The first week of school is always the most exciting for me. I treat back to school season like it’s an entire new year. I’m freshly motivated from a long summer vacation, I vow to actually use the planner I bought this year, and once I’ve organized all the school supplies I nabbed on clearance at Target, I like to think I’m on track to better grades and the best year of college so far.
Sadly, this motivation fizzles by week three most of the time. I end up with a professor who always forgets to pass out the sign in sheet, I fall behind on readings because I was too cheap to pay for expedited shipping, and my growing pile of laundry begins to put a damper on my “new year, new me” mentality. I scrolled though our site and saw that a lot of people asking questions are incoming freshmen. So, with my two years of experience in getting through the first week of new classes, I’m here to share how to have an awesome (but still productive) first week.
Source: Come week three, the sparkle of college life is gone. I blame midterms.
- Try to avoid staying up until 3 AM catching up with your friends. Whether you’ve just met them or they are the people you came to college with, you don’t have to recap every minute of summer the first night. It can be tempting to stay up late trying to get to know your new roommates, but you’ll thank yourself when you wake up freshly rested for that early morning lecture.
- Many freshmen as well as upperclassmen move into campus housing well before classes start. My freshmen year I used that extra time to get to know my new friends by exploring the campus. We all took a copy of our schedule so we could find our classes before instruction actually started. Since most buildings are open by the time you move in, we were able to find the exact location of most of our classrooms. This saved us all the embarrassment of looking like a total freshmen by not having to spend our first week with a campus map in our hands. It was a great way to see if anyone in my hall shared any classes with me and it saved me from being late to my first day of class.
Source: Nothing is more embarrassing than realizing 20 minutes into a class that you’re in the wrong room.
- This isn’t necessary, but it will save you the awkwardness of trying to figure out where to sit during your meals. During your first week of school, find someone with a schedule similar to yours and make plans to meet them for lunch/dinner. This will most likely be your roommate, unless they have a schedule that completely conflicts with yours. Ask around to see who is available at the same time as you, and take down their number for future meals. Nothing sucks more than walking into a crowded dining hall with no one by your side.
Source: The dining hall is a great place to meet people, if you’re into that kind of stuff.
- While killing time the week before school starts, print out your schedule for the quarter and post it somewhere where your roommate can see it. That way they know when to wait for you to get lunch, and when to just go ahead without you. This was especially helpful for my rooming situation because with 2 other roommates it was hard to remember who had class at any given time. This was also a great way to figure out when I could slip in an uninterrupted nap during my day.
- This is my best tip, but beware if you are easily distracted by all the internet has to offer. The first day of class is when professors announce what books are required for the class. Most people their freshmen year trust the bookstore and just buy them there. While this is fine, I have never bought a book full price for this one reason: I take my laptop to class with me the first week of classes (and the other times, but don’t be like me - use pen and paper). While people are merely writing down the name of the book they need, I’m on Amazon/Chegg/Ebay searching for it! Plenty of other people buy books online too, but many have to wait until they get home to search for them. I always get the most inexpensive copy because I’m entering my card number while they’re copying down the name. Feel free to brag to all your friends how you just paid 3 dollars for your math book.
- For your entire first week of classes, wake up a bit earlier than usual. This will help you figure out exactly how many girls or boys in your hall are up at that time. Nothing sucks more than having to skip a shower because you didn’t know that more than half of the girls in your hall showered in the morning as well. In my hall, there was one shower stall that had the best water temperature. I didn’t find this out until second quarter though because I always got up too late to be picky about which shower stall I was going to take.
- Finally, call your mom. She is most likely freaking out and suffering from withdrawals. Who will she blame the messy house on now? My first few weeks my mom would seriously only call me to see if I had eaten, not how I was or if I was enjoying myself. In her defense, I’m one of those freaky people who sometimes just forgets to eat. Call your mom every few days when you first move in. Eventually, she’ll start missing you less and you can just make it a weekly thing. And if anyone makes fun of you or calling your mom, don’t be afraid use the lamest comeback in history…
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