You have just graduated from high school and are enjoying your summer break. College will be starting soon and you have no idea how to prepare for the first day of classes. One thing you should always keep in mind is that your experience in college will be much different than what you were accustomed to in high school. Here are six critical tips on what is expected from you before attending your first college class:

1. Do Not Skip the First Day of Class

The first day of class is one that cannot be missed. Your professors will explain class expectations, the grading scale, their teaching style, the best way to contact them with questions, and other details that are in the syllabus. Each professor has their own way of doing things so such details are crucial factors that determine whether or not you will be successful in the course. Bear in mind that your professors want you to succeed, and they are equipping you with the tools to do so. The more you take the time to figure out how professors like to guide their students, the more accessible they become. Your relationship with the professor will often make a massive difference in your performance in the class.

2. Make Social Connections with Your Peers

Some students tend to shy away from interacting with their fellow classmates. In college, you will come to find out how essential it is to make social connections with students who share the same classes as you. There may be times where you are confused about a particular lesson, or you may need someone to give you personal support during difficult moments. Your peers are open to help if only you approach them in a respectable manner. You can always count on a group of dedicated students in your circle to make your class experience much easier to manage. If you have to miss a class, your peers can bring in your assignment for you so you don’t fall behind. Likewise, you can do the same for them.

3. First Day Assignments

Some college professors like to get started with the course material on the first day of class. Additionally, they may even assign some work for you to complete before coming to class. If this is your case, then make sure you are keeping up with your professors’ announcements so that such assignments do not take you by surprise. The assignments given by professors before the first day of class are usually shown on the syllabus, sent by email, or posted online as an announcement. These are typically reading assignments and you will want to come prepared in order to make a great first impression to your professor.

4. Invest in a New Wardrobe

Your high school days are over and that calls for getting a new wardrobe, or at least a few new pieces. Finding clothes that are more suitable to your age will make you seem older and people will take you more seriously. Look into brands that are geared to college aged students and pick something out that you gravitate towards. Whether that is a new backpack, shoes, or a dickies clothing jacket, it will give others a good impression about who you are. Be sure to give yourself an extra 20 or 30 minutes when getting ready as well! Since it is your first time on campus, you will most likely get lost a few times before finding your classroom. This way you will be on time and have a suitable appearance. 

5. Invest in a Laptop

Using your laptop in high school may have been a reason for you to get in trouble, but college professors are flexible when it comes to using your laptop for class purposes. Taking notes by hand has many benefits, yet it may not be the quickest method to keep up with lecture notes. Alternatively, a laptop enables you to follow along with the PowerPoint slides and type any additional information that is relevant to the discussion. That being said, you must avoid the temptations that come with using a computer such as scrolling through social media during class sessions. If your laptop will serve as a distraction and become an obstacle for your learning, it is best to leave it at home.

6. No Interruptions During Class

Unlike high school where your teachers were willing to pause in the middle of a lesson to make sure you understand the material, college professors will not be able to spare any time for you during a lecture. High school class environments are typically more relaxed in regards to explaining concepts, but in college there is a particular lesson plan that must be fulfilled each day which is why professors are displeased with any interruptions. If you do have any questions about the material, you should make a note of it and ask your professor after class or through email depending on what the professor has previously outlined in the syllabus.

The first day of college can be very nerve-wracking to some. You are exposed to a new atmosphere, professors, and peers. Knowing what to anticipate will give you the confidence to make a smooth transition. Take the aforementioned tips into consideration and you will be well on your way to surviving the entire semester.

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