First Day of Class Survival Guide

Whether you’re a freshman or a seasoned collegiate, this post is for you. First days can seem like the end of the world. At the very least they’re busy, so I decided to create a guide for surviving (and rocking) your (awesome and successful) first day of class.

Winter Wonderland Tag (5)


Go to bed early and eat a good breakfast. This is not the time to start a Criminal Minds binge. First days are full of firsts for freshmen, and upper classmen have schedules overflowing with job interviews, honor society meetings, tutoring gigs, and catching up with favorite professors and friends. Trust me, you will need more than four hours of sleep. I suggest a soothing cup of tea paired with a favorite magazine or book before bed. After waking up, grab a good meal. And no, the left over pizza you and your roommate ordered last night doesn’t count. Like I said, first days are hectic, so you’ll need plenty of energy on top of rest. Also, it probably isn’t the best idea to fall into awful eating habits so soon. Maybe save the breakfast pizza for midterms?

Choose your outfit before AND wear comfy shoes. Whatever your style is, find something that makes you feel like you. That could mean a classic vintage dress or converse with a t-shirt. Either way, deciding on an outfit will help minimize the “what to wear?!” morning panic. As for the shoes– I’m not kidding. Find a pair of comfy shoes that you don’t mind walking in.  Your first day of class isn’t the day to break in those new heels…

Organize your backpack or tote the night before. Have your notebooks (I prefer a six subject notebook to keep everything organized), pens and pencils, and textbooks ready to go. If you carry technology, remember to fully charge them. Nothing is more frustrating than opening up your laptop to find it only has 5% battery life.

Keep your planner and schedule on hand. Know when and where your classes will be held. If you can find the best routes to classes the day before, then that’s great. If not, make sure you have a good map of the campus. Print your schedule and write it out in your planner. Call me paranoid, but you don’t want to head off to class only to find that you’ve misplaced your schedule. Furthermore,

Arrive to class early.  Don’t be the straggler who comes in fifteen minutes late because you walked to the wrong end of the campus. However, if you are that straggler, take a deep breath and try not to worry too much. It’s the first day of class, and typically professors are lenient (so long as you don’t make being tardy a habit…). Still, plan to arrive early and reap the benefits. Use the time to claim your preferred seat and look over your syllabus. Introduce yourself to your surrounding classmates, especially if you’re a freshman — it’s a great way to make friends!

Introduce yourself to your professors. This might not happen the first day in a large class, but try to meet your professor as soon as possible. Showing initiative will lay an important foundation for the semester, and building relationships with professors is an important key in having solid contacts after graduation. Talking with them early on will also give you a chance to ask any questions that you might have about the class. Even if academics aren’t your “thing”, it’s important to understand the expectations of a course.

Breathe and enjoy life on campus. Don’t let the hectic day keep you from enjoying new experiences or reuniting with friends. First days can be the end of the world, but they can also be the start of wonderful adventures.

Class starts mid week for me, so I’ve spent the day moving into my dorm and preparing for the first day madness. Best of luck to everyone, and don’t worry about surviving the first day of collegiate craziness — you’ve got a whole semester ahead of you. Enjoy it!

*All photographs open domain from Pixabay

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