen and take notes. Don’t let yourself fall behind the first day because you didn’t bring necessities. Many professors start lecturing the first day.
- Do the reading assigned at least for the first week. I know how it is, professors seem to always assign way too much pointless reading that never makes it to the midterm. However, my advice is to do any and all reading at least for the first week. That way you can feel out the professor and if he/she does assign reading that is important you will not be behind.
- Be friendly. Even if you do not know anyone in your class, change it. Make friends with the people around you so you have people to study with. Many people feel shy the first day of classes because they are nervous. I’m telling you its easy, just sit down next to someone who seems nice and introduce yourself. Have a little small talk and before you know if you will be exchanging numbers and you will have yourself a study partner (or if your lucky and the person is of the opposite sex, a date).
- Read the syllabus carefully. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. If the class seems too overwhelming the first day, take it as a sign and see what you can do about removing it from your schedule. If it’s a mandatory course and you cannot change professors, make sure to meet with the professor after class and explain to him/her your concerns and ask for advice. If you let your professor know early on your concerns he/she can help you by opening up office hours or recommending a tutor. Don’t wait until you dig yourself into a hole by failing the midterm to ask for help, it doesn’t work as well.
- Be confident. Know that you have gotten this far in your college career and if you could do it before, you can do it now. Just have good time management and enjoy your semester.
COMING LATER THIS WEEK. PART II: HOW TO START OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT SOCIALLY.