When the college semester starts, everything is new. You have new classes, new classmates, new professors, new expectations – and if it’s your first semester, you might also have a new roommate and a new dorm room. All that “new” can be pretty overwhelming!
Here’s a few ways to make the first week of college a little less stressful and a little more familiar – and over time, make college easier.
Sit in the Front of the Classroom
If your professor allows you to choose your seat in the classroom (and most professors will), always sit in the front. You’ll get several benefits out of doing this:
- You won’t be distracted by other students and what they’re doing. Instead of wincing while the classmate in the row in front of you shops on eBay or watches last night’s game on replay, you’ll be able to focus on the lecture, take good notes, and succeed while they are not.
- The professor will become familiar with you and with what you look like, which means that when you go to office hours, they’ll know you’re a dedicated student.
- There’s less chance that you’ll slack off when you know the professor is watching. Motivation to look like you’re working hard, and accountability if you don’t, are great ways to trick yourself into being the best student you can be.
Go to Office Hours
Professors hold their office hours so that students can come in, ask questions, and get clarification on things that they’re confused about. But many students don’t realize that that’s what office hours are for – and many tend to see “going to office hours” like it’s “being sent to the principal’s office.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Your professor is in their office to help you – so go use that help! Normally, you don’t even have to make an appointment – just show up so they can help you learn.
Going to office hours will benefit you in these ways:
- The professor will be able to put a face to the name in their gradebook. As a result, you’ll probably get more help with classes and with things you might need in the future, like letters of recommendation.
- You’ll stop being afraid of office hours, which makes it more likely that you’ll use them as a resource when you need them.
- You will be able to get answers to your questions that you can’t find in the resources for the course. Your professor will also benefit, since your questions might tell them that they need to provide resources for those questions.
Trade Contact Info With At Least 3 Classmates
Everyone will miss one or two classes, but it would be just your luck to be sick on the day of the review for the midterm or final exam. Even missing a “regular” class can be annoying if the next class builds on topics that you missed. Exchanging contact information with at least three classmates can help you in these ways:
- You will be able to get answers to questions if you cannot make it to office hours (and this does happen).
- You will be able to organize a study group, which is a tool that can help immensely when it comes to studying and learning.
- You’ll be able to make friends! Especially if it’s your first week on campus, this will help with your social and emotional well-being.
Tying It All Together
A few simple steps in the first week of school can make college easier in the long run. By building a team (classmates and the professor) and putting new tools in your toolbox (study groups and office hours) you can make your life on campus less stressful and more familiar by the end of the first week of classes.
You May Also Be Interested In:
4 Ways to Make Starting the Semester Easier
How to Email Your Professor – And When to Avoid It!