Tips for the first day of class!

It never hurts to be extra prepared for your classes.  Here are a few tips to help you out on your first day.  (Stabler Department of Nursing at York College of Pennsylvania/Flickr CREATIVE COMMONS)

It never hurts to be extra prepared for your classes.  Here are a few tips to help you out on your first day.  (Stabler Department of Nursing at York College of Pennsylvania/Flickr CREATIVE COMMONS)

With the first day of classes underway, it’s time to get back on your grind and prepare yourself for the upcoming semester. Whether you’re a new or returning student, it never hurts to be extra prepared for your classes. Here’s a few useful tips to not only survive but thrive on the first day!

1) Give yourself enough time to walk to class

It can be pretty easy to underestimate how much time it can take to walk around campus, so the best solution is to give yourself more time than you think you actually need. Since there is a lot of construction going on this semester, detours and closed roads might make getting around a little more difficult. This makes it even more important to plan accordingly and give yourself extra time to get to class. No one wants the embarrassment of walking into a lecture late on the first day. Getting there early allows you to get a good seat and get yourself situated before class starts.

2)  Read the Syllabus

Actually reading through every syllabus for all your classes might seem unnecessary, but it really is important. Professors usually put a lot of useful information about the class in there, such as deadlines, assignments, exams and their grading system. It may seem unimportant to go over all of this so early in the semester, but it honestly helps a lot to begin planning out your deadlines and assignments as soon as possible. It is also important to know what your professor expects of you and how the class is going to be set up from the beginning. Even if your professor goes over it in class, it’s a good idea to follow along to make sure you’re getting all the information.

3) Have contact information from at least one person in every class

You never know when you might have a question about an assignment or have to miss a class, so it’s useful to have someone you can text to ask for help. It can also be extremely useful to have someone you can meet up with to study with before exams. That’s why it’s important to talk to the people in your class and try to get someone’s phone number if you don’t have one already. It can be a lifesaver when you need help and it can also be a nice way to make a friend.

4) Try not to use your phone

This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes it can be easy to get distracted during a huge lecture, especially right after summer break. Paying attention in class is always important, and while the first day might seem like an easy day to slack off, many professors go over significant information about the class and even start lecturing. Even if you think you can pay attention while looking at your phone, you are probably are not fully absorbing everything. If you get yourself into the habit of not checking your phone a lot right from the beginning, it’ll be easy to stick to it.

5) Get a good seat

When you’re in a classroom with hundreds of other students it can be easy to feel lost or to get easily distracted. The seat you choose can have a lot to do with this, so I recommend sitting closer to the front of the room. This will allow you to not only see and hear better, but for things to feel more personal between you and your professor. It can also lead to better note taking and can help you pay more attention.


Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.