Getting Ready for the First Day of College


College is a fun, exciting and sometimes scary time in students' lives. It is perfectly normal to feel both nervous and excited at the same time about the first day of college, but freshmen students can use proven strategies to help make that first day go smoothly and ensure that their experience in college is one to remember.

Map Out Your Route

  • Knowing where to go can help ensure that you arrive on time and make a good impression on your professors. Take a tour of campus prior to your first day and keep a campus map handy. This way, you'll know where your classes are and how long it takes to get there. If you plan to use a bus to get around, check the schedule and where the stops are located. If you will walk or drive, map out the fastest route and know where you are allowed to park. Keep safety in mind, especially if taking night classes. Make plans to walk with a friend if possible and stay in well-lit areas.

Get Cozy

  • Many students will live on campus, others will rent their own place off-campus and some might continue to live at home with parents. Whatever your living situation, make sure that you have a comfortable place to complete homework and study for exams. A good desk, comfortable chair and sufficient lighting are essential. If you will live away from home for the first time, be sure to take along some of your favorite items and photos so you will feel at home. It's also good idea to touch base with your new roommate to introduce yourself. Dorm rooms are notoriously small, so you might want to discuss ahead of time what you each will bring and what you might be willing to share, such as a TV or coffeemaker, to conserve space.

Purchase Supplies

  • If possible, find out from the professors' websites or syllabuses which textbooks and supplies you will need for their classes. Head the the bookstore earlier rather than later to save time waiting in line. Have at least a notebook and a pen on the first day to jot down important information. Some professors may start teaching on the first day, so you need to be prepared to take notes just in case.

Know Where to Get Help

  • College campus offer many resources for students who need assistance, and it is helpful to know where to go before problems arise. Many campuses provide academic assistance such as writing labs, advising services, career centers, tutoring and disability services for students. Some also provide health clinics, counseling centers, police stations and financial aid services. Knowing where to go when you need help can help you be successful in college.

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