It’s your first semester of college and, plainly stated, you are clueless. Everything is changing. Suddenly, you are saying goodbye to friends, then your parents. You find your new closet empty of clothes, and the wall bare of posters. You are at college. Still, you’re clueless. Why are you here? Ah, yes. College education. But where is the classroom? What supplies are needed?
Here are five tips to better orient to the college classroom as a student.
1. Email the professor ahead of time—Before school commences, I recommend composing a quick, polite email to your professors. Introduce and give them a little information about yourself. If you are excited about the class, let them know. To be safe, ask if there is extra required material needed from the class. This is to allow you and the professor a chance to exchange names, information, and general pleasantries. This whole idea may sound unnecessary or silly, but professors like seeing students take the initiative. To them, it’s a gesture of intentionality and eagerness from the student. Doing this may set you up for success, showing your interest and responsibility.
2. Organize—For many, this is a hard feat to accomplish. However, find a method of organization and stick with it. Once classes begin, sift through each class syllabus, jot down the dates on a calendar or in your planner, highlight each class with a different color, and make lists on sticky notes and place them in obvious locations. Set yourself up for success.
3. Memorize your schedule—In order to establish successful routine, memorize your schedule as soon as possible. Know the building names and your classrooms ahead of time. Mark off each day and each class as it passes.
4. Get to class early— If possible, arrive in the classroom a bit early. Say, 15 minutes ahead of time. Chances are, someone else will show up earlier than you. This is the perfect opportunity to create some connections in the classroom by shaking their hand, exchanging small talk, and trading phone numbers . You never know, this could be your next best friend or, at least, a good study buddy.
5. Have Supplies— Don’t be that freshman panting into the classroom late with no pencil or paper. Avoid this at all cost. Set yourself up for success by coming to the classroom with all the materials needed. Books, paper, pencils, pens, highlighters, art supplies and a Bible. As mentioned before, ask the professor what is needed, then bring it to class.
After a bit, you will find that college isn’t that scary or confusing. One of the best ways to settle into a college routine and avoid stress is to prepare for the classroom.