Student Life

Surviving the First Day of College

If this is the first time you’re heading off to college, it can be extremely terrifying heading off to class on your first day.  It’s certainly not like the first time you went off to high school; you don’t know many people (if anyone) and you are most likely lost as to where your classes are.  You may be concerned that the classes you are taking (if you’ve ever heard of that subject) are really going to be difficult and are going to be incredibly overwhelming.  It also doesn’t help that it seems every class you go to seems to throw scary policies at you that you may have never heard (or thought of) before, and include a workload that will leave you wondering, “Will I ever survive?”

Well, you will survive that day, and you can survive the rest of the semester.  It’s not all that bad.  Sure, the first day is a little scary, especially when you get a look at all the work you’ll have to do and all the policies you’ll have to follow.   However, it can be simple, and this is why we’ve put together some tips to help you to get through the scariest part of the semester so you can make it to the easiest:   The minute you pass in your final exam.

Take a walk around campus to find your classes the day before.  Although you may feel a little dorky, but it really helps; a lot of students on their first day get lost and end up getting to their classes late.  In an article at Surviving College Life, they explain that it’s a good idea to walk around campus the day before your classes start.  You can even bring a couple of friends or your roommate along with you.  It’s easier to find the buildings when you’re not pressed for time and stressed out.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Whether it’s asking someone in your class if you’re in the right class, asking for directions to a building, or asking your professor for clarification, it’s important to ask questions.  Even if you feel weird about asking questions, you shouldn’t; all the other freshmen are in the same boat and so you’re not alone.  Be sure to get the facts so that you’re not wandering aimlessly around campus and miss your class, or that you end up in an art class when you were supposed to be in a business class.

Take a minute to meet the person next to you in all your classes.  This will not only give a buddy in all of your classes who can work with you on projects, but it will also give you someone to commiserate with when you think the test was too hard or you just can’t seem to get through that paper.  This will also give you someone to contact when you miss class or misunderstand something the professor said.

Don’t be intimidated.  The most important thing to remember about the first day, like we said, is that you’re not alone; there are plenty of other freshmen who are in the same boat as you.  It’s important to just avoid getting bogged down with trying to memorize all the policies, remembering when all of your assignments are due, or overwhelming yourself with the thought “How will I ever get through this?”  Make sure to have fun in your classes and to try to get something out of them.  College should be a great experience, and you shouldn’t let yourself get totally intimidated by all the work you have to do.  Just remember to keep your chin up, because you can get through all your work and have fun at the same time.


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