How to Ace Your First Week of College

How to Ace Your First Week of College

Tomorrow is the first day of classes here at UW-Madison. In honor of the first day of school, I have accumulated a list of tips for making it through your first week without stressing and freaking out too much.

  1. Walk your classes before the first day: Being that I go to a school that has such a large campus, this is particularly important for me. While I may have had classes in one building before, walking my classes before school starts in order to find the exact room I will be in is crucial (umm…the Humanities building anyone?) This will also help you avoid the cliche of ending up in the wrong class and awkwardly having to sneak out (unsuccessfully of course). Even if your school has a small classes I really suggest walking your classes before the first day!
  2. Stay organized: Whether this means color coding your folders and notebooks for each class, writing out your schedule for the week including deadlines in your new planner, or simply just glancing at your class schedule the night before, just do what you need to do in order to be prepared.
  3. Don’t freak out: As simple of a tip as it may sound, it is one of the most difficult ones. You will most likely feel overwhelmed and the natural response is to freak out. Just don’t do it. You will get through it and figure things out!
  4. Don’t sit in the last row of class: It may be tempting. You can text, go on your computer–really do anything but pay attention to the lecture while sitting in the back. While you don’t have to sit in the front row either, find a place you feel comfortable sitting that will encourage you to pay attention in class. You’ll be thankful you did when midterms and finals come around.
  5. Be early: Especially on the first day, it is important to be early to class. This will allow you time to find your class if you get lost, pick the best seat in the lecture hall, and organize your things before the hall begins to fill up.
  6. Set multiple alarms: This goes back to being early, you can never be too early and setting multiple alarms can help this. You might press snooze on your first one so setting multiple will be your catch all. Besides, your mom or dad is not there anymore to wake you up and make sure you get going on time.
  7. Be outgoing and say hello: Don’t be that person. Don’t be the person that doesn’t look up, who doesn’t smile or say hello, or who gives the death glare. Just don’t be that person.
  8. Use your resources: You might still be figuring things out, even if you are a sophomore, junior, or senior! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from your RA, school counselor, or even just another student. That is what they are there for and usually will be more than willing to help you out.
  9. Don’t be afraid to call home. Sometimes the only thing that can calm you down or help you out of any situation involves a call home and hearing the sound of your mom or dad’s voice.
  10. Most importantly, DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! It’s easy to get overwhelmed your first week, but you have all year for that. Have some fun during syllabus week.